how do you prepare an old leather saddle to ride
I found an old fuji leather sadddle this morning at a garage sale ,complete with a 12 speed fuji! the bike is to large for me but the saddle seems to be in great shape,without any cracks,or being dried out. the side still seem real flexable. not overly so ,but not board stiff. I want it to put on my commuter bike and for $10 us it quite cheaper then a new brooks. will I need to do anything special to it before I use it ? or should I just mount up and ride it?
If the saddle is in reasonable condition then you could try some 'saddle soap'. This won't saturate the leather which could leave it too flexible, but will give it some nourishment to stop it cracking. It isn't, as the name might suggest, any good for cleaning the leather though
You need a new bike
I would not use saddle soap. You might soften the leather too much. You could get a tin of proofide and put a coat of that on it, but I would first put it on the bike and try it out. It's probably fine just the way it is.
I bought an old Brooks Pro for £2 once. It was dry, had a little cracking, some verdigris around the rivets, was faded and dirty. I applied a little neatsfoot oil to the top and underneath, having first warmed the leather in the sun. Next morning I wiped off the excess oil and mounted the saddle on my Bob Jackson work bike.
My shorts polished the top nicely!
Been using this saddle for 20 years.....
Brooks Proofhide is a wax chosen for use on saddles, that wont cause the leather to go limp.
Gerbil of Doom
Proofhide is the stuff to use - neatsfoot oil will soften the leather but also blocks the pores and ruins the breathability. Proofhide is mainly tallow, vegetable oil and beeswax - if it wasn't for the citronella it would be good on toast.