Weighing in at 523g (broadly comparable to a Brooks B17), the Selle Royale Becoz Moderate men's saddle is aimed at more relaxed bike ositions that angle the rider's spine at 60 degrees, placing considerably more pressure upon the sit bones.
On cursory inspection this looks like another generously padded leisure orientated saddle but delve closer and it's bristling with high tech, shock absorbing recyclable technology. Yep, those short, steep steel rails might not set pulses racing but they're dependable, nicely finished and plug into a really clever bio-base.
This combines recycled plant-based plastics with elastomer and foam elements derived from natural oils adding some discrete damping. Ah, but the wizardry doesn't stop here. Internally we've got 'Corkgel'- polyurethane gel blended with recycled cork. This clear goo is visible through a discrete centre strip in the wheat cover, which has a unique but not unpleasant texture fortified with FSC approved conifer shavings for additional purchase and recycled leather badges adding a colour coordinated finishing touch.
Build quality is excellent throughout with neatly screwed construction (rather than simply bonded or stapled). Regular abrasion from rendered brickwork, trees, foliage and street furniture have made negligible impression.
I'm suppopsed to fit a 143mm wide saddle, so you'll appreciate my initial scepticism having clapped eyes on the Becoz Moderate's 183mm base. There is an 'athletic' sibling some 19mm narrower, though its male-centric 283mm nose might alienate many women. Similarly, its tendency to position the rider further back may also present reach issues.
Thankfully, ours coincided with my tubby tourer's adoption of moustache pattern bars and 20mm shorter stem but this still dictated moving the saddle further forward. Concerns it was too broad and would chafe, or otherwise hamper respectable cadences evaporated within the first few miles, while still offering ample support, regardless of shorts/insert. Changing position requires a lift 'n' shift, rather than shuffle 'n' slide technique. This became fairly intuitive given twenty odd miles, though thinner, budget shorts/inserts tended to gather uncomfortably as a result.
Rains of biblical proportion had no impression, other than confirming that the cover iss fully water tight. Supportive padding and clever elastomers isolate light to moderate trail buzz handsomely too, delivering a subtle zing, allowing seated procession across washboard tarmac and moderate dirt roads.
Surprisingly sophisticated well engineered saddle for more upright rough stuff/touring and commuting
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Selle Royal Becoz Moderate saddle
Size tested: Brown - price in Euros waiting for £s
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"BECOZ Moderate Man is designed for the Moderate riding position and belongs to a range of saddles developed by Selle Royal that places emphasis on ecologically sound elements of manufacture". There's also a woman's version.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
All BECOZ saddles feature our innovative Corkgel, a 20% organically based gel combined with natural cork. The Cortex Cover is reinforced with FSC certified wood flour, and the stylish trim details have been made using recycled leather. The Bio-base is made from a lightweight bioplastic produced 100% from renewable resources, and elastomer and foam elements have been derived and developed using natural oils
Well made with pleasing attention to detail.
Surprisingly compatible with yours truly and my Univega rough stuff tourer.
Well made and seemingly hardy thus far.
Hardly svelte but not that far removed from traditional Brooks/pattern leather either.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Not the most obvious choice for "serious" riding perhaps. Nonetheless, its proved surprisingly comfortable and durable thus far.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Technology and ride comfort and definite talking points and its unusual nature has certainly grown on me.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing, although lighter rails would be nice and "lift n' shift" technique for adjusting position initially proved (mildly) annoying on club run typical distances.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, pleasantly surprised.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes but comparison with its leaner sibling would be useful.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? I'd recommend taking a closer look for more upright touring/trail configurations.
About the tester
Age: 40 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)