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Is there such a thing as a maroon or dark red Brooks B17 Champion?

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Is there such a thing as a maroon or dark red Brooks B17 Champion?

Old 07-08-19, 08:07 PM
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Chicago Al 
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Is there such a thing as a maroon or dark red Brooks B17 Champion?

Hi all. I'm looking for the perfect saddle for my '74 Motobecane Grand Record. I actually have a Pro of that era (and a couple of others) but lately have been riding it with a recent B17 Champion Special, the kind with copper rivets like a Pro. I like the feel and look of that saddle, but the color is not right: it's a Special Edition of maybe 10 years ago, kind of a dull grey-green. I would SWEAR that some years back I also saw a Champion Special, Special Edition, in a dark red or maroon color, but I have had no luck searching for same. Anyone else know what I'm talking about? Or am I crazy...wait don't answer that!

Here's a pic of the bike after I first got it built (back) up, with a modern Pro on. Wheelset are a period-correct upgrade (mostly) Campy high-flange hubs and modern rims. Levers obviously recent, for hand comfort as much as effectiveness.

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Old 07-08-19, 10:23 PM
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I remember those too. Think they might have come out alongside that dark woody green color. Maybe twelve years ago. Something like that. The color was almost a burnt cherry red. I keep hoping to come across them again on close out somewhere. No such luck.
But, yeah, I have seen ‘em, too.
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Old 07-08-19, 10:27 PM
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They don't appear to offer Maroon as a standard color, but the Brooks site does show a B17 in "Red". From quick web search, their "Team Pro Classic" was also available in Maroon at one point, with some apparently still for sale on-line by various retailers.
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Old 07-08-19, 10:46 PM
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Old 07-09-19, 01:37 AM
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do it yourself



I did. The frame is away to be painted.
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Old 07-09-19, 01:36 PM
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Holy cow, a Le Champ in black/red! But the saddle is Brooks brown, isn't it?

Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
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Old 07-09-19, 02:26 PM
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IMO the perfect saddle for that bike is black or dark brown. The one you have on there now looks great. A red saddle would be kind of matchy-matchy corny looking. But--it's not my bike!
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Old 07-09-19, 02:29 PM
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In the 70's they were only 1 color ...
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Old 07-09-19, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
IMO the perfect saddle for that bike is black or dark brown. The one you have on there now looks great. A red saddle would be kind of matchy-matchy corny looking. But--it's not my bike!
Yeah, you're probably right. To be clear I wasn't thinking bright red, like the way you can get the standard B17 now. I remember a very dark red, and am glad that Rage recalls the same thing. But no sign of those around that I've found, and I've looked quite a bit. Must have been a rarity when it was issued.

I actually have a Team Pro dating to '74, should put that one back on and see how it feels.
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Old 07-09-19, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Chicago Al View Post
But no sign of those around that I've found, and I've looked quite a bit. Must have been a rarity when it was issued.
Um.... https://www.freedomfoldingbikes.com/...ome-steel.html

Third link when googling for "Brooks Pro Maroon" :-)
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Old 07-09-19, 04:20 PM
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There was definitely a maroon B-17, also a Colt and a Professional. I've got one of the latter on my Trek 760. I think it was part of a special color collection Brooks was doing, maybe about 7-8 years ago.

I can remember the color also being referred to as burgundy and violet in some of the store catalogs, so you might try searching those colors on Google too (FYI: "maroon" and "violet" was also used in descriptions of a more purple looking color that also appeared on various special design saddles).


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Old 07-09-19, 04:26 PM
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Wasn't there a maroon Swift at one point? I could be imagining it.
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Old 07-09-19, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by cdmurphy View Post
Um.... https://www.freedomfoldingbikes.com/...ome-steel.html

Third link when googling for "Brooks Pro Maroon" :-)
Yes, I know about that, I was asking about a *B17 Champion* with copper rivets in a maroon or deep red. Width and fit of a B17, cool rivets like a Team Pro. At least one other C&Ver remembers it existing so if I'm crazy, at least I'm not alone.
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Old 07-09-19, 05:39 PM
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Funnily enough, there's a mention of the B17 Champion in maroon on BF, over in the singlespeed/FG section, from 2006! It's mainly about the green one, which is what I have (I think) though I bought mine when it was already several years old, hardly ridden but the green very faded. Kinda cool that way. 'Fugitive green' is a common term in art and textile restoration as green dyes are very light-sensitive and fade fast.

