Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Breaking in a New Saddle - Ideale

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Breaking in a New Saddle - Ideale

Old 02-14-08, 04:13 PM
  #1  
phillyrider
peddling fool
Thread Starter
 
phillyrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Philadelphia PA
Posts: 509

Bikes: Mid 50's Frejus, Late 50's Frejus, Early 1960s Frejus Professional, Mid 1960's Frejus Professional, Early 70's Gloria (branded), 76 Blue Pogliaghi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Breaking in a New Saddle - Ideale

I probably spent more than I should have, but I purchased a 30+ year old Ideale 80 saddle (type record) for about $80. It's a mid-range saddle - but never ridden.

Are there any recommended tricks to break this in?

It seems that a number of Ideale saddles have come up on e-bay. Brooks saddles seem to be referenced often in this forum. I'm also wondering what opinions are on Ideale versus Brooks - are Ideale saddles worth the extra $?

Thanks...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
ideale 80.jpg (15.8 KB, 49 views)
phillyrider is offline  
Old 02-14-08, 04:31 PM
  #2  
jgedwa
surly old man
 
jgedwa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Carlisle, PA
Posts: 3,369

Bikes: IRO Mark V, Karate Monkey half fat, Trek 620 IGH, Cannondale 26/24 MTB, Amp Research B3, and more.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I picked one up used last summer. Cannot remember what model it is, or even if it had any indication of a model number.

I like it. But then, I am a sucker for an old leather saddle.

If the leather feels pretty good, you might just ride it as is. If it feels very dry and brittle you could try Neatsfoot, or Proofhide, or saddle soap, or even bees' wax. Myself, I use bees's wax made to waterproof boots. It comes in a softish paste, so it must be mixed with some sort of solvent. I coat it well and then warm it up with a hair dryer a bit to soften the paste further and hope that some is absorbed farther into the leather by capillary action. Works well for me. I am sure others will accuse me of wrecking good leather.

jim
__________________
Cross Check Nexus7, IRO Mark V, Trek 620 Nexus7, Karate Monkey half fat, IRO Model 19 fixed, Amp Research B3, Surly 1x1 half fat fixed, and more...
--------------------------
SB forever
jgedwa is offline  
Old 02-14-08, 04:32 PM
  #3  
pastorbobnlnh 
Freewheel Medic
 
pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Ascending or Descending the NH Mountains NW of Concord!
Posts: 11,151

Bikes: Snazzy* Schwinns, Classy Cannondales, & a Lonely '83 Santana Tandem (* Ed.)

Mentioned: 82 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 444 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
phillyrider,

I bought this Ideale, which I believe is the same as your saddle, more than a year ago for my '62 Continental. While it had been used, I believe it had not been riden for at least 10+ years. It was very hard and stiff, more so than even a new Brooks. I was worried that it might not be comfortable.

When I could finally ride it, I was pleased that it was just as comfortable as my Brooks. I put about 500 miles on it through the heat of summer and my sweat, and it's still just as hard. So I don't think you can do a thing to it to soften it up much.

Try it and let us know what you think.

__________________
Bob
Dreaming about riding in NH's summertime!

Visit my websites:
FreeWheelSpa.com orpastorbobnlnh.com
pastorbobnlnh is offline  
Old 02-14-08, 05:46 PM
  #4  
tspoon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Stratford, New Zealand
Posts: 288

Bikes: 1990 Paul Dye Hand Built 7 Speed, 1965 Raleigh Sport, Folding 26" Tourer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've bought several Ideale saddles NOS, and got each one for less than the normal price of a B17 (I think the normal list price is around $80US. The cheapest buy.it.now I found was 65). Most of them don't go for that much, an exception would be the alloy framed models. I haven't mounted one on a bike yet, but they appear to be at least as good a quality as my B17, the leather is even thicker than my Brooks Professional. I think the general word on Ideale saddles is that they are as good, possibly better, or more durable, than a brooks saddle. I liked the idea of having something you can't get anymore, and maybe something a little less common. I have to admit that was a motivation on my part.

Last edited by tspoon; 02-14-08 at 05:57 PM.
tspoon is offline  
Old 02-14-08, 05:59 PM
  #5  
Sianelle 
Sister Annie
 
Sianelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Hauraki Plains District, New Zealand
Posts: 1,519

Bikes: Retro Hercules adult tricycle, 1953 Hercules ladies roadster, 1950s Wearwell fixed gear 'Club' pathracer, 1980s Malvern Star 'Super Star', 1980s Healing GTX-105 Arabesque, 1980's Morrison Concorde & etc & etc.......

