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Rare Vintage Brooks Professional Select Saddle

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Rare Vintage Brooks Professional Select Saddle

Old 02-28-19, 08:47 AM
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OutnBack
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Rare Vintage Brooks Professional Select Saddle - Photos Added





I recently bought a 1982 Team Fuji off of CL for $80. The bike was in good cosmetic shape & wasn't my size, so I thought it would be an easy flip. But the real reason I purchased it was because it came with what appeared to be a Brooks Professional Saddle w/ Large Copper Rivets. There was only 1 photo of the bike, but the saddle appeared to be in good condition. I met the seller & gladly paid him his asking price. But what was intriguing was the saddle wasn't the standard Brooks Team Pro, rather, it was a Brooks Professional Select according to the engraving on the side of the saddle. Even more interesting, there are 3 vent holes like the B17 model, and the rails are black instead of silver. I cleaned the Fuji, removed the saddle, put another one on from the parts bin, & sold it for $140. I then contacted Brooks to see if I could get some info on the Professional Select Saddle. I just heard back, & here is their response:
Hello Doug,
The Professional Select was a saddle that Brooks made specifically for the French sales market, although a handful were sent out into the UK market (if my memory serves me well). It was not originally intended to be a limited edition at all - even though, in reality, only 600 or so were ever made. This was a case of Brooks trying to respond to market demand and the feedback that we got from the French market researchers is that this was a specification that France wanted in preference to our regular offerings - in particular, the black frame was a definite must for France at that time.
Brooks has not been the best at retaining its historical records and so we're relying here on my memory more than any printed evidence; I would estimate that the model was in production from circa 1978 to 1982 - for certain, no later than 1986 .
Best Regards
Steven Green
Brooks England Ltd
Downing Street
Smethwick
West Midlands. B66 2PA
UK

I will post photos in the next day or two of the saddle, (I'm under deadline to get my next book out) & was wondering if anyone else owns or has seen this particular Brooks model.
Author Doug Keeler - Author Doug Keeler

Last edited by OutnBack; 03-06-19 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 02-28-19, 11:42 AM
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Sounds cool. Looking forward to the pics. I wonder if @rhm has had any of these pass though.
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Old 02-28-19, 02:12 PM
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I have one of these, I always believed it was from the 60's, maybe because of it's black rails.

Mine's in little-used condition, still hard as a rock. I haven't been able to get myself to start breaking it in, but when I do, I will rest a damp sponge on it's central portion before each ride. This accelerates the process of conforming and (critically) makes the surface much less slippery. A good long ride in the summer should then sustain that moisture level in the leather throughout the ride.
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Old 02-28-19, 02:19 PM
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Old 02-28-19, 02:25 PM
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This is from another thread on here.....





And from Velobase....http://velobase.com/ViewComponent.aspx?ID=4cb7ee21-6270-45a4-b5f3-58bfbce54293&Enum=106

And.....http://www.bikerecyclery.com/1979-br...k-large-rivet/

Last edited by TugaDude; 02-28-19 at 02:30 PM. Reason: Added another photo
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Old 02-28-19, 02:27 PM
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I thought Brooks called the saddles they had been selling recently with tan colored (natural) leather and black painted rails as "Select" saddles.... I did not know that they were based on these older saddles they issued in France a long time ago...
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Old 02-28-19, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
I thought Brooks called the saddles they had been selling recently with tan colored (natural) leather and black painted rails as "Select" saddles.... I did not know that they were based on these older saddles they issued in France a long time ago...
You are correct, the new ones are called "Select".
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Old 02-28-19, 04:12 PM
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I bought a Brooks Pro Team Select back in the mid 80s (most likely 1983 when I built-up my first "real" road bike). Just as you described. The leather was extremely thick. The thing was rock-hard and never broke in. I've only ridden Brooks pros. since the early 80s. I had to sell that one, it was just too hard. I believe you used an Allen wrench instead of a spanner to tension the top. I remember it came in a nice box with a tin of proofhide, but no Allen wrench. I also remember, when I came home from a ride I would stick my house key in one of the holes, so I wouldn't forget it when I left for my next ride.

Last edited by gearbasher; 02-28-19 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 02-28-19, 04:29 PM
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Yea Its post Buy out that the new Owners started selling in a variety of Colors...

Campag tool # 771 had a open end wrench for Brooks saddle nose tension nuts on one end, and a box hex on the other end for their seat post bolts,,,
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Old 02-28-19, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Yea Its post Buy out that the new Owners started selling in a variety of Colors...

