As I was riding one day, I noticed the saddle felt a little odd... one side was slightly loose. As soon as I got home I had a look and it appeared that one of the studs on the saddle's frame had completely snapped off. I was slightly disappointed as I had only replaced the lower bolts recently which I wrote about in Saddle maintenance part 2. However this break was a lot harder to fix as it would mean removing and replacing the rivets holding in the rear backplate which would need to be swapped for a new one.
The problem is that the saddle I have, the B66 Champion is no longer made. However I was lucky that the current Brooks Flyer is more or less exactly the same and the backplates are interchangeable. So I went ahead and ordered a new backplate as well as a complete set of copper rivets, I decided to go with copper as this would make it a bit more unique. Brooks does offer the Flyer Special which has copper rivets and shaved sides, however the RRP on this is €115 which is a lot more. So the saddle was disassembled, at this point the only original parts were the top, the frame and springs. It was almost like a new saddle at this point.
The tops of the original steel rivets were drilled out one by one, they came out quite easily.
The saddle top was still in nice condition, I used this opportunity to get some Proofide in the parts that would normally be inaccessible.
I had to drill out the holes in the leather slightly to 5mm to fit the slightly larger copper rivets.
With the rivets in I set each one, slightly laborious, if I had a proper anvil it would have been a lot easier. Also a proper setting tool would have left a nicer finish on the rivets.
All done! After lots of hammering it was ready to go back together.
The tops of the rivets were also hammered in to make them flush with the saddle top to stop them catching on your trousers. I have taken it for a test ride and it feels just like before; nice and comfy, except now it's a lot better looking and more unique. It's almost like a new one except the top has a lot more patina, also the springs are the thinner older type that actually work. Thanks for reading.