[CR] Soaking saddles - The Expert Responds


Example: Production Builders:LeJeune

Date: Sat, 30 May 2009 08:28:53 -0700
From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <jerrymoos@sbcglobal.net>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>, <bikefll57@aol.com>
Subject: [CR] Soaking saddles - The Expert Responds


I've received an offlist response from Tony Colegrave.

In regard to tensioning, he advises that it can be a sensible precaution to detension or even remove the nose bolt before beginning if circumstances permit. One should definitely consider doing this when the saddle has been badly pulled out of shape, which often occurs as the result of previous overtensioning. However, he says that when the leather actually tears on soaking, it can be while actually still wet. Tony's advice is that tearing at the rivet holes is usually the result of previous abuse and overtightening simply destroying the structure of the leather in that area, such that failure is inevitable. In these cases, it may fail when wet, when drying, or when tensioned and ridden, but the fundamental damage has already preordained the outcome.

He also comments that sometimes when trying to firm up a soft saddle, one may want to dry quickly in direct sun, but he implies that this is usually best avoided, so I will take that to mean that normally one should dry indoors, perhaps even in a dark room.

He doesn't believe my precautionary treatment of newish saddles to prevent premature shape loss will do much good. In his view, this is down to the poor quality of leather available today, perhaps related to modern cattle raising techniques. This would be in agreement with Jan Heine's review in BQ in which a new Brooks Pro Ti significantly lost shape after only a few hundred miles. Tony, who I believe does some consulting with Brooks, indicates Brooks management is concerned with the poor quality of leather available today, as are the Brooks employees. No indication what specific steps Brooks is taking to improve this, but Tony seems to believe this is not a matter of Brooks buying inferior hides to cut cost, but rather that it is simply difficult to find hides of the quality used 50 years ago. This is all well beyond my knowledge of leather, so I'll simply trust Tony's judgement on this.

Regards,

Jerry Moos,
Big Spring, Texas, USA


--- On Sat, 5/30/09, bikefll57@aol.com wrote:


> From: bikefll57@aol.com <bikefll57@aol.com>

\r?\n> Subject: Re: [CR] Soaking saddles

\r?\n> To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org

\r?\n> Date: Saturday, May 30, 2009, 12:16 AM

\r?\n> For all it's worth, my father used to

\r?\n> break in his new leather hiking boots (back in the 60's and

\r?\n> 70's) by soaking them in water, then wearing them day in and

\r?\n> day out with several thin pairs of socks to reduce friction.

\r?\n> I wonder if there is an equivalent here in breaking in

\r?\n> saddles. If there's a tension adjustment, would it help to

\r?\n> start looser or tighter?

\r?\n>

\r?\n> just wondering...

\r?\n>

\r?\n> Paul Andrews

\r?\n> Ft Lauderdale, FL, USA

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n> -----Original Message-----

\r?\n> From: cwstudio@aol.com

\r?\n> To: jgabus@gmail.com;

\r?\n> classicrendezvous@bikelist.org

\r?\n> Sent: Thu, 28 May 2009 2:22 pm

\r?\n> Subject: Re: [CR] Soaking saddles

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n> Interesting discussion, and it all makes sense.

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n> However, I have a Brooks Professional with a slightly

\r?\n> different issue.

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n> The saddle is circa 1980, and looks almost new. It was on a

\r?\n> bike that was barely

\r?\n> ridden when new in 1980, then stored until last year. The

\r?\n> saddle was apparently

\r?\n> never fully broken in.?

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n> The saddle is rock hard. I've given it a couple of thorough

\r?\n> rub downs with

\r?\n> Proofhide and ridden it many miles, yet it is still hard.?

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n> I'm very curious whether the soaking technique might work

\r?\n> it's magic on this

\r?\n> saddle, and I welcome input from the soakers among us.?

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n> It's a beautiful saddle and I would love to break it in

\r?\n> properly.

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n> Thanks,

\r?\n>

\r?\n> Chris Wimpey

\r?\n>

\r?\n> San Diego, California

\r?\n>

\r?\n> USA

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n> -----Original Message-----

\r?\n> From: Jack Gabus <jgabus@gmail.com>

\r?\n> To: CR <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>

\r?\n> Sent: Thu, 28 May 2009 10:26 am

\r?\n> Subject: [CR] Soaking saddles

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n> I love this discussion because the best fitting saddle I

\r?\n> have is my Brooks

\r?\n> Swift on my Seven.  The reason is the second time I

\r?\n> rode on it, I got caught

\r?\n> in a horrific thunder storm in Iowa (RAGBRAI). That morning

\r?\n> it rained cats

\r?\n> and dogs and then in the after noon it was a beautiful

\r?\n> sunny day, 90 miles

\r?\n> later it took the shape of my,  well let say my large

\r?\n> back side.  To my

\r?\n> surprise the next day it fit like a million bucks, I have

\r?\n> never messed with

\r?\n> it since.  Water works for me.

\r?\n>

\r?\n> Cheers,

\r?\n>

\r?\n> Jack

\r?\n>

\r?\n> --

\r?\n> Jack Gabus

\r?\n> 310 490 3784

\r?\n> jgabus@gmail.com

\r?\n> Laguna

\r?\n> Beach, CA

\r?\n> USA