Amir Avitzur wrote:
> Having tried several leather treatments to rejuvenate dry, old saddles:
> - Brooks Proofide (does not penetrate thick leather)
> - saddle oil (impregnates, softens and weakens the leather)
> I'm still looking for a treatment that:
> - penetrates without weakening
> - doesn't leave behind an oily mess that will stain riding shorts
> - if possible - puts a shine on the leather
> - protects the saddle from sweaty riders
> - odorless
Amir, I believe that what your looking for are truly mutually exclusive properties. In other words, you will not get all of those in one package. However, I have used the products found at: http://www.leatherique.com with great success. These are the products recommended by The Ferrari Club of America for dry leather auto interiors: the same applications as we need for dry saddles. It is not cheap, does have a smell (but is not at all offensive) like top quality Connolly leather, will certainly "bleed" through to a degree, doesn't shine great all by itself (nneds a top coat , but it's the best stuff you can get for old dry leather. Any oil will keep sweat from being absorbed into the leather. I use the rejuvenator oil on my cycling shoes as I do not wear socks and the shoes become "hard" after awhile. The oil, any oil, will not "weaken" the leather. The leather is already shot; all dried out and rotted. You just can't save that badly damaged a saddle. But a hard saddle can be softened. The oil will allow the fibers to stretch while a gentle persuader (ball peen hammer) is used to adjust the attitude of the leather. Gently , take your time. A new Brooks takes an hour of banging to soften up. I use olive oil on new saddles (soaked for 3 days in a cookie tin), but have also used corn and peanut oil w/ the same success. When the leather is shot, the hammer will go right through them if GREAT care is NOT taken! I believe that a hard saddle is best for a soft ass and a soft saddle is best for a hard ass. So I guess I've just classified myself.
good luck and have fun,
John T.Pergolizzi Brooklyn, New York Brooks Team Pro for 30 years; those first 2 years on Cinelli Buffalo were hell! Can you spell "carbuncle"?