A new saddle should be treated with Brooks Proofide leather dressing to help assist the ‘breaking-in’ process. Proofide keeps the leather supple as it is specially formulated from natural ingredients to condition, preserve and shower proof your saddle. Proofide is the only substance that should be used to care for your Brooks Leather Saddle.
Apply a little Proofide to the finished side of the leather. Allow the Proofide to permeate until dry and then polish off. Proofide should be used several times during the ‘breaking-in’ period and every 3-6 months thereafter. On bicycles not fitted with mudguards, an initial application to the underside of the saddle will be beneficial, this needs not to be polished off. The leather gets its colour during the tanning process and it is possible, therefore, that some colour residues will remain. It is recommended to polish the saddle with a soft cloth before first use.
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I have three Brooks leather saddles, and am a little perplexed as to why one of them, a Conquest All Terrain I bought new in 1992, has never broken in and become supple like the other two or previous brooks saddles I have had. I have ridden the Conquest for many years all round Devon and Cornwall, and over some pretty rough terrain where I'm bouncing up and down a lot. I bought a tin of proofide at the same time and used it as directed with only a fingertip of proofide each time I treated it on the top surface. I stopped cycling for a few years and then started again a little over a year ago and so gave the Conquest a fingerful of proofide on top, and another underneath. But after more than another year of cycling, the leather is still hard, though now has a couple of dents from my hip bones. I have to admit it is comfortable to ride, but I am puzzled as to why it has not gone supple.
My other two Brooks saddles are old vintage B66 models from the 30s or 40s. One is a B66 Champion Standard which is similar in shape to the Conquest, but a little larger all round, and the other is a B66 Tourist which has a shape very like the modern B66 saddles. With each of these this year I gave them a fingerful of proofide on top and left them overnight, and then buffed them nicely in the morning. Both B66 saddles came up looking amazing with the leather suitably supple. This is still with my old 1992 tin of Proofide which still has a fair amount left in it. I intend to try each of these B66 saddles on a 1950 Raleigh Dawn Tourist which I am restoring at present, to decide which one I want to keep on it..
A> The Conquest breaks in in a different manner to the other saddles you mention and the effect is much less pronounced. It is designed to maintain some of its rigidity
This not only condition the leather but also helps removed the water spot protrusion/pimple.
I just bought a new B66 ... How many times I have to use proofide on it.... Once a day? Once every 3 days? Thanks.
A> - maybe once a month - but only on underside
I have a 1951 vintage B66 Saddle with long slots (on a complete 1951 Raleigh Sports), that is weathered with a surface craquelure, but still seems a remarkably intact saddle. I applied all of a 25g tin of Proofide, as it all was soaked into the leather within minutes. The saddle is more supple since the application. Is this too much Proofide for this thirsty antique saddle? For daily use, should I really consider retiring this saddle, and ordering a replacement B66, or is it possible to keep an original Brooks saddle healthy and serviceable for many more years with applications of Proofide?
A> Chances are, you have applied too much Proofide, but our advice would be just to ride the saddle and see how it fares. Thanks!
I just used the last lump of my tin with 56 gms from 1987. (They were bigger then). Never any problems. Now I will order a new one. But frankly, I think it is unnecessary. The saddle, a Colt, never gets wet anymore. It´s like pouring water on a goose.
The description of this item is different from the answers given by the Brooks team. The description states, use Proofide to many times whilst breaking in your saddle. However, the Q&A section states in response to one user: use Proofide sparingly to protect the leather, not to break it in. What is the correct answer?
A> Use Proofide sparingly; do not overstaurate the leather.
I just purchased a tin of Proofide for my new B17. I would guess this tin would last for years, not sure how someone could use a tin in two applications as I read on a previous post. Anyway, you suggest storing the tin in a cool place or the freezer. I put mine in the freezer, how long will it last and not become rancid in the freezer, indefinitely?
A> Proofide contains tallow, an animal product. It should survive a long time in the freezer.
Just bought a lovely B17 saddle and slim grips as well as a tin of Proofride.
A quick question: Should I also apply Proofride to my grips? Thanks in advance
A> Hi, this is not necessary and the Proofide will darken the grips considerably.
Question: When I bought my Motobecane racing bike in 1976 it had a black Brooks saddle with chrome rails. When I started out riding on it I was told to frequently apply Proofide to the underside of the saddle because your body heat draws the Proofide into the leather to help break it in. To this day I ride that saddle and at least once a year I apply a heavy coat to the underside and treat the top as recommended by Brooks. The saddle has aged magnificently, but should I be repeatedly treating the underside with liberal coats of Proofide?
A> Proofide should be used sparingly, not liberally.
can the proofide be used on a union jack white swallow without it yellowing the color over time?
thanks in advance.
A> Proofide (or any other leather treatment) will darken any leather it comes in contact with.
Should Proofide be applied to the entire saddle? An employee at a bike shop told me it should only be applied to the underside, below where your sit bones contact the seat.
Should the entire underside be coated?
How often should the top and bottom be coated with Proofide?
How much Proofide is too much?
Is it possible to ruin the leather by applying too much?
A> You may apply Proofide everywhere on the saddle. For the saddle top, be sure and polish off after some minutes of letting the Proofide work into the leather.
However, too much Proofide can be a bad thing, and can ruin the leather if overused. As for the amount, use only a small amount.
ok, I know this stuff is expensive but the directions said to use it for my new AGED Fligher saddle. Now, I've just read in your Q and A, that I should not have put the Proofide on an Aged treated saddle. Too late now...and the seat looks better with the stuff on it (I miss the shine of the non-Aged saddles...).
I have a tin of Proofide that is about seven years old. It smells awfully rancid but the texture and colour are fine. Is there a reason not to use it apart from the smell?
How can I prevent Proofide from turning rancid? Is it possible to refrigerate or even freeze it?
> Proofide uses tallow, a natural product that turns rancid over time. This may still be used or replaced, but in the future store in a cool, dry, place or the freezer.
Proofide is the stuff to use. But I've a 35-ish year old B15 I really would like to put on my latest bike, it has no cracks, is in great shape, but the leather is very hard. I wonder what Brooks would recommend for this. I don't want it to crumble immediately, though I am sure that it won't last forever.
A> Give it some proofide for a few weeks after you start riding it, see if you can gradually add some suppleness.
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