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Brooks Cambium vs. Gilles Berthoud?

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Brooks Cambium vs. Gilles Berthoud?

Old 01-25-15, 11:28 PM
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agmetal
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Brooks Cambium vs. Gilles Berthoud?

Planning a build for what's intended to be a single-speed alternative/backup to my Bianchi Volpe. It'll probably see some wetter weather use than the Volpe currently does (although not as much as my drum brake-equipped Panasonic). I have a Gilles Berthoud Aspin saddle on the Volpe, and I love it, but I've been thinking about the Cambium for this build. There's about a $50 difference in price, and I'm curious if anyone's compared these two saddles before. The textured top on the Cambium concerns me (I ride in whatever clothes I happen to be wearing, no spandex), and I wasn't super crazy about my Charge Spoon's suede-like texture until it'd worn smooth.
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Old 01-26-15, 12:05 AM
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I have about 3k miles on my cambium super confortable from the get go and no maintance
Required
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Old 01-26-15, 07:34 AM
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Part two of this question: The highest points of my saddle are just under 2" higher than the top of my handlebars (not counting brake levers). With this kind of drop, how likely am I to like the C15/Soulor? Picture shows the Berthoud Aspin (comparable in shape/intended use to Brooks B17)

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Old 01-26-15, 05:24 PM
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I have about the same drop, with an imperial b-17. With the perineum cutout.. I originally bought the saddle when I was riding an upright cruiser/comfort bike. I now ride a road bike. If I were buying a saddle today, I'd look at saddles with a shorter/narrower nose. But I don't feel strongly enough about it to buy another saddle. Or even the hassle of returning the brooks to try another(yay REI return policy).
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Old 01-27-15, 09:49 AM
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There's a C15 out now too , more a Drop bar road Bike, shape , still the canvas topped Rubber .
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Old 01-27-15, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
There's a C15 out now too , more a Drop bar road Bike, shape , still the canvas topped Rubber .
Yeah, I was looking at that, too. Thing is, I'm worried about the texture. I have this thing about grippy materials rubbing against my clothes...like, I can't stand suede-backed leather guitar straps, and I was a little iffy on the suede-like surface of my Charge Spoon until it smoothed out from use. The main reason I'm interested in the Berthoud "racing" saddle is how cool it looks from the side - it would go really well with the overall aesthetic I have in mind for the bike.

Yes, I'm aware that the looks of the bike are secondary to comfort, but who doesn't love a cool-looking bike?
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Old 01-27-15, 10:17 AM
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your butt will only see the texture of the inside of your Bike shorts

BTW Leather cannot both sides Be Top grain as the Skin of the cow is not made that way.
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Old 01-27-15, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
your butt will only see the texture of the inside of your Bike shorts

BTW Leather cannot both sides Be Top grain as the Skin of the cow is not made that way.
Not sure you understood. Aside from the fact that I don't own a single pair of bike shorts, the issue is the cloth-on-cloth rubbing. It bugs the hell out of me, because I feel like I can't move around enough on the saddle. Also, I have a couple guitar straps that are "garment leather" on both sides...obviously this is done by sewing two pieces of leather back-to-back, but the end result is a very comfortable strap that doesn't grab my shirt.
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Old 01-27-15, 10:57 AM
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Touring where it rains I put a Plastic bag on my Brooks ..

It seems the fabric went in the mold, 1st, the rubber next, then the whole thing is cooked (vulcanized) in the Mold..

Of course you can find them in the shops and feel the surface, in your hands for yourself..

Though probably have to get the streets plowed better first , a bit Snowy now I hear..

[Kepur Strap ( It's synthetic ) on my electric 5 string Mandolin ] (I put a Timbuk2 strap Pad on to make it less slippery and cushioned )
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Old 01-27-15, 11:00 AM
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It's not horrible out, I'll probably take my Franken-3-speed out for a ride later. You're right about the shops not being open today, though! I only know of one in the area that stocks Berthoud saddles, though, and that's a good 15 miles from home...well within the realm of doable to get there in general, but not happening today. I'd really like to see how the Soulor compares to my Aspin, up close and in person.
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Old 01-27-15, 11:03 AM
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Of course, no one can say for sure what will feel good between your legs, but both saddles have excellent ratings overall.
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Old 01-29-15, 09:01 AM
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Have been using a Cambium on my Volpe since early january (it's summer here…) –

The saddle that came stock with the Volpe was really crappy and I changed it for a no brand and more comfortable one a year and 1/2 ago.

Changed to the Cambium this year felt the difference from the first ride… Don't expect to feel much difference on shorter rides, but on longer ones (more than 50km) the Cambium felt really really comfy.

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Old 05-10-15, 03:14 PM
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I'm also torn between Gilles Berthoud and Cambium saddles, both from a functional and from an aesthetic standpoint. I appreciate that Cambium is seemingly impervious to poor weather and requires little maintenance. However, a leather saddle will improve with age (as long as it's properly maintained) whereas a Cambium saddle is as good as it gets out of the box and then slowly wears out? I'm also a little worried about a Cambium saddle grinding through the fabric of my pants. Sure, I will be riding my bike for exercise, but mostly for commuting dressed in something you'd wear in an office. The cotton fabric of the saddle kind of felt sandpaper-y. Is this suitable for someone who doesn't wear lycra 24/7?

I went to a LBS and asked about Brooks saddles, a B17 special or perhaps a Cambium saddle, but the guy steered me towards Gilles Berthoud saddles instead. He handed me one of each and the quality of the leather so much nicer on the Berthoud than the Brooks saddle. I do find it hard to get over the plastic bits though. And Brooks does make a pretty saddle, even if it's some kind of new rubber wizardry rather than leather. Those of you who ride the Berthoud, have you had any issues with the placement of the bolts?
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Old 05-10-15, 04:56 PM
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From the YMMV dept: in the past few years I've tried various nearly-unpadded saddles including a Brooks B17, a Specialized Romin Evo, and an Avocet Touring II, and none have been as comfortable for me as the medium padded plastic and fabric covered seats that come on mountain bikes. All three required bike shorts for me while the cheap ones don't. My body is schlubby and my ride is pretty short 11 mi about 3x a week. I can see how if I were riding more or further, and my sit bones were inured and I was more worried about pressure or chafing, it could go the other way. Occasionally I'll get spun up by posts here or touring blogs to try something else again like a GB, but then I look at the price and remember I'm pretty ok now, and I stop myself.
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Old 05-10-15, 05:39 PM
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Those of you who ride the Berthoud, have you had any issues with the placement of the bolts?
No.

The B17 rivets on the other hand are a pain.

Please note that the Berhoud saddles do not have as much rail as the B17 and thus, if you have setback issues, be careful. The Berthoud leather is far better. I like both the Brooks and the Berthoud.
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