The Recovering a Saddle How-To Thread.

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

The Recovering a Saddle How-To Thread.

Postby Dan » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:26 pm

After discussions with Velo13 earlier today, I've decided to document (well, retrospectively) the recovering of 2 Selle Italia Turbo saddles, belonging to vaeske and myself. Vaeske's was a worn out suede version, whilst mine came from the bike store for the princely sum of $10.

Caveat - there are a lot of people on here who know a lot more about working with leather than I do - I defer to them. This is merely a documentation of my process.

Tools needed:

Saddle.
With cover if possible. Mine was sans cover but as its also a turbo, I was able to use the cover from vaeske's as a blank for the new cover.

Cover material.
I picked up a kangaroo hide a few months ago from ebay - lightweight, flexible, tough, and the nap is quite fine, so it can be used as a nubuck/suede if desired. You can use almost anything though - canvas, old linen tea towels - perhaps not stretch material though.

Staple gun.
I'm using 6mm. No one likes a staple in the arse.

Glue.
Liquid nails does the trick, as does quik grip. Any glue which needs to tack-off before adhesion should work.

Clamps.
Bulldog clips, pegs, etc.

Miscellaney.
Sharpie Pen, ruler, plastic pressing implements and the like. Cutting mat if you value your work surface. SHARP blade - use a new one for each cover.

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Process:

1. Remove old cover from saddle.

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2. Trace new cover off old cover. Sharpie pen is good here, as it writes on anything. Sharpies would probably write on oil, in space, after being left out on the bonnet of the space shuttle for a day or two. They're awesome.

Image


3. Cut out new cover. Best to be a bit generous here on your first attempt - you'll get to know how close you can go in time. Don't cut your finger. I say this to students all the time, yet they still manage to do it.


4. Mark the centreline on the inside of the new cover. This is merely a demo ( I told you I was documenting this retrospectively ;) ), using the old cover to show how.

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5. Test fit new cover. Check that it reaches from the rear underside to the nose underside. If not, return to step 2, do not collect $200.


6. Pin the new cover to the saddle using the staple gun. Double tap straight to the forehead, um, rear underside. This is where the centreline is important - make sure its aligned with the centreline of the saddle body.

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7. Start to slowly work forward, stretching the leather over the saddle body. Newer saddles like flites are easier here, as there's fewer curves. The skirts on the turbo means a lot of stretching and pulling - this is where a supple leather like kangaroo is beneficial.


End of Part 1.
Last edited by Dan on Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by BNA » Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:01 pm

BNA
 

Re: The Recovering Saddle How-To Thread.

Postby Dan » Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:01 pm

Part 2.

8. Work the cover down over the saddle until its taut, then clamp in place with pegs/bulldog clips. plastic pegs are good here, as one can use the end to push the cover down between the saddle body and the mounting rail (in the case of these turbos). Work from the rear towards the front. Depending on the curvature of your saddle, it may be worthwhile pinning the cover to the underside of the nose too. I'm not doing that with the turbos, as the lateral stretch is more important at this stage - the longitudinal stretch is largely dealt with as one moves forward, clamping along the periphery of the saddle body.

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9. Repeat step 8 for consecutive days, until you're happy with the tautness of the saddle cover. If your hands don't hurt, you're not stretching hard enough.

Image


10. Gratuitous shot of leather grain.

Image


End of Part 2.
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Re: The Recovering a Saddle How-To Thread.

Postby vaeske » Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:38 am

nice job dude. the saddles are coming together nicely.
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Re: The Recovering a Saddle How-To Thread.

Postby munga » Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:44 pm

Like.
pitty43 wrote:Thanks all for your help. Better change my Gumtree add now.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/retroclassiccycling/
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Re: The Recovering a Saddle How-To Thread.

Postby find_bruce » Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:31 pm

Thanks for posting Dan, will be a useful reference for when I get to it
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Re: The Recovering a Saddle How-To Thread.

Postby Dan » Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:09 pm

Thanks guys. Don't know if it will be helpful or not - most of it is common sense but I guess it helps to have it there if needs be.
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Re: The Recovering a Saddle How-To Thread.

Postby find_bruce » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:01 pm

Dan wrote:Thanks guys. Don't know if it will be helpful or not - most of it is common sense but I guess it helps to have it there if needs be.

Yeah but common sense is not that common, especially not in my household. Now if you wanted to be really useful you would post the common ways to stuff it up- at least that way I can make an uncommon mistake :D
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