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Selle San Marco unveils 2014 road saddles

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The Selle San Marco Superleggera weighs 104.7g - very impressive, especially as it has padding

The Selle San Marco Superleggera weighs 104.7g - very impressive, especially as it has padding (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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At 184g, the alloy railed Selle San Marco Aspide Team is competitively light

At 184g, the alloy railed Selle San Marco Aspide Team is competitively light (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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Retro looking it may be but the 221g weight is bang up to date

Retro looking it may be but the 221g weight is bang up to date (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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Chiappucci, Cipollini, LeMond, Boonen, McEwen - the list of Regale fans is filled with cycling legends

Chiappucci, Cipollini, LeMond, Boonen, McEwen - the list of Regale fans is filled with cycling legends (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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The Regale carbon FX: retro looks from modern materials

The Regale carbon FX: retro looks from modern materials (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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Underneath the Regale’s suede leather upper is a carbon reinforced base and full carbon rails

Underneath the Regale’s suede leather upper is a carbon reinforced base and full carbon rails (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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The 242g Team edition of the Regale is aimed squarely at racers

The 242g Team edition of the Regale is aimed squarely at racers (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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The Regale has a classic shape, modern materials and design

The Regale has a classic shape, modern materials and design (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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The Regale has a classic shape, modern materials and design

The Regale has a classic shape, modern materials and design (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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The slimline, lightweight 104.7g Selle San Marco Superleggera still features a padded upper

The slimline, lightweight 104.7g Selle San Marco Superleggera still features a padded upper (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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The minimal Superleggera has an additional reinforcement at the mid-section of the channel to add stability to the lightweight hull

The minimal Superleggera has an additional reinforcement at the mid-section of the channel to add stability to the lightweight hull (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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Handmade and signed along with a handwritten weight, San Marco can only produce two Superleggeras a day, so you won't see many of these around

Handmade and signed along with a handwritten weight, San Marco can only produce two Superleggeras a day, so you won't see many of these around (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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The Superleggera is, as you'd expect, mostly constructed with carbon fibre

The Superleggera is, as you'd expect, mostly constructed with carbon fibre (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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The FX version gets a carbon reinforced base and full carbon rails

The FX version gets a carbon reinforced base and full carbon rails (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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The rear wing profile is very round, with a massive channel separating the saddles two halves

The rear wing profile is very round, with a massive channel separating the saddles two halves (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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The deep wide open channel is just one of the unique features of the Mantra

The deep wide open channel is just one of the unique features of the Mantra (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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The Aspide Team has a deep full length channel

The Aspide Team has a deep full length channel (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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The Aspide has a waved top shape, high at the front and back and dipped in the mid-section

The Aspide has a waved top shape, high at the front and back and dipped in the mid-section (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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The stealthy Aspide Carbon FX is impressively light at just 121g

The stealthy Aspide Carbon FX is impressively light at just 121g (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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The Carbon FX version of the Aspide shares the same wavy profile as the Team edition

The Carbon FX version of the Aspide shares the same wavy profile as the Team edition (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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San Marco cross-knot their carbon rails which they claim increases strength hugely

San Marco cross-knot their carbon rails which they claim increases strength hugely (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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Slim with rounded wings – the classic characteristics of the Concor Carbon FX

Slim with rounded wings – the classic characteristics of the Concor Carbon FX (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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The Concor shares the same name knot-design rails as the Aspide

The Concor shares the same name knot-design rails as the Aspide (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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The waved shape of the Concor has a very pronounced upward kick to its tail

The waved shape of the Concor has a very pronounced upward kick to its tail (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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At 136g the Concor Carbon is very, very light

At 136g the Concor Carbon is very, very light (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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Mad looking the Mantra may be, but its also one of their bestsellers, light for a longer design too

Mad looking the Mantra may be, but its also one of their bestsellers, light for a longer design too (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)
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The Mantra at 394mm is a long saddle

The Mantra at 394mm is a long saddle (Image credit: Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing)

This article originally published on BikeRadar

Selle San Marco’s MD Giovanni Giradi dropped into BikeRadar towers to show us the pick of the 78 year-old company’s new range.

