Some Leather saddles, such at the brooks b17 imperial have holes at the bottom for lacing.

What does lacing a leather saddle do and should I (or when should I) do this to my own leather saddle? Should I adjust the saddle tension bolt before considering lacing or do they solve different issues?

2 Answers 2


As a leather saddle wears out, it tends to sink and become softer in the middle while splaying out around the edges. This, naturally, makes the saddle uncomfortable and uneven. Lacing a saddle is a way to revive it and return it to its natural shape, or at least something close. You should lace your saddle if you find that it has become too soft.

And incidentally, many people punch holes in their leather saddles for this very purpose if the saddle didn't come with them.


Since that particular Brooks saddle has a cut out in the middle of the saddle seat surface, there is a loss of support across the top side surface. Eventually the sides would begin to curl and sag and that opening on the surface may widen as the leather became more supple. The lacing will ad some rigidty to the saddle to somewhat control the movement of the leather over a period of years.

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