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According to the ultra enthused marketing copy, the Selle Royal Respiro Sport saddle is literally blistering with supportive space age technology. Respiro means 'breathe' in Italian and that is precisely what the faux leather microtex cover is designed to do.
With no breaking in period, I've not been conscious of anything but chafe and numbness free, lightweight support.
I'll have to take their word that these pores breathe any more efficiently than a host of similarly sophisticated coverings, since it's aided and abetted by a cutaway, which wafts cooling air (and potentially water) to the crotch region. Sandwiched between this and the 143mm wide composite base sits their clever, consistently stable foam matrix that keeps its supportive shape.
Flipping it over reveals bonded and screwed construction; scuff bumpers and some nicely executed hollow magnesium alloy rails, chosen for their low weight and damping properties. Arguably titanium's better and won't corrode but the galvanised topcoat should keep this academic.
Talking of which, by Selle Royal scales the respiro comes in at 225g, mine consistently registered 269g - which won't worry the majority of roadies.
Bombing along the lanes for several hours in succession, those rails offer some discernable damping, especially paired with carbon posts, reducing low-level fatigue over traffic calming paint and worn tarmac.
I did find though that bereft of mudguards, I also had some water rushing up to cool my crotch.
I've found no obvious signs of wear and tear, and the subtle composite guards should keep it looking pristine for a very long time.
Bottom line (sorry) I'm suitably impressed, although seventy quid is my limit for magnesium.
Unusual but well made perch and for me at least, very comfortable.
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Make and model: Selle Royal Respiro Sport saddle
Size tested: One size
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?
"Leaving a bike in the sun or riding in hot weather can raise your saddle temperature to an uncomfortable level. To avoid unpleasant perspiration and discomfort, the Respiro line is designed with a ventilation channel and special materials to minimize saddle heat.".
Been a bit too chil to evaluate this particular claim but the wealth of technology employed does seem to translate into a very likeable saddle.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Integrated Clip System
269g by my scales.
Reflects the standards of craftsmanship but very much my upper limit for faux hides and magnesium rails.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Helped in no small part by ergonomically flattering dimensions, I have found the Respiro sport an extremely comfortable and intelligently made saddle ideally suited to trainers/audax duties. A very inclament test period has made it dificult to accurately evaluate some of the faux hides' climate controlling properties though.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Inteligent design with carefully selected materials-music to my posterior.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? .Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Quite possibly.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Well worth a closer look.
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)