My Rides

Monday, March 14, 2011

Brooks B17 - Second 100 Miles


More in this series:

I'm at about mile 80 of the second hundred miles.  I received and applied Obenauf's LP after the last post.
Obenauf's LP Boot Preservative (8 oz)
I remember a few tricks from the good ol' days of breaking in baseball gloves, and right on the jar of Obenauf's was one of my favorites (well not precisely).  The jar mentioned a hair dryer, and somewhere I read to leave the saddle in the sun to warm.  My oven has a warming drawer, and the lowest setting is about 130 F.  I put the saddle, and the Obenauf's in there for about 10 minutes to get nice and warm throughout.

Then I sat down with a towel on my lap and rubbed a generous amount into the underside of the saddle, and the "end grain" perimeter.  I pushed it into all the cracks around the metal hardware.  Then I put the saddle back in the oven for a few minutes to get it to "flow" into the cracks near the hardware.  Then I repeated the whole process (2 applications).  I think rubbed in a thin amount on the top side.

The bottom turned from it's original honey to a deep brown.
Before

After
The saddle has a waxy feel to the bottom of the saddle. I should mention that the Obenauf's smells great...  Originally, the rough, raw leather on the underside really concerned me.  I was worried a little road spray would really hurt my beautiful saddle.  With the Obanauf's applied, I really feel it's protected.

In my first 10 miles (after application), around the neighborhood, I could almost feel it breaking in.  Unlike the trainer, I was going over a few bumps and pot-holes, so I think this helped accelerate things.  I gave the tightening bolt 1 whole turn.  On my last 20 mile ride (E.N. Hines Drive) I really started to feel a "saddle" shape to it, and could feel it flexing over bumps.  I could feel the sides splaying out and rubbing my legs a little, and I could feel the rear frame on bumps.  By the end of this ride, I had tightened the saddle another whole turn (I'm up to 3 turns total).

I bought some leather laces, and I think I'll do the lacing trick (not my saddle below - see the laces just under the Brooks brand):
Brooks laces the "pre-aged" model of this saddle, and the Imperial (with perineal cutout).  I read that a lot of people lace their saddle - either to increase stiffness, or prevent chafing.  The way the saddle feels, I figure lacing will add some stiffness forward of my sit bones, allowing more of a "pocket" to develop toward the rear, with less of a "saddle" in the middle.  This will probably make it feel stiffer, so I expect I may end up backing out a turn.

Finally, with more miles, and with the Obenauf's treatment the saddle is really turning into a beautiful piece of leather.  Really makes me want to build a lugged steel frame bike.

More in this series: