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Old 02-24-08, 10:35 PM   #1
Old_Crow
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Lopsided Brooks?

I just took delivery of a Brooks B17 Champions Special with Ti rails. This is my first close look at a Brooks so I'm not sure if it's an issue or not...

The leather is about .5cm longer on one side. It appears the entire leather piece was stretched and riveted slightly offset. The three holes are barely off but the sides are more significant.

Is this a 'should return' item? Or normal for a handmade leather saddle?

Pics:

http://www.crowmountain.net/Temp/b17.01.JPG
http://www.crowmountain.net/Temp/b17.02.JPG
http://www.crowmountain.net/Temp/b17.03.JPG


Thx!

T.
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Old 02-24-08, 11:04 PM   #2
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I'd return it. After all it's supposed to be a Brooks, one of the finest English leather saddles in the world (they tell you so and charge for their products accordingly), not some cheap Bulgarian knock off.
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Old 02-25-08, 02:14 AM   #3
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They are hand made, it makes no difference while riding and is barely visible except from <15 cm away.
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Old 02-25-08, 07:49 AM   #4
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They are hand made, it makes no difference while riding and is barely visible except from <15 cm away.
+1

Think of it as a sign of the human touch involved in making it.
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Old 02-25-08, 08:40 AM   #5
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Darn your picky!!!

Reminds me of Jerry Seinfeld trying to find a girlfriend.
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Old 02-25-08, 10:29 AM   #6
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You will always find something like this in a Brooks, especailly after it gets broken in after a while.
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Old 02-25-08, 10:37 AM   #7
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Picky? Not really, I just think that if your going to pay for quality from a company that has a reputation for quality then you aren't doing yourself or the company any favors by accepting a factory second. Especially if you paid full price.

Brooks should be glad to exchange it then have a talk with their inspection dept.
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Old 02-25-08, 10:57 AM   #8
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I'd keep it. It's not like the length on the skirt is going to affect performance.

The embossed logo on mine isn't lined up evenly on both sides of mine, so the lacing holes look like they're punched crooked. It's all trivial stuff, really.
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Old 02-25-08, 01:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tex_Arcana View Post
Picky? Not really, I just think that if your going to pay for quality from a company that has a reputation for quality then you aren't doing yourself or the company any favors by accepting a factory second. Especially if you paid full price.

Brooks should be glad to exchange it then have a talk with their inspection dept.
I disagree. Speaking as one who has ridden Brooks saddles off and on for 40 years, the pics don't indicate a problem with that saddle. I currently have a B.17 that looks similar and it works fine. Brooks saddles are handmade out of steel (or titanium) and leather and there will be some variations. Or, as Richard Sachs puts it, "imperfection is perfection." Just ride it.

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Old 02-25-08, 02:13 PM   #10
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Brooks should be glad to exchange it then have a talk with their inspection dept.
So you want a handbuilt product that looks as though a machine built it?

I've visited the factory and seen how they are made. The skiving is done with a knife, the rivets are installed with a hammer and tiny anvil. The presses align the tops for the majority of saddles using those three holes, they don't hold the leather completely rigid. The hides can move, flex and stretch differently across their width and length during the cutting-out and pressing operations. Every hide comes from a different cow and has slightly different characteristics when stretched and formed.

Your standards are unreasonably high Tex.
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Old 02-25-08, 06:26 PM   #11
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Mine is the same way. BTW, none of the decals on my bikes are exact mirror placements either, my ears are slightly crooked and my junk leans to one side slightly.

I don't see any problem.
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Old 02-25-08, 08:25 PM   #12
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Thanks guys. I appreciate the input.

Didn't mean to start any ill will. This was the only one I've every seen so didn't know what to expect.

FWIW - I contacted the seller and he was more than willing to replace it with one that's straight. I'm putting a small fortune into my 'dream bike' so I'm being a bit more OC than normal.

T.
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