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I love the classic look of the Selle San Marco Rolls saddle. I bought a second-hand one for $15 off Gumtree for my Repco Olympic 12 build and decided to restore the saddle to it's former glory. Here's a photo heavy documentation of the restoration process for those who are interested.
This is the condition it was in when I bought it. I kind of liked the worn-in look, however, I want my saddle, grip-tape and toe straps in matching leather so I made up my mind to reupholster it.
First step was to take off the side and back plates. A little bit drilling and prying with the pliers got the rivets off.
Pulled the original leather off trying not to screw up the foam. It came off fairly well and the foam underneath was in good condition.
Went to the LLS (local leather shop ) to get some leather and rivets. Settled on a light brown pig skin - it's very supple and I think my ass will like it. I cut out a section the size of the saddle, allowing for some excess.
Applied some adhesive to both the saddle and the leather, let it dry for about a minute then starting from the top, glued the leather on, working my around the sides and nose. The nose was tricky because there was so much excess leather there it took a bit of work to not get it all bunched up.
Then it was just a matter of trimming the excess leather and gluing it down around the inside. Got the metal polish out and polished up the metal plates. Unfortunately it lost its gold colouring (which I knew would happen) but it polished up fairly well. There was some pitting on the back plate, but as I always say, it adds to its character and its story Repainted the red San Marco Rolls lettering with some hobby paint. Below is the final product.
I am very pleased with the outcome and am really keen to try to do a few more saddles but with some patterns or perforations etc.
WOW, you are kidding me. did you really make that. You have talent
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That's an excellent job! Do you know if it's possible when recovering a saddle like this, to add more foam? I have a San Marco Daytona which is a good shape but very light on padding (i wouldn't touch that one though as it's in near new condition, but interested for some of the cheapy Viscount ones i have lying around).
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Top work. I've basically failed at trying to recover a couple of saddles, but I think its through inappropriate selection of leather/covering material. How thin was that stuff?
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Thanks for the comments!
Yeah, I just glued it around the edge. I had about 1.5cm excess around the inside.
This is the first time I have recovered a saddle but from what I have read in my research is that sometimes the foam is shot to hell and needs replacing. So I guess that you should be able to add more foam.
I think it was slightly thinner than 1mm. Hopefully it's tough enough to withstand some constant wear.
That is very cool. I only ride Rolls.
I have several that need replacement or your fab treatment.
Well done on the recovering. Looks very nice.
Technical question. How did you cut the background out of the after pictures?
cycles gitane (tech. novice)
There is NO room in the shed for the next bike! New shed rqd.
I take the photos with a white background (usually a white bed sheet or something similar) and then I just use photoshop to edit it out. I use the magic select tool to select the areas I want then colour them white. Easy stuff
Interesting thread. I have a Rolls saddle on my 1994 Cecil Walker roadie that is still going strong. Not sure if it needs the full overhaul just yet, although I did apply some leather conditioner to it the other day.
How long did you 'last' the leather over the foam for (i.e. hold the stretched leather in position?). I know that shoes are 'lasted' for usually a few weeks to ensure they maintain their shape.
The adhesive was rather strong so I didn't need to last it more than a minute or so until it stayed in place.
Just wanted to follow up how your saddle is going. I have a rolls here in need of recovering and was wondering whether there were any extra hints. Has the non-lasting of the leather mentioned in a previous post had any effect?
It looks like a great job to by the way.
LG = Low Gear
if it is chrome tanned leather (ie soft and pliable) I would have thought lasting would have no enduring effect. If the leather was vegetable tanned (stiff as a board) then soaked in water and lasted, it will have shape retained.
I have only played with Brooks type saddles requiring vegetable tanned leather to retain the shape.
more examples of recovering a non Brooks saddle
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