Saddle maintenance Part 1: Tie me up!

It's been nearly 2 years since I got my Superbe and then added a Brooks B73 saddle.  It's been a pretty comfy saddle, I liken it to a couch on a seat post, it just soaks up all the bumps with only a slight creak of the springs and a bounce.  However, every few months I'll have to tighten the saddle a bit as the leather was starting to touch the supporting rails underneath.  I decided that I'd have to reshape the saddle.  I've done it once before with a very old Brooks B17 on my old Raleigh Carlton back in Sydney.

 I decided to lace up the saddle, but firstly I would need to punch some holes along the skirt of the leather.  I started by backing off and removing the tensioning bolt, then I marked out holes approximately 10mm apart just below the logo.

No turning back now!   The holes I made were approximately 4mm or so in diameter.  I decided to make a lot more holes than I did with the B17N I did before on the Carlton as the leather on this saddle is a lot thinner and I didn't want to risk it ripping through.

All done!  Now all I have to do is lace it back.  Using an old shoelace I pulled the edges of the skirt back together.   This gives the saddle a lot more firmness and brings it back up, weight on the saddle tends to make the skirts squish out, which is why lacing them back together works.

All done with the lacing, now for the soaking....

I left it to soak in hot water for a few hours, until it was nice and wet all the way through.  The leather takes on a different appearance, and it starts to change shape from the heat and moisture.

After a good bit of soaking I tied it up so the skirts pulled back together and also stuffed some paper underneath the dimples to flatten it out.

Then I left it to dry for a week or so, it was actually dry after about a day but I was away cycling the the Alps.  Once I got back I put the tensioning bolt back on and started riding it.  I slowly tightened it back up and rode it, so far so good.  I have no idea how old this saddle is, could be from the 60's for all I know - hopefully this will mean it'll be around for a little bit longer.  Thanks for reading!


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