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  1. #1
    Bottecchia fan
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    Vintage Brooks saddle finish

    Hi All - I'm wondering what to do with a vintange Brooks saddle finish. The leather seems to be in excellent condition but it was perhaps originally a honey or other light colored saddle and now it just looks like a sort of dirty natural leather color. It's quite soft and supple and very comfortable but would look infinitely better in black or dark brown. Has anyone ever recolored a Brooks? When I was in the Army we used to strip our boots with laquer thinner and re-dye them periodically. Wondering if something similar is possible with a saddle.

  2. #2
    118AHC "Thunderbirds" 2372ighost's Avatar
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    That's the beauty of a quality vintage saddle, proofide and ride.

  3. #3
    Novist senior member tolfan's Avatar
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    that sounds like an idea. I found a not brooks leather sadle in the same condition but kind of dry too. I gave it a couple coats of armorall leather cleaner and when it seamed right I tried to color it. I tried black shoe polish, It was brown to start with. The polish didnt stick. I tried a second coat and ground it in with an electric buffer brusk , let it dry and then buff it off again. I did this about 4 times with mink oil in between and got a deep dark almost black brown that looks good and isnt rubing off.
    There are some things a man needs to believe in wether they're true or not;

  4. #4
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    I don't see why you couldn't re-dye it. I've never stripped army boots with laquer thinner, but I've stripped a saddle that way. I suppose you could get the dye at a shoe repair shop or have them do it. That is, if you can find a shoe repair shop. They've all but disappeared around here.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I hope you only use black bike shorts if you go through with this project. I recommend cleaning with saddle soap then treating with neutral shoe wax to bring out the brown color and make it shiny. All Brooks saddles, whether they started black or honey, will eventually turn antique brown.

  6. #6
    Bottecchia fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2372ighost
    That's the beauty of a quality vintage saddle, proofide and ride.
    I'm all about the beauty of a vintage saddle but I don't think it should look like an old baseball glove that was left out in the rain. Maybe the Profide would improve the color. Here's a picture:


  7. #7
    Bottecchia fan
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    BTW, Brooks seems to sell every conceivable replacement part except the 'Brooks' nameplate that is missing from the back of this one. Anybody know where one might be obtained?

  8. #8
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kommisar89
    I'm all about the beauty of a vintage saddle but I don't think it should look like an old baseball glove that was left out in the rain. Maybe the Profide would improve the color. Here's a picture
    All that saddle needs is some love and some ass time. Give it both and you'll be richly rewarded.

  9. #9
    Senior Member greybeard87's Avatar
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    Looks decent. Hit it with some Obenaufs then buff it with a pair of bike shorts for several hundred miles..............................
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Peace and Bike Grease

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    I dont know if this is the ultimate stuff, I found it better than any other that I have tried.
    http://www.whitesoutdoor.com/store/p...er+Care&id=757

    Years ago, my wife was a fire fighter for the Forest Service. She has a couple pairs of Whites Smoke Jumper boots.
    http://www.whitesoutdoor.com/store/s...hite%27s+Boots

    The boots are spendy, so is the boot dressing. I use it on my Ideale saddle with great results.

    Don

  11. #11
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDFACTORYCERTIF

    Years ago, my wife was a fire fighter for the Forest Service. She has a couple pairs of Whites Smoke Jumper boots.
    The boots are spendy, so is the boot dressing. I use it on my Ideale saddle with great results.
    Don
    I have a pair of White's Hunter boots...I never thought about using their boot dressing on the old Ideale saddle I got with my Nishiki Pro. Thanks for the idea, Don.

    East Hill
    ___________________________________________________
    TRY EMPATHY & HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, PERHAPS I'LL SEE YOU ON THE ROAD...

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Someday, maybe I will have a pair of those fine boots!
    The Whites boot dressing may be preferable to mink oil, as they say it doesnt soften the leather. Softening may be weakening, but I cant say for sure.
    The Ideale saddle was included on my bike. It was obviously treated with fish oil when new, it used to stink the whole house up.

    Don

  13. #13
    Bottecchia fan
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    NEVERMIND - on the the way to work this morning it split in half. Looked fine but I guess it was a bit dry rot. I'll upload a picture later.

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