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The Kontact Anatomical race saddle feels precisely how a good saddle should feel and I've managed several hundred mixed-terrain miles without a hint of discomfort, and that's pretty impressive from a perch hovering around 200g.
The one amendment I would like to see are scuff bumpers - not that you'd put an 80 quid saddle on a town hack but since bikes are typically propped by their saddles against walls, posts and other street furniture, it makes sense to add some reinforcement in these key areas.
Titanium rails, carbon fibre/plastic bases and leather covers are hardly front-page news but there's some secrecy when it comes to the padding and a damper nestling between the chassis and rails. My money says its some kind of elastomer, although to some extent the origins aren't particularly significant so long as it works and doesn't require any specialist care. Sharing clear similarities with Selle Italia's classic Flite and BBB's unfortunately named Razor, the rear is designed with plentiful support to the ischial tuberosities (sit bones to you and me) while the cutaway nose is shaped to relieve pressure up front.
Twenty miles into our first outing, I knew we were soul-mates with all the components working harmoniously to give a magic carpet experience, without undue bulk (although we're told a 'recreational' model is in the pipeline). Good quality titanium rails offer plenty of zing over poor surfaces while the clever little damper and carbon composite base extra comfort, suggesting this is a worthy contender for cyclocross duties too.
I used this saddle on a Univega with an upright ride position and a Teenage Dream for some long, steady miles on the tri bars and it was equally comfortable throughout.
Impressive minimalist saddle for all-round road duties, although scuff bumpers would be a practical tweak.
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Make and model: Kontact Anatomical Saddle
Size tested: Black
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?
"The Kontact saddle is a rider-tested and race proven design. By incorporating design concepts from the latest research studies, Kontact saddles adeptly deliver improved comfort and performance in aero/triathlon positions, upright cruising, and mountain biking postures."
Sweeping generalisations are dangerous but our sample has proved a very agreeable contact point for generic road duties.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Titanium rails are isolated from the carbon/plastic base via a damper, while the padding is topped with a natural leather cover.
Suited my dimensions and riding style perfectly.
Very reasonable given the technologies employed and the overall build quality.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Kontact Anatomical saddle has been everything I'd hoped for in a lightweight, competition-quality road model. The clever use of titinium, carbon and elastomer technologies coupled with sensible padding density ensured prolonged riding comfort.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Build quality, comfort, low weight.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing, but scuff bumpers would be welcomed.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely although with the proviso that saddles can be a very personal thing
Age: 38 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)