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review

Repente Latus M Saddle

6
£219.00

VERDICT:

6
10
Very light and beautifully made saddle with impressive flex, but try before you buy...
Very light
Nicely made
Low-key style
If it doesn't suit you, it's going to hurt
Weight: 
145g

The Repente Latus M saddle is a very light, extremely well made carbon saddle with a wide and stubby design. There's noticeably plush shock absorption to the broad rear section, but the cutouts don't allow you to sit that far back without pressuring your inner thighs. As a result there's not much real room for movement. If the shape suits you, you should be fine; if it doesn't, it's incredibly uncomfortable.

At just 140g the Latus M is very light, despite the full-width hull. That carbon hull is, like the ovalised rails, made from T700 unidirectional carbon fibre, and Repente makes all the usual claims of 'stiff yet flexible' for its layup. In this case they're entirely justified – sit up on that broad tail and the smooth shock absorption is palpable, while there's no sense of the saddle bending or flexing as a whole. Repente actually recommends it for off-road as well as on, and it would seem a good fit for gravel riders.

> Find your nearest dealer here

> Buy this online here

In reality, though, unless you've got a very wide pelvis you'll spend your time way forward on that stubby nose, fixed in the gentle central depression. This curve, and the grippy microfibre/PU covering the EVA foam padding, hold you pretty securely even with the nose tipped down.

I found the Latus M very sensitive to adjustments – I pretty much doubled the comfort mid-ride by adding half a turn on the front bolt of my two-bolt seatpost. Just a few extra degrees of nose-down transformed it, lifting some pressure off soft tissue around my sit bones and allowing the broad central channel to work better.

2020 Repente Latus M Saddle - top.jpg

Unfortunately, for me this meant the Latus M went from being very comfortable for the first half an hour to very comfortable for the first 45 minutes. The next 10 minutes were still average, and after that it became increasingly painful. While saddle comfort is obviously highly subjective, this is – for me – the most uncomfortable seat I have ever used, and all-but unbearable after 90 minutes. No matter how I adjusted either it or my position on it, the Latus M left me with bruises. The good news is there's plenty of adjustment available on the rails, and clear alignment markings on the right hand side.

2020 Repente Latus M Saddle - underside 2.jpg

If you get on with wide, flat saddles – it's still wide even on the nose, and the channel is shallow – your experience will surely be different, though the shaping is still confusing. That large tail section, so plushly suspended, just doesn't seem usable without chafing and pressuring your inner thighs, especially as the sides curve down so late and steep.

There's also very little space between rubbing your thighs on the sides and simply falling off the front, so there's no room for the small, regular position shifts that some riders like to make to help ease pressure points on more traditional saddles.

2020 Repente Latus M Saddle - underside 1.jpg

Repente says this is designed for men and women – perhaps that, along with the dual on/off road intentions, has compromised the shaping. That said, Rachael on our sister site off.road.cc gave it a go as well, and had much the same experience as me.

For comparison, the Latus M would actually match the outline of my favourite saddle, the Fizik Antares R1 Versus Evo, if you cut the first 4.5cm off the Fizik and stuck 3cm on the back. The Latus also feels significantly wider, despite only being listed as 2mm wider at 142mm, thanks to a broad top and sharper transition from top to side.

> How to choose the correct saddle for you and your riding

If it's low weight you're after, Repente's own Aleena 4.0 is 10g lighter still while being more typically shaped, though it's significantly more expensive at £295. More knife-like still is the 132g Prime Primavera Carbon, at a far friendlier £85, though if you prefer wide there's the Fabric Scoop Flat Pro at £110. It's heavier at 190g, despite carbon rails, but also comes in a variety of widths and curvatures for a near-custom fit.

> Buyer's Guide: 10 of the best short saddles

The Repente Latus M is beautifully made, very well finished and extremely light. If its broad flat top, shallow central channel and rear section fit your shape, its quality build and and style mean it's worth the expense. If you're really struggling with traditionally shaped saddles, it could well be worth a try.

Verdict

Very light and beautifully made saddle with impressive flex, but try before you buy...

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Repente Latus M Saddle

Size tested: 240mm x 142mm

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?

Repente says this is "a high-quality compact saddle for both road and off-road enthusiasts, comfortable and light, designed for both men and women."

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

The company lists these specs:

COATING Water-based microfiber/PU

FOAM PADDING Super lightweight EVA

SUPPORT STRUCTURE UD Carbon Fiber T700 – 9x7mm

RAIL UD Carbon Fiber T700 – 9x7mm

DIMENSIONS 240 mm x 142 mm

WEIGHT (+/- 5%) 140 g

GRAPHICS Black

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Neat, tidy and stylish.

Rate the product for performance:
 
5/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Feels built to last and completed the test unmarked.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
9/10

Pretty much as light as saddles get without going to extreme designs.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
1/10

Agonising. For me at least.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

It's very well made from impressive materials, and feels worth the price, but it's at the top end of the spectrum.

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

Well for under an hour. Terribly after that.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The construction, finish and impressively low weight.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Bruisingly uncomfortable.

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

The Latus M sits at the top end of the price spectrum.

Did you enjoy using the product? No!

Would you consider buying the product? No no no.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe, if they're struggling with traditionally shaped saddles.

Use this box to explain your overall score

The construction and finish are excellent, but the shaping traps you in one spot at the front and wastes a lot of the rear. While some will find the broad, flat top very comfortable, it's hard to imagine many riders have the sort of widescreen pelvis necessary to take advantage of the whole saddle.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 183cm  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,

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