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Restoring / Recondition / Hydrate Old Brooks saddle...

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Restoring / Recondition / Hydrate Old Brooks saddle...

Old 01-02-14, 10:54 AM
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mrkano
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Restoring / Recondition / Hydrate Old Brooks saddle...

Been doing some research online, and on this site about conditioning an old Brooks saddle.

Heard some bizarre ones.

Peanut butter
Olive Oil
Soaking in water for 12 hours
Urine
Good old soap

I was going to soak in warm water for 12 hours.. wiping occasionally, then rub in olive oil for a few hours, soak again in warm water then dry out, then condition with Brooks Proofhide..

Would this be a sufficient method? Too much?
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Old 01-02-14, 11:06 AM
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Do whatever you think is best. The water will more than likely make the saddle lose some of its shape/stiffness. The olive oil can turn rancid, which is not good for leather and it can smell. I would just put some proffide on it and go ride it.
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Old 01-02-14, 11:07 AM
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yeah you probably right.. haha...

OK..

Lastly, if not proofhise, can anyone reccomend any other products to condition the leather?
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Old 01-02-14, 11:10 AM
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I've used Sno Seal with good results.



Repeating what Fender1 said, I'd do nothing but rub on Proofide / Sno Seal / equivalent and test it before trying any exotic restoration method.
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Old 01-02-14, 11:13 AM
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Has anyone tried lightly sanding the surface of an old Brooks then proofing it?
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Old 01-02-14, 11:36 AM
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2 cents.

I love Snoseal. Have used it on my boots for decades. But, I think, it is mostly wax. Hard to tell for sure as they don't list the ingredients I don't think.
Proofide on the other hand, has oils suspended in it.
The theory being to deliver oils to the leather but in a controlled way in a carrier that will help prevent over doing it.

How bad is the saddle?

If you would like an experts advice, look up the writings of Tony Colegrave on the subject. There aren't many on the net, but he knows his stuff.
Although the last message I received from him here, regarding a thread much like this, he claimed he was giving up giving advice on how best to treat a dried up old saddle.
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Old 01-02-14, 11:36 AM
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Soaking it in water seems like the absolute worst thing you could do.
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Old 01-02-14, 11:39 AM
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https://www.obenaufs.com/

I use this and it works great. I can get it in a local hardware store.
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Old 01-02-14, 11:43 AM
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I always chime in with this when the subject of saddle restoration comes up, but I have brought several badly dried-out saddles back from the dead by soaking them overnight in a gallon ziplock bag with a quart of Lexol poured into it. It's a water-based emulsion you can get at good leather shops--sort of a creamy liquid. Wipe the saddle dry after and you're good to go. Once it's been revived that way, I suppose you could put Proofide or whatever you want on it, though I just apply more Lexol once or twice a year.
You can save the excess Lexol by pouring it out of the ziplock bag and back into the bottle--it may look a little dingy but will still work fine.
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Old 01-02-14, 11:48 AM
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Care to do some reading? Tony advised me there are a few slight mistakes herein, such as, he was never employed at Brooks. But there is a lot of good information here.


https://www.fixed.org.au/forums/f9/br...84/index2.html
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Old 01-02-14, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
https://www.obenaufs.com/

I use this and it works great. I can get it in a local hardware store.
Huh, never thought to look there for it. Just bought mine from rivendell.
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Old 01-02-14, 12:54 PM
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To be fair, it isnt that bad, but I know it could do with some conditioning... It is rather soft in the middle.. No doubt very comfortable?

I have purchased Proofhide.... I will just wipe the seat with baby wipes then rub proofhide into it..

There's too much information out there and too many view points, my thinking is if i do it wrong i do it wrong and learn from it...
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Old 01-02-14, 12:59 PM
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Well, the only problem I can see with that approach, Mrkrano, is that if you do it wrong you could ruin your saddle. But, it is your saddle.

Rub that Proofide into it. And warm it with a hair dryer to let it soak in a bit, and rub some more on. You can't go wrong.
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Old 01-02-14, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
Care to do some reading? Tony advised me there are a few slight mistakes herein, such as, he was never employed at Brooks. But there is a lot of good information here.


https://www.fixed.org.au/forums/f9/br...84/index2.html
Good read, thanks for sharing rootboy
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Old 01-02-14, 01:42 PM
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Another opinion / read...

https://www.bikeandsaddle.com/pages/d...le_saddle_care
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Old 01-02-14, 07:44 PM
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At first I was thinking that maybe we can get the best tips on how to "re-hydrate"/preserve old saddle leather from archaeologist types that deal with mummies and Austrian frozen icemen like the famous "Utzi"...,.. but then I thought...... nobody's planning on installing Utzi or Tutankahmun anytime soon to sit on a bike.....I think Proofide's still our best bet...
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Old 01-02-14, 09:33 PM
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I'd like to see example of saddles that have gone from this
" isnt that bad, but I know it could do with some conditioning"
to a usable saddle. All my experiences the saddles I've seen in this condition seem to have the fibers broken or brittle (rot?) They look good after treatment but soon tear, sag or become ass hatchets. So, with the list of how to treats, it would be nice to see repaired saddles with approx. hours of use they have provided post treatment.

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Old 01-02-14, 09:57 PM
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There are dozens of threads about this on BF alone, and many others elsewhere on the Net. It's nearly impossible to separate the wheat from the chaff but it stands to human nature that some of it is absolutely useless and some of it is gold to be taken for free.

Given this uncertainty and considering I don't have any saddles I want to ruin, I just use light coatings of Proofide, and I watch a treated saddle carefully to see if it will pull apart.

I would not bother with this one. I think the large, wide cracks are points where the leather fibers have broken and the tension will be carried by a much smaller amount of leather than when new, and the fibers that remain are probably weakened. I think it is likely a failure waiting to happen.

Nothing you can do will result in the weakened fibers being rejuvenated, nor rejoin the broken ones. You might be able to make the surface look better but that does not make the remaining leather like new. It's still weakened.
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Old 01-03-14, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Velognome View Post
I'd like to see example of saddles that have gone from this to a usable saddle. All my experiences the saddles I've seen in this condition seem to have the fibers broken or brittle (rot?) They look good after treatment but soon tear, sag or become ass hatchets. So, with the list of how to treats, it would be nice to see repaired saddles with approx. hours of use they have provided post treatment.
Made an attempt at rejuvenating the saddle for my son's Trek 510. He did not want to just toss it. The bike, including saddle, apparently sat out several years, directly exposed to the Minnesota weather (rain, snow, sun, heat, etc). I cautioned him to keep a close eye on it.

He rode it most of last summer before it self destructed. To and from work every day, plus plenty of errands and recreational riding… so maybe 75 to 100 hours. He was quite bummed when it tore, but then happy when he received a new B-17 for Christmas.






Agree 100% with Road Fan… "Nothing you can do will result in the weakened fibers being rejuvenated, nor rejoin the broken ones. You might be able to make the surface look better but that does not make the remaining leather like new. It's still weakened."
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Old 01-03-14, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Nothing you can do will result in the weakened fibers being rejuvenated, nor rejoin the broken ones. You might be able to make the surface look better but that does not make the remaining leather like new. It's still weakened.
+1

It's a valiant and noble thought to try to save old saddles. But once they're gone, they're gone.
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Old 01-03-14, 11:38 AM
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I wonder if lacing a brittle saddle like this might spread the load out and extend life a bit before the inevitable decline?
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