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29 June 2011 6 comments

Select Brooks!

Saddles, Bags, Etc. Travel & Adventure Cycling
Select Brooks!

Anyone who has spent time at one of our Dealers of Excellence, or browsed the Brooks homepage, may have had their attention drawn to the fact that we categorize our saddles under different Lines. The Select range is one of them.

Some time ago, we became curious to find out what differences might be between one of our standard Brooks hides, and one cut from a hide supplied to us by a certified-organic farm.

Some of the Select line

Cattle raised on organic farms tend to live markedly longer lives, developing over time a thicker hide than that of an intensively farmed animal. It is not uncommon for seven years to pass in the life of the former, whereas in the case of the latter, 2.5 years would be considered old age indeed.

Saddle Leather talk from our 1927 Catalogue.

The seven pieces in Brooks' Select Line may all take a touch longer to "break in" than some of our others, but the rewards accruing to long-distance cyclists hardly need to be elaborated upon. Is this your idea of vacation?

And for the casual cyclist with an interest in sustainability, our Select B17, for example, as well as being a saddle to grow old (or older) with, is also clearly something that can be bought with a relatively clear conscience, and open eyes.

We named the line Select because of how the hides are chosen. Each hide is can be traced to its farm of origin, ensuring that only the best hides will bear the Select name. The process of Vegetable Tanning hasn't changed much over the years.

Most importantly, it allows us to offer a line of saddles which in terms of accountability, durability, feel and look have no equal on the market today.

Select tops are vegetable tanned, like the rest of the Brooks saddle range, and their rivets are hand hammered to the top, most frequently by Eric Murray.

How about making some seat toolbags out of the same material as a special edition to go along with my B67 Select? Handmade in England of course
Clif Watkins 23 May 2016 at 16:07
As one, who, just this day, has clocked up 8000 kms on his Brooks Saddle fitted to a Surly Long Haul Trucker in under twelve months of casual cycling, let me say that I have never had a moment's trouble with my Brooks B17 Flyer.
Mick Dolan 23 May 2016 at 16:07
I think many people may want to consder riding a Select for ecological/humane reasons rather than durability- but oofff, your rear end will pay the price for a long time till you get it broken in! (Some people think breaking in the regular saddles is too much.) hence they are recommended for "high mileage" cyclists...I'm hoping the standard B67 on my commuter bike (that I use instead of a car when I can) lasts a few decades anyway....intensive farming is not sustainable, and if demand for meat does not go down in the next 30 years we are in trouble. If even a regular saddle lasts for years a Select will outlive the owner!
Kristn 23 May 2016 at 16:07
Not to be a big downer here, but if treatment of the animals/cattle is truly important to you, why wouldn't all of your seats be 'select" grade? Farmers/retailers who are passionate about this throughout the world have made a decision that they only go organic for the benefits of humanity and the environment. The message that you will do this 'selectively' indicates that you take no real position on Organic for the far majority of seats you make, and have offered this 'feature' to your customers in case they would like to opt to pay for that preference
David Strobelt 23 May 2016 at 16:07
Hi David,

We asked ourselves the same question when this idea was proposed by one of our longtime leather suppliers. There are a number of reasons for limiting the use of the Select hides to one line.

First, and most obviously, leather of this quality is not available in great quantity, and nowhere near the amounts needed to supply our entire line.

Second, this leather is in fact quite a bit harder than our standard leather and therefore would be an unwelcome change for many of our customers, performance-wise. We primarily market these saddles to travelers who have requested harder leather.

Third, the living conditions and lifespan of the animals used in the Select line are stated in the interest of customers who care about such things, and are in fact true.

I hope this helps to clarify things for you, and I hope you also understand that we are in fact promoting an alternative.

Best Regards,


BREGAN 23 May 2016 at 16:07
[...] Andrea Menghelli does a nice job of explaining the Select models so I will refer you to his piece on the Brooks Blog. « What Is [...]
Select Brooks Select 23 May 2016 at 16:07