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Stopping Brooks squeaking

shredheadshredhead Posts: 67
edited December 2017 in Road beginners
I've a Brooks B17 on my MTB / commuter. I've done a couple of hundred miles on it mainly on the road and it squeaks every time I go over a bump. I've been waxing it and took it off the seatpost to check its not the bolt and it squeaked when I pressed it with the heel of my hand. Is this normal? Its driving me a bit bonkers - especially as I'm about to do the hard'n'bumpy South Downs Way this w/e. Any tips for reducing the squeak, please?
Ta.

Posts

  • Take the saddle off the bike, turn it upside down and soak the underside with WD40. Let it soak in overnight. The noise comes from the hide engaging with the metal stud fittings.
  • Soak the underside with WD40? Thta sounds a good way to wreck the leather!

    When mine squeaks I just add a few drops of lube to the nose adjuster thread and that seems to sort it out.
  • It doesn't wreck the leather: it preserves the leather. Constant 'oiling' however might require that you replace the saddle, say, after 20 years.
  • Woodywmb wrote:
    Take the saddle off the bike, turn it upside down and soak the underside with WD40. Let it soak in overnight. The noise comes from the hide engaging with the metal stud fittings.

    Moron. :roll:
    Say... That's a nice bike..
    Trax T700 with Lew Racing Pro VT-1 ;-)
  • TMRTMR Posts: 3,986
    Just a thought, but call Brooks and ask them? They make the saddle, so will know better than anyone here...
  • Just a thought, but call Brooks and ask them? They make the saddle, so will know better than anyone here...
    if people did that with manufacturers.. you'd probably kill off about 90% of threads on this forum... just a thought..
    why wd40 and not gt85 and have a perfumed censored ?
    My pen won't write on the screen
  • TMRTMR Posts: 3,986
    Just a thought, but call Brooks and ask them? They make the saddle, so will know better than anyone here...
    if people did that with manufacturers.. you'd probably kill off about 90% of threads on this forum... just a thought..
    why wd40 and not gt85 and have a perfumed ars*?

    It might improve the quality of posts and remove a lot of the repetitive dross then! ;)
  • Sheldon Brown said:
    If a leather saddle is not oiled, and especially if it is allowed to get wet with water repeatedly, perhaps even ridden while soaked, it will eventually crack and disintegrate. The low-quality leather saddles that came on inexpensive ten speeds of the sixties and seventies would also often go out of shape under such conditions.
    The easiest and fastest method to break in a new saddle is with a liquid leather dressing, such as neats-foot oil, Lexol, seal oil (a French favorite) or baseball glove oil.. These products are available from shoe stores and sporting-goods stores. There are probably lots of other liquid oils that would work as well-RAAM pioneer Lon Haldeman uses SAE 30 motor oil, but his saddles tend to wear out after only 300,000 miles or so (according to Cyclist magazine). Paste or wax type leather dressings, such as Brooks Proofide, Sno-Seal, and saddle soap will work, but it takes much, much longer to break in a saddle that way.

    You can just pour the oil on and rub it in by hand, or for a more drastic approach, you can actually soak the saddle. The easiest way to soak a saddle is to turn it upside-down on a sheet of aluminum foil, then form the foil up around the saddle for a snug fit. Pour in a whole 4-ounce can of neats-foot oil or whatever oil you prefer, and let the saddle soak for 30 minutes to an hour. Pour the remaining oil back into the can, and wipe the excess oil off with a rag or paper towel. Install the saddle onto the bike, put on your black shorts, and ride. Even the most recalcitrant saddle (the thick-skinned Brooks Professional) will be substantially broken in within 200 miles or so.
  • Soaking the saddle will pretty much ruin them it'll just go into one soggy mess. I have used neats foot oil, but only brushed on the top side, not the bottom side, and only a few times. Noticed it has softened, but it's still hard. You don't want it to become sodden with neatsfoot oil, otherwise as soon as you sit on it, the whole thing will just flex and collapse.

    One thing I disgree with SB on this.
    Say... That's a nice bike..
    Trax T700 with Lew Racing Pro VT-1 ;-)
  • I recall from a few years ago on the old C+ forum, when Brooks saddles were going through a very popular period on here, there was a guy (Andrew Hunter?) from Brooks who used to post.

    He was very clear that only proofide should be used on their saddles, and that the breaking in process is acheved by riding, not by artificially and permanently softening the leather by soaking in oil.

