Author Topic: Gilles Berthoud Aspin saddle  (Read 6113 times)

Re: Gilles Berthoud Aspin saddle
« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2019, 05:23:27 pm »
Ah, your bars are higher than the saddle, by how much, is that why there is a bit of hammock? mine are 30-35mm lower, but I' probably heavier.
Also your reach seems much longer than mine.  Suits your Hewitt well, that saddle, it does.

The bars are not much higher, perhaps a few cm. The saddle is actually at least a cm or so too low currently, but the seatpost is stuck fast in the frame (my fault). A visit to the Seat Post Man is needed this year, I think!

I weigh about 73kg, 5'8" ish, hope to lose a bit of the weight this year with more cycling...

Think the reach is actually a little too long. could do with at least a 1cm shorter stem really. On this bike I mostly ride with my hands somewhat behind the hoods, near/on the forward bend. I'm a little too stretched to be on the hoods all the time.

Saddle is about 4 or 5 years old, it was the "natural" colour originally, but has developed a deep patina over time. The leather has gone a little softer than it probably should be, think in the early days I applied too much of the GB saddle conditioner. This is probably one of the reasons mine has hammocked a bit. If I get another GB saddle, I'll be more sparing with the saddle conditioner.

It's very, very comfortable. Other bits of me may hurt, but after a 100k sportive or long day touring, my bum is still happy, I just don't notice the saddle. :-)

Tempted to get the lighter, racier Gallibier for the Mercian Strada Speciale road bike I'll be getting later this year, it's narrower, but the distance between the dimples my butt made on my Aravis are only about 90mm apart, so hopefully won't be too narrow:

[click to expand]



Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Re: Gilles Berthoud Aspin saddle
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2019, 05:29:08 pm »
The patina sometimes gets a bit mottled/lighter in places if the saddle gets a little damp, but my butt seems to polish this out after more riding. I've read that the natural finish is more susceptible to this than the dark brown or black one:

[click to expand]

Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Gilles Berthoud Aspin saddle
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2019, 05:30:31 pm »
Glad to hear you're still getting on well with your Aspin, I'm very happy with my Aravis:

[click to expand]

]
OT but I notice you've got your Super C rackpack positioned so the back is hanging off the end of the rack. I presume this is because you find it either catches on your thighs or the lid gets trapped under the saddle and won't open easily if you have it all on the rack. That's what I find with mine, but my solution is usually to put it the other way round – with the little pocket facing forward.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Re: Gilles Berthoud Aspin saddle
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2019, 06:04:51 pm »
Glad to hear you're still getting on well with your Aspin, I'm very happy with my Aravis:

[click to expand]

]
OT but I notice you've got your Super C rackpack positioned so the back is hanging off the end of the rack. I presume this is because you find it either catches on your thighs or the lid gets trapped under the saddle and won't open easily if you have it all on the rack. That's what I find with mine, but my solution is usually to put it the other way round – with the little pocket facing forward.

When I moved it forward to the next available "slot" where the velcro could go that wasn't impeded by the rack itself I think I found the lid was too near the saddle and I could sometimes feel it. I think I tried it the other way around, with the pocket forward, which worked, but then you can't get at the useful pocket...

BTW that photo was take on the BHF London to Brighton charity ride last summer, I stayed overnight in London the night before and in Brighton for a night after, so the Super C rackpack was just the right size and more "aero" than using panniers.
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Blodwyn Pig

  • what a nice chap
Re: Gilles Berthoud Aspin saddle
« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2019, 11:19:48 pm »
Well, the torrid affair with my delicate little French fancy is over, she has left me for another, one with a smaller bum. I do hope the new beau's bits don't go numb and drop off , like mine did.

