Author Topic: B17 issue. Am I the only one?  (Read 1837 times)

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Offline PeteJack

B17 issue. Am I the only one?
« on: December 11, 2011, 12:07:04 pm »
About a year ago I was touring in Washington State and called into a bike shop in Ellensburg to buy a tube. While there I decided my saddle needed tightening so I asked the owner if he had a Saddle wrench I could borrow. He said he didn't but very kindly took one from a new B17 saddle he had for sale (Both saddle and wrench were mounted on cardboard for display. You know the sort of thing I mean) to my surprise the wrench didn't fit! It was too small. I know they are a bit fiddly so I had the bike shop man try. He couldn't get it to work.

The old nuts were an imperial size. My guess is that Brooks couldn't get any more imperial stock to make the nuts out of and went to the nearest metric size. Brooks website only advertises one wrench so if I buy one will it fit? I tried contacting Brooks via their site but got no reply. Was this all a bad dream or what?
« Last Edit: December 11, 2011, 03:51:17 pm by PeteJack »

Offline RussSeaton

Re: B17 issue. Am I the only one?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2011, 04:46:16 pm »
Not sure I have an answer for you, but here is my story.  I have a B17 on one bike.  Not sure how old it is.  It might be 5-6 years old, when I put the saddle on the bike.  Or I might have bought the saddle 10 or so years ago and just never used it until 5 years ago.  Not sure.  But I went to the basement and tried some wrenches on the nut.  1/2" was too small.  9/16" was too large.  13mm was too small.  14mm fit but was a bit loose.  The nut on my B17 seems to need a 17/32" wrench.  Or a 13.5mm wrench.  Neither of these sizes of wrenches exists in the world.  Unless Brooks had custom sized wrenches made for their saddles.  If you had a stubby 14mm wrench, it would work.  Longer wrenches hit the top tube.  Or if you took a 14mm cone wrench and ground the sides off, it would work really well.  14mm is a bit loose but will turn the nut fine.

After writing all this, I wondered if I had the official Brooks wrench.  So I went back to the basement and looked through the bike tools toolbox and found the short chrome official Brooks wrench.  It has 12 corners in it and fits around the nut, does not slide on two sides like a normal wrench.  Its a custom wrench obviously.  It fit my B17.  I measured it and the way I measured it, it came to 9/16" inside the wrench jaws.  But as I said, 9/16" wrench was too loose on the nut.

Offline tonythomson

Re: B17 issue. Am I the only one?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2011, 03:22:30 am »
They often come up on ebay - might be worth a punt.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline briwasson

Re: B17 issue. Am I the only one?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2011, 02:18:49 pm »
Give Bilenky Cycles in Philadelphia a call. They are the only (I believe) authorized Brooks repair facility in the USA and will likely know the exact answer.

Offline Mark Manley

Re: B17 issue. Am I the only one?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2011, 02:54:54 pm »
It could be that the nut on RussSeaton's saddle needs a 1/4 Whitworth spanner to fit it, an old English size that is .525 a/f, if you have too much time on your hands and want the full historical explanation it is here. If it were not pouring down with rain and blowing a gale outside I would go to the shed and find out what size mine is.

http://www.sat.dundee.ac.uk/~psc/spanner_jaw.html

Offline driftlessregion

Re: B17 issue. Am I the only one?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2011, 10:29:57 pm »
I have a 35 yr old Pro, a 2 year yr old Pro and a 5 yr old B-17.  My Brooks wrench works on all three. Not sure what that means.