Aspide gets a redesign

First up they've taken the popular Aspide back to the drawing board. They've retained its 'open' design (read: pressure relieving channel) but worked on the curve of both the tails' upward tilt and the wing sections. The Aspide is described as a 'waved' top (it dips in its mid-section) and narrow in width.

Selle San Marco have also been able to significantly reduce weight in the Aspide by using a new PEBAX® foam. It’s much lighter than standard foams but has a highly elastic nature, meaning it shapes and forms to you but returns to its original shape when not under pressure.

The Aspide comes in nine different models. The top model features XSilite rails, a lightweight alloy (lighter and stronger than titanium) with a hardened surface treatment and textured rails at the clamp point. The red and black racing Aspide Team seen above tips the scales at 184g and sells for £120.

Aspide Carbon FX drops weight

Next in the pecking order is the Aspide Carbon FX. It shares the same shape and the same carbon fibre reinforced hull but the cover has carbon weave scuff sections at the wing tips. The rails are San Marco’s one-piece carbon DNA rails. These cross and knot over at the nose end.

Giovanni explained to BikeRadar that this was to increase strength at the most critical point of a saddle, without resorting to excess weight. The theory certainly seems to bear this out with the Aspide Carbon FX tipping the scales at a scant 121g. It’s priced at £170.

Superleggera - a sub-105g padded saddle

If like us you thought that a 121g saddle with a £170 price tag would be the top of the tree, then you'd be wrong. Giovanni handed us the very rarefied Superleggera version of the Aspide.

"The whole saddle is made completely by hand from start to finish," said Giradi. "It is such a long and complex process that we are only able to make just two per day."

The Superleggera comes with a signed card by the maker, and each saddle is guaranteed to weigh less than 109g. Our test saddle tipped our scales at 105g, handwritten on the base is San Marco’s handwritten findings of 104.7g so we guess their scales are more accurate than ours.

Regale - an old favourite

The Regale has a classic shape

Next in line is the evergreen Regale, still a favourite amongst pro riders for its classic shape. It was the saddle of choice for the likes of Mario Cipollini, Robbie McEwen, Greg LeMond, and Claudio Chiappucci. Whilst it’s now more often found in Sam Marco’s Vintage line - and under the low-slung skinny jeans of hipsters - Giovanni was keen to show us that they've kept the Regale firmly in the confines of racing too.

The Regale Racing Team uses Xsilite rails like the Aspide and Concor and a carbon-reinforced base. The luxuriously padded upper and wide round (but flat front to back) shape makes it easy to see why it remains a favourite of grand tour riders. The Team tipped our scales at 242g for its 278mm x 150mm size.

Want the vintage look, but bang up to date technology? Then you may want to look at the Regale Carbon FX. The brushed cover is real leather and the riveted rear keeps things classic looking, but get underneath and you'll find a carbon-reinforced hull and full carbon fibre rails. That helps keep the weight down to a very respectable 221g. We think that this £170 modern classic would look great on a custom steel or titanium road machine.

Maintaining the Mantra

The Mantra is one of San Marco’s bestsellers; the waved profile and super rounded rear make it look like no other saddle on the market, but one that’s obviously very popular. It's also one of the longer saddles around at 394mm, yet fairly slim at 140mm. The carbon railed Carbon FX model tips the scales at 178g and retails for £190.

Concor revised

Finally there's the newly revised Concor, the carbon versions of which have a slightly revised shape. The distinct sharply kicked up tail remains, as do the rounded wings. Though its 134mm width is a little narrower than previous models, the 278mm length isn't long by the standards set by Fizik's Arione or Selle San Marco's Mantra. But the Concor has an ace up its sleeve: that being the amount of useable rail, even more than the super-sized Arione.

We’ve got our hands on the Carbon FX model, which at £160 is San Marco’s best priced all-carbon saddle. It's light too at just 136g.

For more info on San Marco saddles see www.sellesanmarco.it