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I purchased an Ideale saddle recently that'd spent years being a desk ornament and hadn't had much use at all. The asking price was only $NZ25.00 and I couldn't beleive my luck. The thickness and quality of the leather certainly impressed me and in many ways my Ideal saddle seems to be superior to the Brooks B17s I have on some of my other bikes.
I've reserved my Ideale saddle for my Malvern Star I'm presently working on btw.
__________________
OMNIPOTENS aeterne Deus, qui nos secundum imaginem Tuam plasmasti, et omnia bona, vera, pulchra, praesertim in divina persona Unigeniti Filii Tui Domini nostri Iesu Christi, quaerere iussisti, praesta quaesumus ut, per intercessionem Sancti Isidori, Episcopi et Doctoris, in peregrinationibus per interrete factis et manus oculosque ad quae Tibi sunt placita intendamus et omnes quos convenimus cum caritate ac patientia accipiamus. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
Sianelle is offline  
Old 02-14-08, 06:29 PM
  #6  
top506
Death fork? Naaaah!!
 
top506's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: The other Maine, north of RT 2
Posts: 4,541

Bikes: '71 Gitane Super Corsa, '73 Atala Giro d'Italia, '73 Schwinn Super Sport, '76 Viscount Aerospace Pro, '81 Miyata 710, '84 Ross Signature 290s, '85 Miele Gara, '87 Miyata 512, '89 Centurion Ironman, many more

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 262 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I have three Ideale 42 saddles in the fleet, none bought new, and two pretty stiff when acquired. I treat them with Pecard's (a wax-based product something like Proofide) and let it soak in in the sun.
Top
(looking for two more for the Centurion and 710 builds.....)
__________________
You know it's going to be a good day when the stem and seatpost come right out.

(looking for a picture and not seeing it? Thank the Photobucket fiasco.PM me and I'll link it up.)
top506 is offline  
Old 02-14-08, 09:06 PM
  #7  
mpfgc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 80
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The best way to break in a leather saddle:

[B]RIDE IT!!!

I've had several leather saddles over the years, none were new. Some were rather soft, like a hammock, and were very comfortable from the first sit-down - unfortunately, these are the ones where the leather tears away from the rivets within a couple thousand miles. The rock -hard weathered ones, while not nearly as comfortable at first, break in after a couple to a few hundred miles.
mpfgc is offline  
Old 02-15-08, 03:48 PM
  #8  
phillyrider
peddling fool
Thread Starter
 
phillyrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Philadelphia PA
Posts: 509

Bikes: Mid 50's Frejus, Late 50's Frejus, Early 1960s Frejus Professional, Mid 1960's Frejus Professional, Early 70's Gloria (branded), 76 Blue Pogliaghi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks all... I'm a daily rider, so it will break-in over time. However, the first few rides on a rock hard saddle took some getting used to. There's a solution that breaks in baseball gloves - I think I'll give it a try. I'll also look around for proofhide.

I did purchase an Ideale because it's a little less common plus they don't make them anymore.

Thanks again for all your comments...
phillyrider is offline  
Old 02-15-08, 03:53 PM
  #9  
lotek 
Senior Member
 
lotek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: n.w. superdrome
Posts: 17,706

Bikes: 1 trek, serotta, rih, de Reus, Pogliaghi and finally a Zieleman! and got a DeRosa

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
phillyrider
here's what I've collected over time on breaking in leather saddles, Its various snippets so might rea
a bit disjointed. There is also some discussion on setting up a brooks (it mentions Brooks but works for all saddles).
Break-in is actually an always evolving thing with Brooks saddles, they seem to always be changing in an organic manner. I personally recommend a Brooks saddle be used often, never on a rarely used bike. They'll sort of firm up and harden w/o regular usage, essentially mitigating your previous break-in work. Yes, even with proper Proofide treatments, once a year and nothing more, thank you very much. The excepetion is if soaked in downpour; towel dry to touch immediately after ride, allow to dry naturally indoors, never usgae a hair dryer or other means to expedite drying, once completely dried, a very light Proofide application will restore oils and soft texture to leather

Brooks saddle care is a piece of cake, really. When new, apply a generous -- not heavy but enough to really soak in -- amount of Proofide to entire underside of saddle. I like to place saddle in sun for 30 minutes or so prior to application such that wax is really drawn into pores. Always apply Proofide with bare fingers, warmth of hand will help melt wax. The importance of this underside application is paramount, it will help with break-in but primarily will prevent any future mildew/mold issues from destroying your saddle. You should never need to apply another underside coating of Proofide to your saddle in its life. The topside will need a very light initial coating, allow 30 minutes to penetrate and dry, buff with soft terry loop towel, re-apply a 2nd very light coating, allow to dry overnight, buff with towel. After 2 weeks of usage, a 3rd very light coat of Proofide to seating surface should be applied, dry overnight, buff with towel. That's it for a full year. The excepetion is if soaked in downpour; towel dry to touch immediately after ride, allow to dry naturally indoors, never use a hair dryer or other means to expedite drying, once completely dried, a very light Proofide application will restore oils and soft texture to leather. An annual single light coating to seating surface, dry overnight and buff with towel should be only maintainence ever required of a Brooks saddle. I have rarely needed to use tensioning wrench, even when saddle has been repeatedly soaked, yes I use a Brooks on my winter/wet weather bike and I've never used a saddle bonnet. I would bet I get 20k miles between ever retensioning the saddle.

