Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cool Commute & B-17 questions

A nice crisp ride to work this morning. When I left it was -4C (24.8F) and when I got to work 1hr 45 minutes later, it was -2C (28.4F). I used to have this notion, and I would always say that I wouldn’t ride if it was colder than 3 Celsius. For some reason that was a magic number in my head. Of course I would still ride a bike, but not commute in anything colder than that. Today was just too convenient to ride to work .We’re looking at some houses this evening right after work, and I hate having two vehicles in Strathmore when we have running around to do. Then we have to drive separate vehicles back home, one right behind the other. Makes no sense. I figured I could brave the cold this morning, bundle up and ride. I’m glad I did. I feel like I’ve earned a whole new season of cycling. With my new found appreciation for wool, platform pedals to allow me to wear warmer footwear and my very warm skiing gloves, the cold wasn’t an issue today. Not for me at least. My water bottles froze up, but I was able to break the ice loose every time I pulled on the nipple with my teeth.

Leaving the house at 6am these days doesn’t mandate a good headlight. I ran my E6 for a bit, just because I had it, but about 15 minutes into the ride, I turned it off. I keep two super flashes going the entire ride. They are highly effective, and cheap to run.
For some reason, my brooks isn’t feeling really great right now on the LHT. I’ve ridden it for 1.5hr plus rides on my old sequoia and my fixie, both of which felt great. Possibly need some more proof hide to soften the leather a bit? I also know that I haven’t yet dialed in the fit on the LHT. My perfect bike as far as fit goes, is my fixie. I am going to use a plumb bob, and a tape and see if I can’t match every measurement on the fixie to my LHT. The B-17 is a different shape compared to modern saddles for sure, but I’ve heard so much good about them, and until I installed it on the LHT, I’ve had no issues with mine. Kent has a write up about the WTB saddles, and I agree with him. I found a speed V that was taken off of a bike for $10 at my LBS, and figured I’d buy it just because it was cheap. I’ve found that saddle to be very comfortable. Doug has switched from a B-17 on his LHT. My friend Vik gave me a Selle Atomica that still has some life in it. I’ve got it on my Xtra rebuild right now, but it might just find its way onto the LHT for some testing. I’m almost afraid to try it for long rides though. I’d probably have to buy a new one if it feels really good, and they’re not cheap.
Anyone else have any thoughts on the Brooks saddles? Long break-in I’ve heard, but I thought I was through that.

7 comments:

Smudgemo said...

I gave up on my B-17 too. Also on the B-67. I took the 67 off the Xtracycle and put the B-17 on it (where it feels pretty good.) I put my old (and comfortable) Avocet O2 on my commuter for now. I'm never really comfortable, so maybe I shouldn't bother.

ksteinhoff said...

The best advice I can give, after learning it the hard way, is not to overdo the Proofide.

http://www.pbbt.org/2008/05/18/adjusting-a-brooks-champion-flyer-saddle/

Tex69 said...

I found that the steep angle of the LHT (right?, not laid-back slack?) makes for weird sensations with a B-17. I ended up with a sprung Brooks Conquest b/c road vibrations were going up through my saddle and into my back with my B17. I've seen discussions of seat posts with more set-back (It's early and my terminology isn't coming very handily) so you can get behind the bottom bracket some more and distribute vibrations better. And everything I've read about Proofide says "careful".

2wheeler said...

I don't know about B17s but I got a An-Atomica two weeks ago and after some fiddling and a few hundered kms it is a huge improvement for me. You're in luck if you have Vik's old saddle. Just send it to Selle An-Atomica people to have them put a new waterproof Clidesdale leather on it and you'll have a brand new saddle for half price! It is a very unusual and very comfortable saddle.

JPTwins said...

I love my three B-17s! My newest one is still uncomfortable and it's tough, because it's on the bike i ride the least. i have never used proofide on any of mine, because i've heard the same as Tex69 above.

not sure why you'd like it one bike and not on another though...

Jerome said...

Hey JPT,

I actually solved with problem. Pat S was having the same issues, and John Speare piped up and mentioned to maybe raise the seat height up a bit. ( http://26inchslicks.blogspot.com/2009/05/befuddled.html) It was perfectly comfortable on my previous saddle with the height, but I found once I jacked it up a bit for the Brooks, it was fantastic. It's getting better and better and is now the most comfortable saddle I've ever owned. I'm hoping to add a few more B-17s to my collection. Now that I've got a few bikes I know I'm going to keep around, it's worth getting a comfortable saddle that will last. Cheers.

JPTwins said...

Good to hear!

I was looking at my saddle last weekend and it looked like it was tilted up to far, so i straightened it out, and then on my commute yesterday (havign forgotten my adjustment), I felt like i was goign to slip off the entire time. And just my luck, it was an old seatpost with no hex wrench hole.

Geoff (boston, ma)