Berthoud Marie Blanque Women’s Saddle, Stainless Steel Rails
Gilles Berthoud’s women-specific saddle is named for the 1,035 m (3,396 ft) Col de Marie-Blanque in the western Pyrenees. This saddle has a shorter nose than the Aspin saddle – but most women prefer the added suspension of the Aspin’s longer rails. (Otherwise, the shape is identical.)
Leather saddles have long offered the ultimate in comfort for long-distance cycling, because they shape themselves to your unique anatomy. Gilles Berthoud’s saddles use thoroughly modern materials and construction methods, while maintaining the advantages of a tensioned leather saddle. We’ve been riding these saddles for years, because we find them so comfortable.
The leather is thick and initially firm, but Berthoud saddles are pre-softened to shorten the break-in. They are comfortable after just a few long rides, and then they last many years. If the leather gets dry, we recommend a light treatment with Obenauf’s leather preservative. Berthoud saddles rarely need tensioning. When they do, the tension is easy to adjust with a 5 mm allen key.
Available in tan, brown, black or cork. The same leather upper is also available as the Agnel model with titanium rails.
Made in France.
- Technical Specs
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 and Soulor supremely comfortable, with a narrower shape perfected for spirited riding. The Marie-Blanque and Agnel are designed for women cyclists who prefer a shorter saddle nose. The Aubisque is a wide saddle that is ideal for a more upright position.
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. Gilles Berthoud saddles (except Galibier model) feature a rear crescent with connection points for Klick-Fix attachments, as well as loops for classic saddle bags.
- 248 mm long
- 157 mm wide
- 64 mm rail (straight section for seatpost attachment)
- Average weight: 465 g.
- Stainless Steel Rails
- Fully Rebuildable
- Water resistant leather treatment