If there was ever a cycling company boasting their “heritage” and “tradition”, Brooks England would be rightfully entitled. To this day, all Brooks products are either inspired by, or replicas of designs dating back to the 1880’s when they began manufacturing. As you can imagine, change comes slowly for a company this old, yet they’ve managed to release a few new, handsome products for autumn.
First up, the Pickwick Backpack. A design professor (and avid commuter) at London’s Royal College of Art was tasked with developing a day-pack he would want to use both by bike, and on the Tube. His creation has a simple, clean aesthetic, with functional details for the urban commuter. Made from water-resistant canvas and finished with leather trim, this roll-top backpack has many thoughtful features: all zippers are seam-sealed; a hidden bottom compartment where to stash your wallet; a separate padded pocket for your lock; snap-buttons to keep the bag compacted; and two internal pockets for organizing your belongings. It is pictured here in ‘goose beak’ with ‘mandarin’ leather accents, and ‘asphalt’ with ‘natural’ accents. This one personally struck me as a real stand-out piece.
Next we have the Pickadilly Leather Knapsack, which is an updated version of last year’s Soho. It has a slightly larger capacity, but the big change is the addition of knapsack-style shoulder straps. The snap-in carrier pouch remains, and you can also carry it as a handbag from the top handle. This bag, and all other Brooks leather products, draws from the same source of Swedish cows that Louis Vuitton and Hermes use. How’s that for quality?
To coincide with the timing of their release, the newest saddles are done up in classic autumn colours: a B17 Standard in ochre and red, as well as a Team Pro in maroon and olive green. There’s also a limited edition B17 Select to commemorate all the year’s great bike touring, called the ‘2012 World Traveler’. Global production is limited to, you guessed it, 2012 units, with only 250 of those coming to North America.
Brooks may not be for every cyclist, but I know there’s a number of people who are now lustful. More detailed product shots can be seen on our Flickr page.