If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Thursday, 22 September 2011

The XT seat saga continues

I posted last December about how the XT seat had split and the foam had absorbed a lot of water: sufficient to freeze solid and provide a very unpleasant experience for the buttocks and gentleman's bits when ridden into town.

Having sold a couple of things on eBay, I decided to go for it and get a new seat cover. Winter is on its way, and soon the Sprint will be more of a liability than a pleasure. The XT will soon be called back into daily service. Ebay seller Custardgrub came up with the goods for a few shillings (679 of them, to be exact) and it has been sitting in my garage for the last week or two while I get on with more urgent matters. So far, I have only taken off the old seat cover, which was more than embarrassingly tatty; it was a disgrace. I always value function over appearance, but even I was getting ashamed to be seen on it. As you can see from this pic, the gaffer tape had grown since last winter (compared to the neat couple of strips in the original repair), and hadn't lasted well.

So I set to with an old screwdriver and removed the original seat cover. This took about ten minutes, and was far easier than it should have been. The staples holding it on were rusty and most snapped as I prised them out.

So I was left with a plastic base - in remarkably good nick - and a piece of shaped foam. I was lucky, in that the foam was undamaged and still in its original shape; I can't imagine how much a new bit of foam would be. The foam, as expected, was completely sodden. I squeezed a few cupfuls of water out and left it in the sun for two days to dry out. It has been in the garage for two weeks since then, and finally appears to be dry. I suppose I could put the new cover on even if it was damp, but that would seem to miss the point.

I have gone for a pale grey for the new cover, as the original lilac colour was not available. I reckoned that black would shout 'replacement' too loudly, and whatever colour scheme I choose when I get round to restoring the bike, grey will fit in unobtrusively. I'm going to start the upholstery work this afternoon, and will post the results (unless they are embarrassing) in due course.

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