After setting out from his hometown of Hinckley, Leicestershire armed with little more than ambition and a £20 note, John Boultbee Brooks settled in Birmingham, England in 1865. Just one year later, this enterprising gentleman had established a flourishing business producing horse harnesses and other leather goods on Great Charles Street under the name JB Brooks & Co.
When his own horse met an untimely end, a borrowed bicycle became Brooks’ chosen mode of transportation. Though he was fascinated by the possibilities of this exciting new machine, he was less than enchanted with its uncomfortable wooden seat. Wasting no time, Brooks set about creating his own version of the bicycle saddle in the same thick, beautiful leather he used for his harnesses. Since filing its first leather saddle patent in 1882, the Brooks company name has become synonymous with quality in the field of handcrafted leather goods for the cyclist.
This particular saddle, the company’s flagship model and a bestseller for over a century, is designed with a wide range of users and conditions in mind. It is suitable for long distance sports touring, trekking, and all terrain bicycles, as well as for the everyday rider. As comfortable as it is handsome, the vegetable-tanned leather construction of this saddle allows it to conform over time to your own unique requirements and banishes discomfort. The material of the seat is also naturally breathable, while the stainless steel rivets, high carbon steel frame, and black steel rails allow for maximum strength and durability and feature loops for the attachment of a traditional English-style touring bag.
To obtain maximum comfort, it is important to remember that the widest part of the saddle should bear your weight. The peak is intended solely to ensure a steady and secure ride.
Placement of the saddle at an angle sufficiently behind the crank-axle, low enough to enable the rider to reach the pedals with ease, and with the peak high enough to prevent the rider from slipping forwards are all key elements in achieving the ideal cycling position.
The thick, quality leather of these saddles will require some maintenance. It is important that you apply saddle lubrication every couple of months (Brooks recommends Proofide). Like any good saddle, you will need to take care to protect it from rain and moisture, as well as maintaining and adjusting its tension.
At the Brooks factory in Smethwick, traditional leather working techniques and manufacturing skills are passed down from generation to generation, while some machinery dates back as far as the 1940s and 1950s.
A saddle begins as a leather blank that is soaked and then partially dried before being shaped, or blocked, in a male or female mold. The saddle is then repeatedly dried and molded until it is ready to be cut into its final shape. Using a sharp blade, the craftsman slices aways the excess from the saddle, which is then embossed with the appropriate stamp and affixed to a strong, high-carbon steel frame.
The standard in quality bicycle saddles, crafted from thick, sturdy black leather and affixed to a high-carbon steel frame. Available in both mens and womens styles. Produced for over 100 years by skilled craftsmen in Smethwick, England.
- 11 inches (275 millimeters) long
- 7 inches (175 millimeters) wide
- 9.5 inches (240 millimeters) long
- 7 inches (175 millimeters) wide
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