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Classic Lightweights UK
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J B Brooks 1948 ‘Champion Lightweight’ range 

By Stephen Warne


At the Olympia Cycling Show of November 1948 J B Brooks launched a new range of lightweight saddles catalogued as ‘Lightweight Champions’ 



cycling 1948 Cycling November 48



The range comprised 4 new ‘Champion’ saddles with aluminium cantle plates and stainless steel wires. They were claimed to be up to 40% lighter than their all steel frame B.17 equivalents.



 

1950 catalogue

Catalogue 1950 – Image courtesy VCC Library

 

B27 Standard

B.27 Standard

B37 Narrow
B.37 Narrow

B47 Sprint
B.47 Sprint

B57 Swallow
B.57 Swallow


Brooks even supplied seat post clamps manufactured from aluminium and stainless steel to match the saddles, see below left.

Seat post clamp Cracked cantle plate



These saddles were very expensive and it was soon found that they were prone to problems with the cantle plates cracking around the area where the wires were inserted, see image above right.

There were also problems with the seat post clamp. The ‘ribbed’ area on the clamp, being aluminium, had a tendency to slip and strip the metal away, and thus enabling the saddle to move, with potentially very unpleasant results !

Presumably due to these problems, and perhaps poor sales, the range was dropped by 1952 and not listed in the Brooks catalogue of that year.

Consequently, relatively few were sold and these saddles are quite hard to find today, particularly the Sprint and Swallow versions.

(Images 4 – 9   S. Warne collection)