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  1. #1
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    Berthoud v Rivet v Anatomica

    I did my first fg century today. I ride a San Marcos Rolls and have ridden Rolls most of 20 years of riding. I have tried Brooks and didn't care for them. B17N probably would have worked for me. Pro was too hard and sloped to the front causing me to slide forward and put pressure on my arms. While the Rolls isn't bad for long rides I keep thinking there may be a saddle more comfortable for the sit bones. I have been reviewing the Berthoud, Rivet and Anatomica. I have used the search engine and read many posting in the Forum. The Berthoud is hard and has short rails like the Brooks, but it is great looking and the Ti model is relative light. the Rivet Independence looks interesting but don't know if this is an exercise in patience to break in. The Anatomica Trueleather maybe the X model , I only weigh 140, some riders say doesn't need a break in period but many experience sagging issues. I generally don't get numbness issues. The appeal of the cut out is not to avoid numbness but allow the sit bones to move independently. I move from back of the saddle while climbing to nose of saddle when hammering in the drops-I ride with geared riders some. I don't want to have to tilt the nose of the saddle up as many do with Brooks because I move forward on the saddle in the drops. Likewise a Anatomica won't work if it becomes sunken in the middle and i can't move forward on the saddle to get in the drops. I think I like saddles that are rounded in the tail side to side but flat tail to nose-sound like a Rolls! Basically looking for sit bone comfort. I have a badly damaged ACL in my right knee and when riding the Brooks 17N it was obvious the right sit bone was substantially more forward towards the nose then the left and deeper impression in the leather. Of course it is the right one that is more sore after a long ride. I fully realize everyone is different and what works for one person doesn't for another and was interested in comparisons among the saddles mentioned in light of the facts set forth above. Berthoud and Rivet can be returned for full refund of purchase price with a six month (rivet is one year if purchased from owner) not sure about the Anatomica-30 days if purchased from the company which may be too short a period to determine if it's a keeper.

  2. #2
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    I'm not really a long distance rider, 100K with and an occasional century. I had ridden SA's on our tandem for several thousand miles over 3 years, but something changed in my backside and the SA no longer "worked". During my search I tried a Rivet Independence. The shape of the saddle really suited me, but at 200 lbs I just couldn't make a dent in the seat. I'm frankly tempted to try and soften the leather artificially. BTW, I weight 200 lbs so it isn't for lack of weight that I couldn't impress the saddle.

    I tried an Adamo Podium and found it to be a bit narrow and possibly too hard. Bought an Adamo Century and I've been very pleased; no perineum pressure, sit bones doing well and only a tiny bit of chaffing on the inner thigh.

    What a ridiculous sport is!! Any of us can adapt to frame material, gearing, shifters, etc. Of course the bike has to fit, but those adjustments are readily made on a frame that's in the ballpark. The search for an acceptable saddle (not perfect, just acceptable) can go on and on. Fortunately for the bicycle industry we humans are a persistent species and as an added benefit to the bicycle industry we're suckers for marketing.
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  3. #3
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    If I were to go to leather saddles, I probably would try a Rivet first. I haven't been impressed too much with the SA that I've seen. People seem to like their Berthouds. I have a Brooks Pro from the early '80s that is simply too heavy. I also tend to put my saddles back further than that saddle allows. I use a Fizik Aliante on my long distance bike. I have some Arione I intend to try out, but I haven't gotten around to putting them on the bike yet. The Aliante is a little too hammock-like for my tastes, but it works

  4. #4
    Senior Member JAG410's Avatar
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    I like my SA, I have probably 500 miles on mine and it's been great out of the box, unlike the Brooks saddles I've had in the past. The Rivet's huge carbon footprint bothers me so it was never seriously considered.

