Gilles Berthoud latex saddle cover "rubber" - better call it "rubbish"

It all started with their saddle, the Aspin. Fine product after all the trouble with the poor Selle An-Atomica. To protect my nice leather saddle while being off the saddle a cover would be cool, so their product should be the best option ever. Ordered directly at their shop and was impressed. For a while. I mean, I cycle troughout the year, and yes that's what Gilles Berthoud saddles are made for. To be ridden every day. Understandable to use their cover also every day while being at work having the bike standing outside. So it was quite nice, put that little black piece of latex on the Aspin and find a dry saddle while heading back home.
It went like this for not even a year. Until a few months ago. One day I realised some tiny little holes on the front, there where the saddles nose is located. Uh, ehm, damn. What happened? Taking the cover off it felt also a bit thin in this area. And - surprise - looking onto the inner side, there were tiny litte circles, matching the saddles washer shape. How that? Looking a bit closer it seemed that the washers had something to do with these marks. Along these spots the observed holes were located. I'm an engineer. I like techy stuff, chemistry, thermodynamics, physics. I had a feeling to look a bit into the washer-latex-thing. Bingo. There is a tramendous impact on the latex molecules once in contact with copper-based metals such as brass, like the washers. Copper is cutting the double bond on the isoprene and the degree of polymerisation is going down. In German this effect is called "Latexkrebs" (latex-cancer), describing that the latex doesn't stop to get destructed. It builds some very sticky glue and the holes are getting bigger and bigger. That seems all not to be a big surprise, look into all the larp or theater accesoires or even at the fetish stuff. There is always a warning not to bring metal into contact with the latex material. Surprise. Do they have chemistry in school in France? Do you run a production without checking the usability of your prodct at Gilles Berthoud? Do you create something meant to protect your other products but not making sure that they will work together?

Well, nowadays you write an E-mail and ask the guys about it. So I did. On their homepage, by my E-Mail. Two times. In English. Without any response. No feedback, no ticket, nothing. Well. They are probably not capable of reading and understanding English. Asked a friend to put my request in French. Sent this out as well. No response either.

I throw it here:

 "Mesdames et Mesieurs, j'ai commandé un couvre selle chez nous (11.12.2012, numéro de commande 5694, lien: 203COU100 couvre selle imperméable latex noir http://www.gillesberthoud.fr/fiche_detaillee/fiche.php?refArticle=203COU100).

J'ai utilisée cet couvre sur un Gilles Berthoud Aspin. Malheureusement, pendant les dernières semaines, des fissures s'ont formées dans le latex. Cettes fissures se trouvent surtout sur le nez camus. Là, le latex est en contact directe avec une rondelle plate en laiton qui est part du selle. Malheureusement, le latex ne résiste pas du tout le laiton. C'est un fait connu que les molecules latex sont détruites par le laiton.

Voyez, s'il vous plaît les details sûr les photos qui j'ai attachée. Le latex n'est pas un matérieau convenable pour les couvres selle.

Pourriez-vous me proposer une solution, s'il vous plaît?

Je vous remercie de votre aide et je vous prie d'agréer mes sincères salutations."

Seems they care a shit about their customers at Gilles Berthoud. No response since nearly two months on that as well. Fun fact - on the date I sent the french E-Mail to them someone wanted to leave a reply to this updated blogpost, showing the beginning of destruction. There was no contact ID left, so it was not released as a comment:

""Designed for protection, NOT FOR RIDING." ist auf der Verpackung zu lesen (ist sogar auf den etwas unscharfen Fotos zu erkennen). Meint konkret, wenn man selbst auf dem Sattel sitzt, möge man den Überzug voher entfernen - denn dieser soll nur als Regenschutz diesen.

Dieser 'Rub-ber' ist egentlich eine lohnende Anschaffung, denn sich auf einen nassen / durchweichten Ledersattel zu setzen, ist nicht nur unangenehm, sondern auch der schnellste Weg einen Ledersattel zu ruinieren."

This comment was left by "Gilles". I mean - is there someone so stupid at Gilles Berthoud that they believe I do ride with that cover on the saddle?! Seriously?

Insert LOLs here.

But funny, I observe the cover since I don't use it anymore. It's alive. It converts into some sticky oily glue, I call it "Blob". Don't touch it, it's a mess to remove that shit from the fingers.

Bottom line:

1. Gilles Berthoud has the most crappiest customer care ever - none at all.
2. Gilles Berthoud product development should go back to school.
3. Gilles Berthoud saddle cover will leave sticky shit on your nice leather saddles.
4. Gilles Berthoud saddle covers are only suitable on plastic saddles, no Gilles Berthoud, no Brooks, no Lepper, nothing with any rivets.

Save your money, don't buy that shit, it's ripp-off!

how it started

brass washer marks on latex

 saddle nose, few weeks ago

 bigger holes every week

as today, fully gone



also now on the rear washer positions


outside front

outside rear