Brooks England is a renowned bike saddle manufacturer that started in Smethwick, but is now owned by Selle Royal. They’ve been crafting leather goods since 1866, and their bicycle saddles debuted in the 1880s.
The company’s founder, John Boultbee Brooks, was a horse saddle maker who embarked on this venture after finding wooden bike seats unbearably uncomfortable.
Raleigh Bicycle Company acquired Brooks in 1962, but after Raleigh’s collapse in 1999, John Godfrey Macnaughtan and Adrien Williams stepped in and saved the company. In 2002, they passed the torch to Selle Royal.
Brooks’ leather saddles absorb and evaporate sweat, unlike most synthetic materials. To keep them in good condition, Brooks provides Proofide—a special dressing composed mainly of tallow and a touch of citronella oil, giving it a distinct scent.
Brooks England leather saddles are usually heavier than plastic or carbon fiber alternatives, but their traditional appearance and long-distance comfort make them a worthwhile choice for some riders.