Breaking in Brooks saddles is a bit misunderstood in my experience. The saddle should be relatively comfortable for a 1-2 hour ride fresh out of box. If not, adjust saddle tilt. If still not reasonably comfortable, ie 'hot spots' or specific pressure areas are felt, get a different saddle. For my backside, the Swift and Pro are ill suited and quite uncomfortable. The Pro, if it does fit you, will take longest break-in. The leather is apparently heaviest on Pro model. You can witness this by attempting to push on sit area of Pro saddle versus any other Brooks, it is noticably stiffer. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, just expect longer break-in period before leather conforms to sitbones. Loosening tension 1/2 turn as suggested by Doug is recommended. Once you find correct Brooks saddle it will take 300-1000 miles to break-in saddle, after which it will be noticably more comfortable. 12-15 hours in saddle should be trouble-free, at least as concerns saddle related issues.

After choosing correct saddle, try B17 if Pro does not fit, treat saddle with Brooks Proofide only. This is critical step for longterm saddle care. Initial treatment consists of application to entire underside of leather. Use fingers only, no gloves and room temp should be 70*F or higher. The heat from your fingers will allow Proofide to properly penetrate hide. The undersaddle treatment is 1-time only to prevent drying or rotting. The top side application should be very thin, being sure to massage Proofide into saddle. 1 hour after application, use clean, dry, lint-free cotton rag to wipe down saddle top only, do not worry about underside again. Allow to dry for 12 hours, before wiping down saddle again with clean, dry cloth. Wiping back to frontb will help raise grain making a less slippery surface. Now get out and ride. Saddle will feel a bit dry in 2-3 weeks of riding, particularly in warmer weather. You should reapply to topside only, same method as previous. After said 2nd application, you should not repeat Proofide for 1 year. A light application performed annually, checking saddle tension nut at same time, will provide MANY years of comfortable riding support.

Fore-aft fitment of Brooks is difficult. As Doug noted, the Brooks rails offer little room for adjustment. The largest setback I have seen to date on currently available, good quality post is Ritchey Pro, which is a beautiful 1-piece forging, 2-bolt design. It is unfortunately available in black only, easily remedied with about 1-hour of work with oven cleaner and buffing wheel/rouge. The Ritchey offers approx. 10mm more setback than current Campy posts, yes I have both.

I use a Swift and B17s, these being my two favorite Brooks saddles. If the saddle is really _perfect_ for your butt then there is virtually no break in period: it is comfortable from the get-go. For goodness's sake dont' soak the thing in neet's foot oil or anything of the sort. (What the heck is a neet?, btw...) The key to the Brooks fit is to make sure that the rear of the saddle is level. This effectively a slight rise on the nose. The idea is to sit _on_ the saddle with the sit bones on the key points of rear contact. Some Brooks saddles just don't work for me. I'm not a Pro guy. But I use the Swift on two bikes and love it. I like it so much for pure comfort that I use it on my RB-2 which is really just my rollers bike. I consider rollers sort of a torture that makes me feel like I am doing something during the winter when I am far too absent of character and JohnStamstad-ness that I will not ride outside. Is the Swift worth it? Sure is. If it ends up being "not for you" as can happen with any saddle, you'll find lots of buyers. Also, you need to give it a chance. One ride might not do it. You need about 100 miles and if it's not for you, you'll know it, and if it is, you'll be in heaven.

Saddle choice and position is strictly a personal fit issue. I too have heard the nose up theory, although not exclusively to Brooks. I position all saddles almost identically; forward nose level with ground. Saddle tilt is really a subjective issue based upon rider anatomy and position on bike. As I recall, Doug positions most of his bikes with saddle and bar elevation relative to level ground, as very similar, say within 1/2". Please correct me if I assumed wrong. I tend to have a bit more drop. My Legend is roughly 1 1/2" drop to bar, my trainer/'cross bike is approx 1" drop. I also like to stretch out upper body over bike thus a nose up position does not work for me. I would suggest starting at a nuetral position, ie. nose level, and make minor adjustments as warranted to suit individual comfort levels.
__________________
Sono pił lento di quel che sembra.
Odio la gente, tutti.


Want to upgrade your membership? Click Here.
lotek is offline  
Old 02-15-08, 05:27 PM
  #10  
phillyrider
peddling fool
Thread Starter
 
phillyrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Philadelphia PA
Posts: 509

Bikes: Mid 50's Frejus, Late 50's Frejus, Early 1960s Frejus Professional, Mid 1960's Frejus Professional, Early 70's Gloria (branded), 76 Blue Pogliaghi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks Lotek, this detail is really helpful.

I was wondering about the underside, and this helped answer my question. I do ride in the rain from time to time via commute. I ride daily, but just not in ice/snow - which doesn't seem too often anymore (thanks global warming)...

There's a plastic cover available from Ideale, which is probably a good idea to pull out for those times. However, I am not sure how well it works, or if it shifts around. It may be a waste.

Thanks again...The above is informative.
phillyrider is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.