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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Brooks b17 edge question

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    Hi all,
    I recently got a partially broken-in B17 from Kitsune. I rode it for the first time today, only a couple miles to work, in jeans, and am a little concerned. I've tried measuring my sit bones a few times but haven't had much luck coming up with an accurate measurement. The other saddle I've ridden that I've mostly liked it the Bontrager inform WSD 160.

    Anywho, as I rode today it seemed to me that my sit bones were right on top of the metal edge of the saddle- uncomfortable. My husband seems to think that what I'm feeling is just the firmness of the leather and that once it breaks in I'll be more comfortable.

    Does anybody know of a way to tell the hardness of the metal edge from the hardness of the leather? I stuck my fingers under my sitbones and thought it seemed like hard metal, but he says no that's just the leather. I'm guessing the only solution is to get a decent measurement of my bones..? Or is it that the edge will break in? Or is the edge as I suspect, metal and not going to break in..?

    Thanks for any help.
    ...never met a bike that I didn't wanna ride.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I'm the only one allowed to whine
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    Get on the bike while someone holds it steady.

    Put your thumb on the top of the saddle, right where you feel your sit bones. (you'll probably want to do this a couple times) Hold your thumb there, and get off the bike. Put your index finger directly under your thumb, like you are pinching the leather.

    If your finger is on or right near the cantle plate... the saddle is too narrow. You are on the metal and ain't nothing gonna make it better.

    If your finger is well away from the cantle plate, then it's just you getting used to the leather. (it's like sitting on a wooden kitchen chair after spending years in a Barco-lounger)
    Last edited by KnottedYet; 04-21-2011 at 06:15 PM.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  3. #3
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    Apr 2007
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    could i do this on the trainer or might that throw off my usual positioning/back angle/etc ?

    i guess i can just try a number of times at different angles.
    ...never met a bike that I didn't wanna ride.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    I'm the only one allowed to whine
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    The trainer probably won't throw your butt off much. I'd give it a try!
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  5. #5
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    Apr 2007
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    would you believe me if i said it seems like one side is on the metal and one is on the leather? i should probably also note i'm missing one bone (anterior ramus, on the side that feels like it's on the metal) due to a surgery.
    ...never met a bike that I didn't wanna ride.

  6. #6
    Kitsune06 Guest
    Yeah, that's maybe a bit of a game changer. What bony surface do you sit on, then, if any, on that side?

    I suppose the difinitive way to see where your sit bones (or their nearest approximation) are would be to use a piece of tinfoil, crumple it, unfold it and sit on it. Wiggle 'round a little then get up and there should be a couple spots about golfball circumference (or more, or less) where your ischial tuberosities would sit. You'd measure from outside to outside.

    I'm sorry you're experiencing discomfort.

  7. #7
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    On what surface do I do the tinfoil exercise? Something squishy like a yoga mat on top of something firm?

    Don't worry, it's not your fault I don't know my sit bones' width.

    My DH thinks I'm crazy (even though this is my first saddle purchase in a while) and said that if I ride it regularly for 3 weeks and still think it doesn't fit he'll buy me any saddle I want. Ha ha!
    ...never met a bike that I didn't wanna ride.

  8. #8
    Kitsune06 Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Beane View Post
    On what surface do I do the tinfoil exercise? Something squishy like a yoga mat on top of something firm?

    Don't worry, it's not your fault I don't know my sit bones' width.
    !
    I used a pretty firm, flat surface. I crumpled the tinfoil so the little bumps and crinkles would flatten out where I was sitting on them and give me a really definite answer. Think maybe a wooden chair or counter top edge? Toilet seat lid?

