Category: Note to Self

Proofide and a Brooks Saddle

This is a thumbnail sketch of what I do to put Proofide on my Brooks bike saddle (a.k.a. “seat” if you, like me, are not fancy). I’ve only done it twice since receiving the seat at Christmas 2023: once soon before restarting my bike commute in the spring, and once more recently when I left my bike out in the rain.

The basic tools:

Rag, wrenches for getting the seat off the seatpost, Proofide, old child’s toothbrush

Most of these are self-explanatory, but a note on the rag. It’s an old bandanna that’s nice and soft with age. I tore it into 8ths or maybe 16ths and use it as the buffer, not to apply the Proofide.

With the seatpost on. This is after, and I may have attached other backwards. It’ll get fixed.

That’s a piece of packing paper underneath, to make sure the seat doesn’t pick up anything from the table and the table doesn’t pick up anything from the seat.

After reading a lot of forum posts, my conclusions are these:

  • Proofide is best if you’re skittish about what to use on the seat, it’s your first Brooks seat, or you’re a certain kind of frugal. (As in, paying extra for the Proofide feels better than risking paying for a new seat.) I fit all of these.
  • You don’t need anything special to apply the Proofide, but a small toothbrush facilitates getting it into all the cracks and under the bars. I use my fingers in the top and both my fingers and the toothbrush on the underside.
  • Averaging out all the comments about how often to do it, I’m planning on doing it at the beginning of my bike commute season and after my last bike commute for the year, bringing the seat alone inside for the coldest part of the winter. As with this most recent time, I may also do it if the seat accidentally gets soaked. Spritzed, rained-on a little, even doused, I might not worry about it. But all night? Probably.

Sounds like if you treat a Brooks seat with care, it will last a low-mileage bike forever and might last a midrange mileage bike that long. I won’t find out about a high-mileage rider because that’s not me and not likely to become me.