First quality find in Karratha

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First quality find in Karratha

Postby stevendavid75 » Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:06 pm

While between jobs I helped out working in the LBS, where I found an old BROOKS saddle just sitting around ou the back.
Wasnt sure exactly what it was at the time but in doing some research have nailed it to B15 CHAMPION SWALLOW.

It is in reasonable enough nick, will try to get a pic or 2 organised.
From what I have read they seem like the ducks nuts ...... oh yeah it looks to be the older one too, not the reproduction and it doesnt appear to have the stitching around the side.

Anyone else have one, know much about em?

Last edited by stevendavid75 on Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Kalgrm » Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:11 pm

What they mean is that riding on one will give you "ducks nuts"! ;)

Nah, from what I've heard, they can be a little harder to break in, but once it's done, you'll have a saddle for life. That means you might feel some minor discomfort for the first 1000km or so, but from then on, you'll love it.

Of course, if you can't face that first 1000km, send it down to me in Perth - I'll break it in on my MTB, and thereafter I'll be the one in heaven ....


(I already have a B17 on the MTB and love it.)
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Postby Kid_Carbine » Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:19 pm

VERY good score there & I'm as jealous as hell. Congratulations.

The Swallow, first catalogued in 1937, was available as a B17 Swallow & a B15 Swallow.
Generally, the B17 & B15 series of saddles were basically the same, but with the B17 using the premium grade of leather while the B15 used the next level down. From 1937 there were four grades of leather.

The B17 Swallow used a wire thread to stitch the edges of the top & there was a section of leather that passed under the saddle about half way along. You can see the arrangement in the picture.
The B15 Swallow had two flaps that were an extention of the top that did the same thing. These met on the centreline & were held together by a copper or brass plate underneath & this was to prevent spreading of the curved top section.

According to Tony Colegrave, the noted Brooks historian & restorer, the wire stitching was the cause of much grief,however, the B15 Swallow did not use this & was much better, & in his view, the B15 is the better saddle of the two.
I'm not going to argue with him & yes, he is the man who repaired my B37 & who is restoring my Mansfield North Road.

Either one, in good serviceable condition will fetch the kind of money that would take your breath away, but both are subject to tearing in the area of the underneath flap & at the nose attachment point & while new tops can be made, it's folly to buy a damaged one for big bucks with an eye to having a new top made as both are based on a standard B17 chassis, & B17 Narrow saddles with ruined tops are worth very little, so this would be the more sensible way to get a chassis.

If anyone is contemplating having a Swallow made from a B17 chassis, then get the earlier one with the collar at the cantle plate where the under rails attach as these are of much better quality & were available, optionally, with chrome finish between about 1949 & something like 1957. These come up nice but hand made replica tops are not cheap.

Mid 50's B17 Swallow with optional Chrome chassis. Note method of attaching rails to cantle.


B15 Swallow. A thing of beauty.

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Postby stevendavid75 » Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:22 pm

yep mine is the same as the bottom one.
Not quite as good nick but still very very usable.

thanks for the info KC.



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Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:57 pm

You fit into the antispammer criteria Stevendavid, try the syntax below.

Code: Select all


Easiset way is to paste the link in. highlight it then click the {Img} button.

I think there's a thread or two describing it elsewhere :roll:


Just so we can see it again... :wink: Image
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Postby GaryF » Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:04 pm

Very nice find - worthy of a special bike.

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Postby stevendavid75 » Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:18 pm

Yeah you are right Gary, My brother just sold me a chrome carlton track bike that is very nice

see this thread for pic,2918.0.html

this is the one exception for my collection, but I just couldnt let it go to the bay and anyway Carlton is in melbourne anyway :wink:

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Postby stryker84 » Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:51 pm

Hehe, you guys probably know this site well already, but I stumbled across it on Google, looking for your bike Steve.


And very interesting website.

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Postby stevendavid75 » Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:11 pm

another picImage

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