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leather saddle care(11 posts)

leather saddle caretarwheel
Apr 29, 2002 4:11 AM
I picked up a Lepper leather saddle (similar to a Brooks Swift) several weeks ago and wondering about the proper care. I got caught in a rainshower while out riding one day and the leather sort of bubbled on the surface, although it smoothed back after a few days. Obviously these saddles don't like to be out in the rain. What do dedicated leather saddle riders do about this? Do you put a cover on the saddle? Will Brooks Proofide or Neats Foot oil prevent such problems? It's not practical to say just don't ride in the rain because sooner or later (at least in NC) you're gonna get caught in a shower.
Well....Brooks is from England afterall.MB1
Apr 29, 2002 4:45 AM
When I know it is going to be wet I put fenders on the bikes which keeps the bottom of the saddles dry. If your saddle is correctly treated the little water thet will get past your bottom won't do any damage.

Without fenders you will need some kind of saddle cover. Rivendell sells one or there is always a shower cap or plastic bag.

Brooks Proofride is the right waterproofing for a leather saddle. Saddle soap or Neats Foot oil soften leather which is fine for gloves but not for your bike saddle that has to support your weight-a soft leather saddle will start to sag.

On a side note what is a Neat and what do they do with the rest of the thing after the feet are removed? How much oil can you get from a neats foot anyway? How many Neats does it take for a can of oil?
I tend to worryscottfree
Apr 29, 2002 5:05 AM
less about Brooks/rain than most. I think the concern is overstated. I wouldn't necessarily leave the thing out all night in a thunderstorm, but I've never minded riding it in rain either. Your butt covers it most the time, and the moving air helps dry any water that splashes up underneath pretty quickly, and short of just nightmatish soaking, leather's more tolerant of water than most people believe (do you wear shoe covers over your leather shoes when it rains?). Proofide twice a year and don't worry about it.
what is a neat?tarwheel
Apr 29, 2002 5:19 AM
Good question. I just checked my dictionary, one of the definitions for neat is: "[Now Rare] a bovine animal; ox., cow, etc." Not sure how many neats it takes to produce a can of oil, but I think they make gelatine (jello) out of the rest of the hooves ... or is it hotdogs?
Geez, what am I getting when I ask for "Laphroaig, neat." -nmSnowBlind
Apr 29, 2002 11:43 AM
Keep asking questions like that...Lone Gunman
Apr 29, 2002 5:19 AM
and I will start thinking MB1 is a cover for Cherry1 ;)
Leather Saddle Caredaniell
Apr 29, 2002 5:31 AM
I have my Brooks leather Saddle for more than 17 years. I have been in real downpours with it. I had to tighten the tension on it a couple of times. It is now showing its age. It looks like I will only get another 10 years out of it.
Neats of the world, now is the time to UNITE!!!!MB1
Apr 29, 2002 11:51 AM
Throw off the opressors and take control of our feet! Give them a foot and they will take a hide.
Will there be a union meeting?Ahimsa
Apr 29, 2002 1:38 PM
Make sure it's wheelchair accessable.

What's worked for me for 25 years...cory
Apr 29, 2002 7:26 AM
I have Brooks leather on four bikes--three B-17s and a Pro. The B-17s are fairly new, for Brooks saddles--from one to five or six years--but the Pro is ~25 years old. It's been ridden thousands of miles, leaned against a wall outside for three years when I quit riding for awhile, gone on at least three road bikes and two mountain bikes, and I've weighed 215 or more all that time. It's never been tensioned that I remember, though I may have done it once. For the first 12 years or so it got no care at all, then I found out about Proofide and I've used that once or twice a year (but no more, according to Grant Petersen) since then.
The color has faded a little from black to sort of grayish-brown, but the saddle still feels perfect. I've done the same thing to the B-17s, with Proofide top and bottom once or twice a year, and they're looking and feeling fine, too.
re: leather saddle carepmf1
Apr 29, 2002 10:59 AM
The first Flite saddle I bought years ago (which seemed really expensive at the time) I regularily rubbed down with some goop used to condition leather jackets. It lasted for a long time. I've gotten lazier and don't boither anymore. My saddle don't last as long.

Probably any kind of leather conditioner would help.