A few years ago, my dad gave me a box of miscellaneous bike parts that he had cleaned out of his garage. I didn’t consider them much until recently when I started getting curious about classic leather saddles. I went through the box of parts, remembering the old leather saddle in there, and was surprised to find a Wrights saddle looked almost identical to a Brooks.
My dad says this Wrights saddle came on a 10 speed Dawes that he purchased back in 1969, and it even made a ride around Lake Tahoe in the same time period. He also mentioned he didn’t have fond memories of the saddle, and this may be why it ended up off the bike. I hear they do have a lengthy break-in period.
I couldn’t find much information on the Wrights company, mostly just information about Wrights being merged with Brooks Saddles in the early 1960s. I read over on the Wrights Flickr Group that “in 1962, The ‘Wright Saddle Company Ltd’ of Birmingham England was one of the companies taken over by Brooks. This was after Tube Investments, the parent company of Brooks and Wrights merged the two companies in 1962. Brooks became the dominant partner and made slightly cheaper versions of their saddles under the Wrights name. Wrights had a factory at Dale Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham until the merger, when TI moved production to Downing Street to be made alongside Brooks.”
I haven’t tried the saddle out yet, although I’d like to. I tried to mount it to one of my modern seat posts, and the rails didn’t quite line up. I’m not sure if there was a different standard at this time, or if I just need to bend and force the rails into the clamp. It’s not far off from fitting. Anyone know the answer to this?
Although I didn’t find too much information about Wrights, the Brooks saddle company is still going strong and has pretty well documented history on their site. This gives you a good feel for how old the bicycle industry is! From the Brooks site:
1866 – John Boultbee Brooks (1846-1921) established a works in Great Charles Street, Birmingham for the manufacture of leather strapping for horse harnesses and general leather goods.
1870 – Noting that more and more people were indulging in the new pastime of cycling, John Boultbee Brooks went over to the manufacture of bicycle saddles.
1880 – The first safety bicycle came on the scene and with it the need for more comfortable saddles. No longer were riders willing to accept that the only option open to them was to ride a piece of formed wood.
1882 – Brooks filed his first patent for a sprung bicycle saddle, the first of its kind. After which he went on to file a number of patents for bicycle saddles, motor cycle saddles and other leather goods.