Re: Gilles Berthoud Aspin saddle
« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2019, 08:24:32 am »
I have been trying a gilles berthoud galiber over the winter and it’s a tad on the hard side I would not fancy doing a flat 200 on it .
I seem to buy a saddle or two every year in the hope of finding the One but I’m not sure it actually exists 🤔
I can do 300 to 400k on most saddles but after that 🙄

Re: Gilles Berthoud Aspin saddle
« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2019, 08:34:42 am »
I have been trying a gilles berthoud galiber over the winter and it’s a tad on the hard side I would not fancy doing a flat 200 on it .
I seem to buy a saddle or two every year in the hope of finding the One but I’m not sure it actually exists 🤔
I can do 300 to 400k on most saddles but after that 🙄

Have you treated it with anything? I applied this to both the top and bottom of my Aravis, which has softened the leather considerably (in fact I think I applied a bit too much/too often, as the saddle is now softer than I like): https://berthoudcycles.fr/en/570-wax-for-leather-saddle-60ml.html
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Re: Gilles Berthoud Aspin saddle
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2019, 08:38:46 am »
the saddle is now softer than I like
If it gets bad, you can buy a new leather top to fit yourself.  Direct from GB https://berthoudcycles.fr/en/128-accessories-and-spared-parts

Re: Gilles Berthoud Aspin saddle
« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2019, 10:58:35 am »
the saddle is now softer than I like
If it gets bad, you can buy a new leather top to fit yourself.  Direct from GB https://berthoudcycles.fr/en/128-accessories-and-spared-parts

Yes, that's one of the things I like about the GB saddles, all parts seem to be available as spares. I think I can live with it for now, it's not uncomfortable, but it's good to know the top can be replaced and I'll be able to re-use the titanium rails.

Am still tempted to get a Galibier for my new Mercian Strada Speciale (which is about to go into the build process, apparently), probably in black
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Re: Gilles Berthoud Aspin saddle
« Reply #34 on: March 26, 2019, 12:43:04 pm »
I have been trying a gilles berthoud galiber over the winter and it’s a tad on the hard side I would not fancy doing a flat 200 on it .
I seem to buy a saddle or two every year in the hope of finding the One but I’m not sure it actually exists 🤔
I can do 300 to 400k on most saddles but after that 🙄

Have you treated it with anything? I applied this to both the top and bottom of my Aravis, which has softened the leather considerably (in fact I think I applied a bit too much/too often, as the saddle is now softer than I like): https://berthoudcycles.fr/en/570-wax-for-leather-saddle-60ml.html

I have used saddle soap but will try some of that to see if it helps 👍

Re: Gilles Berthoud Aspin saddle
« Reply #35 on: March 26, 2019, 01:25:15 pm »
I have been trying a gilles berthoud galiber over the winter and it’s a tad on the hard side I would not fancy doing a flat 200 on it .
I seem to buy a saddle or two every year in the hope of finding the One but I’m not sure it actually exists 🤔
I can do 300 to 400k on most saddles but after that 🙄

Have you treated it with anything? I applied this to both the top and bottom of my Aravis, which has softened the leather considerably (in fact I think I applied a bit too much/too often, as the saddle is now softer than I like): https://berthoudcycles.fr/en/570-wax-for-leather-saddle-60ml.html

I have used saddle soap but will try some of that to see if it helps 👍

I applied it to both the top and underneath of the saddle, leaving it to soak in overnight, before buffing-off the top (-only) in the morning. My mistake was to repeat this several times without much gap between applications - suggest you just do this once and ride for a bit, before considering to apply again.

The other things that made a big difference for me in the comfort stakes were a) getting the saddle level right (for me, almost completely flat) and b) giving it time to develop little indentations for my "sit bones", though this took a while - however it was still pretty comfy even before then.
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Gilles Berthoud Aspin saddle
« Reply #36 on: April 29, 2020, 07:53:45 am »
I bought a new Aspin in 2011 but did not have a lot of joy with it. It just seemed too narrow for my B17 Std-sized arse. It went on long-term loan to a couple of YACFers, who covered a fair number of miles on it but without falling in love.