Campag tool # 771 had a open end wrench for Brooks saddle nose tension nuts on one end, and a box hex on the other end for their seat post bolts,,,
Park also has one, SPT-1
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Old 02-28-19, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by gearbasher View Post
I bought a Brooks Pro Team Select back in the mid 80s (most likely 1983 when I built-up my first "real" road bike). Just as you described. The leather was extremely thick. The thing was rock-hard and never broke in. I've only ridden Brooks pros. since the early 80s. I had to sell that one, it was just too hard. I believe you used an Allen wrench instead of a spanner to tension the top. I remember it came in a nice box with a tin of proofhide, but no Allen wrench. I also remember, when I came home from a ride I would stick my house key in one of the holes, so I wouldn't forget it when I left for my next ride.
The one I have doesn't use an Allen wrench. Instead, it uses the typical Brooks hex tool. I'll get some photos up no later than tomorrow.
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Old 02-28-19, 05:30 PM
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Also seen on Raleigh Team Pros for a time as original equipment. Rumor at the time was created by feedback from the Raliegh Pro team...

I have one, thick leather, stiff material.
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Old 03-06-19, 03:38 PM
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Photos of the Brooks Professional Select Have Been Added
www.dougkeeler.com
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Old 03-06-19, 03:57 PM
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I have a similar model, the only difference is mine has chrome rails. Bought it in the early 1980s from Sal Corso at Stuyvesant Bicycles. It's a thing of great beauty but like @gearbasher my butt never adapted to it's stiffness.
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Old 03-06-19, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ascherer View Post
I have a similar model, the only difference is mine has chrome rails. Bought it in the early 1980s from Sal Corso at Stuyvesant Bicycles. It's a thing of great beauty but like @gearbasher my butt never adapted to it's stiffness.
Couldn't have said it better...a thing of great beauty is truly what this saddle is. I'm curious, is your's a Professional Select as well?
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Old 03-06-19, 06:03 PM
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Hereís my rare Brooks: a Limited Edition 2005 B15 Swallow Titanium. Not much information on these out there except here: Link

Itís so beautiful I love to look at it but unfortunately it was not as comfortable for me as the Brooks Pro. Surprisingly I got zero bites on it when I tried to sell it.



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Old 03-07-19, 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
... I haven't been able to get myself to start breaking it in, but when I do, I will rest a damp sponge on it's central portion before each ride. This accelerates the process of conforming and (critically) makes the surface much less slippery...
Oh, blasphemy, sir! I say blasphemy!

The only moisture that saddle should ever see should come from your own hard-earned sweat. Slippery is good! Conformation to your sit bones should be noticeable, and then only very slightly, after 10 years and 10,000 miles, minimum. If you cannot treat that fine slab of leather with the respect it deserves, I demand you send to me, henceforth and tout de suite!
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Old 03-07-19, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
Oh, blasphemy, sir! I say blasphemy!

The only moisture that saddle should ever see should come from your own hard-earned sweat. Slippery is good! Conformation to your sit bones should be noticeable, and then only very slightly, after 10 years and 10,000 miles, minimum. If you cannot treat that fine slab of leather with the respect it deserves, I demand you send to me, henceforth and tout de suite!
Hard, slippery saddles tend to cause tissue bruises as the rider doesn't stay as well positioned on the saddle while riding.
And which is probably why mine never got broken in.
The air tends to be dry here, might have to put on damp shorts to ever get a grip.
The key to applying a wet cloth to the saddle top is to keep the moisture away from the rivets and away from the edges of the nose and cantle plates.
A few minutes of exposure is enough to prepare the new saddle for riding.
Some of us lightweight riders don't sweat much, so combined with the reduced loading, break-in can be 5x lengthy.
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Old 03-07-19, 06:30 AM
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I've often left a bike out in the back yard overnight, and in the morning the saddle has dew on it. I wipe it off as well as I can, and ride to the station. I don't worry about getting the rivets or edges wet. Do that a couple times, and the saddle will be perfectly broken in. The wet sponge is just a better controlled way of doing the same thing.
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Old 03-07-19, 06:37 AM
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My mountain bike came with some vinyl slightly padded Schwinn thing that I replaced with a pre-softened, nicely used / broken-in large rivet Brooks Team Pro. My current saddle deployment:

2 large-rivet Brooks Pros, 1 Ideale from 1960, 1 Terry Liberator, 1 anatomical very similar to the Terry, and 1 spare Brooks Pro from 1973.
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Old 03-07-19, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by OutnBack View Post
Couldn't have said it better...a thing of great beauty is truly what this saddle is. I'm curious, is your's a Professional Select as well?
Team Select, as I recall. By the time I get to where it's stashed I'll have to revive the thread!
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Old 04-16-19, 11:43 AM
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Revived!

Originally Posted by ascherer View Post
Team Select, as I recall. By the time I get to where it's stashed I'll have to revive the thread!
Pulled it out of storage this weekend. It has black rails and a 1979 date stamp.

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