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Old 12-26-06, 09:22 PM   #1
laman012
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Black leather saddle

I just purchased a black Ideale saddle for my bike and I had a couple of questions:
-It is really stiff; how can I break it in best?
-The dye is sharing itself with other fabrics that would rather not receive this pigment, how could I fix this?
Thanks.
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Old 12-26-06, 09:29 PM   #2
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1. I like neatsfoot oil for breaking in a leather saddle, but others recommend Brooks Proofide.

2. That's why real cycling shorts have always been black.
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Old 12-26-06, 10:44 PM   #3
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Ideale saddles are just like Brooks'. Unless it's old and dried out, I wouldn't do anything to condition it. It doesn't need conditioning, since I'm assuming it is in good shape. Conditioners are meant to soften by adding oils and greases that have been leached out by heat/sun exposure, or by extreme old age.

If you do this, you risk over-softening because many people assume that since a little oiling is good, alot must be better. Not. They also condition too often. This is possible even with Proofide. Use it sparingly and according to the instructions. Brooks know their products and that's why they warn customers to go easy with the Proofide.

These are the basic reasons why thick hide leather makes the best saddle material:
Hide leather wicks away moisture from the rider. It does this in two ways, 1) By capillary action and, 2) by air circulation between the rider and the saddle surface.

If you over-soften the hide you can lose the slickness that gets air between the movements while riding, and, plug the pores of the hide which may prevent the wicking that draws perspiration away from the rider. These are the very attributes that make a leather saddle what it is, and why, after so many marketing and design innovations, leather is still so popular.

Neatsfoot oil (and similar products) is good for ball gloves and workboots because they are replaced relatively often, but I would not use it on a weight bearing saddle. The only thing I use on mine is SnoSeal, and only on the bottom surface. It does not soften the hide at all. I let my body heat and motion do the rest. I don't use Proofide because I don't have any - not because there is anything wrong with it, It's good stuff, too.
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Old 12-27-06, 07:13 AM   #4
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Two of my bikes are running Ideale saddles, one of which was quite stiff (and old!) when I got it. I used Pecard's Leather Treatment on it and set it in the sun for a couple of days. Then ride it, ride it, ride it!
Pecard's is a wax-based compond much like Proofide, except more cost-effictive.
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Old 12-27-06, 08:34 AM   #5
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Every time I see these posts about brooks saddles I have to chuckle.Around the time I first stumbling across BF l found a brooks saddle that was dry and cracking and I posted hear to find out how to bring it back. Well one person said they use olive oil and it worked great. So I tried it probably used a quarter of a bottle. Let it sit for a day or 2 then put it on my bike IT was lookin alot better even posted about how good it worked. About a week later well out riding we stopped at store and one of the guys with me ask if HAD PIS.ED my drawers. The olive oil was coming back out of the saddle. So after all this time the saddle has stopped leakin. Only took about a year to stop staining and the saddle looks great.
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Old 12-27-06, 09:24 AM   #6
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I use these to keep my butt clean when I ride on a Brooks:

http://www.wallbike.com/brooks/veloxseatcover.html
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Old 12-27-06, 12:02 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Im Fixed
Every time I see these posts about brooks saddles I have to chuckle.Around the time I first stumbling across BF l found a brooks saddle that was dry and cracking and I posted hear to find out how to bring it back. Well one person said they use olive oil and it worked great. So I tried it probably used a quarter of a bottle. Let it sit for a day or 2 then put it on my bike IT was lookin alot better even posted about how good it worked. About a week later well out riding we stopped at store and one of the guys with me ask if HAD PIS.ED my drawers. The olive oil was coming back out of the saddle. So after all this time the saddle has stopped leakin. Only took about a year to stop staining and the saddle looks great.

That's another reason why I apply SnoSeal to the bottom surface only. It contains no fats or oils that I know of. Just beeswax. Some oils and greases can actually work as a release agent on the dye...
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Old 12-27-06, 04:04 PM   #8
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Unless they changed their formula, SnoSeal contains silicone, and that's why I DON'T use it on top or bottom of my all-leather saddles. If I was going to use any silicone-containing substance on a Brooks or Ideale saddle, putting it on the bottom would make more sense than the top...but I'd leave it in the can. I use Proofide on both top and bottom, and go easy on both amount and frequency. If you want to chemically soften the leather, look for a PURE Neetsfoot oil, NOT a Neetsfoot oil COMPOUND...but be forewarned: too much softening and even the heaviest butt leather can be pulled right off the rivets. The formula is secret but reportedly Proofide contains animal fat, specifically tallow which is hard beef fat, perhaps lanoline too which is sheep fat. These are better for the leather than vegetable oils, petroleum solvents, or synthetics...IMHO.
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Old 12-27-06, 08:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unworthy1
Unless they changed their formula, SnoSeal contains silicone, and that's why I DON'T use it on top or bottom of my all-leather saddles. If I was going to use any silicone-containing substance on a Brooks or Ideale saddle, putting it on the bottom would make more sense than the top...but I'd leave it in the can. I use Proofide on both top and bottom, and go easy on both amount and frequency. If you want to chemically soften the leather, look for a PURE Neetsfoot oil, NOT a Neetsfoot oil COMPOUND...but be forewarned: too much softening and even the heaviest butt leather can be pulled right off the rivets. The formula is secret but reportedly Proofide contains animal fat, specifically tallow which is hard beef fat, perhaps lanoline too which is sheep fat. These are better for the leather than vegetable oils, petroleum solvents, or synthetics...IMHO.
There is no silicone in SnoSeal. Saddle makers abhor the use of silicone. Everything else you wrote is absolutely accurate.

http://www.atsko.com/snoseal.html
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Old 12-27-06, 10:14 PM   #10
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good to know...I swear I have seen OLD cans of SnoSeal that promoted their silicone content...but either it has changed for the better, or I'm senile...or both.
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Old 12-27-06, 10:49 PM   #11
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If you've got a Tandy leather nearby, they carry a product (d**n if I can remember the name) that comes in a yellow tub, looks like butterscotch pudding, smells like urine (at best) and has pulled some absolute miracles off on dried out German army belts from WWII. I swear by the stuff, will normally rub down anything leather I get before using it.

Just received a 35 year old NOS Czech Favorit saddle today - absolutely georgeous, who needs Brooks when you can find these things at $24.00 plus shipping? (eBay) - and will pick up a tub in the next couple of days just as insurance on the leather having dried out from all those years in storage.
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Old 12-28-06, 04:42 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by jcm

That's another reason why I apply SnoSeal to the bottom surface only. It contains no fats or oils that I know of. Just beeswax. Some oils and greases can actually work as a release agent on the dye...
Okay, I'm with you on the SnoSeal application to the bottom only, jcm. But I'm curious....how often must I apply SnoSeal to the bottom of my saddle?
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