    There's a post by Knot somewhere in the annals of the Brooks thread (I think?) that says you should basically subtract 10mm from either side (or 20mm total) from brooks' official width measurements to get the max sitting space, since the outer 10mm is all rail in the back. The B17 is 170? 177? mm wide, so you have roughly 150-157mm of sitting space on it, if I understand right.
    Last edited by Kitsune06; 04-21-2011 at 07:27 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beane View Post
    My DH thinks I'm crazy (even though this is my first saddle purchase in a while) and said that if I ride it regularly for 3 weeks and still think it doesn't fit he'll buy me any saddle I want. Ha ha!
    I think this sounds like a reasonable deal!
    Ride it for 3 weeks regularly. By that time your sitbones will be 'broken in' and the initial soreness should be all or almost all gone.
    If you still feel like you are riding on the edges, ask him to get you the B68. Then sell the B17 here or on Ebay or Craigslist. Try here on TE first.

    This happened to me, ecxept I rode about a year and over 1,000 miles on my B17 before I decided it just wasn't quite wide enough. I sold it here and got a B68 which felt perfect from the minute I sat on it. Have B68's on both my two bikes, they are perfect for me.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  10. #10
    Kitsune06 Guest
    well... my concern is that if you don't have a true ischial tuberosity (any xrays or illustrations or detailed descriptions would help) on one side, then perhaps NO brooks saddle would be comfortable? Brooks works on the concept that the ITs provide all the support so soft tissue doesn't really come in contact with the hard saddle itself. (well it does, but it doesn't bear weight, really). The mechanics of this fit might be a bit more complicated.

    Which anterior ramus are you missing? the superior or inferior, and is it missing all the way back to the body of the ischium (the most lateral border of the obturator foramen) or just a section by the pubic symphisis? Is there a structural support there like a plate and screws, or cage, or an open section since the closed structure should still be decently sound?

    Sorry if this is delving into personal realms, but this might us more info to work with. We're all here for each other.
    Last edited by Kitsune06; 04-22-2011 at 11:33 AM.

  11. #11
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    I measured my sit bones three times and came up with three diff measurements, but 160 would be my guess. So B17 might not work. I will give it more time though.

    Below is pic of what I'm missing.. I don't think it's an important bone. At least when they took it out they said it was non weight bearing and didn't even prescribe any physical therapy. I do walk with a tiny limp though (or so my mom says).

    p.s. They didn't put anything in to replace it, but a titanium rod would have been sweet!
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    ...never met a bike that I didn't wanna ride.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by BleeckerSt_Girl View Post
    I think this sounds like a reasonable deal!

    If you still feel like you are riding on the edges, ask him to get you the B68.
    ...As long as he's buying, I wonder if they make the B68 with titanium rails..

    Or maybe this, for $231! :
    ...never met a bike that I didn't wanna ride.

  13. #13
    Kitsune06 Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Beane View Post
    I measured my sit bones three times and came up with three diff measurements, but 160 would be my guess. So B17 might not work. I will give it more time though.

    Below is pic of what I'm missing.. I don't think it's an important bone. At least when they took it out they said it was non weight bearing and didn't even prescribe any physical therapy. I do walk with a tiny limp though (or so my mom says).

    p.s. They didn't put anything in to replace it, but a titanium rod would have been sweet!
    oh ok, then you do have ischial tuberosities just fine. 160 could be juuuust on the edge of what's going to be comfortable and what's not, but I'd stick with it for a little bit just to be sure.

    Lisa's right- once you break in your 'brooks butt', you might be surprised at how comfortable the saddle can be even if you're sitting 'bout on the rails. When that saddle was still practically new, and I was still sitting on the rails (mismeasured my sitbone width) I did a metric century and afterward my sit bones were the least sore parts of me. So perhaps you'll need to wait 'til you're broken in a bit and then see where you're sitting and how comfortable it feels?

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
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    It's true, after you've ridden on it for a few dozen rides or a month or two, it's much easier to tell if you are sitting on the metal frame edge or not. It's hard to tell when you are sore and when you're not used to the saddle yet.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    336
    good news! i rode ~25 miles today (with bike shorts on) and it wasn't bad. my soft tissues started getting sore about 2/3 of the way thru the ride, and my sit bones didn't feel great, but they also didn't feel terrible (so maybe it was just pre- broken-in brooks feeling). I also lowered the seat a smidge and slightly changed the angle so that the nose was flat. hopefully this bodes well for the future. fingers crossed!
    ...never met a bike that I didn't wanna ride.

 

 

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