Forum home Road cycling forum Workshop

Sharp rivets on Brooks Colt saddle

Manc33Manc33 Posts: 2,157
edited February 2015 in Workshop
My Brooks Colt has those large copper rivets on it. Two of these rivets have a sharp edge to them (sit bone area) even though the saddle is not sagging much and has probably only been used for 1000 to 2000 miles overall.

After this saddle being in storage for over 20 years and it never getting treated in all that time and drying out, I put olive oil on it months ago... but I think that might have stretched the leather slightly with it being so dry at first.

There seems to be quite a few things you can do...

1. Tighten the bolt near the nose about 0.25 turns.
2. Drill holes in the sides of the leather and tie the sides together underneath.
3. Soak it in warm water overnight, then dry out with newspaper stuffed in it to reshape.
4. Hammer the rivets in (tried that, didn't work).
5. File down the sharp edges of the two offending rivets. < I like this one

I have heard stories of people that have turned that tension nut all the way to the end and run out of bolt, then I have heard opposing stories like from Sheldon Brown saying never turn it, just about any turning of that nut will ruin the saddle. Again we have the internet to thank for this. :roll:

From what I have read tightening that nut will only alleviate a small amount of the sagging, but its not the sagging thats a problem, its the sharp rivets (albeit caused by a slight amount of sagging).

Personally I think just filing the rivets down will stop them sticking in me, but I don't know if anything above aside from that might be better? The fact is the leather is never going to be raised up to the level of the rivet like it is on a brand new saddle, tightening that nut would actually make it worse from what I can see and pull the leather away from the rivet, potentially exposing it even more.

I am just going to file the rivets and see, but I got a Brooks spanner on its way too.




  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    The potential of it happening may be quite high but is it high enough to not require a look at the cable tension?
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,388
    File the rivets, tighten the tension screw to stretch the leather a bit if it's sagged, use Brooks Proofide on top and bottom of saddle to treat the leather (not olive oil or water as they may cause the leather to lose stiffness and sag rather than conform to the shape of your sit bones). I wouldn't bother lacing.

    The rivets normally shouldn't cause you discomfort because you should be sitting slightly inboard of them. They attach the leather to the metal rear support or cantle plate which is rock solid and most uncomfortable to sit on.
  • Manc33Manc33 Posts: 2,157
    Thanks Matthewfail, that was really helpful.

    Thanks Mercia Man, I think I have just got a fat censored , despite being about 155lbs. :lol:

    I just filed the rivets down and its like new again - no discernible difference running my finger over it where the leather stops and the rivet begins. :mrgreen:

    People are scared to file the rivets and I was at first, but that is less likely to screw it up than any of the other stuff. The metal file actually doesn't scuff the leather too badly. I don't really care about that since I am sat on it, but I think after a while it will smooth over and go blacker again around the rivets anyway.

    There certainly is a knack to it, you have to sort of run the file lightly on the leather part and as you arch it round over the edge of the copper rivet, guess with each sweep where the rivet edge starts and suddenly file harder there, only ever filing one way - in towards the middle of the rivet. Eventually it ends up looking (and more importantly feeling) smooth. This was one of the more successful hack jobs. 8)

    Same rivet as in the 2nd pic in the first post:


Sign In or Register to comment.