The Brooks B17 is a renowned bicycle seat, known above all else for its comfort the saddle also looks great.
My bike came with a terrible seat. I knew I wanted to be rid of it on my first ride. One month and 100 miles later I was still sore after every ride. From my teenage first job, as a mechanic at a bicycle shop, I knew that I wanted a Brooks B17.
Also, this is the only seat I actually remember from 35 years ago.
After some light research warning me I would need to break in the saddle, I ordered up a Brooks B17 with stainless rivets to match my silver bike frame. When it arrived, I saw the leather saddle came with a small packet of Brooks proprietary leather creme "Proofhide." Many guides on Brooks saddles regale the stuff, but when I applied what little was in the packet, the waxy stuff disappeared almost immediately into the super dry cardboard-like leather and made little difference when I inspect the saddle a few hours later. I had read that some folks buy a tin of the "Proofhide" and treat the seat a second time before riding.
I went to my cupboard and grabbed my tin of Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP.
Obenauf's is what I use to keep my beautiful and heavy as hell leather motorcycle jacket in excellent condition. I also use it on my boots, it helped break them in and offers a lot of water resistance. This paste is the best regular use leather care and preservative I have found.
I rubbed some Obenauf's into the B17, on both the finished and the rough side. The saddle visibly absorbed it, but remained tacky to the touch. As I had discovered my bike manufacturer had irreparably stripped a nut on my seat post, and had used a difficult-to-find diameter, I was able to give the seat a few days to take in its first coating. After several days I tried flexing the leather and while it was slightly more giving, I decided to apply a second coat of Obenauf's.
Two more days passed and the new seat post arrived. I put the saddle on the bike and took a 10mi ride with just regular shorts on. I am not sore at all and am certain the saddle will only improve with time.
I will treat the saddle every 6 months or so with the Obenauf's. I certainly trust it to get the leather thru the little bit of rain it might see here in Southern California.