Berthoud Open Saddles in Stock

Berthoud Open Saddles in Stock

We just received our first shipment of Gilles Berthoud “Open” saddles. In the past, I’ve tried many saddles with cutouts, but none were comfortable. While they relieved pressure in the center, the sharp edges of the opening were uncomfortable. So I was skeptical when I received a sample of the Gilles Berthoud Aspin Open.

I was surprised to find that I could not feel the edges of the cutout at all. As expected, there was less pressure in the center, but there also wasn’t a noticeable transition from the cutout to the leather. The curved shape of the hole and its beveled edges really worked to make a gradual transition.

Even after a long day in the saddle, the Aspin Open remained comfortable. In fact, I noticed that the cutout made the saddle a bit more flexible, and thus even more comfortable straight out of the box. As an added plus, the Open version is about 15 grams lighter…
On the downside, the more flexible leather top probably won’t have quite the amazing durability of the standard saddles. (My very first Berthoud saddle is still going strong after a decade of daily use.)

Underneath the leather top is Berthoud’s high-tech frame, made from a composite material that is stronger, lighter and more flexible than the steel traditionally used in this place. The saddles are available with stainless steel and titanium rails, in men’s and women’s models.

With all spare parts available from Compass, you can even convert a standard saddle to the Open version or vice versa, or replace stainless steel rails with titanium to lighten your saddle. These saddles rarely need service, but it’s good to know that all the parts are available.

With the Open version, one of the best saddles has become even more comfortable for riders who need to relieve pressure in the saddle area. And of course, the standard saddles remain an excellent choice for most riders.
Some may wonder why the superlight Galibier model isn’t available with the cutout. The reason is simple: With the cutaway sides, there simply isn’t enough leather to support the rider if the middle of the saddle is removed as well.
Click here for more information about Gilles Berthoud saddles in standard and Open versions. The Men’s versions are in stock now, the women’s saddles will follow this autumn.

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Comments (8)

  • Ty

    Thanks for that Jan! I really like those Berthoud open saddles! They sure look great and I like the way you can switch them out. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Berthoud saddles.
    I only wish they had been out a few months ago when I was shopping for them. I would have snapped one up in a second, but I really couldn’t wait due to some middle-aged health issues, so now I’ve got I’ve got two. One is the Brooks C17 and the other is the Rivet Pearl. Both seem to work well, but I haven’t been able to do long rides due to the aforementioned health situation, but short rides seem to indicate they will do the trick once I am able to ride for distance again.

    August 10, 2017 at 8:27 pm
  • Rick Thompson

    I’ve been riding a noseless saddle due to an injury, just ordered one of the open Berthoud and have high hopes it will do the job. At least it’s better looking….

    August 12, 2017 at 8:28 am
  • Tim Evans

    When will the replacement Berthoud saddle tops be available?

    August 12, 2017 at 9:20 am
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      The tops for the standard saddles are available now. The “Open” tops will arrive over the next couple of months. It seems like they have much demand for the saddles, so all available tops have been assembled into saddles, with none left as spares.

      August 12, 2017 at 10:25 am
      • Tim Evans

        Your web page still lists the standard replacements in tan, brown, and black as “Out of stock” for the Aspin/Aravis?

        August 12, 2017 at 2:28 pm
  • W Wagner

    The Selle Anotomica was too thin, and rapidly collapsed inward after few miles. Are these made of thicker leather? Does the Berthoud plastic frame provide more support?

    August 14, 2017 at 10:21 am
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      These saddles use a very thick and ultra-high-quality leather. They’ve proven themselves for many miles. I don’t think you can compare the two brands.

      August 14, 2017 at 3:43 pm

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