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Shirtcocker
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So...after slagging Brooks for years as being too impractical and expensive I finally bought a black Brooks Swallow. Got it for $80 from a shop in IA. It was in the 1/2 price bin along with a B-17. I asked how much they wanted for it and originally the lady said $30, but the shop owner overheard and said he had to check as he thought his cost was way more than that. He couldn't find an exact price so we settled on $80. It was out of the box so he threw in a can of Proofhide also to seal the deal :D .

Anyway...I have no maintenance instructions for it and no spanner to adjust the seat with I have some questions...

  1. Can I adjust it with a normal wrench or do I need the Brooks tool? How do I know what the proper tension is for it?
  2. How often do I need to Proofhide it and what is the procedure to do so? Just rub a small amount into the saddle and let dry?
  3. Do I need to carry around a saddle cover in case it rains?
  4. Do I really need one of those wacky looking and ridiculously expensive seat bags they make to hold my crap? :D
Anyone know a good place to get the leather bar tape? Have to get some of that now. I draw the line at toe straps though. I'm keeping my Campy pedals.
 

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Two wheels=freedom!
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708 Posts
Leather bar tape is kewl, but go to Velo Orange and do the hand stiched Elk Hide Covers. It's not that hard, and only take about a beer per side. I have done the tan and the black. The lighter covers get dirty and are hard to clean. I settled on the black last time around and I'm pretty happy with that. I also put a little Cinelli cork tape under the hide for a pinch of extra padding.
 

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Shirtcocker
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60,640 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
rdolson said:
Leather bar tape is kewl, but go to Velo Orange and do the hand stiched Elk Hide Covers. It's not that hard, and only take about a beer per side. I have done the tan and the black. The lighter covers get dirty and are hard to clean. I settled on the black last time around and I'm pretty happy with that. I also put a little Cinelli cork tape under the hide for a pinch of extra padding.
Cool...will check it out.
 

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Shirtcocker
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
BentChainring said:
Curious about that B17 that is half price....
As I recall he wanted about $100 for that wider B-17 (brass rails with brass rivets). Looks like you might be able to get similar deals online if you look around, but I can PM you the shop name if you want to call and ask.

This this is it

<img src=http://www.brookssaddles.com/en/ResampleImg.ashx?imgurl=../images/shop/shop_saddles/Classic_Saddles___Trekking___Touring/B17_Special/colors/b17_Special_Black.jpg&Width=344&Height=280&format=jpeg&bkColor=FFFFFF&vAlign=bottom&halign=left>

One reason he sold me this Swallow for cheaper was that he'd installed and ridden it himself for a little bit (looked brand new to me...not a scratch on it). He wanted a lighter saddle so he wanted to get rid of the Brooks. Not a huge market for expensive saddles in Spencer, IA I would imagine.
 

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Shirtcocker
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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had it in the ear before
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go for a ride w/ Hickey to score a "wacky looking and ridiculously expensive seat bags" for free. I proofide mine about every other month but I commute in tropical storms often too. dont forget to hit the underside w/ it too and it will keep ur bootymeats nice and supple. Google search for the best price on the bartap i think i paid around $50 for mine, its very durable and put some proofide on it too. let it dry a day or two before using it.

//i've never turned the adjusting nut as i dont have a tool either but dont feel the need to and i put some weight down on her.


 

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1. I think you need the Brooks tool. Don't adjust unless needed, and only a little bit at a time. Not sure how you tell when it's needed, but apparently not very often. I've never adjusted mine, partly because I don't know what direction to turn the bolt.

2. Proofide once or twice a year ought be plenty unless you ride in the rain a lot. Make sure and coat the bottom of the saddle, which gets the most wet and absorbs more water as well.

3. I stuff a plastic grocery bag under the saddle in case I get caught in the rain.

4. No, but you'll want one.
 

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Lizzie will ride free
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I found a need for the little wrench to tighten the tension after a good soaking on a long wet ride. A little water here and there won't really mess with it. I mean they are pretty standard in Seattle with the randonneur gang. Over the past few years, I must have used up 1/3 of the tension length on the bike I ride the most. Yeah, I may only get a decade out of it at this rate.
 

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had it in the ear before
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JP said:
I found a need for the little wrench to tighten the tension after a good soaking on a long wet ride.
good thing this isnt in the lounge.
 

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Premium Member
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1. I never touched the spanner nut...and I have 5 Brooks...It hasn't been needed
2. Proofide- apply underneath the saddle too..It helps in wet conditions
3. Velo Orange leather tape and is cheaper than Brooks and I like it better...
4. Make sure you set up the saddle far enough back so you don't "ride the rivet"


and BTW, $80 for a Swallow is an outstanding price....It is my most comfortable saddle. They are great out of the box( for me) and only get better with each ride..
 

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had it in the ear before
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is the swallow narrow'r than the B17 or what's the difference?
 

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Shirtcocker
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Dave Hickey said:
4. Make sure you set up the saddle far enough back so you don't "ride the rivet"
I have an American Classic post now. I have to rack the Brooks as far back as it goes to fit me--rails seem to be a bit shorter than the Fizik Arione it replaced.

Looks like the little plate connecting the saddle underneath is right on the bottom of the clamp. Hopefully this won't prove to be an issue. Doesn't seem to deflect enough to matter right now.
 

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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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Bocephus Jones II said:
I have an American Classic post now. I have to rack the Brooks as far back as it goes to fit me--rails seem to be a bit shorter than the Fizik Arione it replaced.
Yup. And the Swallow has the longest rails of any Brooks, I believe.

I just dealt with a warranty replacement of one of my two Swallows, and Brooks was pretty heavyhanded about warning me not to use anything other than Proofide on the saddle. I've only used Proofide, but they seemed to doubt that and thought it was the cause of the problems I was having.
 

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waterproof*
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Stash a plastic bag or other rain cover under the nose

When I had a B17 I kept a plastic produce bag and some rubber bands stuffed in the nose of the saddle in case I got caught out in the rain, which I did a few times. Later I got the fancy cover and it fit in the nose too.

Chris
 

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Shirtcocker
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Dave Hickey said:
3. Velo Orange leather tape and is cheaper than Brooks and I like it better...
Do I want the perforated or solid leather bar tape that Velo Orange sells?
 
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