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Restored leather saddle – embarrassing problem

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Restored leather saddle – embarrassing problem

Old 03-31-11, 08:47 AM
  #1  
sekaijin
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Restored leather saddle – embarrassing problem

I treated a dried-out old leather saddle following C&V forum advice (and using what I had on hand) with various iterations of moisture, heat, mink oil, and Glovolium.

Here it is on my commuter bike, which I'm back riding this week (yay spring!):


sorry - bad cell phone pic - in the storage closet at work, where my bike goes

The saddle is much improved. I would not call it supple - it is still quite hard - but it flexes a bit, and at least it's not dried-out anymore.

After tweaking its position over a few rides, I’m even starting to find it comfortable.

The problem is … it leaves brown stains on the seat of my pants!

So, go ahead and have your fun with the inevitable potty humor.

But, any actual suggestions?
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Old 03-31-11, 08:53 AM
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Eileen
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Cover it with a plastic shopping bag. Bonus: it makes your bike look crappy and less worth stealing.
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Old 03-31-11, 08:57 AM
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Sounds like you have a new pair of bike commute pants. Carry a spare change or keep some clean pants at you workplace to change. Use the ones it sounds like you ruined as your riding kit. Let the oil wear in/off the seat over time, it shouldn't take to long. Oh yea, don't turn your back on anyone today
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Old 03-31-11, 08:58 AM
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You have encountered the answer to the age old question, "why are cycling shorts black?"

I'm afraid once this has started to happen, it's hard to make it stop. The saddle was too dry, so you made it wet, and now there's dye (or the functional equivalent of dye) suspended in whatever solvent you put in it, and it will transfer to any absorbent material that comes in contact with it.

I suppose it might be possible to soak the saddle in water, changing the water repeatedly until all the dye is gone; then drying it out again and replacing the lost moisture with oil of some kind; but adding oil might cause the process to repeat and anyway, none of this is going to do the saddle any good. I don't recommend even trying it.

Letting the saddle dry in the sun for a loooong time might do some good, but will not solve the problem 100%.

When you ride with good pants, or any that will show a stain, you have to put a plastic bag over the saddle. This will compromise comfort to some degree, but it will protect your pants. Or wear black pants!
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Old 03-31-11, 09:09 AM
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Wear brown pants.
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Old 03-31-11, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by sekaijin View Post
… it leaves brown stains on the seat of my pants!
... any actual suggestions?
Yes.
Wear dark pants.

(This is what they all do and what they always did - just because it's common for thick leather saddles to begin staining some time.)
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Old 03-31-11, 09:14 AM
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That's not doo doo. That's my saddle, baby!



I believe rhm is right on. Wrap it, go black or be laughed at by your co-workers.
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Old 03-31-11, 09:18 AM
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Start rubbing it with a cloth until you no longer get a color transfer to the cloth. Apply leather treatment of choice. Rub again with new section of cloth. If you continue to see color transfer, adhere to the dark clothing/wrapping advice.


Just an idea. I've never dealt with this, but at some point, color transfer has to stop.
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Old 03-31-11, 09:21 AM
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Put some rags tightly pressed around the saddle, use a hair dryer to gently heat the whole saddle, then wrap the whole mess in a plastic bag overnight. Eventually all the loose dye will get soaked into the rags and you'll be good to go.
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Old 03-31-11, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
That's not doo doo. That's my saddle, baby!

Oh awesome
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Old 03-31-11, 09:53 AM
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Sheldon Brown warns of this dilemma and did so many years ago. Why not wear the stained pants and enjoy the looks you get, as well as any opportunity that presents itself to explain the stain.

And, a word of advice, for the guys only, - never wear pinkish lycra bike shorts, stain or no stain...
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Old 03-31-11, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by sekaijin View Post
The problem is … it leaves brown stains on the seat of my pants!
That's why cycling shorts are black!
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Old 04-01-11, 10:39 PM
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A tip I picked up from bike forum, you have not mentioned is softening your saddle with oliv oil. it gives the leather a nice glow, and also softens it. The first priority preserving the integrity of the leather dealt with; regards the saddle leaching oil, you have two options one buy a saddle cover, which is a thin rubberised slip on arrangement, with elastic to hold it in place. They are not very durable, however aesthetically were very pleasing as they were available in different colours. Alternatively, fabricate your own, however use cord as tiedowns under the saddle. The silver, slip on cover, of an ironing board is rather durable material to make into the afore mentioned cover.
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Old 04-01-11, 10:46 PM
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Aardvark saddle cover. They are cheap, they look pretty good and will help keep your seat from getting soaked and your but from getting stained.
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Old 04-01-11, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
And, a word of advice, for the guys only, - never wear pinkish lycra bike shorts, stain or no stain...
Why... why did I open this thread? WHY? I'm scarred for life, Randyjawa. Thanks a lot. <shudder>
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Old 04-03-11, 06:47 AM
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^snark, I gave it an "enter at your own risk" thread title, so you really should have known better! Aside, any suggestions on a rear rack for my wife's Sports? Wald 535 is currently the front-runner, do you have any better ideas? Asking since you have researched racks and baskets extensively IIRC. (See my comments #1520 and 1523 in the 3-speed thread)

End of self-hijack. Re the comments above, many thanks all. I am not going to go with a saddle cover, the whole point of the leather saddle is its appearance. The vintage look. So if I can't ride it without a cover, I'm going to swap it out. The dark pants approach is more practical.

On a later ride in my work clothes, the saddle did not do as bad - possibly because the pants were darker, synthetic slacks, not light cotton chinos like the first pair. Also now that I've got the fit dialed in, I am moving around on the saddle less.
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Old 04-04-11, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by 20grit View Post
Start rubbing it with a cloth until you no longer get a color transfer to the cloth. Apply leather treatment of choice. Rub again with new section of cloth. If you continue to see color transfer, adhere to the dark clothing/wrapping advice.


Just an idea. I've never dealt with this, but at some point, color transfer has to stop.
Or, if you plotted the dye transfer to the rear of your pants over time using this method would you get ... an ASSymptote?



Originally Posted by sekaijin
So, go ahead and have your fun with the inevitable potty humor.
Did I do good?
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Old 04-04-11, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Roll-Monroe-Co View Post
Or, if you plotted the dye transfer to the rear of your pants over time using this method would you get ... an ASSymptote?





Did I do good?
[/ nerdhumor ]
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