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Sunday read: Brooks Leather Saddle Maintenance & Care

Leather saddles have a ton of advantages over synthetic materials – they form to your anatomy, they get more comfortable with time, and if maintained well, they last forever and only look better as time passes. At the same time, if not looked after at all they might start cracking and loose their colour and character. Looking around Copenhagen shows you both ends of this line, the beauties and the beasts. No-one does leather better than Brooks, so we will share 4 easy ways of making your saddlle last a lifetime.

  1. Give it some grease – Even if you keep your bike indoors, never ride in the rain and only wear velvet pants, leather will have its natural wear. The saddle on the picture is a year old B17 that I’ve ridden in all sorts of weather almost daily. As you see, it is starting to look like someone rubbed sandpaper over the edges, this is to be expected. Easy medication against it is to take a piece of (clean) cloth and some leather fat. Brooks tells you to only use their saddle polish, but anything will do as long as it is natural and doesn’t have chemicals in it. Personally I would suggest bee’s wax, you can use it for saddle, grips, shoes, handbags etc.
    Leather fat for Brooks Saddle
    Natural leather fat
    Aged Worn Brooks Saddle
    A year old Brooks Saddle with signs of wear.

    Brooks B17 saddle care
    Same saddle after a layer of natural leather fat. Rubb it on, let it sit and rubb excess fat off with a clean piece of cloth.
  2. Cover from rain – Leather is not a huge fan of water. Just have a plastic bag in your backbag or under the seat for when it rains, pull it over the seat and keep your saddle in order and your rear end dry.
  3. Keep your bike indoors – This one is not a must, but a rule of thumb is that your bike will last longer the less sun and rain it seems. If you don’t want to keep it indoors then cover the seat with a plastic bag during the night so it won’t soak in the rain.
    The Bike Hanger by KP Cykler Odense
  4. Tighten your seat every once in a while – In most cases, it will be needed only once a year, but still, it is a good idea to do it. All Brooks saddles come with a special key to tighten them as leather stretches. If you’re not sure when to do it then jump into the closest bike shop and they should give you a good idea and probably do it for you. NB! Don’t tighten a wet saddle!

    Tightening Brooks B17 saddle
    Use Brooks saddle key to tighten stretched saddle. Quarter of a turn at a time, tighten until you reach desired tension.

And that’s as easy as it is. It is probably less than an hour of work a year that will keep your Brooks leather saddle looking good for ages, and who knows, maybe one day you’ll sell it on eBay for a nice dime.


*We’re happy to do the above steps for you for free in our Copenhagen shop 😉