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Brooks dating

Old 05-04-21, 02:06 PM
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merziac
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Brooks dating

Seems like this would have come up before and probably has.

Anybody know how to decipher the codes stamped in the leather and or cantle?

1 D 3 with I think a 1 on the cantle as an example.

Paging @rhm
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Old 05-04-21, 02:31 PM
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my Pro's from the 70's seem to be a bit different format, at least in that it is stamped into the cantle plate and the year is easy to figure out....




I bought a few Brooks around 1999 and 2000 when it was rumored that they were going out of business. It looks like they just stuck the letter code in the middle of the two digits that indicate the year....





No idea what the letter code means, though. It might indicate the month, but that's just a guess.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 05-04-21, 02:38 PM
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I believe I read the letter code either stamped in or inked on the leather is a batch code and not a date code. As pointed out date codes on the cantle are pretty self-explanatory. But since you already paged Rudy I am sure we'll get a full expert explanation.
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Old 05-04-21, 02:42 PM
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Not an expert, just a customer. I have about 15 vintage Brooks, NO date codes. These threads make me crazy.
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Old 05-04-21, 02:47 PM
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The date codes on the cantle plate are A B C or D, presumably the year divided into quarters, plus two digits for the year. The earliest I've seen is A 59. Those dates continue to the 80's but lots of saddles didn't have them.

I don't know anything about the codes inked on the back of the leather.
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Old 05-04-21, 06:06 PM
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about a year ago, I sent an email to Brooks, asking them about the stamp in the leather on the underside of a saddle I had. i also included pics of the saddle.

my q: The date stamp on the bottom is 7D9, what does that signify?

their a: The 7D9 indicates that month and the year of manufacture of the saddle - it is April 1997

Last edited by hazetguy; 05-04-21 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 05-04-21, 07:00 PM
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I have a few Brooks saddles from the seventies and the only one that is date stamped is the one that came on my 1977 Raleigh Competition. Until hazetguy’s decipher , I couldn’t tell what the heck the leather stamping was. Now I know, I’ll have to take another look at it.
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Old 05-05-21, 03:08 PM
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I read the title as the OP dating Brooke (with typo), perhaps Shields.
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Old 05-05-21, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by hazetguy View Post
about a year ago, I sent an email to Brooks, asking them about the stamp in the leather on the underside of a saddle I had. i also included pics of the saddle.

my q: The date stamp on the bottom is 7D9, what does that signify?

their a: The 7D9 indicates that month and the year of manufacture of the saddle - it is April 1997
That seems to be largely correct for relatively recent saddles with the code stamped in the leather, at least according to:
https://bikeretrogrouch.blogspot.com...ld-brooks.html
and: https://www.vintage-trek.com/component_dates.htm#Brooks

However, according to the response from Brooks, they reverse the order of the year digits. That doesn't sound right to me. I've bought 5 new (or NOS) Brooks saddles recently, and the codes make sense only if the date digits are kept in order.
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Old 05-05-21, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Duke7777 View Post
That seems to be largely correct for relatively recent saddles with the code stamped in the leather, at least according to:
https://bikeretrogrouch.blogspot.com...ld-brooks.html
and: https://www.vintage-trek.com/component_dates.htm#Brooks

However, according to the response from Brooks, they reverse the order of the year digits. That doesn't sound right to me. I've bought 5 new (or NOS) Brooks saddles recently, and the codes make sense only if the date digits are kept in order.
You are supposed to read the codes with a mirror under the saddle...
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Old 05-05-21, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Seems like this would have come up before and probably has.

Anybody know how to decipher the codes stamped in the leather and or cantle?

1 D 3 with I think a 1 on the cantle as an example.

Paging @rhm
I believe that indicates April 2013.
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Old 05-05-21, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Duke7777 View Post
I believe that indicates April 2013.
That's what I figured too, I have emailed Brooks before but didn't remember it being that straightforward.
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Old 05-05-21, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
I read the title as the OP dating Brooke (with typo), perhaps Shields.
Gugie,
I read it the same way and I have no interest in dating a Brook by any last name. I'm just glad I was not the only one who got a giggle out of the title. Smiles, MH
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Old 05-05-21, 05:57 PM
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I have a B72 with the year (73) stamped into the cantle plate, and a B66 as well - believe it's a 59. Also had a '73 B17 Narrow with the plate stamp.

