July 3, 2005

    I keep seeing vinyl Brooks (and Raleigh) saddles up for auction on eBay. I'm confused because I thought Brooks made only leather saddles. Are these saddles low-grade knock-offs or what?
    Please see attached pics of a "vintage Brooks B-73" saddle that is currently posted on eBay. It looks nothing like the B-73 I see sold in shops or online. What is it? Thanks!

Kevin C.

    Authentic Brooks saddles come in only two materials: (1) leather, and (2) pre-softened leather. The real B-73 looks nothing like the photos you sent; check it out yourself on the Brooks Web site.
    I’ve heard that opportunistic Asian manufacturers had churned out some vinyl Brooks knock-offs, so it doesn’t surprise me to find ’em on eBay. For fun, you might try asking that eBay seller where they got the saddle, and how they reconcile the appearance of their "B-73" with the photo advertised by Brooks itself.
    BTW, Italian saddle maker Selle Royale bought Brooks some years ago, and while Selle has some vinyl saddlebags, it’d make me shocked— shocked!— to learn that they'd put "Brooks" on any of their vinyl stuff.

Mr Bike

September 26, 2012

    Your answer to the question about vinyl saddles from Brooks was completely wrong. Brooks does not make vinyl saddles now, but they did for decades. Many, many old Raleighs and other English "comfort" bikes came with a Brooks saddle in mattress-padded vinyl with springs, up until the '70s or possibly even the early '80s. They turn up on eBay all the time. They also made a spectacularly cruddy vinyl "racing" saddle in the '70s. No one is counterfeiting Brooks saddles in vinyl.
    You're also wrong about Brooks-badged Selle saddles in vinyl.

Steve T.

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