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Old 02-19-14, 06:02 PM   #1
Anatoli
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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
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Old 02-19-14, 07:42 PM   #2
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The nice thing about plastic is how uniform you can make it look.
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Old 02-19-14, 08:14 PM   #3
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Those look like scars to me. A cow has a very hard life before it becomes a saddle.
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Old 02-19-14, 09:12 PM   #4
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Adds character. Be sure to massage in your chosen ointment to bring out its full expression.
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Old 02-19-14, 11:08 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 02-20-14, 12:57 AM   #6
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Thanks for your input.
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Old 02-20-14, 01:05 AM   #7
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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..

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Old 02-20-14, 01:25 AM   #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 01:29 AM.
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Old 02-20-14, 02:07 AM   #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.
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Old 02-20-14, 02:25 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 02-20-14, 02:42 AM   #11
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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 04:11 AM. Reason: posted right link
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Old 02-20-14, 02:47 AM   #12
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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 02:53 AM. Reason: input mistake
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Old 02-20-14, 02:50 AM   #13
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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.
I am fine with it's appearance and it perfectly fits to my not expensive bike.
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Old 02-20-14, 03:55 AM   #14
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I posted unboxing video here:
http://youtu.be/I-LXNtjAnZ0
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Old 02-20-14, 04:10 AM   #15
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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.
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Old 02-20-14, 04:13 AM   #16
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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.
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Old 02-20-14, 04:02 PM   #17
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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
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Old 02-20-14, 04:36 PM   #18
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You take very good photos.

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Old 02-20-14, 04:54 PM   #19
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You take very good photos.

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Thanks
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Old 02-20-14, 05:45 PM   #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.
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Old 02-20-14, 07:48 PM   #21
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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.

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Old 02-20-14, 08:09 PM   #22
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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?
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Old 02-20-14, 08:13 PM   #23
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it's actually a really neat bit of character.

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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.
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Old 02-21-14, 06:59 AM   #24
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Leather is a natural product, these variations add character!
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Old 02-21-14, 07:00 AM   #25
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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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