Originally designed in 1938 for heavy duty cycling, the B33 is the only model still featuring stranded rear coil springs and a front loop. Its look gives the perfect finishing touch to a traditional city bicycle. Its strength makes it a good choice for heavier commuters.
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I found a splendid report on the Brooks B 33 Saddle in a blog in germany:
The B33 is, to my opinion a piece of art - not only beautifully crafted but surprisingly comfortable too. However i wonder whether it would be worth considering a more secure/ thief repellent way of fitting this saddle to the bike (a Pushley Sovereign in my case). I have been enjoying riding on both these for the past six months but unfortunately my B33 was recently stolen in the very brief time I left it out of my sight - a huge disappointment.
I like riding my bike alot I'm kind of a large guy 6 feet 2 inches tall 240 pounds I have broken some seat frames from my weight my brooks b33 is like riding on a pillow very comfortable and very well built I always tell people to buy them after they try riding my bike and my b33
I received a brand new B66, in brown, from my father, who already had one on his Superbe. I had suffered from painful riding for many years, increasingly so as my fishing trips increased to 100 miles plus. I went through the range of commonly suggested solutions, with not much luck. This was especially true past the 50 mile mark, gel seats being useless, or in fact a reason for the pain getting worse. In my own experience, i would totally challenge the traditional negative reputation that Brooks saddles have for having a terrible breaking in period. Mine has been a blissful gift which does regular century rides with full fishing kit. It can be a little noisy if i forget to spray some wd40 onto the springs. I proof hide it every month and have had 4 years stirling service. The saddle is still in almost mint condition and i can see it out lasting me by a good few centuries, if the next owner takes rightful care of it. A masterpiece of human ingenuity and a true British classic.
I have the B33 on my Pashley Phantom and I must say it’s as if my buttocks are held aloft by the hands of an angel. The bike can be ridden all day long in total comfort.
I have a B33 on my Pashley, which was my introduction to the brand, and a B67 on my around town bike. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this is the most comfortable saddle I have ever ridden on. I note some other correspondents on this page note the squeak of the springs as a detriment, whereas I rather like the gentle squeak as I ride. I like it because it suggests that the saddle is flexing, moving under me and generally doing what a saddle should to avoid pain in the bottom! A classic delight!
Referring to Joseph's observation (above), the saddle with 'Butt' imprinted (most probably 'Genuine BUTT Leather', within a circle?) is likely to be a Brooks-made Wright's Olympic, from the late 'sixties, and almost certainly a 90/3B model - rather than a 'B.33 clone'.
I got mine back in 1989. Actually I am not even all sure it's that very model as mine features black coloured metal parts. The little bike shop next village was closing down as its owner went to retire and I got it for mere pennies.
Bikes came and went, yet I kept my saddle which I greased thoroughly again yesterday to see it shine in its leather's rhich dark brown. The brooks emblem has faded by now and the leather starts showing scars, the springs squeak and all-yet I guess it'll make another ten years at least.
I'd like to add that it was used for well over ten thousand kilometers so far in all weather conditions, Wherever the bike is parked I put a plastic bag over the saddle to protect it from rain and ultraviolet radiation.
For a couple of days I used a modern "High Tech" saddle, yet hurriedly got a fitting stay for my good old Brooks saddle as I feared for familly plans to get crushed on road's rough reality..
A marvelous little thing, that saddle!
I have been riding on Brooks saddles since 1976. I am 72, I now have a B33 on one bike and a B67 on another. Both are so comfortable I can't decide which one I like better. A few years back I decided to try the new "Modern" seats. Went through 5 before I gave up and came back to Brooks. Do wish you could design the B33 so as to fit to the new style seat post. That would be really nice
Bought the seat to put on my Electra Indy and will never go back so comfortable once it was worn in, plus adds so much Bling that my wife was jealous and had to get a B18
COMMENT > A lot more comfortable than the Arione but still, after 2000+ kms, not in that famous "forgettable" state.
I would really like to see more advice on set-up and how to angle the saddle in the optimum way on your website.
For example, how do you set it up "level" when it isn´t flat? There must be tons of "Brooks knowledge" in your possession. Please share.
