Brooks B17 Champion Sprinter Saddle Date?

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MikeXToronto

On Training Wheels
Howdy folks! Thanks for the add to the group and I can't believe it has taken me this long to become a member.

I've just dug up this saddle that I've had forever thinking it was just another Brooks. After taking a little more time I've come to discover that it's in fact a B17 Champion Sprinter. (Searched in vain for "Spirit" for the longest time...)

Now that I have resurfaced after two full days down the 'rabbit hole' and have made some discoveries but I can't pinpoint the age. I believe it's pre-1957 due to the oval embossed leather logo (it's faint but 'Sprinter is there) and post-1925 due to the {bracketed} brass badge that I've seen in the catalogues. The cantle plate / seat rail mount doesn't match the post-1948 designs either. That gives me an approximate 23 year window.

I have checked the Kurt Kaminer page and still can't figure it out. I have spotted numerous (and even overlapping) variants in the 'badge design'. The measurements and weight match the catalogue specs all the way back to 1925. I have discovered a stamping on the leather underside that appears to be Y00 or YOO but it's partially cut off so I can't be 100%. Another thing I've noticed is that the seat rail clamp is longer that a more modern one (59mm vs 48mm) and the nuts fit a 15mm but not a 9/16.

I am intending on selling the seat but I want to provide as accurate a description as possible for the next potential owner. Anyone have any other clues I could look for? How about a link to any of the catalogues between 1938 and 1956?

Thank you all in advance and i look forward to your input. Sincerely, Mike.

vintage-brooks-b17-champion-sprinter-saddle-01.jpg


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vintage-brooks-b17-champion-sprinter-saddle-03.jpg


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juvela

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
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if the clip is original to the saddle the discrepancy you found in the size of the nuts is likely due to their being Whitworth dimension

you may find that the expander nut in the nose is as well a Whitworth fitting

check also the width between the two saddle rails

it is not clear from the images provided if frame is standard width for a two-rail or if it is a narrow -"N"

forum member @rhm will likely have some solid information for you on his next forum visit


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MikeXToronto

On Training Wheels
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if the clip is original to the saddle the discrepancy you found in the size of the nuts is likely due to their being Whitworth dimension

you may find that the expander nut in the nose is as well a Whitworth fitting

check also the width between the two saddle rails

it is not clear from the images provided if frame is standard width for a two-rail or if it is a narrow -"N"

forum member @rhm will likely have some solid information for you on his next forum visit


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Juvela, thank you for the prompt and informative reply. Much appreciated.

Regarding the Whitworth dimensions, I haven't got my calipers here to measure precisely... My follow up question is then, did the Whitworth sizing change or stop getting used in a specific year, so that this information may assist in narrowing down a date? (Once I get my calipers here I'll compare the expander nut as well.)

As for the saddle rails, I did roughly measure this seat compared to a stock 1976 B5N and the rails are actually (approx) 2mm wider (measured outside to outside.) on the Sprinter.

As for any possibility of the being a 'Narrow', it's seems unlikely due to its overall measurements, weight and lack of 3 holes in the top of the leather or saddle bag mounts.

Brooks-b17-champion-sprinter-seat-rail-comp-01.jpg


Brooks-b17-champion-sprinter-seat-rail-comp-02.jpg


Brooks-b17-champion-sprinter-seat-rail-comp-03.jpg
 

juvela

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
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wrt frame rail spacing -

Campag offered their pillar with integral clamp in models to accommodate both spacings

here is a catalogue page with diagrams illustrating the difference -

1651160460275.png


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rhm

Look Ma, No Hands!
The B17 came in at three different widths-- champion standard, champion narrow, and champion sprinter. You clearly have a sprinter, not a narrow. The sprinter was a track saddle. You don't really sit on it, it's just there to get you in the right position for your sprint. It's much narrower than the narrow.

Brooks changed the nose hardware in 1950 (I am not sure where I got that date, but I didn't make it up!). The later nose hardware is the same as what they use today; the shackle bolt is round, has a round head with one tooth under the head. The pre-1950 hardware has a larger bolt that has a groove ground out on both sides, so the whole bolt is rather hourglass shaped, and it fits snugly through similarly shaped holes in the nose piece and shackle clip.

I suspect, from the overall look of your saddle, that it's from before 1950; but the nose hardware will settle that question.

I do not know anything about the coded letters painted on the underneath of the leather.

Some Brooks saddle frames have a date code stamped on the metal of the cantle plate. The earliest date I've seen was 59, so I don't expect yours has such a date.
 

Oslerblue

'Lil Knee Scuffer
How cool is this ... this Brooks B17 Sprinter saddle has now been reunited with the frameset it came with ... 1939 CCM Flyer. A big thanks and shout-out to MikeXToronto for contacting me after locating this rare saddle and realizing its origin. I have been carefully restoring the Flyer frameset since late December of last year after acquiring it from MikeXToronto and have been been sourcing "as original" parts as I can find/afford. This was just meant to be. I've attached a few pics and have not fully inserted the seatpost but just couldn't wait to put them back with one another. Thanks Mike!

Brooks Sprinter Pic1.jpg


Brooks Sprinter Pic2.jpg


Brooks Sprinter Pic3.jpg
 
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