A Look Inside Brooks England

Since 1866, Brooks England has been making bicycle saddles in the UK. While their original facilities were located in Birmingham, the current factory is nestled in the industrial town of Smethwick.

We’ve all probably owned a Brooks saddle at one point in our life and can attest to their longtime comfort and character that develops from heavy use. Before a saddle ever touches a seat post, they begin as just raw leather and steel. The process by which they make the transformation to a bicycle saddle is complex, yet streamlined in their bustling factory.

Dozens of employees make Brooks England tick and each has their special task. While they will transfer stations every few months, a unique marker on the saddles can tell you who was doing what, when. This catalog of information spans decades and is what makes Brooks so unique. If something goes wrong with a batch, Brooks can asses the situation and make their end product better.

For me, the most interesting part of the process was talking to the workers and watching them move through their tasks with efficiency… In an age when Great Britain has shipped much of its industry overseas, it’s great to see heritage and craftsmanship are still alive at Brooks.

See more in the Gallery, as I walk you through this process.

  • Matt Rumora

    Outstanding look into a true cycling icon! Very cool stuff…love the portraits! …did they have good coffee? ;-)

  • Samuel Lopez

    Coming from a manufacturing background, this is truely awesome.

  • http://peterhanchak.com Peter Hanchak

    Oh man, who doesn’t love a well documented factory visit! Thanks for the awesome shots, now you need an excuse to swing by the NITTO factory!

  • Charlie Widdows

    Have you seen this great film about the heritage of Brooks and the manufacturing process? Lovely… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9w-y24Waz4

  • Miles Away

    Great to see eric the chamferer plying his trade.