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Old 07-06-07, 05:33 PM   #1
ollo_ollo
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Chopped Brooks Part II

I have always used my Brooks saddles as they came & like them fine that way but had considered chopping one. My Zeus refurbishment was a chance to carve a B17. It turned out well but what to do with the 2 pieces of leather I cut off? With just a bit more carving, here is what I came up with. Anyone else done anything with cutoff saddle leather? Don
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Old 07-06-07, 05:35 PM   #2
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That saddle looks pretty rad, but I would assume it won't support you as well cut up like that. Does it still ride well?
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Old 07-06-07, 05:45 PM   #3
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Rides just fine & there seems to be a bit more thigh clearance. I'm only about 150 pounds so didn't see any need for lacing.
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Old 07-06-07, 05:58 PM   #4
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Rad!
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Old 07-06-07, 07:49 PM   #5
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Nice job. It looks similar to mine.

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Old 07-06-07, 09:19 PM   #6
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Hah! This mudflaps thing amuses...no?
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Old 07-06-07, 09:33 PM   #7
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Hey! Its bigger than the ones on the Planet Bike fenders, I have to wait for some rain to see how it works. You do get two flaps per chopped saddle & I haven't decided which bike gets the other one.
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Old 07-06-07, 09:54 PM   #8
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Nice job ollo. Did you use a Dremmel or a razor knife? I'm thinking of doing one of my B-17's.
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Old 07-06-07, 09:57 PM   #9
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Oh I meant it as nothing but a big compliment...and I love your bike! Now I have to get another Brooks to try my hand at "chopping". Since you live in Olympia Wash I suggest you grease up that mudflap with a lot of Neetsfoot or SnoSeal as it IS going to get WET! This is one place I'd even violate my sacred pledge against silicone.
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Old 07-06-07, 10:11 PM   #10
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I did the carving with a very, very sharp Swiss Army knife, using the small blade. After studying some pics of butchered Brooks, just slowly & carefully scored the cut line I wanted, then came back & made a full cut following the scored line. There were only a couple rough spots on the cut edge that I smoothed out with a file. Don
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Old 07-06-07, 10:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ollo_ollo
I did the carving with a very, very sharp Swiss Army knife, using the small blade. After studying some pics of butchered Brooks, just slowly & carefully scored the cut line I wanted, then came back & made a full cut following the scored line. There were only a couple rough spots on the cut edge that I smoothed out with a file. Don
Yeah, I can see how a short blade would be important. I think I'm gonna leave some flaps to lace underneath, which will make the cutting a little trickier of course.

Did you tape a guide line or draw one?

I've been reading some of The Fixer's posts (can't think of his new name), he uses a Dremmel but says it is quite messy and smelly.
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Old 07-06-07, 11:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mattface
Rad!
Yes?

Nice chop job Ollo - and I love the fender flaps.
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Old 07-07-07, 06:20 AM   #13
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Taping or drawing a line would be the safest way & would allow you to change your mind a few times if necessary but I just did it freehand & the lightly scored line became my guidline for the full cut. When I did the second side, I tried to match it to the first side I cut. The saddle is about 7 years old, well broken in, but with fairly stiff, thick leather so I don't expect it to stretch much more.
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Old 07-07-07, 07:02 AM   #14
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ollo ollo, That saddle is insane! Ive seen them done before by the messengers and theyve had them for a while with no complaints about comfort, jjvw, yours is nice to but ollo ollos has SWEET lines to it! yours has more of a straight cut while ollo ollos has insane curves, kinda like Shakira
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Old 07-07-07, 07:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis
Yeah, I can see how a short blade would be important. I think I'm gonna leave some flaps to lace underneath, which will make the cutting a little trickier of course.

Did you tape a guide line or draw one?

I've been reading some of The Fixer's posts (can't think of his new name), he uses a Dremmel but says it is quite messy and smelly.
That's how I did mine. Here's the thread where I talk about how I did it. Kinky Brooks bondage pics
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Old 07-07-07, 07:31 AM   #16
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People have asked about durability after cutting. I don't know how it will last but expect it to be about the same as an uncut saddle. Possibly it could sag over time but a few years ago, I saw a MotoBecane Grand Record in for overhaul at my LBS that had a cut down saddle with leather about 1/4 inch thick. No sagging at all & just very slight indentations on the 30+ year old leather.

Most of my Brooks saddles have fairly thick leather & took a while to break in. I would evaluate any saddle before cutting & probably not do it if the leather was thin & pliable. I do have a bargain B17 that had received to much proofide & it was laced to help with the sag. Even with thick leather and lacing, it is very pliable & not very comfortable on rides over 1/2 hour. It would not be a good candidate for chopping.
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Old 07-07-07, 07:53 AM   #17
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Folks who've had them chopped for longer than I have say they don't have any problems with sagging. If you lace them they are actually stiffer than uncut saddles and take a bit longer to break in. Mine is just a bit over a year old, and it's got some sitbone dents, but is not sagging at all.
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Old 07-07-07, 08:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattface
That's how I did mine. Here's the thread where I talk about how I did it. Kinky Brooks bondage pics
Nice, love the green and the big rivets, thanks for the link.
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Old 07-08-07, 09:31 AM   #19
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I've cut a few, patterned after a Ideale swallow I have. Apparently it was a common mod in the 50s...

ps, you guys look like you did a better job than me!
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Old 06-08-09, 02:10 PM   #20
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Chopped & Cutaway & Swallowized

A steady hand, rough blue collar finger tips, and patience are helpful. This is the 2nd of 3 Brooks modified. I enjoy the handmade modification on top of the handmade saddle direct from Brooks leather technicians.

Brooks B17 Champion Sprinter Titanium limited edition, Swallow specifications. Big, fat, hand-hammered copper rivets, all the sex. Jacked from a live ebay auction:

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