Which Berthoud saddle is best for you? It depends mostly on your riding style, with body type a secondary consideration. With a more upright position on the bike, you sit more on your sitbones, and a slightly wider saddle will be comfortable. For this position, we recommend the Aspin or Aravis. Their medium width is designed for an intermediate riding position that most cyclists prefer for long hours in the saddle. If you prefer a more stretched-out position, you’ll probably find the Galibier supremely comfortable, with a narrower shape perfected for spirited riding. The Agnel and Marie-Blanque have a shorter nose designed for women cyclists.
The story behind these saddles: Gilles Berthoud wasn’t satisfied with other leather saddles. Quality had declined over time as companies tried to get as many saddles as possible from each piece of leather, without regard for irregularities and direction of grain. So, he decided to make his own. Berthoud saddles start with the best vegetable-tanned cow hides, which are dyed in-house. Each saddle top is then cut in the direction of the leather grain. While this results in fewer saddles from each hide, it ensures that the saddle doesn’t sag. The remnant leather is used to make fender washers and other small parts, limiting waste. The composite frame is stronger than steel and absorbs shocks better. Berthoud placed the bolts outside the sitting area, sparing your riding clothes from snags and abrasion. For the Galibier, the rear crescent forgoes bag loops to reduce the weight further.