So long Trek Saddle, Hello Brooks Saddle
Sunday is a day off for me, and fortunately, the Bikehounds in downtown Hamilton are open Sundays. I was looking for two things: a handlebar extender, so that I could mount my front light again after installing the handlebar clips, and a replacement for my worn out Trek saddle.
Modern materials – especially saddles with stitching, are just not durable for day after day after day use, and I found the stitching on my Trek saddle beginning to fail. It would not be long after this that water would find itself inside the saddle, accelerating the rot.
Having done a fair amount of research, I decided upon the Brooks B17 Standard Saddle. It’s made in England, not China, is full grain leather, handcrafted, and has a great reputation for durability and comfort. I decided on the B17 model because it appeared to have a shape that matched my riding requirements: not upright like a comfort bike, and not leaned way over forward like a road bike. Similar to a touring posture – moderately leaned forward, keeping minimal pressure on the hands.
Clifford at Bikehounds installed the saddle in minutes, and provided me with some insights on how to properly tune the fit of the saddle, and what to expect. Along with the saddle is recommended some reproofing goop, which conditions the saddle leather in a manner similar to using mink oil on full grain leather hiking boots. The easiest way to apply it, I found, was with a fingertip. Just a couple of dabs of reproofing, rubbed in with the fingers, was all that was needed. One small tin of reproofing goop should last years. Reproofing may be done more frequently while the saddle is breaking in, then, just a tweak once a year should do.
Initially, this saddle is hard, and somewhat slippery. I will keep you posted on the break-in and comfort experiences.
The first treatment of proofing is on – ready for the commute tomorrow morning.
No joy on the handlebar extender. Clifford and I exchanged a few ideas on how to mount on the front rack. Stay tuned, a DIY is about to happen.