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review

Orro X Repente saddle

9
£149.99

VERDICT:

9
10
Light, comfortable and cleverly designed race-orientated saddle
Lightweight
Abillity to change base/cover
Comfortable
Price, if weight isn't a priority
Weight: 
180g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Orro X Repente saddle is fairly lightweight and has the unusual design element that the upper section can be removed from the base with ease and even swapped out for an alternative cover. I've found it extremely comfortable during testing, and although saddle shape is very personal, I reckon the flex built into the base, grippy microfibre upper and clever design can be admired by all.

The saddle is a collaboration between the UK bike brand Orro and saddle manufacturer Repente, and appears to be based on the latter's Prime 2.0 with a few graphic changes to the cover. It shares many of the Prime's features, including the same patented RLS system which allows the cover to be removed from the base. 

> Buy this online here

The fact that the base and cover can be separated means that if either one wears out or is damaged in an accident, parts can be replaced without having to chuck away those that still have life left in them.

2021 ORRO X REPENTE saddle - underside detail.jpg

Another advantage is that you can choose different Repente covers with varying levels of cushioning to suit a range of budgets.

The two parts are extremely easy to separate too, using the three red pins on the bottom of the saddle, and this can even be done with the base still attached to the bike.

2021 ORRO X REPENTE saddle - underside rear.jpg

This particular cover is quite flat along its length but tapers down at the sides, similar to the shape of the Rapha Pro Team saddle. It offers more padding than Repente's more expensive Aleena 4.0 saddle and I found it comfortable even on six-hour rides and the turbo trainer. It is still firm enough that you don't sink into it, which can cause all manner of problems and pressure where you don't want it on long rides.

2021 ORRO X REPENTE saddle - cutout.jpg

Personally, I get on with saddles with or without cutouts, but the idea behind it is that the hole in the middle, like on the Orro X Repente, relieves pressure from the perineal area, which is worth considering, especially if you're a less flexible rider.

2021 ORRO X REPENTE saddle - cut out detail.jpg

The polyurethane foam padding is covered in a water-resistant microfibre, which not only feels high quality but is also plenty grippy enough, even when paired with shiny shorts. I have one pair of bibs that seem particularly slippery, but the Repente was able to tame any slip with its non-shiny finish.

After about 2,000km it's showing no signs of premature wear and is also easy to clean.

> Buyer’s Guide: 29 of the best high-performance lightweight saddles

Underneath, the base has been designed to offer a bit of flex, and there are also three rubber O-rings between the base and upper providing more vertical suspension than the padding alone.

2021 ORRO X REPENTE saddle - underside nose.jpg

The rails are 7 x 9mm, which is fairly common for carbon-railed saddles but does mean that it won't work with saddle clamps designed for round profile rails. Most manufacturers now offer alternative saddle clamps to accommodate 7 x 9mm rails.

2021 ORRO X REPENTE saddle - underside.jpg

Orro claims a weight of 179g for the saddle, and this proved to be pretty accurate, coming in on our scales at 180g. Although that's not record breaking, it's likely to shave a fair bit of weight when compared to stock saddles, which usually weigh around the 300g mark.

The Orro X Repente is a great example of the misconception that carbon fibre is only used for saving weight. Yes, it is lighter than many alloy-railed alternatives, but the real benefits lie in the way that carbon fibre can be laid up to offer flex in one direction and stiffness in others. This means that out on the road it offers far more comfort than its minimalist looks portray.

At £149.99 the Orro X Repente is hardly cheap, but it does offer better value than a lot of flagship carbon saddles out there. This saddle gets nearly all the features of the €328 (around £280) Aleena 4.0 mentioned earlier, with a relatively small weight penalty of just 50g.

If you're less bothered about weight, there are cheaper alternatives such as the Fabric Line Race saddle which costs £74.99 and weighs 243g.

> How to choose the right saddle: 31 of the best

Overall, the Orro X Repente is comfortable and well made, and although it's not cheap, the clever design could increase its lifespan. The upper is grippy enough to prevent slipping, and it has a good balance of padding to firmness for both racing and still being usable on endurance rides.

Verdict

Light, comfortable and cleverly designed race-orientated saddle

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Orro X Repente saddle

Size tested: Width 135mm, length 278mm

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?

Orro says: "This lightweight race orientated platform has all the requisite comfort for longer distance rides hidden below the surface."

I've found it very comfortable during testing, even on long rides, and the clever design allowing the base to remove from the upper is not something I have seen before. It is well priced for a carbon railed saddle but there are lighter ones available.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Orro says: 'The saddle construction process starts with Repente carbon fibre base technology. This proprietary material mixture is made with multiple layers of continuous fibre reinforcements in a matrix of engineering thermoplastics. The result is a base designed with area optimised flex allowing it to conform under stress without losing its rigidity over time thus suspending the rider with consistent comfort.

The tuned base flexibility allows for a more minimalist use of polyurethane foam padding which is covered with a water resistant premium microfiber. Added to this is an anatomically designed pressure relief channel proven to provide additional comfort by avoiding any contact of the saddle surface with the perineal area. The slim upper shell supports the pelvic bones with a subtle curvature to provide ergonomic ease of use accommodating the full range of leg motion while the rider is working hard.'

It lists these details:

Width 135 mm

Length 278 mm

Rail Ø 7x9 mm

Weight 179g

Continuous fibre reinforcement in a matrix of engineering thermoplastics.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10

Good compared to stock saddles, but many (more expensive) carbon saddles come in a bit lighter (30-40g ish).

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
9/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Carbon-railed saddles are notoriously expensive and not an economical way of saving weight, but this one is cheaper than many, and should also last longer with replacement upper and bases available from Repente.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well, the carbon base offers a little flex and comfort, I didn't find myself slipping off it, and it's fairly light too.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Comfort.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The bar across the rear is a very good handle for devious mates to hold onto for a free tow.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

As mentioned in the review, it is not a cheap saddle, but when compared to its carbon-railed counterparts it does come in towards the cheaper end.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's excellent – I found it comfortable and well made, and the clever design could increase the saddle's lifespan. The upper is grippy enough to prevent slipping, it's cheaper than many carbon-railed alternatives, and it has a good balance of padding to firmness for both racing and still being usable on endurance rides.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 23  Height: 6ft  Weight: 74kg

I usually ride: Specialized venge pro 2019  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,

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