[CR]Saddle mold prevention

(Example: History)

Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 21:53:49 +0900
From: "Dennis Young" <mail@woodworkingboy.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>, <joebz@optonline.net>
In-Reply-To: <CATFOODZIhTrBoe2U8Q00001000@catfood.nt.phred.org>
Subject: [CR]Saddle mold prevention

Your saddle leather still has good conditioning, that with moisture will produce mildew. Once the mold spores get a foothold in the leather, it can be troublesome to kill them. Bleach is a old home remedy, but a strong enough solution to eliminate the spores may damage, or at least dry out the leather. Why not try and wrap the saddles in a plastic bag and enclose a dessicate like silica gel inside. You can find silica gel sold sometimes at camera shops (for packing with lenses), and often at pet supply places. A blue cobalt salt indicator chemical mixed in with the gel turns pinkish when the silica gel has absorbed all the moisture it can. Heating the gel in a warm oven (under 200 degrees) will drive out the moisture and make the gel reusable. Pre-packaged gel is available, or to save costs it can be purchased in bulk and packets can be made from a couple coffee filters tied with a rubber band. I don't know if the gel can stain leather, so I would try and avoid setting the packet directly on the leather. The gel looks like something a young chield might want to taste, so caution in that regard is in order.

Dennis Young Hotaka, Japan

> It has been an incredibly humid summer here in the NYC area. Enough rain
> has fallen to keep the lawns a lush green all summer. I just discovered that
> all my bikes with Brooks types saddles stored in sheds etc. had mold
> outbreaks. While some just had spots, my beloved Frejus had nothing but
> green fuzz to be seen on the saddle!
> I know of no sure fire cure for this. It didn't seem to a be matter of
> saddle conditioning because saddles I hadn't treated had it too. Ideales
> seemed to fare a bit better than Brooks. Anyway, I wiped them down with a
> little bleach solution and then leather conditioner. Any better ideas?
> No smart comments about riding more- that's a sad story.
> I also did a better job of rigging my dehumidifier for the indoor storage.
> So I'll move some bikes into that space.
> Joe Bender-Zanoni
> Great Notch, NJ