  5. #5
    Senior Member lonesomesteve's Avatar
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    I know it's not one of the saddles you're asking about, but I've been using the new Brooks Cambium C17 and I like it a lot. Like you, I tend to prefer saddles that are flat front to back, but rounded from side to side in the tail. That's what I like about the C17. It doesn't have the sag in the middle like most Brooks saddles.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonesomesteve View Post
    I know it's not one of the saddles you're asking about, but I've been using the new Brooks Cambium C17 and I like it a lot. Like you, I tend to prefer saddles that are flat front to back, but rounded from side to side in the tail. That's what I like about the C17. It doesn't have the sag in the middle like most Brooks saddles.
    I've seen pics of the Cambium. Does the fabric of the saddle allow you to move easily, does it "eat" shorts? Does the rubber material and shell make for a comfortable ride? Are the rails a reasonable length? True Brooks disciples may not like it but it does look interesting.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAG410 View Post
    I like my SA, I have probably 500 miles on mine and it's been great out of the box, unlike the Brooks saddles I've had in the past. The Rivet's huge carbon footprint bothers me so it was never seriously considered.
    How do you figure the huge carbon footprint?

  8. #8
    Senior Member JAG410's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    How do you figure the huge carbon footprint?
    Rivet uses Wisconsin leather, then sends it to Taiwan to be built up into a saddle, and then it gets sent back to Rivet. That extra trip bugs me. Either use Taiwan leather, or make it in the US. Yes, I am being picky and overly Eco-sensitive, but it's still a factor in my buying decision. If it were significantly cheaper than the SA, I might be swayed, but it's not.

  9. #9
    Senior Member lonesomesteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowzette View Post
    I've seen pics of the Cambium. Does the fabric of the saddle allow you to move easily, does it "eat" shorts? Does the rubber material and shell make for a comfortable ride? Are the rails a reasonable length? True Brooks disciples may not like it but it does look interesting.
    I wouldn't say the Cambium eats shorts (gotta like that phrase), but it is definitely a little grabbier than a leather Brooks saddle. Mine seems to be getting less grabby with use.

    The rubber material has about the same amount of give as a lightly broken in B17.

    The rails allow more setback than a traditional Brooks saddle, though I haven't measured mine to know exactly how much longer the rails are. I had no problem getting the saddle into the right position with a Thompson zero setback seatpost. I definitely can't use that same seatpost with a B17 or Team Pro. Here's a picture of the rails next to my beat up old B17:



    I did a more extensive review a few days ago here.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by lonesomesteve; 10-07-13 at 07:40 PM. Reason: Adding picture of rails
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  10. #10
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    Thanks Lonesomesteve. Helpful response and I read your review which is excellent.

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    FWIW, I ride fixed for long distances and have never been comfortable on any leather saddle. I like to move forward and back a lot, since I can't shift gears, and leather saddles one way or another have a rail across the back that is no good to back up onto and sit on.
    My favorite combination involves a saddle that isn't produced anymore (I bought extras back when it was though... aside from being a favorite though, it's nothing special - modern, plastic, etc) with a neoprene cover on it, mostly to cover over the cutout. But the neoprene does add a bit of padding too, without making it too deep or squishy. It comes out just right, at least for me.

  12. #12
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    The sit bones feel good, not very tender, from the century I did Saturday. Probably just stay with the Rolls and not buy a leather saddle. I love the looks of the leather saddles. But the cost, weight, break in and worry about rain probably isn't worth it. Sit bone tenderness is probably more an issue of time on the bike than saddle design.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowzette View Post
    The sit bones feel good, not very tender, from the century I did Saturday. Probably just stay with the Rolls and not buy a leather saddle. I love the looks of the leather saddles. But the cost, weight, break in and worry about rain probably isn't worth it. Sit bone tenderness is probably more an issue of time on the bike than saddle design.
    Something to be said for sticking with a saddle that you are used to.

  14. #14
    self propelled lifer peter_d's Avatar
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    You may not be happy with any leather saddle if you ride on the nose, it'd be like riding on a broom handle.