REPLY > Fortunately BROOKS Saddles are so personal, that any advice can be nothing more than a subjective opinion. Nevertheless your advice is precious and we will be working o a series of videos to show some of the most common techniques to get the saddle "right". This is what we wrote in the leaflet we send out with every saddle:
The rider’s comfort will depend to a much greater extent than is generally imagined, upon the correct adjustment of the saddle on the machine. The great thing to bear in mind is that, to obtain comfort and immunity from injurious pressure, the weight must be carried by the broad part of the saddle. The peak should carry as little weight as possible. The nose is mainly intended to ensure a steady and secure seat, which a peakless saddle would not do. By attention to the following hints the correct position should be readily attained.
The saddle should be placed:
1. just sufficiently behind the crank-axle to allow the rider to sit upon the broad part of the saddle, while riding, without being pulled forward on to the peak by the onward thrust of the leg;
2. with the peak positioned just high enough to prevent the rider from slipping forward; this is normally attained when the surface of the saddle is parallel to the ground;
3. just low enough to enable the rider to reach the pedals comfortably all round, without even a suspicion of stretching after them.
This is a general guideline, but I have personally experienced that different saddles need different adjustments. Here are my examples:
-the Swallow on my road bike is perfectly parallel to the ground
-the B17 Imperial on my mountain bike is more comfortable if the nose is slightly higher than the back
-the B17 Special on my Brompton folding bike feels perfect when parallel
-the B33 on my city bike is more comfortable if the nose is facing quite a bit upwards
I'm sure my experience is different than someone else's, that's why I thought of publishing comments from different Brooks Cyclists!
BROOKS ENGLAND LTD.
Q > I love the B33 and intend to own one as soon as possible! Is there a reason for the double stranded rear springs, is it for looks or do they perform differently?
A > First this is the way it has always been manufactured, second it looks nice, third they are supposed to be stronger.
my b33=happy bum! if a part breaks i will replace the part the same as my bike, car, washing machine etc, so i cant see any problem with it. its a top saddle and i am more than happy with it. keep up the good work!
I just purchased a b33 the other day and it looks great I will be putting it on my Motorized Worksman INB,,,,,,I have owned I think 6 Brooks saddles,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I love Brooks.
Stuart Brandt Danville Virginia US
i have a b90/3 brooks saddle that is alike b33 . it has been made about 50years ago but it is better than any other saddle brand. i am 120 kg weight and ride about 70km 5day a week . it is very comfortable and i have no problem on it. i want to buy a b17 or conquest model but brooks hasnt any branch in iran.
My Name is Sapto, I live in Indonesia...
I like Brooks Saddels, Oya I have old bycycle too, and I love it....
Question- what is real difference between B33 and B190 for cruiser bike? B190 is wider and what about comfort?
Answer- the top of the B190 is much larger, therefore more comfortable for someone looking for a larger seating area.
Q > I was searching through an old old barn/shed the other day on my friends farm, and came across an old bike, sorry!!, a very old bike, prob 50 plus years old. And sat atop of this once beautiful machine was an equally beautiful and old saddle that can only be a B33 Brooks!! I am in the process now of cleaning and renivating the saddle (not the bike) to use on my dawes super galaxy. I havent ridden it yet but im expecting good things, also I was wondering if it was usual for the company to stamp "butt" on the centre of the saddle or would this of been the owner? It should be noted that this bike may well of been a postmans or other working bike due to its design and the existence of rear panniers, although this is just an uneducated guess ha ha
A > We don't know about a "butt" stamp. Anyhow it would be interesting to see the panniers if they are Brooks!
My dad has ridden a brooks all his life, so I am a fan of the brand.
COMPLAINT > I bought a Pashley bike which came with the saddle B33 but to my astonishment the twisted coil spring snapped at the base of the saddle. It does make me wonder whether I was just unlucky or standards and quality of the famous Brooks Craftmanship have started deteriorating. No doubt I may hear excuses such as this is the first time it has happened to the saddle. The bottom line is that I should not have had such an experience within the space of twelve months. Warranty or no warranty quality always speaks for itself without the need to bolster it with some means of extricating oneself from a supposedly good product.
