Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => Topic started by: Sergeant Pluck on February 06, 2020, 01:06:23 pm

Title: Leather saddle mould
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on February 06, 2020, 01:06:23 pm
One of my Gilles Berthoud saddles has grown a thick fur coat in the garage. I noticed this for the first time a couple of months or so, and restored the saddle to its former glory. But a mere few weeks later, the mould is back. Apparently leather saddle food is also excellent mould food.

- will the mould die off if I move the saddle to somewhere drier and warmer?
- will the mould transfer to other things and places via the medium of my shorts?


Title: Re: Leather saddle mould
Post by: Brucey on February 06, 2020, 02:38:04 pm
yes and yes.

Mould does not like dryness or  bright light.  Leaving the saddles in the sun (even behind glass where the UV content is weakened) will help to cure the mould problem, but then the leather will harden too; it is a fine balance to strike.

At one time my airing cupboard was full of leather saddles; it was the only place in the house that was dry enough to help stop the mould from growing....

cheers
Title: Re: Leather saddle mould
Post by: alexb on February 09, 2020, 07:32:00 pm
Mine gets a bit mouldy in winter, but a good treatment of provide once I start riding and all is good. Seems not to be a problem until winter when it gets really cold.
Title: Re: Leather saddle mould
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on December 19, 2020, 07:28:05 pm
Well at the end of the summer, my plan was to bring these 2 Gilles Berthoud saddles inside, but I was not fast enough, and both developed a thin layer of mould on top, and one had an impressive growth underneath.

I washed them off and they have been dry for weeks now.

I am thinking of using this on them, rather than animal-product based Proofride or similar:
https://www.nikwax.com/en-gb/products/leather-restorer/

But one of these saddles and the bike it is attached to will need to go back out to the garage at some point. Is there anything I can do? Would covering with a cloth or a plastic bag make things better or worse?

I suspect the saddle that has been ridden (presumably infested with mould deep within the leather) has sagged a bit more than it would have sans mould.

The longer term answer is probably a replacement top but not while I am using that damp garage.
Title: Re: Leather saddle mould
Post by: Blodwyn Pig on December 19, 2020, 07:30:44 pm
mine's always got my bum on it, so no chance of mould. N-1 perchance?
Title: Re: Leather saddle mould
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on December 19, 2020, 07:31:53 pm
I think that covering with a bag, whether cloth or plastic, would make the mould worse. Mould grows best where there is minimal air flow.
Title: Re: Leather saddle mould
Post by: Ian H on December 19, 2020, 08:58:01 pm
I have had success in the past with a disinfectant clean then tightly wrapped in plastic (presumably prevents more spores landing).
Title: Re: Leather saddle mould
Post by: Blodwyn Pig on December 20, 2020, 04:02:51 pm
What about wrapping loosely in a large clear bag, with some of that silica gel, (cheap damp absorption stuff) in a little tray, balanced on the seat. You'll be able to see what is going on.
Title: Re: Leather saddle mould
Post by: Basil on December 20, 2020, 05:34:10 pm
I've had trouble with mould recently.  Due to damp and not riding as much as I used to. 
I used a mould spray (probably designed for bathroom). Left it a couple of hours, cleaned it off and proofided liberally.
I only have 3 bikes left but I think I still need to n-1. They're just not getting used enough.
Title: Re: Leather saddle mould
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on December 22, 2020, 01:54:09 pm
What about wrapping loosely in a large clear bag, with some of that silica gel, (cheap damp absorption stuff) in a little tray, balanced on the seat. You'll be able to see what is going on.

Might be worth a try, thanks. As Basil says, the main problem is that these two saddles aren't being used enough.
Title: Re: Leather saddle mould
Post by: Paul on December 22, 2020, 02:20:26 pm
Is this (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=94500.msg1951872#msg1951872) the sort of thing?
Title: Re: Leather saddle mould
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on December 22, 2020, 03:11:17 pm
Is this (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=94500.msg1951872#msg1951872) the sort of thing?

Saw that  ;D

No, on the tops mine is more of a thin easily wiped off film. Yours is much more gruesome. How is it doing now, 5 years on?

I've washed them both (quickly) with dilute bleach, given them both a long shower, and they have been in a dry flat (humidity around 60%) for a few weeks. Soon I'll use the Nikwax leather restorer on them and see how it goes.
Title: Re: Leather saddle mould
Post by: Paul on December 22, 2020, 10:20:15 pm
Is this (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=94500.msg1951872#msg1951872) the sort of thing?

Saw that  ;D

No, on the tops mine is more of a thin easily wiped off film. Yours is much more gruesome. How is it doing now, 5 years on?
It’s a spore point.

It’s still mould-prone. If I turn my back on it for too long, it goes again. But it doesn’t seem to suffer despite the process. What I’ve never understood is why just that one saddle of the handful all in the same conditions?
Title: Re: Leather saddle mould
Post by: hellymedic on December 23, 2020, 12:22:47 am
I painted the leather saddle on my Pedersen with a solution of copper sulphate from my brother's chemistry set, when it got furry.

I don't know what happened after I passed the bike to Tim Hall otp.
Title: Re: Leather saddle mould
Post by: fd3 on December 23, 2020, 12:04:10 pm
I took al the saddles off the bikes in the shed and have moved them to the cupboard under the stairs.  This (along with taking their pedals off) also makes it harder on potential thieves.
Title: Re: Leather saddle mould
Post by: De Sisti on December 23, 2020, 01:02:48 pm
Quote
Is this (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=94500.msg1951872#msg1951872) the sort of thing?

That's what I get on my saddles (during autumn/winter) when I leave them in the shed.
Will now remove them and keep them indoors in a warm cupboard
Title: Re: Leather saddle mould
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on December 23, 2020, 01:21:38 pm
Are the saddle-removers leaving the seat post in or removing the whole lot?
Title: Re: Leather saddle mould
Post by: Tim Hall on December 23, 2020, 01:32:01 pm
While not of the saddle removing persuasion (my Brooks equipped Bob Jackson sleeps with me lives in the flat), I'd remove with post, giving you an annual (or better) excuse to make sure the seat post hasn't got stuck in position.
Title: Re: Leather saddle mould
Post by: hellymedic on December 23, 2020, 03:34:24 pm
Um Tim, did you get recurrent mould on the Pedersen? Removing that saddle would have been non-trivial...
Title: Re: Leather saddle mould
Post by: De Sisti on December 23, 2020, 04:07:34 pm
Are the saddle-removers leaving the seat post in or removing the whole lot?
Easier to take the seat post out as well.
Title: Re: Leather saddle mould
Post by: fd3 on December 24, 2020, 04:42:23 pm
I seatpost on.  While it’s easier to take the seatpost off I reckon less humidity gets into the frame this way and it’s easier to store saddles without seatpost.
Title: Re: Leather saddle mould
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on December 24, 2020, 08:46:29 pm
I had taken the post out of the Bob Jackson - took quite a pull, so Tim’s point is a good one - but I was wondering about repeated removals. But for a bike that is rarely ridden over winter, that’s unlikely to be a problem.

I’ve applied the NikWax leather restorer after a through drying. It goes on ok although it takes a while to wet the surface. Cleans up nicely and doesn’t give the impression of the saddle being softened as such, which I don’t want. And unlike Proofride, doesn’t give me the uneasy feeling that I am feeding the mould.