Bicycle Saddle Transformed and Made of Old Leather Shoes

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About: Tovdesign is a multidisciplinary design studio based in Belgium, founded in 2002 by Tom De Vrieze, and provides Design Consultancy, 3D-Modeling and Printing, Prototype Building and Upcycling. Awarded with Be...

When restoring a bicycle, my goal was to spend less money as possible, so it became upcycling, recycling, pimping and transforming with materials available.

Current saddle didn't have a vintage city bike look.
Purchasing a Brooks saddle or similar would not help my to set up my goal, so here is the project, hope this will inspire.

Step 1: Disassemble, Shape & Tape

Disassemble old saddle and shoes.
In this case the saddle has a steel frame and plastic moulded shell.
I have cut the shell in the shape I wanted and have ground the frame following the shape of the shell,
also I have removed some of the steel suspension.

The plastic shell was cut in half to get a perfect design, following the adapted frame.
Tape the 2 halves together with duct tape.

Before sewing provide rivet holes on shell and frame (see last photo premounting rivets).

Step 2: Sewing Pattern

Position the leather parts of the shoes with needles and paper tape on the plastic shell.
Use the old pattern to get a similar curve at the back.
Start sewing plastic shell and leather together by hand, handle carefully !
When sewing use appropriate needle, wire and supporting plate to apply guided and safe pressure,

Step 3: Rivets & Finishing

Mount the saddle on the frame by placing rivets and flat washers, polish the leather and ... done !

Notice : Because it was made of shoe leather, the saddle is comfortable (also due to small suspensions in the steel frame) and feels soft enough, so the seams (and rivets) are not creating problems such as blisters or damaging pants.

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    6 Discussions

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    Waldemar Sha

    2 months ago

    I would say that the whole thing looks quite rough in terms of craftsmenship, but I can recognize some tallent and love put in this project, so I like it. Theres a "thing" in it.

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    yrralguthrie

    2 months ago

    Very good post on using leather. Not so good for making a bicycle seat. For riding any distance those seams, rivets and washers would be guaranteed to cause blisters on my rear end. :)

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    tomdevriezeyrralguthrie

    Reply 2 months ago

    Although it seems so on photo, it is comfortable (due to small suspensions in the steel frame) and the leather is soft enough, so the seams are not given friction enough that should cause blisters or damaging pants. You would have a point if this was made from saddle leather. Also in this case there are no problems with the rivets.

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    RayP24

    2 months ago

    Excellent re use of materials! Congratulations and thanks for sharing

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    seamster

    2 months ago

    Very clever idea - I've never seen something like this done before. Thanks!