Tuesday, September 8, 2009

When bad things happen to good Brooks!

Yesterday, I did the cardinal sin of all. Instead of throwing my chewing gum in the trash, while eating my apple, I put it on my nice Brooks B-135 saddle, thinking it will be only for a few minutes. Well, it only took me a few minutes to eat the apple but what happened afterward was a totally different story.

This is what really happened. I rode to REI Dallas yesterday and I was looking around for quite a while. I checked out bunches of tents and sleeping bags and some bicycle gear. I was browsing for probably an hour. Well, all that intense researching made me want a snack. So, I stepped out of REI and sat down on the bench and got all excited about snacking on the apple I had packed. Just prior to the snack attack, I had started chewing on a couple of pieces of gum. So, Mr. Scrooge who did not want to waste the gum decided to place it on the saddle and enjoy his apple.

The apple was nice and tasty. So, I jumped back on the saddle and started riding. As I was exiting REI Dallas' parking lot, I suddenly realized the gum wasn't in my mouth anymore !!

That's right...it did happen and it was a nasty mess :(
Having never had this nasty experience, I quickly researched ways to remove chewing gum from leather. There were several hits when I searched this topic on Google but the one I thought was the best recommended that put some ice cubes in freezer bag and rub the saddle with it. The idea behind this technique was that the gum would become brittle at which point it can either be picked by hand or scrapped gently with a toothbrush. The ice cubes when they were inisde the freezer bag did not do it all for me. I actually took some ice cubes out and held them directly on the gum to get the gum to become somewhat brittle. I did use a toothbrush to remove the hardened gum pieces. I finished off by applying some Brooks Proofide.
Some people caution against getting the leather wet by placing the ice cubes directly on it. But, in all honesty, I do not think it is going to affect a Brooks saddle adversely. My dad's bike is over 50 years old and we still have the original Brooks saddle (can't remember if it is a B-33 for sure) in pretty much usable condition.

The gum also almost ruined my nice Ex-Officio convertible pants. I put my shorts part of the convertible pants in the freezer for about 10 hours and then scrapped the gum off with a knife. I had to repeat the process once more to get all of the gum off my shorts.

I suppose the moral of the story is : Brooks is thicker than gum but gum is stickier ...

or something like that :)

Peace :)


  1. If I wanted to save my gum, putting it where I park my arse would be my last choice.

    I'm guessing the same is now true for you.

    ;- )

  2. Doohickie, Good point :) I gotta remember what goes where!!

    Peace :)

  3. Chandra...I am still laughing. Nice to see you got it cleaned off!

  4. I sat down on some gum [not mine] at a coffee shop this summer and then proceeded to ride my Brooks home. What a mess! I eventually rubbed the gum off with a cloth and a lot of elbow grease [my Brooks has smooth leather].

    Gum sucks if it's not in your mouth or the garbage!



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