Others are a "Pre-Softened" Pro with "6C9" and a B17 with "0J6" both in the leather. So, I suppose March of '96 and October of '06?
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Old 05-05-21, 09:29 PM
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Hmmmm, I do recall Brooks in the early days of stamped-in-leather digits saying they were reversed for production year, which seemed accurate and made sense then. But relatively recent production only makes sense reading the digits unreversed. So the system changed at some point. Wonder if it had anything to do with the sale to Sella Royal, which happened in '02? Maybe it was a Y2K thing?

Hey, remember Y2K? That was a thing, that mostly turned out not to be a thing....

I may be confabulating this with something else, but my fried brain cells think they remember something about some Brooks saddles having a code _inked_ into the underside of the leather? Which often faded, or disappeared with Proofide applications. Does that ring any bells with anybody?

Actually, just found a BF post from '08, and evidently earlier saddles had ink stamps under the flaps, and the secret decoder ring was lost so nobody can decipher them any more, if they're still visible. After the flap stamping, they went to the cantle stamps.
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Old 05-06-21, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by pcb View Post
.......
I may be confabulating this with something else, but my fried brain cells think they remember something about some Brooks saddles having a code _inked_ into the underside of the leather? Which often faded, or disappeared with Proofide applications. Does that ring any bells with anybody?

Actually, just found a BF post from '08, and evidently earlier saddles had ink stamps under the flaps, and the secret decoder ring was lost so nobody can decipher them any more, if they're still visible. After the flap stamping, they went to the cantle stamps.
my '73 Brooks Pro had that three letter stamp....



but... it also has the B73 stamped into the cantle piece....



as such, I don't think the three letter stamp is a date code for the saddle.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 05-06-21, 04:11 PM
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I prefered to date the younger Brooks.

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Old 05-07-21, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
You are supposed to read the codes with a mirror under the saddle...
begins to sound like listening to Beatles vinyl playing backwards
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Old 05-08-21, 10:11 AM
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"I'm very bored" or "I bury Paul"? Why was Paul the only one barefoot on the Abbey Road cover? That WAS his car crash audio in Revolution #9!

This is a quote from BF member texraid, from 2008. I can't vouch for accuracy, but texraid claims he got the info directly from Brooks:
Originally Posted by texraid View Post
This might be of interest.

Prior to sometime in the 1960s the inside of leather side flaps were stamped with a date code. The stamp denoted the month and year of manufacture. Mrs. O'Donnell* writes: "Unfortunately, the "code" book is now lost so we cannot decipher the actual codes used at that time. It is, sadly, not quite as simple as A=January, B=February etc. This 'flap' stamping changed to the frame stamping around the 1960's although there was an 'overlap' period where both the leather and the frame were stamped."
The metal frames of the saddles were stamped with the date of manufacture from sometime in the 1960s to about 1988.
The current method of stamping Brooks saddles is a colored stamp on the underside of the saddle, with a number for the year surrounding a letter for the month.
(*The above Brooks information was provided in an e-mail from Mrs. E. O'Donnell in the Sales Department of Sturmey-Archer, when that company owned Brooks. Mrs. O'Donnell was writing to Robert Williams in response to his query about date codes. Our thanks to these two individuals and to Larry Osborn, who secured a copy of the original e-mail.)
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Old 05-08-21, 10:13 AM
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Hey Steve, see my quote above. Supposedly there was an overlap with both stamping and ink.

Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
my '73 Brooks Pro had that three letter stamp....



but... it also has the B73 stamped into the cantle piece....



as such, I don't think the three letter stamp is a date code for the saddle.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 05-08-21, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by pcb View Post
Hey Steve, see my quote above. Supposedly there was an overlap with both stamping and ink.
sorry about the confusion.
If they did switch from ink stamping to hammering it into the cantlepiece, then I can see some advantages.
The ink stamp seems pretty awkward to apply once the saddle has been assembled, especially since it is applied to a curved surface.

Of course, hammering the date code into the concave surface of the cantlepiece seems a bit challenging too. Plus, the stamp might break the chrome plating?? That would permit corrosion at the break. Doesn't seem to be a problem in my saddles, though.

The current process at least applies the code to the flattest surface of the underside, so that's a distinct advantage.

I've gone through my own issues of applying markings and date codes to some electronic assemblies, so I empathize with whatever troubles caused Brooks to change methods.

Steve in Peoria
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