Recovering my 1st saddle


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alecburns

Finally riding a big boys bike
Apr 27, 2017
276
183
29
Northern Colorado
#1
I'm rounding up the finishing touches on my Sears collegiate, and I'm about to redo my first, double pan, saddle. After some research on here, I went to JoAnn's Fabrics and got 1/2" Airtex brand High-Density Foam. According to the website, the company claims the foam is good for outdoor applications. However, the foam isn't extremely firm like memory foam. It feels softer, and even though I understand 1/2" thickness is standard for seat recovering, I am curious if others have had success with 1". This bicycle is meant to be a good rider, so I wouldn't mind sacrificing authenticity with comfort. I just don't want the seat to look like s**t.

I already have one layer glued to the seat pan. I'm consider whether or not I can add another layer, and compress the foam by pulling the leather over the foam as tight as possible, making it shape the best to the seat pan and possibly shrink the overall thickness to somewhere around 3/4". Has anyone else used 1" foam? I so, can you post your seat?

Additionally, here is a photo of the pan as it sits. Does someone have a photo of how the foam is suppost to be shaped to the seat? Keep in mind I have already seen bunchobikes' tutorial. Thanks

IMG_1053[1].JPG


Please ignore the messy workbench :)
 
Likes: Sven and bike

Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
15,087
14,812
Evans, GA
#3
That foam looks like it is going to be way too soft. You may have to go with another layer. Hopefully the others here that have done seats will chime in and save you some trouble. V/r Shawn
 
Likes: alecburns

reginald

Finally riding a big boys bike
Feb 21, 2010
193
84
Leadville,CO
#4
I agree with freqman.....I've had good results using 1/2" closed cell neoprene. Good luck with the saddle.
 

bobcycles

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Sep 30, 2006
3,017
3,181
12
so cal beaches
#6
but seriously....hit up a Military surplus place...they sell rolls of high density foam that you put down under sleeping
bags to soften the sleep... Pretty reasonable and you can cut that into seat size pieces and glue it down
also sands / sculpts ok. I used to use that back in the day in a pinch!
 
Likes: Boris

mike j

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 3, 2013
2,896
5,241
Tuxedo Park, United States
#7
I've used a lot of different foams myself, including some old wetsuits, which actually worked pretty good. You might want to double up what you have, cut it as close as you can. Just do your best, have fun w/ it & I believe it will turn out fine.
 

alecburns

Finally riding a big boys bike
Apr 27, 2017
276
183
29
Northern Colorado
#8
I was toiling over whether to add a second layer of foam until I remembered that I had some thick felt. I added two layers of that in anticipation that the foam wuld shrink a little as well as give the leather a nice firm surface to adhere to. I also wanted to postpone the eventual tearing that would happen at the metal lip of the seat pan, so I added two layers of cloth tape (friction tape) to add some reinforcement.

IMG_1067[1].JPG


And tada! I'm pretty pleased with my first recovery. I got pretty thin leather from an Etsy shop (24 x 12" for $14)., and used 3m 90 Adhesive to upholster it to the saddle. The 90 is very industrial, heavy duty stuff, so I am glad I chose to do a little part of the edge each time. I sprayed the top, stretched it down, let it dry, then sprayed the edges, and pulled it as absolutely as tight as possible. It doesn't feel horrible either! Im not going to be taking it to any races anytime soon, but for a campus cruiser its not half bad!

IMG_1073[1].JPG
 

frank 71

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 31, 2011
2,295
558
Minneapolis, MN, USA
#10
I was toiling over whether to add a second layer of foam until I remembered that I had some thick felt. I added two layers of that in anticipation that the foam wuld shrink a little as well as give the leather a nice firm surface to adhere to. I also wanted to postpone the eventual tearing that would happen at the metal lip of the seat pan, so I added two layers of cloth tape (friction tape) to add some reinforcement.

View attachment 837792

And tada! I'm pretty pleased with my first recovery. I got pretty thin leather from an Etsy shop (24 x 12" for $14)., and used 3m 90 Adhesive to upholster it to the saddle. The 90 is very industrial, heavy duty stuff, so I am glad I chose to do a little part of the edge each time. I sprayed the top, stretched it down, let it dry, then sprayed the edges, and pulled it as absolutely as tight as possible. It doesn't feel horrible either! Im not going to be taking it to any races anytime soon, but for a campus cruiser its not half bad!

View attachment 837802
Looks good to ME!!
 
Likes: Boris

Sven

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 24, 2017
304
480
54
Mechanicsville, MD, United States
#12
I'm rounding up the finishing touches on my Sears collegiate, and I'm about to redo my first, double pan, saddle. After some research on here, I went to JoAnn's Fabrics and got 1/2" Airtex brand High-Density Foam. According to the website, the company claims the foam is good for outdoor applications. However, the foam isn't extremely firm like memory foam. It feels softer, and even though I understand 1/2" thickness is standard for seat recovering, I am curious if others have had success with 1". This bicycle is meant to be a good rider, so I wouldn't mind sacrificing authenticity with comfort. I just don't want the seat to look like s**t.

I already have one layer glued to the seat pan. I'm consider whether or not I can add another layer, and compress the foam by pulling the leather over the foam as tight as possible, making it shape the best to the seat pan and possibly shrink the overall thickness to somewhere around 3/4". Has anyone else used 1" foam? I so, can you post your seat?

Additionally, here is a photo of the pan as it sits. Does someone have a photo of how the foam is suppost to be shaped to the seat? Keep in mind I have already seen bunchobikes' tutorial. Thanks

View attachment 836401

Please ignore the messy workbench :)
A messy workbench is a sign of a genius
Great recovery job
 

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