The Leather Saddle from Hell; Put through Purgatory; Now Heaven!
Mick gave me a "present" of a Brooks Professional Saddle which he had failed to break. I'd bought my racing bike, a carbon fibre Ridley Orion with a synthetic saddle on it and surprise surprise had found it not bad at all, but not as comfortable for me as leather. I've used leather saddles almost exclusively since 1988, mostly Brooks and a mixture of Colts (no longer made, I think), Conquests (2) and B17s, standard width. The Brooks Professional is made of thicker leather, like the Colt and is slow to break in. In this case, glacial. Mick had ridden the thing on and off for a year. There was little flexibility in it and there was a subtle unpleasant central ridge which refused to yield. I gave it 500 miles of discomfort. No good. I then soaked it in oil for a couple of hours (wrapping the saddle in aluminium foil, lying upside down on the floor. I rode it for another 500 miles. No good. Repeated the same, soaking overnight. No good after another 500 miles. You will ask why I persisted? I don't like to give in!
I was taking it off the bike to bin it and it occurred to me to stand on it. I did, using my full 15st, heel first. I went up and down on it, along its length. I did this for a few minutes and then hopped on and off it. The saddle was right way up, off its pin on a mat on the garage floor and I was hanging onto a bench so I wouldn't fall over.
Anyway the beast was gradually broken. It's totally different now, soft and flexible and not uncomfortable any more. I Proofided it (should it be Proofhid??!!) and it's hunky dory.
Unbroken new B17 saddle on one of my bikes.
Broken B17 on my good touring bike.