Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Okay, I've had this Brooks B72 for about a year. No complaints about the shape, size or breaking in period - it felt wonderful from the start on a semi-upright bike. I have owned several other B72 models as well - both modern and vintage - and they've all been good. This was the one saddle of all my saddles I thought was pretty darn perfect. Then a couple of months ago I started to notice that the outer edge was pressing into my derriere. At first it was subtle, but the feeling kept getting worse - until one day I looked at the saddle, and the leather was visibly sagging in the center, with the outer edge (where the rivets are) forming a sharp ridge. Regrettably I neglected to take a picture of this before we messed with the tension, but I really ought to have emailed it to Brooks. It is unexpected that a saddle should sag that much under a 125lb rider in less than a year's time. It had never gotten caught in the rain, I am not a proofide zealot, and I had ridden maybe 600 miles on it in the course of 8 months (it is installed on a city bike) when the problem began to present itself.
Having spoken to a few long-time Brooks owners and retailers, I do not think that this is an issue with the B72 model specifically, but rather a general issue with quality control and the natural variation in leather thickness. A couple of retailers have told me that some Brooks saddles will sag in this manner and there does not appear to be a pattern to which models are susceptible to it. Well, that's not very reassuring. I am especially disappointed since this particular saddle was my overall favourite before the sagging problem started. I guess perfection is a myth and it is best to keep that in mind to avoid disappointment. I am curious whether others have experienced the "sudden sag" syndrome on any of their leather saddles, and if so which makes and models. Is there a cure?