Saddle manufacturer Selle Royal has launched the new Performa saddle range aimed at sport cyclists, and revamped its environmentally-friendly Becoz saddle range.
Let's start with the Performa range. Key to the new range is three shapes, flat, wave and anatomic, designed to cater for a wide range of cyclists, that the company has developed. Most saddle manufacturers offer a range of saddle shapes these days because they recognise that no two bums are the same, and cater for different tastes in saddle design with three offerings.
The Flat Design has a flat horizontal surface from nose to tail, and it’s similar in shape to something like an Arione. Two models are offered, the Seta and Seta S1. The Seta S1 is the lightest in the range and weighs a claimed 230g, while the Seta weighs a claimed 252g.
The Wave Design is more like an Aliante or Scratch, with a dipped nose and kicked up tail section. There’s more padding in the rear section as well, with a contoured surface. There’s the Selva and Saba to choose from if this is the shape for you.
Some people like their saddles with a hole down the middle, and the Anatomic Design addresses such requests. “It guarantees maximum pressure relief for increased rider perseverance and avoidance of pain in the perineal area” says the company. The Suez and Supra use this design principle, the Supra though has a recessed channel while the Suez has a complete cutaway section.
The saddles are priced at €49.90 and €69.90 with the main difference being weight; the more expensive saddles use hollow tubular rails to save weight while the cheaper variants use manganese rails. All apart from the Supra use the same Flex Foam, a flexible foam with a uniform cell structure to improve comfort. The Supra uses a higher load bearing foam.
The saddles have scuff guards for abrasion protection, useful when leaning your bike up against the cafe wall. They’re compatible with Selle Royal’s clip-on light and bag system as well.
Selle Royal has also revamped its line of Becoz environmentally-friendly saddles for 2014. They’re is a saddle shape to suit most types of riding, including performance riding but their big selling point as a saddle - apart from their green credentials is their claimed comfort. We haven't tested one but can see them being ideal for touring and any other long distance cycling where comfort is a priority.
The range is divided into the Becoz Athletic, Becoz Moderate and Becoz Relaxed. Can you see what they've done there? Which saddle is best suited for you is defined by ho upright you sit basically. If it’s with a 90 degree spine angle, you want the relaxed saddle, if you have a back angle of about 30 degrees, the athletic is for you.
Shape aside, all of the saddles are made from ecologically sustainable or recycleable materials as is the packaging they come in, and even the shop display stands. Their Corkgel is 20% organically based gel combined with natural cork, and is covered with a Cortex Cover that is reinforced with FSC certified wood flour. The trim details are made from recycled leather and the base is made from bioplastic produced 100% from renewable resources. The elastomer and foam elements have been developed using natural oils. The latest version of the saddle originally launched in 2012 ups the amount of natural and recycleable materials used and uses cork form sustainable sources. One final selling point is that because of the hand made nature of the manufacturing process and the use of wood flour and recycled leather in particular Selle Royal reckon that every Becoz saddle is unique.
More details at www.selleroyal.com
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.