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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 05-26-06, 12:35 PM   #1
The District
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Re-"Breaking in" a leather saddle?

Has anyone ever tried (successfully or unsuccessfully) to reshape (just as you would a new one) a used leather saddle? I have one, and will be trying it, just wondered if anyone else has done this.
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Old 05-26-06, 12:42 PM   #2
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It can be done, never done it myself but I've massaged plenty of other leather. I'd only doubt it if the original owner used hardly any leather conditioner and had very different seatbones from you (male vs. female, or huge person vs. small)
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Old 05-26-06, 12:47 PM   #3
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One guy I think in the touring forum pounds his saddles with a mallet to create instant sitbone indentations.
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Old 05-26-06, 12:50 PM   #4
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Just hop on and start riding. If it starts feeling more and more comfortable after about 100 miles, it's working. I have never tried either, but leather tends to adapt to the situation (or ***, more specifically) at hand. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't mold to fit you over time.

The hardest part about leather saddles is the initial break-in, when the leather goes from hard as a board to vaguely supple. Since the first owner already did this, all you need to to is get the saddle to custom fit your poterior a bit. It shouldn't be as bad as a fresh break-in, as long as the former owner's pelvic bones weren't shaped totally different than yours.
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Old 05-26-06, 12:59 PM   #5
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Saddle.............

I have a Brooks B-17 Champion with about 1k on it and it looks as if it just came out of the box. I'm
not really sure if the saddle is conforming to my butt or my butt is conforming to it.....but regardless,
it is really comfortable.


As always,
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Old 05-26-06, 01:37 PM   #6
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It won't visibly conform very much, but you will probably be able to feel slightly softer areas where your bones sit on it, and it will be a little more flexy overall.
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Old 05-26-06, 01:50 PM   #7
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You can also get a leather hole puncher or something, and lace the two wings together underneath. It'll stiffen the saddle up quite a bit.
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Old 05-26-06, 03:14 PM   #8
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Yeah, I hear about worn saddles starting to look like sanded teak, but all that my b17 did was get easier to flex under me. My Swift however is still trying to kill me. The proofhide worked for the B17, but my swift has yet to feel compliant. The B17 broke in quite easily in around 50-70 miles. I weigh around 160 lbs. The heavier you are, the quicker it should break in.
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Old 05-27-06, 11:06 AM   #9
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wet leather

My Brooks was stubborn, somewhere I read this, and it worked for me:

Moisten a face cloth, put it on the saddle, and ride for an afternoon.
You will do two things, the moist facecloth/towel, will dampen and soften the leather
and allow it to 'mold' to your shape.

Yo also will probably get chafed, red, from riding around on a wet face cloth for an afternoon
but you will fast forward a break on a hard new saddle.

It worked for me.

Cheers

Marc
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Old 05-27-06, 11:06 AM   #10
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Bought a very used Brooks seat (with the springs) once. I couldn't get comfy on it for a long time. Until I had to ride home through some heavy rain one day. It instantly conformed to my butt and has been comfy ever since.
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Old 05-27-06, 11:06 AM   #11
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My Brooks was stubborn, somewhere I read this, and it worked for me:

Moisten a face cloth, put it on the saddle, and ride for an afternoon.
You will do two things, the moist facecloth/towel, will dampen and soften the leather
and allow it to 'mold' to your shape.

Yo also will probably get chafed, red, from riding around on a wet face cloth for an afternoon
but you will fast forward a break on a hard new saddle.

It worked for me.

Cheers

Marc
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Old 05-30-06, 09:04 PM   #12
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If you ride you bike while it is raining, your leather saddle will become broken in quickly.
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