I love tinkering with stuff – especially bike stuff. Today, I decided to tackle a project I’d been considering for a while: “butchering” a Brooks saddle.

The patient was a Brooks B-17 Narrow Imperial. I’ve had it for a few months, but never cared for the way it looked. The side skirts had an ungraceful profile, and it tended to bulge out at the sides.

After reading a number of articles on the process, I installed a fresh blade in my utility knife and went to work. The results were pretty dramatic:

Before (the green tape marked my intended cutpath):

Brooks - unbutchered

After:

Broks - butchered

Post-op, the saddle was noticeably flexier, so I increased the frame tension. We’ll see how she rides this afternoon.

UPDATE: Success! I put the saddle on my Salsa La Cruz and went for a 20 mile urban ride in Milwaukee. It was noticeably more comfortable – hammocky, you might say. It’s similar to having a suspension seatpost.

La Cruz with butchered Brooks at MAM

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