REPLY > It is not the first time a spring has broken, that's why we offer them as spare parts. Conventional modern saddles can be thrown away if anything breaks, Brooks saddles can be repaired. Hopefully this speaks in favour of the good reputation of our products. The problem you describe occurs more often on the B33, because the stranded springs are both right hand coils. All other Brooks Saddles have one left and one right hand coil spring, giving more stability and perfect symmetry to the structure. The two right hand coil springs of the B33 are responsible for the occasional breakage of one of them. Because we know that this can happen, we are now making new tools to be able to produce a left hand coil spring. This is not an easy job, as our machines in the metal department date back as far as the 1940s and 1950s. If you watch the video on the "SADDLES" page, this should not be too difficult to grasp. To solve your problem please post your claim in the GETTING IN TOUCH section and a colleague will help you to get a new spring.
Q > My wife loved this saddle because of its comfort. Unfortunately her two B33 never got older than one year because the screw that fastens the rear coil to the saddle always broke. You can hardly speak of heavy duty then, can you?
A > This is a problem we have not heard of before. Anyway, first you can replace the bolts, the springs and any other metal part that fails. Second there is a warranty for failures, but this is the wrong place to report it. Please use the WARRANTY CLAIM from in the GETTTIN IN TOUCH SECTION.
I see some comments about the B33 getting lifted from peoples bikes, I just picked mine up and a U lock fits through the front spring and around the frame of my bike perfectly
Q > I recently bought a Pilen Swedish Classic bike. It rolls silently and like a dream, however, the B66 saddle makes a lot of noise during riding, probably coming from the springs and suspension. Is this normal and acceptable?
A > Some squeaking can happen. It is normally due to the rubbing between the leather top and the metal parts, either on the nose or on the back plate. Try to put some Proofide where you believe the squeaking is coming from.
I purchased this saddle about 6 months ago. Overall I have been very happy with it, it looks amazing and is quite comfortable even though I'm sure it's not even close to being fully broken in yet. I do however have a couple of complaints (Typical of us Americans, right?)
First one is very minor, but being somewhat of a visual perfectionist when it comes to my vintage cycles I have noticed that the saddle has a significant lean to one side. I noticed this right away before putting any miles on it and I was hoping it would even itself out, but with around 125 miles on it to date it has not. It also is worth mentioning it hasn't gotten any worse and doesn't seem to really effect the comfort.
The second is that it rapidly developed some rather annoying squeaks. Now I am a heavy rider (I am an American, remember?) at around 275lbs so maybe that is to be expected, but it does sort of ruin the serenity of a nice ride. I let it go for the first 50 miles or so, and then tried to lubricate it sparingly with limited success. I was very careful not to get any lubricant on the leather, but I'm about ready to just "go ham" on it with the spray bottle to try and sort out the squeaks.
Overall though I must say that if you appreciate antique and vintage bicycles, and in fact vintage/antique items in general, then you quality and you'll be hard pressed to find better anywhere else.
I love the B33, but....... The right rear spring broke for the third time (the second time this year). I'm not a light weight (105 kg), but that's why I bought a heavy duty saddle. Maybe it's not heavy duty enough. Should I replace it for a B190?
I wish you still made the b33 in dark brown with black springs like the one I used to have.
My Brooks B33 after only 5 months ( about 2500 Km , approximately 85 kg body weight) is broken right coil spring.
The saddle I bought at Sam 's ( SportsandmoreShop Store , Josef Schmitter - Allee 5 97450 in Arnstein ) , whose service I can only advise now . The coil spring cost me like 10-12 euros (possibly including shipping ) for the end user .
When I reported the defect in SAM 's, it was a first for me and asked about 20 minutes after my email a photo. Then I have a total of 5 photos sent to the Customer Service and get a response a day later . Now I should send in the saddle at its own expense , they wanted the saddle to the manufacturer ( England !) Forward . Later , they spoke of " materials testing " . On demand was not a return label to get it from the dealer SAM . Unfortunately, at this time all the rating and buyer protection periods have long expired and I suspect that an honest desire to settle claims never existed. How do I interpret in any case the ever-changing " obstacles " unnecessarily handle this relatively small damage consuming.
