Gilles Berthoud's leather saddles may be the very best you can buy. The Aravis and Aspin are their touring model, designed for comfort and firm support in the neutral riding position assumed by most long-distance riders. Slightly narrower than the B-17 but with a similarly flat seating area, these saddles add long-distance comfort and classic looks to any bike. This version features titanium rails making it superlight weight and even more comfortable than the Berthoud Aspin Saddle (titanium rails flex more)
While leather may be a "traditional" material, these are highly-refined modern saddles with a host of features that set them apart. Berthoud makes these beautiful saddles from top quality vegetable tanned leather that is pre-treated to shorten the break-in time. The leather top is fixed to the frame with special bolts and washers rather than rivets, making for simple replacement of any component of the saddle. Contact us for replacement or repair parts. The bolt assemblies at the rear of the saddle are off the back edge and out of the way instead of being on the top surface where you might sit on them if you slide back on your saddle, making for a seamlessly comfortable perch. In addition, the nose and tail pieces of the frame are made from a high-quality, injection-molded composite material that is strong, lightweight and more durable than steel while providing greater flexibility. Loops for a traditional saddlebag are molded in. The saddle rails feature a long clamping zone for easy adjustment to your preferred position. Berthoud saddles rarely require tensioning but the operation is carried out with a 5mm hex key, eliminating the need for a special tool.
A good rule of thumb is the more miles you ride, the firmer the saddle you'll prefer. This applies equally to men and women. Sixty miles on a thick soft gushy saddle can be brutal. When your gluteus muscles are in good shape, you'll want the firm but flexible surface to sit on. A quality leather saddle provides just that.
Bottom line is this: If you try one of these and the shape feels fine, your middle "tender bits" area is fine but you feel like your sit bones are on something too hard, most likely you'll end up very happy with it as the leather will soften up a bit and conform to your shape fairly quickly. A treatment with Gilles Berthoud's special saddle treatment (apply to the underside of the saddle) will speed up the break-in process and provide protection against the elements.
We back all of our saddles with a 90-day comfort guarantee. Buy it, ride it, return it within 90 days for a refund or exchange if you don't like it. Follow the link for the full policy and fine print*.*There is always fine print.