review

Selle San Marco Concor Supercorsa saddle

8
£89.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Classic design that's still very relevant today
Iconic design
Well made and supportive
Not the lightest
Weight: 
320g

The Selle San Marco Concor Supercorsa saddle was first introduced in 1978, but it's still very relevant today beyond retaining the purity of 80s road bikes, with a shape and support that seem very conducive to big mileages and an efficient cadence.

Specification

At 265mm long and 140mm wide it's a bit long and narrow by 'unisex' standards, and a smidge narrower than my 'on-paper' ideal, but these things aren't necessarily an exact science.

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The shell is described as a techno-polymer, which is essentially a hardy composite. Bio-foam padding provides the support and is apparently designed to allow the pelvis to rotate naturally, theoretically improving pedalling efficiency.

Steel rails impregnated with carbon might not set pulses racing, and they go a long way to explaining the 320g heft, but they still offer a bit of 'zing' and are nicely finished.

It's all topped off with a neatly stitched 0.7mm thick calf-hide covering. Strict vegetarians will probably click away at this point and I would have preferred a cowhide covering, given the animal would have had a longer (and, hopefully, happier) life. However, it should last a very long time, given periodic helpings of leather preserve.

This isn't my first experience of the Concor Supercorsa. I had a suede version on a fixed gear conversion back in the late 80s. I wore the hide smooth, and switched it (and most of the salvageable components) to a new training frameset when a catastrophic frame failure struck, back in 1992. I continued racking up the miles on it for another couple of years, before selling it to a fellow cash-strapped student.

Speeding back from memory lane, saddles have come a long way since, but it was only a matter of miles before the happy familiarity came flooding back. Compared with those with pressure-relieving cutouts, it did feel a little firm, but I've spun along for several hours without a twinge of discomfort, let alone numbness.

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Compared with some contemporary faux hides, the calf-hide cover feels a little slippery to touch, but slide (or 'surf') has never been an issue. This tenure has remained consistently good, regardless of whether I've gone for shiny or satin longs and even when conditions were torrentially wet, which is a bonus and suggests the cover is, at least, highly water-resistant.

By the same token, shuffling back to improve tempo on seated climbs, or making other minor adjustments, were similarly effortless. The padding is also very supportive, although I'm not sure I noticed any improvements in pelvic movement per se. Rather, I attributed any improved pedalling efficiency to the narrower shape.

Some suggest it's a viable option off-road – an unusual choice in the style stakes perhaps, unless you were fitting it to a retro mountain bike, but I switched it over to my Univega for a bit and had no problems. I should also note that on this build I tend to remain seated on the climbs, preferring to winch myself along in the lower gears.

Durability

Its 320g might seem a bit hefty on paper, but I would describe the Supercorsa as reassuringly solid. There's a lack of protective 'scuff bumpers', but to date, the covering seems highly resistant to abrasion. I've leant it against the usual suspects (brickwork and so on) with no obvious signs of wear.

It also polishes up rather nicely, using a water-based leather cleaner/feed, or a product such as Crankalicious Epic Hide Leather and Vinyl Cleanser.

Value

Saddle technology has come a long way in the last 42 years, and there's quite a bit of choice at this price point. In the strictly classics stakes, the Concor Supercorsa's main rival is probably the Selle Italia Turbo, which is £20 less at £69.99.

Others come from its own stable, in the shape of the Selle San Marco Regal and Rolls, both £99.99.

For all its charms, there are lighter and arguably more sophisticated models that could give the Supercorsa and its competitors a good run for your hard-earned, including a couple of budget offerings. The Selle Italia Sport Gel Flow and Fabric Scoop Sport both offer a good blend of performance and comfort and give change from £40.

Conclusion

That said, I really like the Concor Supercorsa. It's an iconic design that is, by my reckoning, still very relevant for general riding, and not just the finishing touch to an 80s road bike.

Verdict

Classic design that's still very relevant today

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Selle San Marco Concor Supercorsa saddle

Size tested: 265 x 140mm

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, "The legendary 80's icon. The first saddle with a bio-anatomical shape. A revolutionary design that made this model a pivotal turning-point in the production of saddles. Its birth started the trend of shaped, narrowed leather seat."

My Feelings: A classic design that has stood the test of time and remains relevant today. However, arguably there is some scope for updating. Lighter/more sophisticated rails perhaps.

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

Selle San Marco lists:

Rail : Carbon Steel

Shell : Techno-polymer

Foam : Biofoam

Cover : Smooth Leather

Dimension : 265 x 140 mm

Weight : 300 gr

More details here.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Nice materials and solidly made throughout.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Still very relevant after all these years. Great for general road riding and I've found it surprisingly comfortable beyond asphalt, too.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Seems very well made and should last many years with basic care.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
6/10

Its 320g isn't outlandish, but a little portly by contemporary standards.

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

Comfort is incredibly subjective but I've always got along with the Concor, so it was like being united with an old friend.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Not cheap, relative to the spec, but very well made. Selle Italia's equally iconic Turbo comes in £20 cheaper (£69.99 rrp), although at 146mm wide it's a little broader, and heavier too.

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

Compared to those with pressure-relieving cutouts, it did feel a little firm by comparison, but I've spun along for several hours without a twinge of discomfort, let alone numbness. The padding is also very supportive, although I'm not sure I noticed any improvements in pelvic movement per se. Rather, I attributed any improved pedalling efficiency to the narrower shape.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

One of my favourite saddles and one that remains very relevant to me today. Great build quality too.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing. However, some might suggest lighter/more exotic rails might bring the design bang up to date without detracting from its classic styling and comfort.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Generally speaking, yes.

Use this box to explain your overall score

Saddles have moved on in terms of materials and weight, but the Selle San Marco Concor Supercorsa remains very relevant and not just for riders seeking a period sensitive model for their 80s road bike.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 46  Height: 1m 81cm  Weight: 70kg

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)

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