It was 1865 and John Boultbee Brooks left his home in Leicestershire, England with a pocket full of pounds and headed to Birmingham where he established a horse harness and leather goods company and did quite well for himself.
Sadly, in 1878 his favorite horse puttered out and unable to afford a new one he tried one of those new fangled bicycle thingys. He loved it. Nothing to shovel!
What he didn’t like was the seat. They were terribly uncomfortable so he went on a mission to fix that. In 1882 he filed his first saddle patent and it became a roaring success and Brooks was born. By the 1900’s he was offering cycle luggage, motorcycle leggings, hat cases, cycling shoes and even a bicycle mounted cigar tray and holsters for swords and rifles. Our kind of man.
By the 1950’s Brooks was the largest saddle manufacturer in the world but sadly by the end of the 20th century the range shrank and it was all soon to become a distant memory.
Luckily in the 21st century the company got a new lease on life and the rich heritage has been revived. There are new products as well as reissued models still popular with today’s cyclists. And, we are pleased to say, everything is still made in England.
Today, with the popularity of cycling on the rise, Brooks is gaining a cult following. They not only offer bike saddles (yes, they still call them that), but bike baskets, handsome leather grips, colorful trouser straps and even rain ponchos.
Bags of course are another big seller. The Pickwick is their latest creation. The canvas roll-top backpack is made from water-resistant European canvas and leather trim and is outfitted with shoulder and chest straps for a secure and comfortable fit while peddling to work, play or the closest bar.