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ADGA and Brooks saddle restores

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ADGA and Brooks saddle restores

Old 03-23-16, 09:08 AM
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ADGA and Brooks saddle restores

I got a nice surprise this month from @rhm and figured I'd gloat a bit.

I had an AGDA 28A frame missing its leather and some parts, an ADGA 2900 totally warped w/broken supports, a Brooks Pro Standard that was beef jerky, and a Brooks Pro Narrow which was beef jerky and rusted all to hell. When I say beef jerky, I kid you not. This is what I was dealing with.



Rudy took them in. This is the end result: Four pristine saddles including an ADGA saddle that looks better than it probably did new. I know some people may ask, "why waste time on that ADGA?!" but, honestly, when installed properly, I think they're actually nice saddles.

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Old 03-23-16, 09:13 AM
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Fabulous work!

Thanks for posting.

The model 28A is the only ADGA I have ever encountered; does anyone know of other ADGA models?

One came on me first tenspeed, a 1965 U08.
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Old 03-23-16, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by juvela
The model 28A is the only ADGA I have ever encountered; does anyone know of other ADGA models?
This 2900 was the first one I've ever encountered. It's pretty similar to the 28A. Same size, same nose hardware, same rivets, same three holes punched in the top, but the spacing of the rivet holes in the cantle plate is a little different (in fact there are 8 holes, though only six rivets). And there are no bag loops. The leather on @francophile's saddle was in remarkably good shape, better than any other ADGA I've had in my hands, which leads me to suspect it's a better grade of leather than used on the 28A. It is difficult to compare the quality of leathers that have been treated differently over 40+ years!
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Old 03-23-16, 10:00 AM
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Masterful work.
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Old 03-23-16, 10:06 AM
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ADGA had (at minimum) the 28A, the 29A and the 2900. I picked up the ADGA 2900 eBay for ~$25 IIRC. It was clearly broken but leather and frame were in good shape, so seemed like a fair deal.
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Old 03-23-16, 10:23 AM
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This is good to know about. The original Ideale on my Capo Sieger needs some help, as will the 1973 Brooks Pro on my Capo Modell Campagnolo.

Between Pastor Bob's freewheel spa and Rudy's saddle equivalent, we just might be able to keep our old bikes on the road.
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Old 03-23-16, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile
I got a nice surprise this month from @rhm and figured I'd gloat a bit.
So sorry if I missed something but this is a really neat thread... did @rhm bring the leather back to life by some method - or did he replace the leather? Again, sorry for my ignorance in this area - but I'm eager to learn more!
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Old 03-23-16, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ratfink76
So sorry if I missed something but this is a really neat thread... did @rhm bring the leather back to life by some method - or did he replace the leather? Again, sorry for my ignorance in this area - but I'm eager to learn more!
The ADGA 2900 had a pretty good leather top, bonded to a substrate that may have been leather, more likely cardboard or something. That substrate had cracked and disintegrated pretty bad, allowing the good leather top to get badly misshapen. I removed the six cantle plate rivets, peeled off the remains of the substrate, and cut a new piece of leather to replace that. Then I soaked both the original leather top and the new piece; formed the old leather back into the correct shape, and formed the new piece to match. After they'd dried, I bonded them together with contact cement, riveted it all back together reusing old ADGA rivets, and refinished the top with black resolene finish.

The other three, I replaced the leather.
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Old 03-23-16, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm
The ADGA 2900 had a pretty good leather top, bonded to a substrate that may have been leather, more likely cardboard or something. That substrate had cracked and disintegrated pretty bad, allowing the good leather top to get badly misshapen. I removed the six cantle plate rivets, peeled off the remains of the substrate, and cut a new piece of leather to replace that. Then I soaked both the original leather top and the new piece; formed the old leather back into the correct shape, and formed the new piece to match. After they'd dried, I bonded them together with contact cement, riveted it all back together reusing old ADGA rivets, and refinished the top with black resolene finish.

The other three, I replaced the leather.
Very kool... thanks!!
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Old 03-23-16, 12:29 PM
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I honestly don't think there would have been any help for the Brooks saddles, frankly. As I recall, the other one was even worse than what's pictured in the first pic up there. Several long and deep rips/cracks, the leather had disintegrated around the rivets and was lifting up, etc. Overall, the steel on both Brooks saddles was in pretty good shape, chrome wasn't too horribly rusted, so it seemed silly to throw them out.

The ADGA 28A was totally hopeless, frame-only after the leather broke apart on removal, and I had no idea where the nose went. It came off an all-original UO8 I rebuilt for my wife recently, and the previous owner had a Bell jelly seat cover on it, then left the bike out under a north-facing deck out in the rain during rainy season. Just lifting up the seat cover when I got it home caused the leather to fall apart in my hands. Total mess. That's now the mahogany seat above. Love that color! He was nice enough to spot me a new nose piece.

In any case, Rudi's prices were, in my opinion, way better than buying a new saddle. I've been watching his work for a while, and now I've had a chance to admire it hands-on (and butts-on), I know where I'm going next time
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Old 03-23-16, 12:40 PM
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I need to send a couple Rudy's way.

Perhaps a string around the finger...
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Old 03-23-16, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm
This 2900 was the first one I've ever encountered. It's pretty similar to the 28A. Same size, same nose hardware, same rivets, same three holes punched in the top, but the spacing of the rivet holes in the cantle plate is a little different (in fact there are 8 holes, though only six rivets). And there are no bag loops. The leather on @francophile's saddle was in remarkably good shape, better than any other ADGA I've had in my hands, which leads me to suspect it's a better grade of leather than used on the 28A. It is difficult to compare the quality of leathers that have been treated differently over 40+ years!
Thanks so much for this response!

Have often wondered if ADGA is an actual manufacturer or if it is a badge employed by an entity better known under another name.

NOREX and BIM have always made me suspect they were b-line marques for Tron e Berthet but have never seen any solid information on this. Somehow I suspect that rhm will know...
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Old 03-23-16, 02:07 PM
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Great work, Rudi! Wow, now that you're in the 140s, I feel like my RHM #30 is C&V!
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Old 03-23-16, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela
Have often wondered if ADGA is an actual manufacturer or if it is a badge employed by an entity better known under another name.

NOREX and BIM have always made me suspect they were b-line marques for Tron e Berthet but have never seen any solid information on this. Somehow I suspect that rhm will know...

I wondered the same. https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...bim-norex.html
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Old 03-23-16, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
Great work, Rudi! Wow, now that you're in the 140s, I feel like my RHM #30 is C&V!

I had #31 , but it was too narrow for my buns and I gave it back!
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Old 03-23-16, 09:31 PM
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I think @noglider ended up with #31 .
@juvela, sorry to disappoint, but I don't know anything about ADGA corporate history &c. As you suggest, T&B seems to have owned the BIM and Norex marques, since the Idéale 39, BIM 39 and Norex 39 appear to be the same saddle (also sold under a number of other names). As far as I can tell, Perjohn was not their work; but used the same rivets, so maybe. ADGA really does not appear to be from the same factory, but it's hard to tell. Where was T&B based? ADGA would appear to have had some connection to Le Chatillonnais in northern France....
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Old 03-23-16, 09:45 PM
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Thanks so much rhm!

There is some T&B history here:

histoire des selles IDEALE

le petit braquet - Marcel Berthet

Fixie : la selle Idéale ? l?est-elle vraiment ? | Track & News
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Old 03-23-16, 09:51 PM
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Awesome work @rhm!
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