Can I turn a Brooks Flyer saddle into a Brooks B17 (... with reasonable effort ... whatever that means)? Has anyone ever tried?

Brooks Flyer: https://www.brooksengland.com/en_us/flyer.html

Brooks B17: https://www.brooksengland.com/en_us/b17.html

For this, I would need to replace the frame assembly of the Flyer saddle with the frame assembly of the B17 saddle. The frame assembly can be purchased separately. As far as I know, both saddles have the same dimension.

enter image description here

Anyway, I am afraid I will have to detach the leather of the saddle. This would require the removal of the rivets which come without a threads. Has anyone ever tried and can report on their experience?

  • 1
    Great question - I can't answer it, but to clarify, a rivet cannot have threads else it becomes a bolt+nut. By definition, a rivet is "set" which deforms the metal. So rivet removal is always destructive. You will need a new rivet, or some kind of suitably sized bolt as replacement.
    – Criggie
    Sep 9 at 12:24
  • 1
    Thanks for the clarification. There is a YouTube video of a guy who disassembles and reassembles his brooks saddle: youtube.com/watch?v=NZtRrxsxxao He simply inserts new rivets (I've never worked with rivets). However, if the size of the saddles is the same and the only difference are the springs, I should be able to replace the frame.
    – Stücke
    Sep 9 at 12:31
  • 1
    ... still quite some work probably.
    – Stücke
    Sep 9 at 12:31
  • 6
    but ... why? Anyhow, a Brooks saddle is "just" a metal piece with some leather, if you remove all the craftmanship and the experience they have. Since you are asking, I guess your expertise with leather is 0, I do not know your craftmanship level, I would expect a poor job, with the outcome of the leather disintegrating in some months because the rivets/bolts/whatever will be either too strong, or too weak, or too large, or too narrow... I am not judging you as a person, only the endeavour you are embarking onto. Good luck!
    – EarlGrey
    Sep 9 at 13:30

From the picture above, plus those you've linked, you'd definitely have to remove the rivets, and rivet the leather to the new frame. This doesn't look easy, especially as the flyer doesn't give good access to the back of the rivets.

Looking very closely at the pictures on their website, I'm not sure the leather is made identically anyway. The taper and shape of the nose look subtly different, and I'm not absolutely sure the innermost rear rivets are in the same place. Yes, they're both stamped the same on the inside, in the photos on the website, but so are some definitely different saddles (e.g. B17 carved)

You'd be better off selling your flyer 2nd hand, or putting that on another bike, and getting a new one.

However Brooks themselves, and authorised dealers in other countries, can refurbish saddles, e.g. replacing broken rails. If your flyer is already moulded to you and that's why you want to transplant the leather, it might be worth getting in touch. As usual Sheldon Brown has more detail including contacts. That page also has some DIY notes, but Sheldon and his friends would DIY practically anything.

  • 3
    Thank you for your answer! I just received a response from Brooks England customer support regarding the size of the leather of the B17 and Flyer: "Yes, the leather is identical in size and shape". Maybe I'll give it a go. If yes, I let you guys know how it turned out.
    – Stücke
    Sep 10 at 12:05

As to the why, I'm thinking about this too for the following reasons:

I want more saddle setback but this also means lowering the saddle a bit and my seatpost won't go any lower (old frame from the days of horizontal top tubes); the B17 should be about 1 cm lower from the rails to the top of the leather. The leather is well broken in, been riding on it regularly for 5 years, and a new B17 wouldn't be As I've got fitter I'm not sure whether I need the springs Half the price of a new saddle

Seems doable. ATM one webshop in my region has the rivets but no B17 frame, and another has the frame but no rivets. Ima probly wait for a week or two & see if that changes for the better.

New contributor
Ben is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
  • 2
    Please report back on if you are successful; as it is this doesn't really answer the question since it's asking for people with actual experience.
    – DavidW
    Sep 14 at 19:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.