Bye Bye Brooks :-(

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reohn2
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Re: Bye Bye Brooks :-(

Postby reohn2 » 28 Apr 2013, 12:35am

JohnW,patricktaylor

How old is the chair you're sitting on whilst reading this,and how much did you pay for it?

Here's another one,How old is your TV and what did you pay for it?

BTW,there are people willing to pay £80+ for a pair of bike tyres,how long do they last?

New chain and cassette anyone?
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661-Pete
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Re: Bye Bye Brooks :-(

Postby 661-Pete » 28 Apr 2013, 8:07am

It seems the controversy has already been awakened... :roll:

To my mind, it's not so much the fact that a certain product breaks. It's the severity of the consequences, when it does break, that bothers people. Breakages do happen. If you break a chain, or a crank, or a spoke, or a gear mech, well it may well bring your ride to a premature stop, but it's hardly life-threatening. But a handlebar breakage, or a fork, can be deadly. And if a saddle breaks beneath me - well that's worrying particularly with regard to the - errrrmmm - 'gents' department! :shock:

So it's the possible effect of the break that gets people worked up, rather than the occurrence.

In my case, seeing as only one rail broke (I've had two rails break simultaneously, on an earlier occasion), all I noticed was a loud 'crack' and then the saddle slipped out of position. I thought at first, the seat post clamp had slipped (should have realised it's a 2-bolt clamp which can't slip). Since I was on the way to work with less than a mile to go, I just continued without stopping. Would have been - interesting - if the second rail had gone. :shock: It was only upon arrival that I realised what had happened.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
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reohn2
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Re: Bye Bye Brooks :-(

Postby reohn2 » 28 Apr 2013, 8:43am

On three occasions when I've broken saddle rails I've heard a small crack some miles before the saddle going lopsided,and on one occasion was riding with someone who couldn't believe my accurate diagnosis and thought I was joking.
I've broken two on the tandem which is easily remedied by lifting the stokers handlebars to support the rear of the saddle.
Solo it's a different matter(I've never broken one whilst touring)though stuffing an empty coke bottle under the saddle neck first and taping around to hold in place works of sorts as a get you home repair.

EDIT:- If I'd paid £90 for a Brooks saddle thinking I'd bought the Rolls Royce of saddles,which will last a lifetime,I'd be hopping mad.
However,I've left such delusion behind me when Brooks saddles only cost £25 to £35.There isn't any way I'd pay Brooks' highly inflated prices,much less believe in their delusional qualities :wink: .
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tatanab
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Re: Bye Bye Brooks :-(

Postby tatanab » 28 Apr 2013, 9:48am

Both rails on mine went just ahead of the saddle pillar clamp. The immediate effect was that the nose of the saddle dropped. I could still ride it by sitting back on the cantle but I did not need to because I was in a village where I was lucky enough to pick up a plastic saddle to continue my tour. I threw the Brooks away because I was not willing to carry it around for another 1000 miles until I got home and could have it repaired.

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patricktaylor
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Re: Bye Bye Brooks :-(

Postby patricktaylor » 28 Apr 2013, 10:03am

reohn2 wrote:... a pair of bike tyres,how long do they last?

New chain and cassette anyone?

Those are disposable moving parts. Everyone knows they wear out and you plan for it. Not steel saddle rails. If I'd known the titanium structure of my £130+ Brooks is meant to be disposable I wouldn't have bought it. Leather wears out - I understand that from my shoes - but my chair hasn't broken and I don't expect it to.

reohn2
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Re: Bye Bye Brooks :-(

Postby reohn2 » 28 Apr 2013, 10:50pm

patricktaylor wrote:
reohn2 wrote:... a pair of bike tyres,how long do they last?

New chain and cassette anyone?

Those are disposable moving parts. Everyone knows they wear out and you plan for it. Not steel saddle rails. If I'd known the titanium structure of my £130+ Brooks is meant to be disposable I wouldn't have bought it. Leather wears out - I understand that from my shoes -.


I'd say you're not convinced by my argument are you Patrick?
Brooks saddles die,you'll have to accept it,

but my chair hasn't broken and I don't expect it to

How old are you Patrick?

Psst,alway expect the unexpected :wink:
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patricktaylor
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Re: Bye Bye Brooks :-(

Postby patricktaylor » 28 Apr 2013, 11:00pm

reohn2 wrote:... Brooks saddles die,you'll have to accept it,
but my chair hasn't broken and I don't expect it to

How old are you Patrick?
Psst,alway expect the unexpected :wink:

I accept it now. Brooks saddles break for no apparent reason, any time, any place. Expect it to happen.

What's my chair got to do with it anyway? It's made of oak BTW, at least 150 years old LOL

reohn2
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Re: Bye Bye Brooks :-(

Postby reohn2 » 28 Apr 2013, 11:05pm

patricktaylor wrote:
reohn2 wrote:... Brooks saddles die,you'll have to accept it,
but my chair hasn't broken and I don't expect it to

How old are you Patrick?
Psst,alway expect the unexpected :wink:

I accept it now. Brooks saddles break for no apparent reason, any time, any place. Expect it to happen.

It may not,who's to know?

