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brooks b17 narrow convert =>(13 posts)

brooks b17 narrow convert =>JS Haiku Shop
Mar 5, 2003 7:33 AM
so far i have around 2000 miles on a brooks b17 narrow purchased last july from wallingford bikes in new orleans ( bill laine runs the place, and was very helpful with the selection. it was bought from his closeouts/used/blemish page--he said the ventilation holes down the center were punched a little off-kilter, leaving tool marks in the leather. i couldn't see any problems when the saddle arrived.

the b17n was put on my surly cross-check. the bike was purchased from excel sports the same month (my second surly from excel--i also highly recommend excel). between july 2002 and now the b17n has seen several long mountain rides, century+ rides, a handful of cyclocross races, and last weekend's 200k brevet in IL (which turned out to be 140 miles in 29-35*F weather and wet/snowy/icy roads).

the saddle was uncomfortable to painful for the first 600 miles. "break in" doesn't occur all at once, but on the next ride after about 600 miles, the saddle suddenly felt very comfortable. the more i ride it, the better it gets.

the b17n has been coated in mud, road salt, coated in ice and snow, and dripping wet. bad conditions haven't marked it in any way--aside from break-in and rail scuffs from the seatpost and a saddlebag rack (Bagman), it looks brand new. i've treated it twice with proofide--once when received, and once after cyclocross season.

former saddles tried included the specialized BG comp, concor lite, san marco strada, and SI nitrox gel (those are all in the parts bin or since sold with previous bikes).

on double metrics and double centuries last year, i used (and am still using) the san marco regal (ti) saddle. i also use the steel-railed regal on my ss. for longer rides, i took do(u)g's recommendation and added a QR gel cover to the regal, which proved invaluable. after the two double centuries on consecutive weekends last year (on regal w/QR cover), my rear was generally sore but not specifically so--no pain, just soreness. on last weekend's brevet i rode the b17n for almost 10 hours saddle time, and finished that ride without *any* arse discomfort. at its widest point, the regal is 150mm wide; the b17n is 152 mm wide.

i'm not about to abandon the regal saddles, but the next 2 bikes (currently in the build process) will most likely get the b17n, which will certainly be purchased from wallingford.


Welcome, brother. You are now one of Us. nmOldEdScott
Mar 5, 2003 7:40 AM
good thing is: you'll give up building ultralight bikescolker
Mar 5, 2003 7:41 AM
which is a silly thing to do anyway.
easy habit to kick since i never started it...JS Haiku Shop
Mar 5, 2003 7:49 AM
my "stupid light" bike weighs about 21 pounds.

the cross-check is something like 24#, or 45# loaded.

i'm not counting grams over here!

re: brooks b17 narrow convert =>techie470
Mar 5, 2003 12:10 PM
I received a Swift with ti rails for Christmas (from Wallingford). Since then I've put about 400 miles on it, all inside and on rollers. My training sessions run from 30 to 90 minutes. At this time I have yet to make peace with it. The saddle still feels hard and I have yet to find a comfortable seating position.

Is it time to see about an exchange for a B17 or just give it more time?

more time and harder milesJS Haiku Shop
Mar 5, 2003 12:15 PM
i'm convinced one of the major contributors to my 600-mile factor was the georgia 6-gap ride. 95% of my climbing is (was) in the saddle (very low gears). i also don't know how much being outside when riding helped as opposed to your situation.

good luck!

Your weight and the saddle color make a difference too.MB1
Mar 5, 2003 12:57 PM
I weigh about 50 lbs more than Miss M, it only took me a few hundred miles to be completly comfortable on a Swift. It took Miss M 1000 miles or so.

I have also noticed that Black Brooks saddles break in quicker than the Honey which break in quicker than the Burgundy ones.

YMMV but give it some more time.
FYI i'm 195# (all legs, LOL) and the saddle is black :) nmJS Haiku Shop
Mar 5, 2003 1:00 PM
Strange -- my experience the opposite.OldEdScott
Mar 5, 2003 2:44 PM
I have a 'young' Brooks honey that broke in so fast it threatened to sag. I kept tightening the bolt, and finally it stablized, but it looks ancient & grotesque, like gnarly burnished teakwood or something. Comfy as hell. I have an 'old' black that never did break in, and still looks almost brand new. Also comfy as hell, despite its looks.

I don't think it's really the color. I think it's just the different characteristics of different batches of cowhide. Brooks saddles are organic things, and you're going to have variations.
Do you have the nose tilted up a bit more thanOldEdScott
Mar 5, 2003 2:38 PM
you normally would? Try it. I find that makes all the difference with the various Brookses.
Do you have the nose tilted up a bit more thanOldEdScott
Mar 5, 2003 2:45 PM
you normally would? Try it. I find that makes all the difference with the various Brookses.
Do you have the nose tilted up a bit more thantechie470
Mar 5, 2003 4:39 PM
Yep, my saddle nose is slightly tilted up, but if I tilt up to much my privates start to go numb. Helps prevent the feeling of sliding forward. I have the black one, looks great on my 02 Lemond Buenos Aires.

Thanks to the above remarks I'm going to hang on and put some real road miles on it before I make a decision.

another saddle adjustment suggestion (for guys)JS Haiku Shop
Mar 6, 2003 7:25 AM
i've read and tried with success that (for guys) pointing the saddle <1cm in the opposite direction of your "nasty bits'" natural tendencies is conductive to comfort. in other words, if you "dress left", point the saddle a little to the right. give it a try, it might work for you.