zoom Selle San Marco Regal Rino Leather Vintage Saddle
|Rino Leather||Bronze Rivets||
2 In stock, ready for despatch now
This saddle has been active on the Pro race scene for over 20 years and is still used today by some of the Worlds finest riders like Boonen.
The classic Regal combines comfort and style with a formidable race pedigree. A classic saddle, with classic detailing like the decorative copper studs and colour matched rails to give the Regal a unique look and live up to its name.
Performance saddles are narrower than the models designed for shorter ride comfort. They're intended for riders who have a committed riding style with weight on hands and feet so they're narrower and lighter. High tech padding materials and flexible body designs keep your pressure points comfortable and lightweight chassis components keep the weight down. Most have some kind of ergonomic design to reduce pressure on nerves and allow unrestriced blood flow to your sensitive areas. Womens models have a wider design to suit their naturally wider pelvis. Saddle widths vary across the ranges from narrow (upto 130mm), medium (upto 138mm) to wide (upto 146mm). Narrower saddles are the popular choice for longer distance riders as they do not cause the hips to be placed in an unnatural position. Wider saddles will often feel comfortable initially due to their greater surface area but then progressively decrease in comfort as the miles increase, the correct choice of saddle is a case of getting the balance between initial comfort and overall comfort.
Selle San Marco are proud of their decades of history. Their founder, Comm. Luigi Girardi, with insight and sagacity created in Rossano Veneto an entrepreneurial model to admire and follow. Today the founder's grandchildren - Luigi and his brothers Luca, Giovanni and Antonella - have inherited his dynamism along with the management of Sella San Marco. They run Selle San Marco with the help of their enthusiastic parents Antonio and Giuseppina, who are occupied daily in the firm. "We are approaching 70 years in business, seventy years of vast and constantly increasing production, all of it in Italy," says Luigi Girardi. "We developed and manufactured famous saddles like the Regal, Rolls and Concor, Era models, ridden by the greatest champions of cycling. "Every year we've added new patents and solutions to our collection, saddles designed to meet every need of every cyclist.”
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The UCI weight limit on bikes has changed how bikes have looked in recent times. Once deep section rims would not have been a consideration, even for the strongest of domestiques. Due to the 6.8 Kg weight limit the parts that save energy or give comfort have now been added to the Pro level riders bikes.
So that brings me to the Selle San Marco Regal, or as I call it the Belgian sofa. Why, well take a look at the number of Classics riders and Sprinters that make this their saddle of choice. Because such luminaries as Boonen, Devolder and McEwen inspired me to try this out and wonder why it is so popular.
Some of these riders are not sponsored by San Marco and so opt for a stealthy all black version minus the rivets. These look very non descript and so are unlikely to offend the sponsors, in that way everyone is happy.
Once you start riding lots of saddles you can see the DNA or evolution if you will, even across brands, from some of the older models that are still popular today. Perching your bum on it for the first time is a bit like sinking into a nice Chesterfield. It has that instant comfort factor of 10. Having flitted between lots of saddles over the last 12 months, this has to be a massive bonus. Ironically this was not the same for the Zoncolan, the comapny's leggero of saddles, as this required much more ride time to give that instant comfort that the Regal offered.
So what is it like? I found the shape to very comfortable, I liked the deep sides as they allowed my legs to have free pedal movement. The deeper sides also had an added bonus that they protected my shorts against my saddle bags velcro straps, which was welcome when you are riding Â£100 plus items. Due to my position I run the saddle far back on the rails, so I don't know if this added to the comfort as I am compressing the saddle more by doing so. In use in felt like the tyres were 10-20 psi lower, so cushioning the rider from the road more. For this reasone on it's own you can see why it is used on the harsh roads of West Flanders (it works as well on the crap roads around the home counties).
I have ridden it on my light carbon bike and also on my winter bike where it now resides. On both bikes it adds comfort, on the winter bike is doesn't look out of place and on the carbon bike it looks kind of funny. But once your bum is on it any cerebration surrounding its look are soon dissolved in the first mile. I have always been of the opinion that the saddle comfort should be at the forefront and aesthetics and weight must be a lower priority.
Of course the Regal is not going to suit everyone, but if you are looking for a perch that is high on comfort and in the San Marco range a set of palmares second to the Concor, you know that you are buying both a piece of history and a great modern favourite. I am pleased that San Marco continue to produce this saddle, as the original designer managed to create a masterpiece which stands outside time.
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