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Brooks Seat tearing

Old 09-11-11, 01:41 PM
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billyymc
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Brooks Seat tearing

Bought a Peugeot Mixte at a garage sale a couple weeks ago: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...own-the-street

Has a Brooks seat. Have only ridden it a couple blocks...kids rode it about 10 minutes.

Noticed the seat is ripping at one of the front rivets -- can it be saved?

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Old 09-11-11, 02:07 PM
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Do you have a real shoe repair place close by? We've got a cobbler down on the town square and he's done some amazing things with some of my old saddles.
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Old 09-11-11, 02:08 PM
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Drill 2 holes on each side, and do an X pattern lace together?
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Old 09-11-11, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by AZORCH View Post
Do you have a real shoe repair place close by? We've got a cobbler down on the town square and he's done some amazing things with some of my old saddles.
We do actually...so that is probably a good option. There is also a LBS about 50 feet away. I'd like to save the saddle for use on the bike, or another bike....should I have conditioned this somehow before riding on it? It think it had been stored for some time, and hardly looks used at all.
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Old 09-11-11, 03:57 PM
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proofide probably would have helped
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Old 09-11-11, 04:00 PM
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From the photo, the leather looks dry to me - which explains the crack. I'd recommend taking in to your cobbler and getting his/her advice for treating the old leather. Brooks Proofhide is the only product that Brooks recommends, but that needs to be used sparingly and is a conditioner after you get the suppleness back. Not to knock your LBS, but while most of them are great at the new gear, restorations - particularly leather restoration - simply isn't the specialty for most of 'em. Support your LBS if you decide to buy a new saddle.
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Old 09-11-11, 04:01 PM
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You can tell by the way it's tearing that the leather is very dry. I'd take it to a cobbler and treat it with Proofide or similar every day for about a week. Let that puppy sit and soak it in.
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Old 09-11-11, 04:26 PM
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Proper maintenance of the saddle was not done by previous owner,
Too dry is my diagnosis too.

I used a warm [100F] oven to heat my Brooks upside down ,
when I got them, applied a generous dollop inside,
they soak up the proofide like a sponge, because the waxes in it liquify,
at that temperature then re solidify at room temperature ..
Did this to my Brooks Pro 30 years ago and it has been fine ever since..
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Old 09-11-11, 06:28 PM
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Thanks guys - I'll take it down to my local cobbler, but probably stop at the LBS first. This particular shop would probably have good advice on what to do with the seat - the owner has a lot of vintage bikes and is always there.
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Old 09-11-11, 06:41 PM
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And when you talk with him, call it a saddle and not a seat. Otherwise he might think you're talking about your car
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Old 09-11-11, 07:39 PM
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I have one like that but pretty ugly. I'm thinking of a second set of rivets behind the first. That metal nose piece looks long enough to take it.
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Old 09-11-11, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
And when you talk with him, call it a saddle and not a seat. Otherwise he might think you're talking about your car
ha...got me. Funny, cause a half hour ago I was talking about it and told my daughter not to ride the bike until I can get the saddle repaired..and she said "saddle? what do you mean?"

I'm ok using Seat or Saddle interchangeably...since it attaches to the seat post and not the saddle post.

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Old 09-11-11, 09:40 PM
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The leather *is* dry. That is no question. That's why it ripped. As for fixing it, you're in for quite a task if you decide to. What saddle model is it? A basic fix will run you at least $20, and something like this is far from basic. You could very well be better off buying a new saddle. Most fixes will not be aesthetically desirable, IMO. I had to do a fix to a similar problem I had during a 500 mile tour using large fender washers - it did the trick, but was ugly as sin -_-.
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Old 09-12-11, 03:10 AM
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I had an ideale seat that had a similiar rip. It lasted a short time before it spread and the seat was toast.
Repair was not worth it. Once it is that dry - not much that you can do.
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Old 09-12-11, 03:33 AM
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Originally Posted by AZORCH View Post
From the photo, the leather looks dry to me - which explains the crack. I'd recommend taking in to your cobbler and getting his/her advice for treating the old leather. Brooks Proofhide is the only product that Brooks recommends, but that needs to be used sparingly and is a conditioner after you get the suppleness back. Not to knock your LBS, but while most of them are great at the new gear, restorations - particularly leather restoration - simply isn't the specialty for most of 'em. Support your LBS if you decide to buy a new saddle.
This is good advice.

On a side note, the Brooks product is sold in the UK as Proofide, but absolutely every reference I have seen made to it on BF spells it Proofhide. Is it really marketed under a different name in the States, or does the H just get inserted subbconsciously because it seems to make more sense? Just curious.
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Old 09-12-11, 03:53 AM
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On a side note, the Brooks product is sold in the UK as Proofide, but absolutely every reference I have seen made to it on BF spells it Proofhide. Is it really marketed under a different name in the States, or does the H just get inserted subbconsciously because it seems to make more sense? Just curious.
Good observation! I did not even think about it until now but you are right. Ya learns somethin every day.
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Old 09-12-11, 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
This is good advice.