What's my chair got to do with it anyway? It's made of oak BTW, at least 150 years old LOL

Don't always put your trust in age,and much less in beauty :wink:

Anything can happen and sometimes it does,so don't be surprised when it does.
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reohn2
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Re: Bye Bye Brooks :-(

Postby reohn2 » 28 Apr 2013, 11:14pm

BTW,where does it say a Brooks will last indefinitely?
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patricktaylor
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Re: Bye Bye Brooks :-(

Postby patricktaylor » 28 Apr 2013, 11:27pm

They are still working on the heritage section. In the meantime:

"Brooks Forever:
Whilst not giving an extra guarantee beyond the legal terms, we emphasise the fact that BROOKS Products are made throughout of the best material to be obtained, which, combined with experience and careful workmanship, and constant testing, is the best and safest guarantee that can be given.
(An Excerpt from The Brooks Book for Cyclists, 1907)"

Admittedly that was over 100 years ago and as I said, I accept it was foolish to believe they make the best saddles money can buy. It's true... it doesn't say anywhere one will actually last forever. Or any particular time period at all. It just says "Brooks Forever." I still like mine but I will look at them with suspicion from now on.

dbascent1986
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Re: Bye Bye Brooks :-(

Postby dbascent1986 » 29 Apr 2013, 7:14am

6,000 miles on a S Marco Rolls, but now worried that the supports are built like cheese, hopefully parmegiano tough! In any event comfortable and well built.

reohn2
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Re: Bye Bye Brooks :-(

Postby reohn2 » 29 Apr 2013, 9:21am

dbascent1986 wrote:6,000 miles on a S Marco Rolls, but now worried that the supports are built like cheese, hopefully parmegiano tough! In any event comfortable and well built.


Oh, I could get 6,000mls(less than a year's mileage for me) out of them easily,however double that and I'd be waiting for that little crack that confirmed all wasn't well :wink:
It's got to be said that I'm not a light rider at 80kgs and have the saddle set well back on the seatpost*.A shorter lighter rider with the saddle further forward may not have the same problem.


*If the saddle is set well back on the s/post it creates a cantilever effect on the rails,with the fulcrum load where the rails exit the rear of the seatpost clamp.This is where most saddle rails break,as the the sit bones and therefore the riders weight is at the rear of the saddle.
On examining some of the broken rails I've had,there's a portion of the broken cross section which is a grey colour this was usually up to a third of the total,the rest was bright steel.
I concluded that there had been an initial break some time(maybe months?)earlier perhaps caused by a bad hit on a pothole or some such,which had weakened the rail,there then was perhaps another hit sometime later which sheared the rest of the rail.
I can distinctly remember on two occasions rails breaking within a mile after a bad hit.

FWIW Rolls also made a CroMo rail version which were,I believe much better than the standard rails.I don't deny Rolls are a good saddle but they have their faults.
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reohn2
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Re: Bye Bye Brooks :-(

Postby reohn2 » 29 Apr 2013, 9:27am

patricktaylor wrote:........ It's true... it doesn't say anywhere one will actually last forever. Or any particular time period at all. It just says "Brooks Forever."


When I begin to put my trust in marketing people,it'll be the day I know I've started to go loopy :wink:


I still like mine but I will look at them with suspicion from now on.


That's more like it! :)

BTW,If you think Brooks saddles are a disappointment,checkout the thread on Alfine 11sp reliability :shock:
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JohnW
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Re: Bye Bye Brooks :-(

Postby JohnW » 29 Apr 2013, 11:54am

I do feel that I have to express an opinion on this r2.

If one has had an item, which has genuinely worn out and become life-expired then surely that's perfectly acceptable.

I've had Brooks saddles which I've ridden for decades and scores of thousands of miles (which is more of an indicator than time in service). Where my Brooks saddles have become life expired and taken out of service, it has been where the leather has cracked and split around the rivets, but this has been after 30+ years and miles, and if the bike they've been on has done 3,000 miles a year that's 100,000 miles. I've concluded that the splitting has been due to the need to keep tensioning the saddle down the years, thus stretching the leather - even the good, thick, robust leather of the Brooks Pro saddles of 30 - 35 years ago would lengthen by over an inch in that time. Gosh r2, I've reported this on these threads so many times before, but I genuinely don't think Brooks owe me anything for those saddles - I think I've had really excellent service from them and I've no complaints.

But, that's different from the problems of breaking rails and other steel parts. That's not wear and tear. That's self-destruction before the user has had reasonable use and service for his money. If steel destroys itself before leather is worn out or otherwise life expired then I would submit that there's something wrong with the steel - that it's "defective goods". My own guess is that tensions are built up in the steel during the bending/forming/trueing process and that this is not done with the care and attention that it used to be, and that the stresses are not relieved properly.

I submit that it's reasonable to expect the steel components to have a life expectancy beyond that of the leather top.

The leather tops dont't seem to be wot they used to woz, but that's a different story which has been told often enough and no doubt will still be being talked about when we've leaned our bikes up against the pearly gate-posts.

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BeeKeeper
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Re: Bye Bye Brooks :-(

Postby BeeKeeper » 29 Apr 2013, 12:55pm

reohn2 wrote:On examining some of the broken rails I've had,there's a portion of the broken cross section which is a grey colour this was usually up to a third of the total,the rest was bright steel.

That description fits failure due to a crack slowly propagating across the metal until the stresses in the remaining material becomes too great and it fails catastrophically. The crack will often start at a surface imperfection such as a scratch or perhaps in the case of a saddle rail a crease created in the bar surface during the shaping of the bar.