    ...

    Have just done a search on the CTC site and this came up (from Andrew Hunter - my memory is obviously not too bad yet!)

    'There are many fables as to the best way to soften the saddle. However you do not want to soften the saddle, you want to promote its forming without it becoming soft. A good saddle will still look and feel hard but it will have taken to your shape. Consider your best, hand-made leather dress shoes. The first time you wore them the leather was hard. They pinched and you got blisters. But after a few months they felt better than any shoes you ever owned before. The leather is not any softer, it has formed to your feet so the shoes are now truly custom fitted.

    This is what a leather saddle can do for you if you treat it properly. And the proper way to break in a Brooks saddle is to ride it. The photo shows a perfectly broken-in Brooks saddle. This saddle is still hard at every point, even where indented, as no foreign substances have been used to accelerate its breaking in. The rider's contact with the saddle is now uniform, with no pressure peaks. The saddle may look distorted but to the owner it is incredibly comfortable – exactly how a Brooks should ideally become. How was this form achieved? Simply by riding.

    Proofide does not accelerate the breaking-in process. It conditions the leather without saturating it, allowing it to breathe whilst offering some protection from the elements. A saddle that has been treated with Hydrophene or Neatsfoot oil may appear comfortable but this comfort comes from its bowing. Brooks' official advice is lots of Proofide on the underside without wiping off – to protect the saddle from anything thrown up by the wheels (not so important on a bike with mudguards). On the top use it sparingly every 500 miles: apply in the evening, wipe off in the morning'
  • I thank you all for the tips and debate. Sorry it got heated. I'll trying oiling the thread of the bolt first to tackle the squeak as I'm following the official Brooks line on breaking it in. It is definitely forming to my censored shape - one censored bone is pointier than the other, I've discovered. The saddle is getting comfier. A planned arsault on all 100 miles of the S Downs Way this weekend will test it good and proper. I've emailed the shop I bought it in to ask their advice.
  • Hi Shredhead - Check under the saddle, the tension bolt goes through a inverted "u" shaped bracket that mounts the tensioner assembly to the saddle rails. Make sure there's some lube under this bracket where it pivots on the saddle rails. One of my Brooks Pro's was squeaking/creaking there same point every turn of the pedals.
    Cost me a full bike strip down and a new BB before I eventually found it.

    Pete.
  • I lubed the threadbolt and it helped a tiny bit. Unfortunately I fell off my bike on the S Downs Way and have snapped my tibia good and proper so the saddle won't be getting any more breaking in or oiling for a couple of months.
    :(
  • used neats foot oils on mine, and seems to have worked a treat.
    Did its first 100 mile on saturday and no probs
  • THIS WORKED FOR ME (brooks flyer)
    Remove saddle still on saddle post. Put end of saddle post on the floor and weigh on the saddle to try and locate the squeak origin. Also massage and squeeze the saddle with your hands for the same purpose. This allowed me to discover that most of the squeaking came from the looseness of the shoe lace underneath the hide.
    Take brooks' saddle grease or, if you have a horserider around, some good quality horse saddle grease (not soap, grease). Of course avoid using mechanical lube that will damage the leather.
    Heat the grease tin container in hot water so that the grease turns liquid. Use a paint brush to apply a good amount of liquid grease on the underneath of the leather. Slide your brush between leather and metal bars and heavily grease those zones too. When you apply it on the leather, chances are it will turn solid again leaving an un pleasant buttery look. Use a hair dryer (not a heat gun) to allow the grease to melt again, in minutes it will disappear inside the leather.
    Use mechanical lube for all springs and bolts. Tighten the shoe lace...tadaa, all squeaking disappeared in my case. Hope it works for you too
  • robert88robert88 Posts: 2,706
    "Sheldon Brown said:
    If a leather saddle is not oiled, and especially if it is allowed to get wet with water repeatedly, perhaps even ridden while soaked, it will eventually crack and disintegrate."

    Have used Brooks for ages and do long touring rides when the saddle gets sweaty and stays damp all day and the next day and the next. It doesn't seem to do them any harm. I guess the underside of the saddle must dry out fast enough to prevent saturation. My oldest Brooks is 14 altho' I had a 19 year old on a bike that was nicked.

    I've rarely worried if the saddle squeaks but if I could be bothered I'd apply a bit of 3 in 1 to the metal bits and it stops until next time.
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