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San Marco Regal Racing Team saddle


In yer face graphics

Retro copper rivets

San Marco Regal Racing Team – £74.99

The list of top riders who favour or have favoured San Marco’s Regal – the saddle has been around for decades – includes Tom Boonen and Robbie McEwen; more recently, rising star of Irish cycling Dan Martin has taken to what is, on the face of it, a bit of an oddity. That’s because, despite being a thoroughly modern saddle with a moulded plastic shell, foam padding and, in this case, a synthetic leather covering, it is held together with copper rivets in the style of a leather Brooks or Ideale seat.

Perhaps the copper rivets, with their hint of expensive luxury, inspired the Regal name, or perhaps it was simply the unbelievable comfort offered by what is one of the most expansively dimensioned saddles available to the road cyclist. Besides being on the large side overall, the Regal has a voluptuously curved upper of considerable width at the mid point. The flanks are deep and the nose long, the whole adding up to a saddle that looks slightly outsized on some machines.

But that size is precisely what makes the Regal so comfortable. With plenty of room to move around, almost any rider should be able to find a place on the saddle that fits just right, while the curvature of the upper offers plenty of support to the sit bones despite the apparent lack of depth to the foam padding. Words such as mattress and sofa spring to mind and stay there hour after hour; no wonder so many pros like it.

The rails – titanium in this Racing Team version – insert into a moulded bar that appears on close inspection to be secured to the main part of the shell by the rivets. If this is the case, and it is hard to be sure without trying to separate the parts, then they do more than just sit there and look pretty. Whether this is strictly necessary is impossible to say. However, the disguised examples supplied to pros like Boonen who are not San Marco sponsored retain the rivets under whatever covering is fitted, so it looks like they are an integral part of the design.

Which is good, because carrying useless decoration would detract from what is otherwise one of the all-time great saddle designs, and one that shows no signs of departing the scene.


Titanium rails

Note separate ‘cantle plate’

Verdict

Wonderfully comfortable pro favourite


goodComfortable, great looks, lots of versions

badNowt

performance 10

value 9

overall 10

  • www.ultimatepursuits.co.uk
  • www.sellesanmarco.com
  • www.sanmarcovintage.com
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