Selle San Marco's Concor saddle has got a whole lot lighter but it still delivers plenty of comfort.
We've reviewed a Selle San Marco Concor before although, despite sharing a name, the two aren't much alike. The Supercorsa version Dave reviewed was a vintage-style saddle; different size, different shape, different materials... different all round.
So why keep the same name? Well, Bernard Hinault used a Concor, so did Lance, so did Bettini. It became a classic. You don't want to bin a name with heritage like that because technology and fashions have changed.
This is a new racing saddle made with a carbon-fibre reinforced plastic shell. That shell is 278mm long and 134mm across at its widest point, while the nose tapers down from 60mm to 36mm. There's nothing too wild in any of that; those are pretty standard dimensions.
There's a slight wave in the shaping – a small crest midway along the nose before it dips down again at the saddle's widest point and then sweeps up at the back. There's a reasonable amount of flex in the shell and you get a medium depth of foam padding on top of it – a touch more than average, I'd say, but it's certainly not too spongy.
The micro-fibre cover is quite hard wearing although you wouldn't want to lean it against too many walls if you want to maintain its looks, and it's not too slippery even when wet.
The rails are made from what San Marco call Xsilite, which is steel with silicon and particles of titanium and carbon added. They reckon it's stronger and lighter than titanium. It's pretty hard to test that one although the rails certainly seem tough enough. There's also a full carbon version handbuilt in Italy at £134.99.
Our Concor saddle weighed in at a respectable 195g. You can get considerably lighter – San Marco's own Aspide Superleggera has a claimed weight of 125g, for example – but it's hardly hefty.
I'm quite choosy about my saddles and this one definitely makes it onto my 'approved' list. The shape is good, the nose providing enough area to spread the pressure comfortably without being so bulky that it gets in the way.
I've found a couple of San Marco saddles I've tried in the past to be too hard, too unyielding, but not here: there's enough flex in the shell and enough padding to keep the ride feeling smooth over knackered tarmac. In an ideal world I've have a touch more give in there but I did 5hrs on this saddle yesterday and it felt fine throughout so I'm not complaining.
Of course, we all have slightly different taste in saddles so check whether the favourite perches you've had in the past are anything like this shape before you spend your cash.
One thing that's not open to debate is the build quality. This is well made and neatly finished and has the look of a saddle that's going to last a long time.
Comfortable, well-made saddle that's low bulk and reasonably lightweight
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Make and model: Selle San Marco Concor Racing
Size tested: n/a
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 say, "No saddle is legendary as it, the CONCOR. Revolution of the cycling in the '80s, it took the greatest riders to the victories in the World Championships, Grand Tour and Classic races, sharing the triumph of champions like Hinault, Saronni, Armstrong and Bettini. No saddle became a myth as the CONCOR with a world success.
"Now the legend goes on. CONCOR. An icon. Now much lighter. San Marco revamps the CONCOR, presenting the evolution of the historical model. The new saddle keeps all the skills of the previous versions (the Concor Light and the Concor Supercorsa), but it considerably gains lightness, thanks to the use of innovative materials."
It's a performance-type saddle - slim and lightweight. You could use it for off-road as well as road riding, for racing, sportives, training... that kind of stuff.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The shell is made from carbon fibre reinforced plastic. San Marco say, "The lengthened carbon fibre reinforces the shell to obtain a very strong, flexible and light material. The mix of materials enables the shell to keep its shape unchanged through years."
Very good build quality with a neat finish.
There are no special features to add durability although the cover is reasonably hard wearing (up to a point) and the build quality augers well for the longevity.
It's light. There are plenty of lighter saddles out there if saving weight is your number one goal, but comfort is likely to be a higher priority.
As ever, that's going to come down to the individual but I imagine the slight wave in the shell will prove popular.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The shape and the overall comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing, really, but if I'm being picky I'd rather have had a tiny bit more flex in the shell... that's a personal preference rather than a criticism.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? It's not my all-time favourite saddle, so I wouldn't buy it
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 41 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.