  15. #15
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Rolls on a American classic post, Brooks Pro, on a traditional Campag 2 bolt ..

    Now both the Koga and Bi Fri now have Thudbuster posts and Fizik Vitesse saddles
    they were a Brompton ordered batch, .. more setback

    so the Synthetic Brooks may offer similar.. Got a B17 with the Koga It also had a zero setback post then

    Removed both (traded the B17 for the Rolls)..

  16. #16
    Senior Member antimonysarah's Avatar
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    The Fizik saddles with "wingflex" might work for you -- they're supposed to flex side to side. I just bought a second one for my city bike because I liked the one on my road bike so much. (Though the city bike has the cheaper, heavier version. I ride the Vesta, which is basically a slightly wider Aliante Versus (147mm vs 142). It definitely has a rounded shape in the back and a flat front, and a moderate amount of firm padding.

  17. #17
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    a couple of weeks ago I got a San Marcos SKN from Nashbar which is no longer made for $65 shipped. It only weighs 190 grams, thin hard padding, 150 wide but is designed so each side flexes independently. The nose is well padded and wide enough for support. Flat tail to nose but rounded in the tail. It took a couple of rides to set the saddle up like I wanted. I think it will work well for 50-60 mile rides. I'll try it on some longer rides this fall and winter and see how comfotable it is. Hope it works out as it was cheap, very light, and no maintance. So far no sore sit bones!

  18. #18
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    I've not ridden any of the Berthoud saddles, but I'll take SA over Rivet any day.
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  19. #19
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    dispite my saddle purchase sooner or later I will buy a leather saddle if for no other reason just to get it out of my system. MileHighMark why do you prefer the SA over the Rivet? I assume you have a SA. Have you tried the Rivet?

  20. #20
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowzette View Post
    dispite my saddle purchase sooner or later I will buy a leather saddle if for no other reason just to get it out of my system. MileHighMark why do you prefer the SA over the Rivet? I assume you have a SA. Have you tried the Rivet?
    I own several SA saddles. In fact, I have more SA saddles than I do complete bikes. I tried a Rivet, and it felt just like a Brooks (which I don't like).
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MileHighMark View Post
    I own several SA saddles. In fact, I have more SA saddles than I do complete bikes. I tried a Rivet, and it felt just like a Brooks (which I don't like).
    Are any of your saddles made of Trueleather or they Watershed?

  22. #22
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowzette View Post
    Are any of your saddles made of Trueleather or they Watershed?
    All of my current saddles are Watershed. I did have a TruLeather 'X' model, but it was far too stiff for my liking. To put that statement in perspective, some of my favorite SA saddles are the ones designed for much lighter riders.
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  23. #23
    Pirate/Smuggler jlafitte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MileHighMark View Post
    All of my current saddles are Watershed.
    I'm curious to hear about others' experience regarding the Watershed's "hydrophobic properties."

  24. #24
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlafitte View Post
    I'm curious to hear about others' experience regarding the Watershed's "hydrophobic properties."
    The first SA saddle that I purchased has been through many rain and snow storms. Zero problems. More than once I've been caught in thundershowers that were heavy enough that it took 2-3 days for my cycling shoes to completely dry.
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  25. #25
    Pirate/Smuggler jlafitte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MileHighMark View Post
    The first SA saddle that I purchased has been through many rain and snow storms. Zero problems. More than once I've been caught in thundershowers that were heavy enough that it took 2-3 days for my cycling shoes to completely dry.
    If your saddle's performance is typical, my Titanico Watershed must be borderline defective. The first couple brevets I rode (one rainy, one sweaty) it stretched through about half the tensioning bolt's length. It seems to be under control now that I always keep it covered, and the ride comfort is excellent. But I'm disappointed at what appears to be misrepresentation regarding this saddle's water resistance, and I'm wondering how many more hours it has left in it. I weigh 140 lbs, btw.

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