New Project – Recovering a tatty SDG Bel-Air

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  • New Project – Recovering a tatty SDG Bel-Air
  • robdob
    Member

    After restoring a few old bikes (see Retrobike) I have realised just because something looks a bit knackered it doesn’t mean you have to buy new again. And making something new again through your own efforts is extremely satisfying.

    I’ve been wanting to re-cover a saddle for a while after seeing some threads on Retrobike where people have done a good job on Flite Ti seats.
    However I’ve never managed to find anywhere to buy the leather. Plenty online but I wanted to see it before I bought it. I was on holiday in Wales and found a fabric shop that had LOADS of off-cuts so I grabbed 3 different ones to use.

    (The pink one is actually red in real life).

    I was going to try and find an old Flite to re-cover but the SDG saddle I have on my modern bike was looking very tatty. The new Bel-Air is chunkier than this version and I don’t like the look of it so why not try to revive this one?


    So take off the plastic trim pieces.

    Next pull out the staples and peel the cover off.

    Et Voila!

    Next job is to clean everything up. The foam is missing a couple of bits which came away with the cover but I think I can stick them back on.

    Going to read up other peoples advice on various threads I’ve seen before I start gluing things.

    Premier Icon Andy
    Subscriber

    tick! ๐Ÿ˜€

    creamegg
    Member

    My bel-air is starting to look tatty, might do the same… Look forward to see how yours turn out

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Ohh, looks like it’ll be a proper job. Looking forward to the finished article. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Premier Icon tmb467
    Subscriber

    Me too…another proud owner of a tatty bel-air

    robdob
    Member

    I will have a lot of spare leather left over!

    Didn’t know how much I needed and didn’t have the saddle with me and it seems I have enough to do 8 saddles. :facepalm:

    Karl33to
    Member

    Another interested observer with a tatty bel-air here.
    Are you going to use one piece to cover it or try and use three for a more ‘fitted’ look.

    Premier Icon tthew
    Subscriber

    Interested in why you decided to remove the original cover?

    Would it not have been easier to recover over the old one, and then there’s less risk of damaging the foam?

    Premier Icon Brother_Will
    Subscriber

    Interesting, id love to see those re covered flites (owner of a slightly shonkey flite)

    DT78
    Member

    Good stuff! Anyone recovered a fizik road saddle?

    robdob
    Member

    Filled in some of the holes with hot glue. Made a crappy job to start with so had to keep redoing it to get it right. Keep testing the leather on top to make sure repairs don’t show.

    Halfway through….

    Rear section had a bit come off.

    Easily repaired.

    Rough edges will be sanded smooth.

    robdob
    Member

    Interested in why you decided to remove the original cover?
    Would it not have been easier to recover over the old one, and then there’s less risk of damaging the foam?

    It’s ok to do that if the original cover is smooth and in one piece but on multi piece and embroidered covers all the ridges will show through the new leather making it look lumpy and ugly. Might be tricky fixing the new leather down on top of the original cover anyway.

    Wasn’t hard removing old cover anyway and I want to do a proper job!

    robdob
    Member

    Another interested observer with a tatty bel-air here.
    Are you going to use one piece to cover it or try and use three for a more ‘fitted’ look.

    I would love it in several pieces but I am afraid stitching leather together is waaaaay beyond my abilities!

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    Got to be done…

    ๐Ÿ˜€

    robdob
    Member

    It’d be nice but maybe not comfortable!

    robdob
    Member

    BTW this is the next step in customising my perfect bike – 2009 Pitch Pro.

    Now had Reverb on it and 2×10 drivetrain. Just added a Hope gold BB and brown grips. Keep adding gold ano to it which looks fab against the brown frame!

    robdob
    Member

    So the final stage starts.

    Apply the glue.

    Spread it around.

    Top stuck on reasonably well and even.

    Start to apply glue to the leather which tucks underneath and to the saddle shell.

    I am now quite high by this point from the glue fumes and really enjoying myself! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Stick the bits underneath and hold with bulldog clips.

    All done!!! Well pleased with it as my first try. Could probably get it perfect next time.

    This side not quite so good but still pleased with it.

    Top looks good – slightly lumpy bits are where I repaired the foam but they look worse in photos than in real life.

    Underneath looks good. One slight bit where I trimmed leather a bit short but you can’t see it from the top and it shouldn’t be a problem.

    Thanks all!

    Premier Icon nuke
    Subscriber

    Good work…looks nice

    Premier Icon Andy
    Subscriber

    Qualitage ๐Ÿ˜€

    deluded
    Member

    Excellent thread – let us know how long it lasts. Good recycling in a throw away age.

    Very good effort. Could you have got rid of the lumpy bits from the repaired foam or are they inevitable?

    robdob
    Member

    Thanks very much.

    The covering is miles better quality than the original and quite thick so as long as it doesn’t come unglued it should last for many years.

    I’ll bob some dubbin on it or similar to make it supple. I may also steam it a but to tighten the leather up.

    Looking for more tatty saddles to recover now I have the bug!

    robdob
    Member

    The lumpy bits were from the hot glue gun I used to fill in the holes in the foam. I kinda made it a bit worse than it should have been but I was experimenting and it was my first time. There would probably be a better method but I just used what I had at home to hand.

    Looks worse in the pics than in real life and you won’t be able to feel it in use.

    robdob
    Member

    If I had a little staple gun I would bob some staples in like the original construction but impact adhesive is so strong they aren’t really needed. I’m a bit of a belt and braces guy so I might try to find a way to staple into the saddle.

    messiah
    Member

    Well done, I love doing things like this 8)

    I used to have a lovely dark green Flite, and very soon I will be doing a 135g SLR that is looking a bit tatty; but what colour? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    weare138
    Member

    Excellent work!

    Premier Icon hot_fiat
    Subscriber

    That’s beautiful. Great job you’ve done there.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Most excellent.

    saxabar
    Member

    Brilliant ๐Ÿ˜€

    Dibbs
    Member

    I visited this place on Saturday http://www.dacoma.ro/

    Orange crocodile skin anyone?

    Oops, can’t work out how to turn the image around ๐Ÿ˜ณ

    Premier Icon mmannerr
    Subscriber

    Get ostrich leather for really eye-catching looks. Seen one old Flite done with it, the bumps in the leather make it really strange looking.

    robdob
    Member

    Thanks very much all. ๐Ÿ™‚

Viewing 35 posts - 1 through 35 (of 35 total)

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