Brooks England’s UK distributor, Extra UK, has confirmed that availability of the British brand’s saddles and accessories will be unaffected by Brexit despite stories in the cycling press highlighting a statement on Brooks England’s website advising customers that “ongoing changes in the Brexit situation have made it necessary to temporarily suspend all new orders to the UK at this time.”
Cycling Weekly contacted Extra UK for comment.
“We’ve been getting our ducks in a row for this Brexit Brooks piece as the people who have shared content based around that article have never actually come to us for comment or clarification, and it’s very much appreciated that you did,” said Extra’s Michael Braybrook. Here is Extra’s statement in full:
“You may have seen some reports in the press over the weekend about supply of Brooks England saddles to the UK being postponed due to difficulties around Brexit. We want to assure you that this only affects consumers buying Brooks England products directly from the Brooks England website. Orders from anywhere in the world through this website are fulfilled from a single location in Italy.
"UK distribution through Extra UK is unchanged. Extra UK will continue to deliver Brooks England products to Brooks Premium Dealers throughout the UK and Ireland. UK consumers can use the Brooks England store locator at https://www.brooksengland.com/storelocator/ to find a local stockist.
"Furthermore, we can confirm that UK-made Brooks England products are shipped directly from the Brooks England factory in Smethwick to Extra UK’s warehouse, and not via Selle Royal’s HQ in Italy.
Rest assured that availability of Brooks England products in the UK through its UK distributor, Extra UK, remains unchanged.”
Brooks, which was founded in Birmingham in 1866, was bought by Italian company Selle Royal in 2002 but continues to make traditional leather saddles at its redbrick Victorian factory in Smethwick, including the iconic B17. Much of the machinery used to manufacture the saddles dates back to the 1950s and the leather comes from British and Irish cattle, which have relatively thick skins thanks to our reliably harsh island climate.
Cycling Weekly last visited the factory in 2015 – you can read about our experience here.
Just like the saddles, we’d say Brooks's UK distributor is thick skinned enough to survive a few assumptions on social media and as for Brexit, well, having survived two world wars and two pandemics Brooks looks to be in it for the long haul.
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Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor on the magazine following an MA in online journalism (yes, it was just after the dot-com bubble burst).
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Shorter fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
And the vital statistics:
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