Brooks Cabmium C17 repainting.
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  1. #1
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    Brooks Cabmium C17 repainting.

    I had my Brooks Cabmium C17 Carved for weeks now. This is one great saddle compared to my 6 previous saddles. I have the NATURAL colored saddle and I am riding a green bike. I am planning to match the saddle color to my bike and now planning to change the color using the Simply Spray Upholstery Fabric Paint. Unfortunately last 2 weeks ago I applied the Kiwi Camp Dry, Heavy Duty Water Repellent on my saddle. I applied at least 3 coats of it. I have been trying to search the net on how to remove the water repellent applied to a fabric so that my fabric paint would be able to penetrate the fabric?

  2. #2
    Cranky Old Bastard
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    I think you're probably screwed.

    I'd contact Kiwi.
    "When you know absolutely nothing, anyone who knows 1% more than nothing sounds like an expert."

  3. #3
    wim
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    With only a thin layer of lycra between the rider's nether region and that "Cabmium," I would trash that saddle and start over. Kiwi Camp Dry is Xylene, Stoddard Solvent (or Heavy Naphta) and 1,2,4-Trimethyl Benzene. The Material Safety Data Sheet contains the following warning:

    Repeated or prolonged exposure may irritate skin. Repeated contact may lead to drying of skin. Excessive, repeated exposure to vapors may cause liver, kidney, or nervous system effects. Signs of excessive exposure to vapors, which may be respiratory irritation, dizziness, nausea, or headaches, indicate ventilation is inadequate and air exchange must be increased. WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer.

    But perhaps someone knowledgeable about chemistry will chime in here (Kerry?) and tell you how to pull those ingredients listed above back out of this seat.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by wim View Post
    With only a thin layer of lycra between the rider's nether region and that "Cabmium," I would trash that saddle and start over. Kiwi Camp Dry is Xylene, Stoddard Solvent (or Heavy Naphta) and 1,2,4-Trimethyl Benzene. ...
    Those will be solvents and vehicle for whatever the residual water repellent actually is. They account for 86-95 % by weight of the formulation. The remainder will be whatever the actual repellent that remains on the leather will be. The old school repellent would be a paraffin (think wax). Not sure what's in the Kiwi product.

    The Kiwi product shouldn't be an issue for long-term contact - the solvents evaporate, leaving behind the residual. It's made to be a consumer applied product for worn leather good, like boots and shoes.

    As far as coloring your saddle, I'd forget this one. Anything you could do that would have the potential to actually remove the actual remaining active repellent from the lather sufficient for painting will probably be very damaging to the leather. Second, I don't believe those coatings actually penetrate. They are coatings meant to bond to the surface of fabric fibers. I doubt they work well on leather other than as a surface coating. My suspicion is they will be short lived and not very durable against the rubbing and friction that will occur in use.

    If you want to change the color you probably need to have the leather dyed. But, since a Brooks saddle is made with lather that has been significantly treated and processed, I have no idea how suitable that is, and I wouldn't try it as a DIY project unless I was willing to throw the saddle away. If you want to pursue this I would recommend first asking Brooks about how to change the color of a natural saddle. They better than anyone else will know.
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  5. #5
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibericb View Post
    ...will probably be very damaging to the leather.
    As far as I know, this is a $150 rubber saddle that contains no leather. There's a fabric covering bonded to the rubber; that covering has been waterproofed by Brooks. The idea is to be able to wipe water off that fabric rather than have it soak into it.

    Good point about the nasties having evaporated. But still, I would rather not have those residuals near my, well, whatever. Then again, who knows what Brooks used to waterproof the fabric covering.

  6. #6
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    Well that just shows what I know about Brooks saddles (not much). I assumed leather.

    The solvents really aren't an issue. They're long gone before you sit on it.
    "When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments."
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  7. #7
    wim
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    I took an interest in the Cambium when I read disbelievingly that Brooks had developed a rubber saddle to address the water-damage concerns of leather saddle users, then covered said rubber saddle with a fabric that needed factory-waterproofing so you wouldn't get a wet azz after that seat had been rained on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wim View Post
    I took an interest in the Cambium when I read disbelievingly that Brooks had developed a rubber saddle to address the water-damage concerns of leather saddle users, then covered said rubber saddle with a fabric that needed factory-waterproofing so you wouldn't get a wet azz after that seat had been rained on.
    I've been riding a cambium for about 500 miles now and really like it. I know that ain't a bunch of miles but it doesn't show any wear and it's comfortable. I got it for a new bike that I've been putting parts together for and decided to try the saddle out beforehand. I've been riding Selle San Marco Concor saddles for years, and will probably have t rethink that.
    Too old to ride plastic

  9. #9
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    I've been riding a cambium for about 500 miles now and really like it.
    Cool. Have you had it get rained on yet and if yes, did the water bead up instead of soaking into the fabric?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wim View Post
    Cool. Have you had it get rained on yet and if yes, did the water bead up instead of soaking into the fabric?
    Yes, I've ridden it in the rain and no, it hasn't soaked into the fabric. The fabric is actually more a texture than a fabric. While the underside of the saddle is obviously rubber, the saddle surface itself has the look of fabric and the feel of "rubberized" canvass while, seemingly, completely waterproof.
    It's kinda like comparing embossed checkering on a factory rifle to hand cut checkering.
    Too old to ride plastic

  11. #11
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    Yes, I've ridden it in the rain and no, it hasn't soaked into the fabric.
    Thanks, appreciate that info.

