7th August, 2014
Here at The Carter Company, we're all about a little bit of indulgence. Most of our cycling holidays and walking tours in Britain offer a choice of 'classic quality' or 'luxury' accommodation, and we'd always recommend choosing the latter! There are some pretty special places to stay on our trips, including historical Paradores on our 'Land of the Spanish Conquistadors' cycling holiday in Spain and 5* hotels with Michelin rated restaurants like Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons on many of our Oxford bicycle vacations.
But our taste for the finer things in life extends beyond our hand-picked hotel selection. As gentle cyclists designing cycling holidays for softies (rather than the Lycra-wearing road racers), we also appreciate a good quality saddle. Craftsmanship is enjoying a moment in the spotlight again, and this means there are some wonderful choices when it comes to artisan bike saddles. We say support the movement and get yourself a luxury saddle (which you can use on one of our bike trips around the UK or in Europe!)
Here are 3 of our favourites:
Brooks saddles (pictured above)
This has to the the crème de la crème of leather saddles. A real heritage brand that offers hand-crafted, beautifully designed saddles. In their own words: 'We believe, and are convinced that all riders will agree, that a comfortable saddle is one of the greatest, if not the greatest asset to real pleasure cycling'. Check out their limited edition range.
Spa Cycles' Aire leather saddles
Rated highly by cycling experts, and retailing at a fraction of the price of a Brooks saddle. They are meant to be really comfortable and of course they look absolutely stunning, being very similar in design to the Brooks 'Swallow' model. A good choice if you want to try a leather saddle without having to remortgage the house on a Brooks saddle.
Made out of premium American leather, the brand behind these saddles claim they make 'the world's most comfortable leather bicycle saddles'. There's certainly a lot of thought that goes in to the design of their saddles, which have many unique characteristics, including a patented slot design in their suspended leather design which provides perineal relief (!) but also allows the leather to move under your sit bones for a more comfortable riding experience. They also inject a bit of fun into proceedings... To celebrate the 4th of July, they produced their saddles in red and white colours.