RE: [CR]Brooks/Ideale leather saddle treatment

Example: History

From: "Kenneth Freeman" <>
To: <>, <>
References: <> <> <00c101c82e32$67dc9150$0300a8c0@D1>
Subject: RE: [CR]Brooks/Ideale leather saddle treatment
Date: Sat, 24 Nov 2007 11:52:22 -0500
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In-Reply-To: <00c101c82e32$67dc9150$0300a8c0@D1>

I don't use Brooks or Ideale any more since they don't fit my undersides, but I have had several. I've only used Proofide, up to a few coatings on top per month, and not seen any inordinate stretching. I liked a Brooks Pro for quite a while. I understand that Proofide is gentle enough for many applications, and I have not known it to aid in softening. My feeling has always been that if the saddle will not break in to my shape, or if I can't acclimate to it, I won't be able to use it.

Many supposedly "broken-in" leather saddles have butt-bone depressions flanking a ridge, and I find this shape to be impossible. I don't see how any leather treatments that do not involve clever leather surgery can remedy this situation, at least for me. Result is, I'm not comfortable on any on-topic saddles.

Ken Freeman Ann Arbor, MI

-----Original Message----- From: [] On Behalf Of Sent: Friday, November 23, 2007 7:39 PM To: Subject: [CR]Brooks/Ideale leather saddle treatment

I know that people have talked about the subject of how to treat Brooks saddles over the years to soften them up, followed by discussions of Proodhide and saddle oils. But I don't recall anyone talking about how much is too much, if that's even possible. I have a few saddles in my collection (Brooks and Ideal riveted saddles) from the 1950s on forward and I have been experimenting with them to see which I like better. I have also been treating them with Proofhide on the top and bottom. I have one that never softened up, despite all of the treatments, but on the other hand I have another that seems to have been softened maybe too much. On a local bike ride, a fellow told me that it looks like it had too much put on it. It is very soft and shows a little pulling of the leather at the front rivet (Ideale 42 saddle). I kind of like how comfortable it is, but now I'm starting to think that maybe the guy was right about possibly overdoing the Proofhide. Does anyone know if it is possible to overdo it? And if so, how do you know when to quit. I know that when I finished treating it several times, it was still pretty hard. But now that I have ridden a couple thousand miles on it regularly and got it wet from sweat a lot, it appears to be getting a lot softer. It will depress about 3/4 inch in the middle, but not quite to the top of the Campy 2-bolt seatpost head (which obviously would be too far). I just don't recall ever reading much in-depth stories about breaking in these saddles, thus the reason for asking here about these 'on-topic' saddles. Like I said, I wonder if I over proof-hided it?


-Dee Gordon
Los Angeles