Modification: B17 special imperial swallow

This is a B17 Champion special, modified with the Imperial cutout and Swallow type cut/fastening underneath to keep the saddle's shape...

The B17 Champion special with copper carriage in antique brown looks and nice and this modified version looks even better and rides great. The Swallow is narrower and I tried the modification shown first for a friend who likes the swallow but wants it a bit wider (for the bigger butts ;-)), but he also wanted the pressure relieving cutout of the B17 Imperial. After this I made one for myself too and started testing it and I like it... This saddle for me improves on the B17 Imperial in looks, and in comfort. Despite the width of 170 mm, you can ride on it like on a narrow roadbike saddle (at least, it works well like that work me). The comfort comes from both the Imperial cutout, and the Swallow modification which gives it the Swallow-like feel which takes away more of the shocks of the road. This could be the best Brooks or Brooks-based saddle there is... (assuming it will hold up in use)

The tie-wraps keep the saddle shape. Unlike Brooks' fixed plate, with the tie-wraps you can adjust the tension if needed/desired which is better for use with the imperial cutout. For actual use, the ends of the tie-wraps are positioned to be inside the saddle, so you won't notice them.

The cutout is exactly the same as with Brooks' Imperial saddles.

Click on a thumbnail image to enlarge (1600x1200):

Ready:

On a bike:

After several months' use: the saddle shows a crease on the rear, where it drops a bit. This is the opposite of what happens with my B17 Imperial and B17 narrow Imperial, where the rest of the leather drops, and there is a small ridge. It's not a hindrance, but this bulge downwards is better. A friend of mine has leather going downwards on the B17 Imperial, so it can happen there too. This is caused by the stress on the leather, so it's normal, nothing to worry about.

To counter the hammock feel that can occur if it sags a bit: Tighten the rear most tie wrap and this will make the saddle feel a lot more rigid...

Thoughts about how long the saddle will last: Considering the B17 imperial which has the same cutout, it should be no problem even with the cutout on the bottom. Note that the cutout is not as high as with Brooks' Swallow, so there is more material and it should be fine. But of course, it's hard to say what will happen after many thousands of kilometres. I've used my saddle for 3 months or so, daily use, and it got very wet several times, so it seems to hold up well. After the initial droop which happened quickly, the saddle's shape settled as it is still now. It didn't drop further and I haven't tensioned the saddle.
Here are some pictures of the saddle as it is now:

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