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  1. #1
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    Brooks B17 saddle, leather quality question

    Just got my first Brooks. Looks, feels, smells great, but has a couple suspicious "stripes" on a surface.
    Is it normal or a possible defect? Will it affect how it will break in? I mean structure of inner layers of leather.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/uvidish...57641200407235

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    The nice thing about plastic is how uniform you can make it look.
    My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.

  3. #3
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    Those look like scars to me. A cow has a very hard life before it becomes a saddle.

  4. #4
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    Adds character. Be sure to massage in your chosen ointment to bring out its full expression.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lanovran's Avatar
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    Methinks what the other posters are trying to say in their roundabout fashion is that the "stripes" look to be nothing more than a bit of natural variation in the unique bit of hide that was used to create your saddle. Leather tends to do that sort of thing, and it's typically just cosmetic, so I wouldn't worry about it.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for your input.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Type of Rivets suggest you got the lowest cost version ..

    The SELECT is said to be different , not feed lot cowhide.. & un dyed, so A DIY dye color choice..

    costs a bit more too..

    perhaps a OCD "it's not perfect" , issue.. ? Micky D burgers dont look like the food pictures either..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 02-20-14 at 12:12 AM.

  8. #8
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    like the other posts, i wouldn't worry about it much. functionally it may be fine, but i'm very surprised it managed to pass QC at Brooks. i would have thought it would have been destroyed or sold as a "second", if they even do that at Brooks. some companies don't...

    edit: thinking about it, it occurred to me that all of my Brooks saddles have been dyed black, so i wouldn't have ever noticed such a thing. maybe it's more common than i thought.
    Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 02-20-14 at 12:29 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anatoli View Post
    Just got my first Brooks. Looks, feels, smells great, but has a couple suspicious "stripes" on a surface.
    Is it normal or a possible defect? Will it affect how it will break in? I mean structure of inner layers of leather.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/uvidish...57641200407235
    Where did you buy the saddle?

    The answer to that is important before I make any other comment.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  10. #10
    The Flying Scot chewa's Avatar
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    When you have a few miles on it it will acquire the patina similar to the leather seats in an old Jag, so I wouldn't worry about it.
    plus je vois les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens

    1985 Custom built 531c Audax/fast tourer.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
    edit: thinking about it, it occurred to me that all of my Brooks saddles have been dyed black, so i wouldn't have ever noticed such a thing. maybe it's more common than i thought.
    I went through google images for Brooks saddles and didn't find any their saddles with similar surface...for that reason, I've got and posted detailed pictures here:
    http://flic.kr/s/aHsjSVpLYp
    Feel free to use them for non commercial purposes.
    Last edited by Anatoli; 02-20-14 at 03:11 AM. Reason: posted right link

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Where did you buy the saddle?

    The answer to that is important before I make any other comment.
    I don't want to advertize/harm that business - I got it from an Internet seller and don't think it is authorized by Brooks business. I got it in an original (or it looks like that) Brooks box with accessories.
    Last edited by Anatoli; 02-20-14 at 01:53 AM. Reason: input mistake

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewa View Post
    When you have a few miles on it it will acquire the patina similar to the leather seats in an old Jag, so I wouldn't worry about it.
    I am fine with it's appearance and it perfectly fits to my not expensive bike.

  14. #14
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    I posted unboxing video here:
    http://youtu.be/I-LXNtjAnZ0

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anatoli View Post
    I don't want to advertize/harm that business - I got it from an Internet seller and don't think it is authorized by Brooks business. I got it in an original (or it looks like that) Brooks box with accessories.
    I'd suggest that it is a return and that it has been used once or twice by another buyer who didn't like it. Not that there is much wrong with that because Wallingford Bikes offers that option, then puts, I understand, the returned saddles on the internet for sale at cheaper prices.

    The clue for me is the creasing of the leather around the rivet on the saddle's right. I've not seen any new Brooks saddles with stretch creasing like that.

    Provided you paid less than bricks and mortar retail for it (including postage)., you've still got a good product.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  16. #16
    The Flying Scot chewa's Avatar
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    We have four in our family, and the creasing near rivets is sometimes there. These things are hand made so you get a few differences between each one. I think it adds to the charm.
    plus je vois les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens

    1985 Custom built 531c Audax/fast tourer.
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    (YES I LIKE STEEL)
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    I'd suggest that it is a return and that it has been used once or twice by another buyer who didn't like it. Not that there is much wrong with that because Wallingford Bikes offers that option, then puts, I understand, the returned saddles on the internet for sale at cheaper prices.

    The clue for me is the creasing of the leather around the rivet on the saddle's right. I've not seen any new Brooks saddles with stretch creasing like that.

    Provided you paid less than bricks and mortar retail for it (including postage)., you've still got a good product.

    The saddle rails look unused:
    http://flic.kr/p/kghJmx

  18. #18
    Senior Member MEversbergII's Avatar
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    You take very good photos.

    M.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
    You take very good photos.

    M.
    Thanks

  20. #20
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    I wouldn't sweat it, definitely looks cosmetic to me. The surface may want to crack there first, but that shouldn't weaken the saddle any, and periodic applications of preservative will prevent cracking.

    I had an old Brooks B-15 (budget B-17 back in the day), the surface of which was heavily cracked. It looked like it had been left out in the rain/sun for awhile. However, the cracking only was on the surface, there was still plenty of the leather cross-section intact to carry load. It was a bit soft (possibly due to a heavy treatment of neetsfoot oil in the past), but it worked fine.

    Some people seem to swear by Brooks quality control, but I have always considered that characterization somewhat unwarranted and a bit of a cult thing. There is plenty of people out there that have had problems with them, if you pay attention. Granted, they sell a lot of saddles, and there is bound to be lemons, and the people with lemons are bound to complain about them online, so one should be aware of that bias. I wouldn't consider your saddle a lemon, though. I believe most of their saddles have small dings and imperfections in them. If you saw the people who made them, and the factory they were made in, you would understand.

  21. #21
    Senior Member MEversbergII's Avatar
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    Oh, also, I used to do some leather work in the past: They are, as others have mentioned, just scars. Perfectly normal and, once you've been in leather a while, almost forgettable. I also stressed about it when I first started working the material, but it's actually a really neat bit of character.

    M.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jason_h View Post
    If you saw the people who made them, and the factory they were made in, you would understand.
    Have you ever been there or dealt with them?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
    it's actually a really neat bit of character.

    M.
    When I started this thread, it was just a saddle with possible imperfection, but after all these comments I am falling in love with it.

  24. #24
    a77impala a77impala's Avatar
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    Leather is a natural product, these variations add character!
    Treks, 83-600, 85-420, 87-560, 90-930,92-970, 95-930, 1220, LeMonds, 2000 Zurich, 05-Etape, 06-Versailles

  25. #25
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoBrakeNate View Post
    Those look like scars to me. A cow has a very hard life before it becomes a saddle.
    You think that it was hard BEFORE? The act of becoming the saddle had to be difficult...

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