Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Fizik Arione Sugar Skull saddle

So you had to know this was coming. I wanted a seat to match my bars and seat bag so I made a seat cover. I ride the Fizik Arione so I peeled the cover off one of my older seats and traced the cover shape onto the leather.
      I found a design of a sugar skull I liked, made some changes to it, and drew it out on vellum paper. Then traced it onto the leather.
Traced onto the leather and ready to start cutting. I start by cutting every line of the pattern into the leather with a swivel knife. 

About half way through tooling the leather down. The stars under his eyes I used a wrench from an Avid disc brake set. Some of those cuts are tiny! This is 2mm thick leather and you have to cut about half way through the leather to get adequate relief. Go too deep and you basically ruin the entire thing by creating a tear or hole. 

Done. I went back and touched up a ton of spots. As the leather dries (you wet the leather to tool it) it changes quite a bit. I totally botched the stars under his nose.   

Mounted on the Fizik. 

The last thing was to dye it. I think this is the most stressful part. When you first smear the dye on it looks awful, black with swirls and smears. You control the darkness by how quickly you remove the dye. Leave it on a long time and it's dark and the smear lines will stay. I tend to wipe it off immediately and then reapply a light coat if I want it darker. This was three coats. I tried to make the nose dark and have it fade back. Looks OK. 

And the finished set. I don't like the seat bag so I'm going to make another one that matches.


nilo said...

That looks awesome, Lucho!

MMAARRKK said...

What did you use for adhesive?

Lucho said...

Thank you nilo.

Mark- I used Tandy Leather contact cement. Nasty stuff but pretty much permanent. I soaked the leather in water and stretched it over the saddle and stapled it to the plastic on the underside. Let it completely dry overnight. Then removed it (it dried in to a formed hard shell) and put a thin layer of glue on the saddle and leather, let it dry. Then put the cover back on.

BarĂ³n de Benta'ko Erreka said...

Hand made and with style, can we see the bike with seat cover, tape bar and saddle bag? Good job Lucho!

MMAARRKK said...

Thanks Lucho. I've been planning on doing this to an Arione as well only using a brown microsuede similar to the material from my old Selle SM Regal that it will eventually be replacing. I have an old Mino Denti track frame (Gilco Columbus crimped steel) that it will be mounted on; updated saddle shape on an old frame. Trying to add some comfort back to an overstiff steel frame for domestic scratch racing (aka around town).

I'mma grab some of that Tandy bidness this weekend.


Luke Jay said...

good running into you guys up at Princeton and catching up.
all this leather stuff is looking RAD.