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  1. #26
    rhm
    rhm is offline
    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kris7047th View Post
    You are more experienced working with leather than the average person and know just how much heat & how long before harming the leather.
    I wish! But the sad truth is, I'm winging it and hoping I learn something without destroying anything valuable. Once a saddle has reached the point where you can't ride it any more, there's no harm in trying something a little radical to see if you can get it rideable again. If you fail... please send me the frame .

  2. #27
    Senior Member kris7047th's Avatar
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    lol .. The saddle I restored about 20 years ago was/is a Keifer dressage riding saddle that was left in a damp basement .. turned green and mildewed horribly. The owner cleaned/washed it but the leather was like cardboard and still smelled badly. She wanted $450 and my husband at the time said no (brand new back then about $1200.00) but he caved in. I knew it was made with high quality leather and well worth the try. That saddle is now being used by a younger sister. Leather horse saddles and bike saddles are much the same and require the same care.

    Pic of the Keifer saddle and my daughter when she was 13, now married and a mom of two.

    IMG_1825.jpg
    Last edited by kris7047th; 09-09-13 at 10:45 AM.

  3. #28
    Commuter & cyclotourist brianogilvie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kris7047th View Post
    Leather horse saddles and bike saddles are much the same and require the same care.
    I don't know much about horse saddles, but it seems to me that there's a significant difference: the horse saddle is supported from below by the horse's back, while the bike saddle doesn't have a support other than the frame at the front and back. If I'm wrong about the horse saddle, could you point me to a decent reference on how they're built?
    Public accountability: my Beeminder weight loss graph.

  4. #29
    Senior Member kris7047th's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianogilvie View Post
    I don't know much about horse saddles, but it seems to me that there's a significant difference: the horse saddle is supported from below by the horse's back, while the bike saddle doesn't have a support other than the frame at the front and back. If I'm wrong about the horse saddle, could you point me to a decent reference on how they're built?
    Nope .. the horse saddle is supported by a tree which is the frame, not the back of the horse. It's imperative that the tree fit the back of the horse to prevent soreness/injury to the horse.

  5. #30
    Commuter & cyclotourist brianogilvie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kris7047th View Post
    Nope .. the horse saddle is supported by a tree which is the frame, not the back of the horse. It's imperative that the tree fit the back of the horse to prevent soreness/injury to the horse.
    Thanks for the explanation. How much support does the tree give to the leather saddle, though? Is it only front and back, or is there support in the middle, too? Bike saddles don't have support there. I suspect that the leather is a lot thinner on bike saddles, too, given the need to keep weight low; certainly, when I've lifted horse saddles, even English saddles, they seem a lot more substantial than bike saddles.
    Public accountability: my Beeminder weight loss graph.

  6. #31
    Senior Member kris7047th's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianogilvie View Post
    Thanks for the explanation. How much support does the tree give to the leather saddle, though? Is it only front and back, or is there support in the middle, too? Bike saddles don't have support there. I suspect that the leather is a lot thinner on bike saddles, too, given the need to keep weight low; certainly, when I've lifted horse saddles, even English saddles, they seem a lot more substantial than bike saddles.
    English and western saddles are constructed much the same the foundation with a tree. Quality leather is imperative. A good quality saddle, western or english is costly. It isn't uncommon at all for a prospective buyer to haul the horse to the shop to get fitted for the horse and the rider. Pretty much the same for a good bike saddle. Quality leather can take abuse, but not a good idea. Even so the natural beauty can be restored. Now if the tree had been damaged, forget working the leather .. time to replace it.

    Found this ..

    http://www.freckerssaddlery.com/saddle_tree.php

    14_saddletree.jpg
    Last edited by kris7047th; 09-11-13 at 09:45 PM.

  7. #32
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    Just a quick update. I never did spring for the pro fitting. Use of the new Selle An-Atomica saddle meant that the nerve twinge pain subsided after a few days to the point now where it's pretty much non-existent. Also since then, I swapped the components off of the aluminum frame/fork of the touring bike I was using and started using them all on a 26" Surly Disc Trucker which I've been riding now for about 300 miles almost. The Brooks B17 I thought had been damaged by the soaking may not have been. What I noticed when I put the Selle saddle on was that the Brooks had a rivet on the left side that had physically failed and pulled through the metal frame of the back end of the saddle. I'm sure this imbalance in tension on the left side caused the significant sag that lead to the ischial discomfort.

