Selle San Marco's Mantra Supercomfort is a new saddle that's aimed at long-distance comfort, but with a fairly aggressive shape for a faster riding position. As such it's the kind of thing you might be looking for if you're into longer sportives or faster club rides.
This isn't the first Selle San Marco Mantra we've tested. Both the firm, good value Mantra Dynamic and the money-no-object Mantra Superleggera got positive reviews. The Mantra Supercomfort shares the same basic shape: it's a long, flat saddle with dropped and rounded wings towards the rear.
'Mantra is the result of an ergonomic study aimed at combining the performance requirements of the most demanding cyclists with the need to provide a flat profile for the saddle itself,' says Selle San Marco. 'You will be surprised at the level of comfort of this saddle despite its aggressive features. The areas of support for the ischial bones are substantial with ample comfort for the perineum.'
The Supercomfort is, as you might expect, more heavily padded than the two Mantras we've previously tested. It has variable density Biofoam padding over a carbon-reinforced nylon shell, with gel inserts and a microfibre cover that's perforated to aid deformation with the padding and also designed to dry quicker too. The rails are Xsilite, Selle San Marco's Titanium alloy.
It's available in narrow (136mm) and wide (148mm) sizes, with neither particularly heavy in spite of the padding; the narrow saddle is a claimed 228g (our narrow saddle weighed 1g more) and the wide 231g. That's not super-light – the £299.99 Superleggera is almost exactly half that – but it's decent.
With the usual caveat that saddles are a personal thing, and you should always try before you buy if you can, I got on pretty well with the Mantra Supercomfort. Both of the other Mantras we've tested were described by their respective viewers as a firm ride – the Superleggera especially – but the Supercomfort is a good compromise. It's a racing position, but there's enough padding to make it pretty comfy for longer rides. I spent 4-5 hours out on the saddle with no real issues, and also fitted it to the Wattbike Atom: I always find that indoor training is a pretty time-efficient way of finding out if a saddle is comfortable or not, and the Mantra was a definite improvement over the stock Wattbike-branded saddle.
The shape and the generous cutaway in the middle of the saddle work together to make sure there's no unwanted pressure on your tackle, and I didn't have any issues out on the road. Indoors, where you're spending more time in a fixed position, I did need to stand from time to time to get a bit of relief but I've not yet found a saddle for indoor training where that wasn't the case, and the Mantra was better than most.
Overall, the Mantra Supercomfort is a good saddle for faster riding over longer distances. More comfort generally means carrying a bit more weight, and that's the case here, but this isn't a heavy sofa of a saddle, it's probably about the right compromise if you find lightweight saddles too firm but you still want the performance (and looks) of a racing saddle.
The Mantra Supercomfort feels a bit expensive compared to something like the £74.99, titanium-railed Fabric Line but if the shape and the padding suits, it'll still be money well spent. If the £134.99 price tag is too high there's a Dynamic version with manganese steel rails and no gel inserts for £99.99.
A good compromise of weight and comfort for longer, faster riding
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Selle San Marco Mantra Supercomfort Racing Saddle
Size tested: Narrow
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?
Selle San Marco says, "Mantra is the result of an ergonomic study aimed at combining the performance requirements of the most demanding cyclists with the need to provide a flat profile for the saddle itself. You will be surprised at the level of comfort of this saddle despite its aggressive features. The areas of support for the ischial bones are substantial with ample comfort for the perineum.
Mantra Supercomfort is the newest addition to the Selle San Marco range and is aimed at cyclists who are looking for all day comfort or looking to reduce the harshness of riding full carbon bikes & wheels.
SUPERCOMFORT stemmed from an in-depth study with aim of finding extreme comfort. Selle San Marco worked on shape, ergonomics and technologies to create this new model, to meet the requirements of extra comfort. This is guaranteed by the open and substantial ridge that runs down the length of the saddle: an ergonomics studied to ensure an optimal relief of the pressure on the perineum and at the same time keeping a suitable support area. Every Supercomfort saddle features an increased level of padding with variable density to guarantee the maximum comfort in all pedalling positions. In addition in the racing price range Selle San Marco introduced a gel layer and an openwork processing technique of the cover that enhance the already exceptional comfort bringing it to a higher level."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From Selle San Marco:
* Rail: Xsilite
* Shell: Carbon Fibre Reinforced
* Padding: Biofoam Plus + Gel
* Cover: Microfeel
* Size Narrow: 278 x 138mm / ID-Match Ref: S3
* Size Wide: 277 x 146mm / ID-Match Ref: L3
* Weight: 228g / 231g
* Saddle Profile: Open / Flat
* Use: Road / Off Road
* Colours: Black/Black
An innovative system of shock absorption and vibration dampening ensure increased all round comfort.
It is a material with a high percentage of silicon with particles of titanium and carbon. Light and strong, it turns out to be resistant to all weather conditions. The process through the stealth technology ensures a better strength against fatigue stress.
CARBON FIBER REINFORCED SHELL
Nylon with high properties, enriched with a high proportion of long carbon fibre, in order to reinforce the characteristics of rigidity, stiffness and durability without compromising the weight.
BIOFOAM PLUS + GEL
Biodynamic structure that follows the movements of the pelvis during pedalling, guarantees comfort, reduced weight, lasting resistance and ideal support. The 'closed cells' surface ensures water is repelled from the padding. Slightly heavier than on our standard Biofoam, with a thin layer of gel under the cover.
Breathable and hard wearing cover. It is lighter than traditional materials and less deformable. Anti-skid effect with an extraordinary grip on the saddle. Biocompatible material.
The perfect balance between the support and relief zone. The "big hole" helps maintain comfort under pressure and offers day long support and comfort. The central relief zone is long enough to work in all riding positions and the structural stability bridge prevents unwanted flex and twist.
Neatly made and finished.
I got on well with it: good levels of comfort but still pretty light and racy.
No issues during testing, microfibre cover has taken a bit of scuffing in its stride.
229g is still race-light.
It's not a sofa, but it's more comfortable than most racing saddles.
£134.99 feels a bit expensive given the build quality isn't that different to the lighter Mantra Dynamic; the rails are upgraded and there's more padding but £50 seems like a pretty big hike.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Pretty well: good comfort, light weight, nice build.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's racy yet comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It feels a bit expensive.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's £50 more than the Mantra Dynamic, for better rails and more padding. The Fabric Line gets titanium rails for not much more than half the price, but it isn't as light.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your overall score
Good overall, with better levels of comfort than most racing-shape saddles. If you need that then it'll be worth the money, although the price feels high for what it is.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.