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  1. #1
    Senior Member zed4130's Avatar
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    Advice restoring a leather saddle

    Hi im restoring my brother in laws old 1970 dawes racer, he has had it from new, its all in very bad condition, ive never done a saddle before, so any help would be great, ive got this back to a seat looking shape as was up turned at the sides, one of the studs is coming off so would love to know where to get some, thanks for any help with this ,

    paul

  2. #2
    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zed4130 View Post
    Hi im restoring my brother in laws old 1970 dawes racer, he has had it from new, its all in very bad condition, ive never done a saddle before, so any help would be great, ive got this back to a seat looking shape as was up turned at the sides, one of the studs is coming off so would love to know where to get some, thanks for any help with this ,

    paul
    Paul,


    I hate to say it, but I think it might be past the point of no return. You can try putting some Brooks proofide on it and hope for the best; however, I'm of the opinion you'd be merely anointing the dead with oil. The safer albeit more expensive option is to pony up $90 to $130 for a new Brooks B17 or Professional .
    Riding 19 Years of Specialized Sirrus Tradition.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member zed4130's Avatar
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    I think you could be right, ive been keeping my eyes peeled on ebay, as still would like a older one as the bike will look more survivor looking when ive finnished it, thanks for the help mate,

    paul

  4. #4
    Team rider jfblodi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirrus Rider View Post
    The safer albeit more expensive option is to pony up $90 to $130 for a new Brooks B17 or Professional .
    I just bought my new B-17 from a chap on eBay for only 33 quid, plus shipping. Although he only ships to the Colonies, I did see other blokes selling the B-17 for about the same price.

    John

  5. #5
    Senior Member zed4130's Avatar
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    cheers john , ive noticed them go over here in the uk for around the d=same money, so not too much, i love the look of leather saddles, i keep saying ill get one, but keep sticking to my Ti flites, im defo going to get one for my light tourer ,

    paul

  6. #6
    Gordon P
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    Why not clean it up with saddle soap, give it a few coats of the leather conditioner of your choice and put it back on your bike a ride it for a month and if if it does not work for you toss it in the landfill and buy another one.

  7. #7
    Senior Member zed4130's Avatar
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    I was thinking about doing that gordon, well putting it on one of my bikes, i will need a new stud as one of them, the nearest to you in the pic at the back, is coming off, seems ok, but im no light weight , can i get these easerly ,

    paul

  8. #8
    Gordon P
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    Brooks sells spare parts such as rivets, woodworking shops often sell copper rivets for knife making and they may also work.

  9. #9
    Senior Member due ruote's Avatar
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    Which pyramid did you say this came from? Doesn't look too promising. You might try punching holes and lacing the sides in to maintain the shape, but you'll have to judge for yourself whether the leather can handle that. It might just tear.

  10. #10
    Senior Member zed4130's Avatar
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    lol it is old, 38 infact, and been in a shed in a plastic bag for around 20 odd, ill give it a go and if no good ill buy a newer one, thanks for all the advice, ill try and get hold of the revit gordon, the bike im doing isnt going to be mint when done so if the seat works it will look ok,
    paul

  11. #11
    Senior Member zed4130's Avatar
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    another thing, when i clean the saddle there is lots of dirt i gather from years of neglect, ill keep cleaning it, i just hope when i ride to work ,my work trousers dont get dirty ,

    paul

  12. #12
    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbonamici View Post
    Which pyramid did you say this came from? Doesn't look too promising. You might try punching holes and lacing the sides in to maintain the shape, but you'll have to judge for yourself whether the leather can handle that. It might just tear.
    I concur the leather on it looks extremely brittle and probably dangerous to ride on.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member zed4130's Avatar
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    its actualy better in real life than it looks in the pics, i put a arosal can inside and taped it up , the shape is coming back , what is the best product to soften the leather ?
    paul

  14. #14
    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zed4130 View Post
    its actualy better in real life than it looks in the pics, i put a arosal can inside and taped it up , the shape is coming back , what is the best product to soften the leather ?
    paul
    Proofide only.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member zed4130's Avatar
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    lol do or die this am, i looked at the dry saddle and then looked at the big bottle of E45 ive been putting on my sunburnt face , so i went for it, lol, its actualy soften it up, at the end of the day i dont wont to spen a fortune doing it up and then if falls apart, ill stick it on my light tourer and see how it goes,
    paul

    looking a little bit better,

  16. #16
    Senior Member zed4130's Avatar
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    oh it says ideale on the stud and on the side, well it looks like ideale, ?
    im off thursday for a ride so ill give it a go, poss ill keep my flite in my pannier lol,
    Last edited by zed4130; 07-02-08 at 01:29 AM.

  17. #17
    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zed4130 View Post
    oh it says ideale on the stud and on the side, well it looks like ideale, ?
    im off thursday for a ride so ill give it a go, poss ill keep my flite in my pannier lol,
    Sounds like a plan. Make sure you have your "Y" wrench in your bag also..
    Riding 19 Years of Specialized Sirrus Tradition.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member zed4130's Avatar
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    if i break it, it will be the first time ive broke a saddle, could be another thing for the list lol ,

  19. #19
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    I found B5N in even worse condition on a tremendously neglected SuperCourse. Bought a bottle of leather restorer in the auto dept at KMart, Stuck in a zip lock bag & drenched it. Let it sit & did it again. Then saddle soaped it. Still looks awful but structurally fine. Wouldn't put it on a Dawes. Did put it on a fixie made from free/ebay bits. Rides fine

  20. #20
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    Yep, my current ride (a '74 Raleigh Sports) has a saddle that's really hurting too.

    I can't tell if its recent deterioration is a matter of course (the leather was cracked and starting to tear around the rivets when I bought it a year ago) or the oil (coconut) I used to help recondition it. The oil softened it up nicely, and I thought I was home free, but about a month later it started to sag worse than before...

    It may be blasphemy, but I might replace the Brooks with a synthetic saddle. My Raleigh (which I've otherwise kept looking shiny and true to form) is my only transportation other than the bus, and it's tiring to stress about the possibility of a rainstorm while it's locked up outdoors somewhere.

    Hope the saddle holds up better for you than it has for me...

  21. #21
    Senior Member zed4130's Avatar
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    cheers guys, i took it off in the end, as i havnt been out for a while and wanted a trouble free ride, ive put it back on now, so fingers crossed ,

    paul

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