Mention of maroon is several comments down. No pics unfortunately and any links are long since dead.

Brooks B17 Special Green / Copper Saddle
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Old 07-09-19, 08:03 PM
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Another pic of the red. I'm all over the map on color coordinating including black drillium Stronglight rings, grey Vittoria rubber, shorty Bluemels. Lol
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Old 07-09-19, 10:18 PM
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I would love to get my hands on either one, the green or the red. I still remember thinking to myself, when I first saw them, that I should really, really get one. But I was very young, very stupid and very, very broke.
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Old 07-10-19, 01:02 AM
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My vote is for the brown that would match your bar tape. Black would be fine too of you went with black tape.
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Old 07-10-19, 01:23 PM
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The correct way to build the black/red GR is with red housing, gumwalls, red tape, and a black Brooks.

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Old 07-10-19, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
The correct way to build the black/red GR is with red housing, gumwalls, red tape, and a black Brooks.

Yes!

And it must be ridden in those shorts with that hairstyle.

Always.
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Old 07-10-19, 03:18 PM
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Seriously, though, I also seem to recall a limited edition B17 in dark red, but can only find images of Professionals.

Was it possibly an embossed model?
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Old 07-10-19, 03:47 PM
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Anyone else seeing the apple green b17 standards?
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Old 07-10-19, 06:24 PM
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BTW here is the c2006 green B17 Champion I have. I bought it several years later, maybe 2015, from a guy who said he'd hardly used it, and it looked like new...except that he noted the green had faded a LOT. I can't be sure at this remove but I think it was originally supposed to have been British Racing Green!

The green is quite subtle and it's not coming through here on my monitor well; I'll try to do better later.

I actually like this look a lot, but it's not right for the Grand Record.



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Old 07-11-19, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Rage View Post
Anyone else seeing the apple green b17 standards?
I actually have one of these. It lives on a Surly Cross Check that I used for commuting and I've had it there for about two years- maybe 1000 miles? (it's not my favorite bike). I also have a navy b17 on my Soma GR ( 3 years, probably close to 6000 miles).

The green has both faded and darkened, if that makes any sense. It's definitely less vibrant and looks more "organic" now than it did new, to be sure. The color didn't transfer much at all, which is certainly better than I can say about the navy edition (I think I permanently relegated three pairs of shorts to the "bike use only" pile the first year).
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Old 07-11-19, 05:51 AM
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Have you emailed Brooks to see if they can ID what edition it was? It might make your search easier.

-Kurt
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Old 07-11-19, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by DHPflaumer View Post
I actually have one of these. It lives on a Surly Cross Check that I used for commuting and I've had it there for about two years- maybe 1000 miles? (it's not my favorite bike). I also have a navy b17 on my Soma GR ( 3 years, probably close to 6000 miles).

The green has both faded and darkened, if that makes any sense. It's definitely less vibrant and looks more "organic" now than it did new, to be sure. The color didn't transfer much at all, which is certainly better than I can say about the navy edition (I think I permanently relegated three pairs of shorts to the "bike use only" pile the first year).
If no one else has mentioned it, Fiebings leather dye is one possible solution. https://www.fiebing.com/catalogue/dyes/
It's kind of the high quality standard for leather dye, and is less likely to transfer to your shorts etc than cheap shoe polish dye or whatever. Since your saddle is faded green now, you'd probably need to go with a reddish or orangeish dye to counteract that, and then maybe a black dye for the final color. It'd be easier to start from a new saddle of course.

Yeah, as others have said, maroon Brooks have been available at some point in the past 10 or 20 years. However, that's a modern thing. In vintage days, all leather saddles were dark brown/black or (rarely) honey or undyed natural, so those IMO are your best choices for a vintage bike.
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