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4.0 out of 5 stars32
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When I purchased a Brooks B17 saddle, I thought this maintenance kit would be a must-have companion for it. While it is true that Brooks saddles should be polished with the company's Proofide solution in order to keep the leather in good shape, this set only comes with a 25 g container of Proofide and it is sold separately in a significantly larger quantity. The wrench and instruction booklet in the maintenance kit are identical to the wrench and instruction booklet that already come with the saddle. Finally, there's a cloth here to apply the Proofide, but it's nothing worth paying for -- as was drilled into me in military service long ago, an old cotton sock is just as good an implement for polishing a leather item as anything else.

I think this would be useful only for that small amount of users who have lost their wrench and Proofide at the same time. If you are purchasing a new Brooks saddle, the best thing to order alongside it is just a larger container of Proofide.
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on June 10, 2009
The kit comes with everything you need to protect and maintain your Brooks saddle. The Proofide tin is quite small but you only need about a thumbnail size of Proofide to condition your saddle. The 25g Proofide tin about the size of a very small shoe polish tin. The Proofide smells like citronella (slight lemon scent) and is about the consistency of Vaseline. Again, only a very small amount is needed per application.

The polishing cloth measures 13" x 13" square (33cm x 33cm) which more than large enough for the job. It feels like a slightly thicker eyeglass cleaning cloth. The cloth looks like it will get dirty and ratty relatively quickly so try to use one corner until that corner become dirty then move to the next corner.

The included spanner measures 3.75" long (approx 9.5cm). It feels solid and of good quality. Note that the spanner only needs to be used if/when the saddle becomes very saggy. A saggy saddle takes years and years to develop so you won't need to use a spanner on a new saddle but it's nice to have one when the saddle no longer offers proper support and needs to be tensioned.

The kit comes with a fold-out leaflet with basic instruction on application of the Proofide in almost every language imaginable. Basically, you take a very small amount (approx thumbnail size) and rub it into the top side (smooth side) of the leather saddle with your fingers.

If you do not have fenders then you should apply the Proofide in the same manner mentioned above to the underside of the saddle. Then let the Proofide absorb/dry.

Once dry, buff the saddle's topside with the included cloth -- no need to buff the underside. (I usually apply the Proofide at night, let it soak in while I sleep then buff it in the morning and ride my bike.)

Important note: If you use too much Proofide the dye from the saddle can very well leech off onto your clothing! So use Proofide sparingly as stated above or be prepared to wear black pants/bike shorts. If you are fearful of staining your clothes, you can put a plastic bag over the Brooks until any fear of staining has passed.

The kit is very expensive considering but it is official Brooks and Brooks Proofide is the only substance you should use on your Brooks saddle to condition and protect it. If you use anything other than Proofide you void the warranty and risk damaging the saddle.

A Brooks saddle is a great investment. With proper care, your Brooks can last you 20+ years so this kit, even though a bit pricey, is worth every penny.

(Note: I would have given it 5 stars if it wasn't so expensive.)
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on November 19, 2012
I figured if I was going to invest in an expensive saddle, the maintenance kit would be worth it. However, given that all you're really getting here is a tin of Brooks Proofide, a cloth which which to apply it and a tension adjustment wrench that comes with the saddle anyway, it really shouldn't cost twice as much as the Proofide alone. Yes, it comes with instructions, but they actually don't seem to indicate how to apply the Proofide, information which is easily available online. Don't buy this. Just get the Proofide and get an old rag to apply it.
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on October 6, 2012
While this product really is important for conditioning your leather saddle, you should be aware that despite the type of tin the proofide is in, it is a liquid, not a wax or paste. Add to this the difficulty of opening the can and you may end up 'conditioning' your carpet with fully half the contents, like I did.
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on December 18, 2013
Dont waste your money. Trust the other reviews. If you need the proofride buy it separately. I regret getting this for my wife. Dont make the same mistake. Please.
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on July 26, 2014
Seriously, it is ABSURDLY HARD to open this tin. It should be a challenge on Survivor or something: fail to open the tin in five minutes and there'll be no food for your tribe.

The problem seems to be threefold:
1. The tin itself is not designed to make gripping and separating lid from container easy. There is no twist separator (as on many tins of polish) and the container has only a small rounded ridge that offers little traction.
2. There seems to be a vacuum generated in the tin when it is closed that holds the thing together very tightly
3. The tin frequently has a thin layer of extremely slippery wax on it, because IT'S A TIN OF EXTREMELY SLIPPERY WAX.

This product has led to numerous instances of blasphemous curses flying around my apartment. I now remember to close the windows pre-emptively whenever it's time to open the Brooks wax tin.

The wax itself is good, though. (Nods.)
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on September 15, 2015
Unless you are buying a brand new Brooks saddle, I would suggest using another method (perhaps one suggested by Sheldon Brown) for assisting the break-in of the leather, but proofhide is a very effective treatment for the top of the saddle. I purchased this product for a leather saddle I bought from an antique fair. While the saddle is of high quality and in good enough condition to be used (coaxed back to life) again, it is a brand of saddle which was notorious for taking above average mileage (longer than a Brooks saddle) to break in. I was advised by my local bike shop to take more drastic measures for treating the underside for break-in and to continue to use proofhide to treat the top and protect the leather.

Other items in the Maintenance Kit:
- They provided a vague set of directions
- Very nice cloth
- If you don't know how or when the saddle tension needs to be adjusted, don't use the wrench.
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on August 9, 2012
If you are concerned (as I was) about the size of the proofide container that comes with this kit, don't be. When you treat your saddle you will use a very tiny amount of proofide, and if you own just one Brooks saddle then this small container will certainly last you through the majority of the life of the saddle. The cloth is a necessary addition for the application, but be aware that the wrench that comes in this kit also comes with your new saddle. There really is no need to have two of these wrenches, but it certainly doesn't hurt to have a spare just in case. All in all a pretty good value for the money.
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on March 14, 2016
Convient supplies, but should have come with an one time use applicator for underside of the brooks bicycle saddle. A sturdy wooden or metal storage box for this inclusive kit, would have been nicer packaging, rather than the current flimsy thin cardboard one supplied.
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on February 24, 2014
For less then $10 you can get excellent quality paste leather conditioner that is similar to the Brooks brand stuff. Don't get me wrong, the Brooks conditioner is wonderful stuff, but it is overpriced. If you need the spanner wrench, then this might be a worthwhile purchase, but otherwise I recommend buying some third party paste conditioner.
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