Finished my latest Project- Reupholstering a 150 year old bicycle Seat- Hand done & Extra Cushy!

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The Carolina Rambler

Finally riding a big boys bike
Hello everybody, hope you're doing well ! Its been a while since I made a post, and I'm exited to show yall my latest project I finished. A while back I bought a wrought iron bicycle here on the CABE, built circa 1870. I have been aiming to get it totally complete and perfect working condition so I can ride it up to town a couple of miles away for the show at our Farmers Day in a few weeks. The part I most wanted to show yall is the seat I finished reupholstering, its the fourth seat I have ever restored. It is the original 150 year old seat, and when I got the bike it was just the bare pan. It was also missing some hardware underneath that holds the seat nose in place, so I have since fabricated a replacement. I'm just an armature at this kind of stuff, but its good and sturdy now. The seat took me at least 15 hours to complete, maybe more. It is all hand stitched, genuine dark red Goat-skin leather, with genuine old horsehair and cotton padding. Underneath one of the seat springs, is an embossed stamping that reads "Sanderson Brothers". This indicates that this bicycle was likely built by the "Sanderson Brothers Vulcan Works" of Sheffield, England, or was at the very least built using their steel, and then exported here to America for sale back in the day I reckon. That company also built various tools, anvils, and farm equipment at the time, and had some dealing here in the United States as well. They went out of business or were absorbed in the early 1900s. This bicycle was exhibited in a museum in Stone Mountain, Georgia from about 1963 to 2009. Finally, I also made a new set of solid oak Pedals, and oiled everything up real good, and now she's ready to go! I have ridden the bike about a half mile total so far, and it can be safely ridden at nearly 10 miles per hour. Thanks for reading, and have a happy Independence Day! I appreciate any comments you might have, and if you have any additional information you could share. Thanks!

Here's some pictures showing what I done:

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First I started with the bare pan and glued the base leather underneath

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Next I made a Kushion out of Horsehair from an old automobile seat

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Layed down some cotton batting and fabric over top of that to smooth it out

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Stretched, Stitched, and Riveted the leather all together, and you've got yourself one comfortable seat! The rivets are punkin rivets, and were driven through the 6 original rivet holes in the pan.

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ricobike

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Nice work and a very cool cycle! Looks like you're going to need every hair of that padding on your ride. I guess they don't call them boneshakers for nothing! 😀
 

Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
That used to be one of my favorite parts about going to Stone Mountain. I didn't even collect bicycles at the time but always marveled at all the different bicycles. Good to see it back on the road! V/r Shawn
 

The Carolina Rambler

Finally riding a big boys bike
Nice work and a very cool cycle! Looks like you're going to need every hair of that padding on your ride. I guess they don't call them boneshakers for nothing! 😀
I know that's right! I will note that I rode the bike a few times before, and after redoing the seat, and either way it was a rocky ride, but not bad. The new padding did however improve the comfort at least a little. Thanks!
 

The Carolina Rambler

Finally riding a big boys bike
That used to be one of my favorite parts about going to Stone Mountain. I didn't even collect bicycles at the time but always marveled at all the different bicycles. Good to see it back on the road! V/r Shawn
Yep, that museum had some other really interesting bikes I came to find out. I was in that general area of Georgia back around '09 when they closed, but we never made it there. Judging from photos I have uncovered online, it looks like it was awesome!
 

Andrew Gorman

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Velocipedes are a lot of fun! When they are good, they are very very good and you can see how they lit the spark to keep improving them. But other times they are just not willing to move at all. Hills are a problem- both going up and coming down with no brakes a a whirling disc of dismemberment at the pedals. I thought I had broken something when the steel tires on mine slipped while cranking up a hill. Put some miles on yours- they are surprisingly ride-able within their limits. I wish I had a canal towpath near me! Flat and a packed earth surface.
 

The Carolina Rambler

Finally riding a big boys bike
Velocipedes are a lot of fun! When they are good, they are very very good and you can see how they lit the spark to keep improving them. But other times they are just not willing to move at all. Hills are a problem- both going up and coming down with no brakes a a whirling disc of dismemberment at the pedals. I thought I had broken something when the steel tires on mine slipped while cranking up a hill. Put some miles on yours- they are surprisingly ride-able within their limits. I wish I had a canal towpath near me! Flat and a packed earth surface.
Yep, it sure is a fun bike to ride. As I mentioned in the post above, I did ultimately go and ride it a couple miles up to town, for the cruise in. That was about a 4 mile round trip, and it wore me out. 95 degrees out, and of course I had to wear my old time clothes while riding it, because to do otherwise would likely anger the spirits. But I made it there, and it was a good addition to the show, and lots of people got to see it running in action, which was nice, rather than it just being here at my home, with me being the only one seeing it. Since all of the roads leading up to town are paved with asphalt, and the tyres on this bike are non replaceable, to prevent any wear, I coated the contact surface with tar, and it lasted to and from home, which was good. It was suprisingly good performance for that shorter length ride, even with some fair sized hills. Thank you for reading!
 
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