The saddle then made an appearance on my fixed, replacing a Ti Rivet Independence Pass saddle that was just too narrow for my sitbones. The GB was better but starting to flare midway along, which might have affected how I was sitting on it. PeterM had mentioned last year that his open GB was noticeably more comfortable than the normal version. A replacement open leather top accordingly wandered over the channel.



Nominally identical, except for the cutout, the old leather top had noticeably changed size, shape and colour over the years. Replacing the leather was a trivial exercise.

After riding the new top for a few days (noticeably better, for this little black duck at least), I noticed that other GB saddles were fitted with an additional clamp that my saddle lacked.

https://berthoudcycles.fr/fr/579-pince-pour-rails-de-selle.html

https://road.cc/content/review/cycles-berthoud-aspin-saddle-272137

Apparently my saddle was an early model (184-2008) that lacked a clamp for additional torsional stiffness, if the seatpost did not hold the rails very firmly. I had noticed while replacing the leather that the plastic saddle nose and cantleplate and the separate rails allowed a lot of lateral and torsional flexibility when off the bike. A brief email to GB explaining my situation (just replaced the leather) and they sent a clamp free of charge.

While fitting the clamp, I noticed that I had installed my saddle with the rails slightly twisted, which meant the saddle was torsionally rotated in the seatpost. All corrected now and, after some tweaking, things are looking promising.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Gilles Berthoud Aspin saddle
« Reply #37 on: April 29, 2020, 08:20:19 am »
My Gilles Berthoud saddles (I also have a Galibier now, on my Mercian road bike) both came with the additional disc-shaped clamp for the saddle rails and that certainly seems to do the job in terms of keeping things from moving about.

How easy is it to actually changed the saddle top? It might be time to replace the one on my Aravis soon.
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Re: Gilles Berthoud Aspin saddle
« Reply #38 on: April 29, 2020, 08:21:23 am »
After riding the new top for a few days (noticeably better, for this little black duck at least), I noticed that other GB saddles were fitted with an additional clamp that my saddle lacked.
---------- and they sent a clamp free of charge.
My first Aspin (dated 2009) had no clamp.  It wasn't until I started collecting them (currently 5 in use) that I noticed the others had such  a thing.  I thought it seemed a good idea since I had noticed the nose twisting a little, so I contacted Berthoud and just like you they sent me one free.  Excellent service.  At the Semaine Federale in Mortagne-au-Perche I saw the Berthoud stand and went to thank the rep who was pleased that an Englishman had so many of their saddles.

Re: Gilles Berthoud Aspin saddle
« Reply #39 on: April 29, 2020, 08:24:20 am »
How easy is it to actually changed the saddle top? It might be time to replace the one on my Aravis soon.
Takes about 5 minutes.  Remove the screws (Torcx on all but the oldest saddles) - lift off old leather - relax tension screw if needed - fit new leather - apply tension if needed.  When I changed one about 2 years ago a new top was a shade over £100 ordered direct from Berthoud.

Added - check screws once in a while because they undo over time unless you use threadlocker.  it will be obvious long before the possibility of one falling out.

Re: Gilles Berthoud Aspin saddle
« Reply #40 on: April 29, 2020, 10:06:59 am »
How easy is it to actually changed the saddle top? It might be time to replace the one on my Aravis soon.
Takes about 5 minutes.  Remove the screws (Torcx on all but the oldest saddles) - lift off old leather - relax tension screw if needed - fit new leather - apply tension if needed.  When I changed one about 2 years ago a new top was a shade over £100 ordered direct from Berthoud.

Added - check screws once in a while because they undo over time unless you use threadlocker.  it will be obvious long before the possibility of one falling out.

Thanks, I will probably order it through Spa Cycles to save on postage
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Gilles Berthoud Aspin saddle
« Reply #41 on: July 07, 2020, 09:48:08 pm »
My Aspin, now with a hole/ carved/ open top, is noticeably better for me than the original top. The cork finish is starting to darken nicely. I’ll be sticking with this one on my fixed.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...