    Not wanting this to reoccur I did go see my regular doctor who suggested it might be something called ischial bursistis but acknowledged it wasn't really her area of expertise. She referred me to a sports and spine clinic where after some wrangling with my insurance company over referrals and such, I'm finally going to see a specialist tomorrow. Even though the discomfort has almost (say 98-99%) subsided, I decided I wanted to know exactly what caused it and how to prevent it in the future. Also, I wanted to know the risks involved in potentially damaging the structure in question be it a nerve, ligament, bursa, whatever. So, after tomorrow I'll hopefully have some answers. The other thing is I'm intending to ride a century on Sunday and I'm hoping that since I've been able to do my usual 22 miles per day commute for the last almost three weeks that I should be able to manage the century without any problems.
    My blog: http://aconservationist.blogspot.com

  8. #33
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    So some of this thread is way off topic, but let me share my recent experience. I am a little older, 56, which unfortunately makes everything I do a bit of a challenge. I have ridden bikes off and on for my whole life. back in the mid 1990s to 2002 I was riding a lot, then I got a new job and got distracted. About 2 years ago I got back in, mostly to lose weight, which I have always been able to do riding a bike. I have been experiencing some pain, what I thought was pain in my hip that in actuality is lower back pain, a result of my advanced age. So I am getting treated for this lower back pain, but I have noticed that I experience significant back pain during my rides, generally I ride hard to the first stop, 15 to 20mi or so and take about 4 ibuprophen (I know that is more than the label says but its safe if you are not doing it all the time). Generally that makes my back tolerable for a Century. Problem is I want this to go away, so while I am getting treated (mostly stretching excercises) I figured I ought to get the fit to my ride checked. I went in thinking I was "close", which in reality I was, but the changes I needed, new saddle (wider), new handlebar/stem (shorter reach) and adjustments to the seat height were needed to get me in a more "athletic" and relaxed position. I have taken the bike out on a couple of short (20mi) rides since the fitting and I can tell the difference. So I am not sure what a "high priced" fitting is, but I think I got my money's worth. A couple of hours at the fitting and the attention of a couple of folks at the LBS for that period of time should be worth something. I highly recommend it, especially if you are past the "half century" mark, may put the joy and take the pain out of riding.

  9. #34
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    If you don't pay for for a perfect fit - it must be worth less......

    I wonder what the OP has to say now?

    I've always believed that a bicycle fit for a given type of ride can't possibly be good for another. It not much different than choosing your clothing or gearing....
    Sorry about my comments - I thought you wanted honest feedback.
    2003 Lemond Wayzata - 2002 LeMond Malliot Jeune

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiltedcelt View Post
    Just a quick update. I never did spring for the pro fitting. Use of the new Selle An-Atomica saddle meant that the nerve twinge pain subsided after a few days to the point now where it's pretty much non-existent. Also since then, I swapped the components off of the aluminum frame/fork of the touring bike I was using and started using them all on a 26" Surly Disc Trucker which I've been riding now for about 300 miles almost. The Brooks B17 I thought had been damaged by the soaking may not have been. What I noticed when I put the Selle saddle on was that the Brooks had a rivet on the left side that had physically failed and pulled through the metal frame of the back end of the saddle. I'm sure this imbalance in tension on the left side caused the significant sag that lead to the ischial discomfort.

    Not wanting this to reoccur I did go see my regular doctor who suggested it might be something called ischial bursistis but acknowledged it wasn't really her area of expertise. She referred me to a sports and spine clinic where after some wrangling with my insurance company over referrals and such, I'm finally going to see a specialist tomorrow. Even though the discomfort has almost (say 98-99%) subsided, I decided I wanted to know exactly what caused it and how to prevent it in the future. Also, I wanted to know the risks involved in potentially damaging the structure in question be it a nerve, ligament, bursa, whatever. So, after tomorrow I'll hopefully have some answers. The other thing is I'm intending to ride a century on Sunday and I'm hoping that since I've been able to do my usual 22 miles per day commute for the last almost three weeks that I should be able to manage the century without any problems.
    I wish you luck in the pursuit of the remaining 1-2% of your pain in the ass. We should all be so lucky.
    Every time that wheel turn 'round,
    Bound to cover just a little more ground!

  11. #36
    Junior Member
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    I drove some distance and paid $75 to get professionally fitted, and it was well worth it. I was getting back into serious riding (double centuries) after many years off the bike. When riding doubles in the 1990s, I'd often experienced back/neck pain, but thought that was all just part of the experience. The issues continued through last year, as I got back into doubles. Then, last fall, building up a new bike, I figured it was time to see if I could get absolutely everything right---and do something about the pain.

    The fitter pointed out lots of little things I hadn't thought about. The one that's made the biggest difference: the aerobars. Most aerobars, including the ones I'd been using, have elbow rests that mount directly above the handlebars. Fitter said this was too far forward for me, stretching me out too far. He recommended Profile T1+ bars, one of the few that allows moving the pads far enough back. He dialed me in perfectly, and this made a tremendous difference. Did a double this summer, and actually felt GREAT at the end.

    Further validation: my chiropractor, who I see regularly, commented recently that he wasn't having to adjust me as much as he did last year. "You must be fitted better on the bike," he concluded. Bingo.

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