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Old 05-12-11, 07:38 PM   #1
vanno
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Info on my Brooks saddle

I there. Long time lurker. I was wondering if anyone could give me some good info on how old this seat is. It's a Brooks Professional that was given to me by a client. She said it was very old, but the fact that the rivets are obviously done by machine instead of hammered makes me wonder. Either way, This saddle is super comfy and I have put 1000's of kms on it. Just looking for info



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Old 05-12-11, 07:45 PM   #2
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Some Brooks saddles have date codes stamped on the rear metal plate between the rails. Check there first.
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Old 05-12-11, 07:55 PM   #3
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I have looked all over it. The only thing it says on the underside is "Made in England"
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Old 05-12-11, 09:44 PM   #4
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i have five brooks saddles. four are the "professional" model and one is a recent vintage b-17.

i first bought a new one in 1982. it had hammered solid copper rivets. this was at the nadir of brooks popularity, i think, in that the saddle was on sale (denver) for five dollars. the shop owner said that no one wanted them anymore and he was basically giving it away. it has an "80" stamped on the back of portion of the chromed steel frame.

a few years ago i was refurbishing a few bicycles for personal use and needed saddles. i scoured CL and found three professionals. according the some brooks saddle type website, the pre 70's or 80's had a stamp on the underside of the leather that indicated date of manufacture, after 70 or thereabouts the stamp was on the frame. but no one seems to know how to decode the leather stamp. these three all had a stamp on the underside of the leather and small unhammered rivets.

my guess is that at some time all brooks professionals had unhammered small rivets. then, professional cyclists began hammering the rivets when the leather became overstretched. eventually, the public, seeing the the pros had hammered rivets and they did not, began clamerring for hammered rivets so as to be like the pros (not unheard of). and so brooks bowed to public pressure and we have hammered rivets. even the lowly (my favorite by the way) b-17 comes in a pre hammered version.

i'm just guessing on this...

feel free to write your own history and/or criticize mine.

huey
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Old 05-12-11, 11:11 PM   #5
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Looks like the nameplate pictured here on a 1973 Brooks Professional (version 1):
http://www.jaysmarine.com/brooksbadges.html
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Old 05-12-11, 11:15 PM   #6
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Yes, that is an older model. Aside from the rivets and nameplate being different from the current model, the nose is also cut further back. I think these older models look the best.
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Old 05-13-11, 04:56 AM   #7
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It's interesting to see the contrast in the difference between the cut of the leather on the noses. I think yours was modified by a previous owner and was not made that way by Brooks.



My guess is your saddle is from about 1970-1980 era. It looks as if it was well cared for or barely used, so it was a great gift.

Here is name plate on my NOS B5N, from the late '70s for comparison.



And this is the name plate on a B15N from about 1970-71.



And finally, the name plate on 2010 Professional, the Vans limited edition.

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Old 05-13-11, 05:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
...my guess is that at some time all brooks professionals had unhammered small rivets. then, professional cyclists began hammering the rivets when the leather became overstretched....
I understood the large flat rivets were to prevent excess wear on the rider's shorts from the small rivets. Some cyclist would file the rivets flush, I have an Ideal 90 that had this treatment.
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Old 05-13-11, 09:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
It's interesting to see the contrast in the difference between the cut of the leather on the noses. I think yours was modified by a previous owner and was not made that way by Brooks.
I have a old small rivet pro with the nose cut back almost to the rivets edge, just like the OP's.
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Old 05-13-11, 09:38 AM   #10
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Weren't just the big rivets hammered?
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Old 05-18-11, 07:09 PM   #11
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thanks all! I think if asked I will just say it's a 73...seems most likely
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Old 05-18-11, 07:57 PM   #12
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I have a old small rivet pro with the nose cut back almost to the rivets edge, just like the OP's.
Yep, me too. I bought it from a seller who claimed it came off of a 1970 bicycle. I put it on my '71 Schwinn Paramount, I think it's period correct for it:

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Old 05-18-11, 08:15 PM   #13
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"Snub noses" Pro's came from the factory that way, although the OP's looks butchered. I have one that's NIP. I think mines late 60's but there's no date on it.

edit nah, mine's cut quite far back too. Original

Last edited by clubman; 05-18-11 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 05-18-11, 08:58 PM   #14
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Professionals also have no bag loops.
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Old 05-18-11, 09:07 PM   #15
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The large rivet version of the Brooks Professional saddle dates to late 1963.

In the January 1964 issue of Sporting Cyclist (GB magazine) there is a half page ad for the Brooks "Professional" large rivet saddle. With the magazine's two month lead time that would make this reference November 1963 (the previous months of the magazine show no similar ad).

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Old 05-22-11, 06:38 AM   #16
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Brooks Professional saddles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by confente View Post
The large rivet version of the Brooks Professional saddle dates to late 1963.

In the January 1964 issue of Sporting Cyclist (GB magazine) there is a half page ad for the Brooks "Professional" large rivet saddle. With the magazine's two month lead time that would make this reference November 1963 (the previous months of the magazine show no similar ad).

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No, Chuck, you've got it wrong. The advert to which you refer was for the first manifestation of the Professional saddle (introduced late '62, not '63, as it happens). Although the rivets on this saddle were 'large', compared with what had been used by Brooks before (nickel-plated copper rivets, usually no more than 9mm. heads), they were the first of a range of bare copper rivets that were subsequently used by them on all their 'premium' saddles (until the recent 'Special Edition' Swallow pastiches, that is) and were the smallest (nominally 12.5mm.) of the three sizes. Although larger bare copper rivets had been used previously, by such as Ottusi, Bittini, Barale and Monty Young (Condors), these were all post-manufacture non-Brooks modifications to pre-Professional models (usually B.17 Competition, or Champion, Standards), and Brooks's first use of their 'large' rivet (17.5mm. nominal) was quite some time later, with the Team Professional.

The saddle pictured by the OP is clearly an early example of the original 'small' rivetted Professional, and I'm surprised (but not astonished) that the frame isn't dated.
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Old 05-22-11, 08:36 PM   #17
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Thanks for that Tony. This has been discussed many times over the past ten or twelve years on the Classic Rendezvous list and the Jan. '64 Sporting Cyclist magazine Brooks ad was the earliest reference in print I ever saw or was aware of. No one on that list ever offered anything else in the way of dating. Of course the people on that list were always hoping that this guy in England that restored Brooks saddles and did warranty work for Brooks would eventually share some of his knowledge. -Chuck
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