Later, you have threatened me with a special IT lawyer and justified this approach with the statutory requirements , my safety and the requirements of the wholesale trade. I also do not doubt that this whole procedure within the specification, unfortunately, in this particular case, to my disadvantage . After all the correspondence I now have absolutely no confidence in the dealer 's SAM and under no circumstances would send the saddle there.
I find the approach of SAM 's just disproportionate and especially unhelpful , especially since I do not have a suitable replacement saddle for warranty processing time. The effort is called for by the dealer in relation to the damage of proportion . A spare part replacement of the coil spring would have been here in my interest.
I can only each of the customer service of the company 's SAM - SportsandmoreShop Store , Josef Schmitter - Allee 5 97450 in Arnstein advise .
Conclusion: I ordered a coil spring "on own account " - " Hands off Sam 's "
Please get in touch with us through our general enquiry section and we will try and help
I am a female and I own a common road bike.
I would like to replace the saddle with one of Brooks' products .
Since my weight is around 95 kg , which kind of saddle would you recommend for me ?
I read the B33 or B130 are suitable for my weight , but aren't they a bit heavy ?
A> Our saddles are not designed for different weights, instead for the riding position. The B33, etc are designed for someone who is riding absolutely upright, and would not be suitable for a road bike.
Try instead The Flyer or the B67.
To Pan Tekosis:
I've been using the same B33 in the last 22 year (it is still like new) on my old Bianchi city bike. I'm used to lock my bike with a Bloster lock that I pass through the B33 ring and then around the bike crossbar and the pole I usually attach the bike to. This have so far prevented the saddle from being stolen.
I really love my B33 as it is the most comfortable seat I've ever ridden on. It fits me perfectly on my 2009 Raleigh Detour Deluxe, but my friend cannot get hers to the correct angle due to the limited adjustment available. The angle is either too for up or too far down, when it needs to be in the middle. Do you have any plans to make an adaptor so that this seat can be used with a modern microadjust seatpost? Here is a picture of one to use with a double rail, but I don't think it will work with a triple;http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/saddles/images/sa003.jpg
A> We do not have any plans at this time to produce an adaptor, but thank you for the feedback!
If you have a question and desire a timely response, send a mail to email@example.com or just simply post to our Facebook wall at www.facebook.com/Brooks.England. Our antiquated shop comments section does not lend itself to frequent updating.
Q > Is there fore/aft adjustment, or is the clamp set in one spot? The second rail looks like it is bent for the clamp and cannot be repositioned? Can it take a seat sandwich?
A> Yes you may adjust the seat fore/aft. The clamp is a seat sandwich from my understanding.
Last year I bought a Pashely Roadster Sovereign, a beautiful bike with a beautiful and comfortable saddle.
I have a problem with the triple-railed saddle clamp that the Brooks B33 saddle is supplied with.
The seat clamp can come loose and change the seat angle. I tightened the clamp bolts many times but I still have the same problem.
A > You must make certain this clamp is very, very, tight.
I've recently purchased a honey B66 and a honey B66s from different stores online, and they both came with their own unique idiosyncrasies.
The B66 has a large splotchy dark spot right in the middle of the widest part of the saddle, which seems to go all the way through the leather, as it can be seen on the underside as well. It's not very attractive, and when I apply Proofhide to the saddle, everything gets darker, including the splotchy area, which becomes almost black when damp. Is this normal? Why create a light coloured leather out of a splotchy skin? Also, this saddle's springs have different specularities- The one on the right looks like polished chrome, while the one on the left just looks a dull chrome, or a polished steel. Why wouldn't both springs be made and polished in the same way (I noticed this immediately, having recently polished up a Brooks B66 from 1975)?
The B66s was labeled as such on the package that it shipped in, but it was clearly a B67s (it said so on the imprint on the side of the saddle) with a genuine brooks (made in England) single rail clamp attached to it. Why was this B67s given a clamp and sold to me as a B66s? Is this a new Brooks thing, or is this the bike shop trying to pull a fast one on me?
Also, both saddles were scuffed on the nose and along the rear edge of the top of the leather when they arrived. As they both came from different shops in different parts of the United States, I'm guessing that 'box wear' is normal... Are these all things that I should expect?
A > No, absolutely not. I am afraid you have purchased your saddles from disreputable retailers. Please consult the Dealers of Excellence portion of this website for the quality retailer nearest you.
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