Got The Squeak?
Recently I moved to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, and let me be the first to tell you that it is a MUCH wetter climate than the one I came from in sunny California. I noticed within my first month of living here that my trusty rough out saddle learned a new trick, squeaking incessantly. I have never experienced the notorious squeaky saddle. I began my search to end the squeak once and for all.
I began by brushing the dirt and dust from the saddle, taking care to get under the fenders and bust all the dust loose hoping that would help the squeak, but no luck. I read that it was okay to oil a rough out saddle, however I have heard some horror stories of ruining saddles and was not sure I wanted to take that route. Baby powder was my next adventure, and let me tell you, it was an adventure!
1. As I already mentioned I brushed all the excess dirt and dust off my saddle and did the best to wipe way under the fenders and skirt. (I had a little help from Davis, who was more than happy to pose for the camera).
2. To get better access and to decrease the mess that was caused by the baby powder. I recommend positioning your saddle as pictured below.
3. This is where the adventure really began, the baby powder. It is VERY messy and gets everywhere. With that in mind, do this step in an area that’s easily cleanable, such as the wash rack, which is where I did mine. Next, aim close to the area you are trying to target, I was careless at first and I will be wiping spare baby powder off my black seat for a few weeks at least. I focused on putting the powder deep into the saddle under the fenders and in the skirt from both the front and the rear.
4. The fourth and final step that I took was to put my saddle on a saddle stand and move the stirrups around to distribute the baby powder and it also helped shake some of the excess off. I finally took a rag and wiped the visible excess powder off.
My final words of advice are to do what makes you comfortable. In my searches for ways to take care of the squeak many recommended using non-darkening oil. Which I was a big fan of, until I got my rough out and was always told to not oil. However, many have had luck with oiling their rough outs. So I think it really comes down to personal preference and comfort level.