On a side note, the Brooks product is sold in the UK as Proofide, but absolutely every reference I have seen made to it on BF spells it Proofhide. Is it really marketed under a different name in the States, or does the H just get inserted subbconsciously because it seems to make more sense? Just curious.
I've always spelled it "Proofide." I can read the tin's label. fietsbob spells it correctly above.
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Old 09-12-11, 05:19 AM
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I've had very little success fixing a saddle that badly ripped. I mean it CAN be done, but I don't think you're going to get great results. You can buy a brand new saddle for around $80, and that if properly cared for will last you most of the rest of your life.
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Old 09-12-11, 06:38 AM
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I added pop/blind rivets to the brooks that came with my Raleigh Sports. The saddle looked fine, but once we rode it a little bit the tears really showed and then progressed. I figured the saddle was toast, so with not-so-much to loose I got out the drill. We don't ride this saddle regularly, and eventually I'll get around to proofhiding it. I don't expect this saddle to ever carry my weight--270+- lbs--but for a lighter rider on a short jaunt it'll work out. I also don't really expect this to be a 'forever' fix, but the unusable saddle is now usable. oh, and I put a dab of amber shellac over the rivet to give it a more aged look to blend with the saddle. It's not so beautiful, but seems to hold for now.





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Old 09-12-11, 08:31 AM
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I got a used Brooks that failed on me after about 7 days of riding, despite proofiding it at least a dozen times over the course of two months prior to riding it:

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Old 09-12-11, 09:31 AM
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Well, thanks guys. I feel like a numbnut for riding the bike without finding out a little about leather saddles first. There were no tears in it before I rode it, and maybe if I'd done the right thing and tried to treat the leather I could have saved the saddle. Too bad really, becuase it's hardly been used. It looks like someone bought it, put it on this bike, and then stored it for years. I got the bike for $30 - a nice Peugeot Mixte in very clean shape - and I'll get a new saddle for it and decide what to do with the Brooks (it's a B72 btw).

I'll still take it by the bike shop and ask their advice, and then walk acrossed the street to see the cobbler. I do'nt wnat to spend much on it, so probably won't attempt to have it repaired.
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Old 09-12-11, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Catnap View Post
I got a used Brooks that failed on me after about 7 days of riding, despite proofiding it at least a dozen times over the course of two months prior to riding it:

That was part of your problem, but the leather was definitely dried out. Conditioners are a sometime, not an always. So often you read of people putting Proofide on twice a week, only to have their month old saddle sag all the way into the rails. It literally saturates the leather. The only way to remedy dry leather is with tedious work and due diligence. You *can* repair a dry saddle, but it takes a great amount of time, and an even greater amount of patience. What you do is actually oversaturate the leather, and then let it dry back to "normal" on its own. You simply cannot ride or use the leather at all during this process, or you will either a) tear the leather because it hasn't fully moistened / saturated or b) sag the leather beyond all recognition.
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Old 09-12-11, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
Well, thanks guys. I feel like a numbnut for riding the bike without finding out a little about leather saddles first. There were no tears in it before I rode it, and maybe if I'd done the right thing and tried to treat the leather I could have saved the saddle. Too bad really, becuase it's hardly been used. It looks like someone bought it, put it on this bike, and then stored it for years. I got the bike for $30 - a nice Peugeot Mixte in very clean shape - and I'll get a new saddle for it and decide what to do with the Brooks (it's a B72 btw).

I'll still take it by the bike shop and ask their advice, and then walk acrossed the street to see the cobbler. I do'nt wnat to spend much on it, so probably won't attempt to have it repaired.
As for this, $30 for even the lowest end Peugeot is a decent deal, especially if you can do any work it needs yourself. Leather is an art form before a science. It takes a long time to truly understand what it needs in order to prolong its life; don't kick yourself over it. A new-used leather saddle won't break the bank - consider it first.
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Old 09-12-11, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
This is good advice.

On a side note, the Brooks product is sold in the UK as Proofide, but absolutely every reference I have seen made to it on BF spells it Proofhide. Is it really marketed under a different name in the States, or does the H just get inserted subbconsciously because it seems to make more sense? Just curious.
Well, you don't say. I never noticed the lack of an "H" before, but you're right. I've been spelling--and saying--it wrong.
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Old 09-12-11, 03:31 PM
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I took a split Brooks in to a cobbler and he felt the leather was too dry for stitching so he bonded a patch to the back side. It didn't last long. In my case, it was the "skirt" of the saddle that was split.
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