  12. #12
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    After a morning interrupt I went and looked at the Brooks Cambium on the Brooks website. With that newfound knowledge, instead the errant assumption of leather, I need to rethink my original answer a bit.

    With enough time the solvents in the Kiwi waterproofing will evaporate. But there's a reasonable probability it will take a tad longer than if it were leather. The base material is vulcanized rubber, and those kinds of hydrocarbon solvents can be absorbed into the rubber, and cause some swelling which should be largely reversible. Still, it shouldn't pose an exposure health concern.

    The remainder of the saddle is described as " organic cotton enhanced by a thin layer of structural textile for added resilience and legendary Brooks longevity. The uniquely flexible, maintenance-free, waterproof top is designed to follow the rider's movements for immediate comfort and ease of use.".

    So it was waterproofed during production, and again the OP added his own waterproofing. I have no idea what either might be, paraffinic or silicones are two of the more common waterproofing agents, but I doubt either can be removed short of significant solvent stripping, which stands a good chance of swelling and possibly damaging the underlying rubber. It would be, at best, an experiment, and then the question of coating durability on a bicycle saddle from abrasion and UV exposure would remain. Coating may also preclude future waterproofing of the cotton/textile covering.
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    Wiped saddle thoroughly with a cloth that has a mixture of dishawashing detergent. Then several wipes of cloth with vinegar. Drying it first before doing the next application. Was done overnight. Last stage of the treatment was the detergent and water mixture then rinsed with water. Dried the saddle overnight. Painted it this morning. Covered the rivets with circular velcro which was of the same size as the rivets. Painters tape to cover the sides and underside of the saddle. Total of just three coats. Dried with a hair blower in between coats. Blower at it's lowest setting. I will be intermittently blow drying this a low setting for at least a day or two. I will take out the black velcro and painters tape after two days.

    Here goes.


  14. #14
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    Looks cool. Let us know how this works out. You may actually be on to something.
    "When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments."
    -Elizabeth Howard West

    Never use your face as a brake pad.
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  15. #15
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    Took out the black velcro dots. It's dry already but still using the hair blower to make sure it's totally dry.


  16. #16
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    Post some pics after a few rides\coupla hundred miles.
    Too old to ride plastic

  17. #17
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    I will post pics after a 100 miles ride.

  18. #18
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by SixPackABS View Post
    I will post pics after a 100 miles ride.
    Yes, I'd be curious as well to see how it will look. Good job, looks nice with those silver "rivets" (they're actually T-nuts held in place by T20 Torx screws--check and see that the screws are tight every so often).

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    Quote Originally Posted by wim View Post
    Yes, I'd be curious as well to see how it will look. Good job, looks nice with those silver "rivets" (they're actually T-nuts held in place by T20 Torx screws--check and see that the screws are tight every so often).
    Better yet, Loctite 'em. I lost 2!! I never thought to check, I didn't even know they were T-nuts/screws until two fell out!!

    Brooks sent be 1 all the way from England to the US after I asked for 2, I asked again and they sent two more all the way across....for free. Nice of them.

  20. #20
    What the what???
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    I thought you were planning to leave the velcro dots there and I was thinking "wtf"???

    As long as the treatment doesn't rub off, you should be in business. The green looks good.
    Given his penchant for nicknames, and his aversion to reading, I've decided to shorten Donald J. Trump to it's essence: Dump*

    I was "social distancing" before it was cool.

  21. #21
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    I had a 26 mile ride today. The saddle felt different. A little bit stiff.

  22. #22
    What the what???
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    No tranfer, or color rubbed off?
    Given his penchant for nicknames, and his aversion to reading, I've decided to shorten Donald J. Trump to it's essence: Dump*

    I was "social distancing" before it was cool.

  23. #23
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    You didn't even ask how the saddle looked like after the first ride? lol. There was a little rub off.

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    After getting some rub off I removed the fabric paint immediately the next day. I wasn't able to get the original NATURAL color of the saddle. The saddle has a slight tint of very light green. I liked the effect of light tint green than the NATURAL color. Posted pic below.


  25. #25
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    This looks more better than what it looked like when the paint\dye was fresh, but I think that I would have left it natural. That being said, I looked at the natural and bought a black one.

    Damn comfortable saddle.
    Too old to ride plastic

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