Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Neatsfoot Compound

I'm taking a short break from clearing the garden shed. On one of the shelves we discovered this can of Neatsfoot Compound. Until fairly recently I wouldn't have known what it was, but in recent years it came up regularly in conversation with my wife's father.

My father-in-law was born in 1918, and had been a keen cyclist in his youth. When I began cycling again a few years ago, he wanted to help me keep on the right lines, so we heard some interesting stories, and I was never short of advice. He was a big advocate of Brooks saddles, and strongly recommended applying Neatsfoot Oil to the leather.

It's not something that I had come across before. I did chose a Brooks saddle for the touring bike, but I've been using Brooks Proofide to dress the leather.

We know that there were some keen cyclists in this house before us. They seem to have agreed with my father-in-law.

According to Wikipedia Neatsfoot oil is a yellow oil rendered and purified from the shin bones and feet (but not the hooves) of cattle. "Neat" in the oil's name comes from an old name for cattle. It has nothing to do with those not in employment, education or training (that would be neets-foot oil). I see that Vanner and Prest Neatsfoot Compound is available: here.


Doug said...

I've heard of this oil as well but I wonder if it works as well as Brooks Proofhide?

gom1 said...

I don't know, and after working in my Brooks saddle I'm reluctant to experiment. I think I'll stick with Proofide.

gom1 said...

By the way, they are fabulous photos of Cumbria on your blog at

Doug said...

I agree with you about not taking a risk with the leather dressing, just not worth it.
Thanks for your kind comment!