Selle San marco regal saddle review

So this riveted saddle has now had around 400 miles under my bum and enough hours in the saddle now to give a review of it. I thought it was great on my first ride but now I can explain my thoughts some more.
If you are a weight weenie then even this titanium railed version is not as light as a lot of alternative choices out there. But if you are an average punter and are looking for comfort then This may be a great choice for you.

First a all a bit of saddle history from me … I think that I am lucky in that I am not the sort of rider that has had a lot of trouble in the past with saddles. I started with a selle flite on my mtb so a minimum perch even over rough ground was fine with me. I have brooks saddles on my brompton and had a brooks swift on one of my older bikes. The lynskey had a ritchey WCS saddle on it and I found the flex quite good even over potholes with 23mm tyres pumped up to 100psi … Then i changed to this. What you will notice straightaway is that surface of the saddle is quite curved compared to flat saddles. This means that your legs in cycling are not impeded in the slightest Blythe saddle. You may think that this is not a problem with your current saddle but once you try this saddle you realise that things feel more free and yet you feel as supported as ever.

I think I read once that Armstrong used an unbranded version in the TDF but then he has been on enough stuff to support an east German cycling team in the 50’s but despite the vagaries of his diet anyone that puts thousands of miles on the bike will know when a saddle is not perfect.

I am not a monster rider although I do put about 4hours in on the saddle on a longer weekend ride. Sometimes I feel a saddle will show up flaws when on the turbo trainer and generally staying seated and with very regular cadence for over an hour. My last saddle the Ritchey WCS made me experience a bit of numbness after a turbo session. With this saddle it feels effortless and I have never had soreness or numbness.

Would I buy it again?
Is it pretty?
Not really – I think a flat blade or a brooks swift looks sweeter on a bike.
Do you see the saddle?
Not when it is under my arse


If you have tried this or another saddle and want to send me a review to put up then get in touch.

Time to de-white the bike

the ti bike should look classic … mine does not with lots of white bits … it is only cosmetic and it is only colour but it is going to get changed.

Ti Bride soon to have a facelift

So natural seat post stem and new bar tape on order as well as a new saddle …. here is a review from bicycle magazine

Selle San Marco Regal Titanium

Despite all the changes, all the improvements, all the new technology that has come to cycling in the past 18 years, it’s hard to get high-mileage riders to switch saddles. Which is strange when you consider the response you’d get if you asked the same riders to use most other 20-year old parts. Like, say, friction shifters. Look around on a club ride. There are plenty of riders running discontinued saddle designs. Flites, Turbomatics, Concor Lights, etc are all around. This seeming trend is a full-fledged movement at the pro level. Despite money changing hands, many, many pros get their old saddles re-covered with fresh leather every year, usually in a top that matches the saddle sponsors covering.

Selle San Marco Regal Titanium SaddleThis is easily the worst kept secret of the pro peloton. Lance Armstrong rode a Selle San Marco Concor Light shell during his entire tenure on the US Postal/Discovery Team. At first, this was ok, as Selle San Marco was paying Postal to ride the Aspide model saddle. But later, the team rode Bontrager saddles, and Armstrong wasn’t alone in getting Bontrager covers on favorite seats; others were riding the Regal. During his brief tenure on Discovery, Ivan Basso rode a Selle Italia Flite. Jan Ullrich sported a Selle Italia Turbomatic his entire racing career, though he did occasionally ride lighter saddles for time trials. Alberto Contador is riding a Concor Light today, even though his Astana team is paid to ride Bontrager saddles.

Selle San Marco’s Regal Titanium saddle, the subject of this review, is a design that has been gracing bikes for almost 20 years. A similar saddle appeared on Greg LeMond’s racing bikes in 1989 (same shape, copper “staples”), and a copper-riveted Regal graced his 1990 “Greg LeMond” bicycles. Selle San Marco Regal Titanium SaddleThe saddle was a Tour-winner nearly 20 years ago.

It’s a classics winner today. Just this year, Stijn Devolder rode a Regal covered in black leather to victory at the Ronde Van Vlaanderen and his teammate, Tom Boonen, rode one covered in powdery white to victory at Paris-Roubaix. Both are sponsored by Specialized and the team’s “official” saddle is a Specialized Toup�. Sprinter Robbie McEwen’s Silence-Lotto team is sponsored by Selle San Marco, so he rides a white Regal with huge Selle San Marco graphics on it. All of these riders conceivably started their racing careers on the Regal and have just taken them wherever they’ve gone.

Like Boonen, we chose a saddle covered in white. It isn’t so much that it matches our brake hoods and handlebar tape, but more that black saddles don’t move us. Maybe we have so integrated PRO ideas into our worldview that nothing else seems right.

The funny thing about saddles is that a saddle isn’t really a seat when you’re riding hard. That’s why we can “sit” on such narrow, thinly-padded contraptions to begin with. The saddle is really a place-holder, a brace, when you’re riding hard. If you don’t like sweating and are riding in a spin-class, a soft, wide saddle with three inches of padding is comfy, but when you have to dig into the pedals and hammer, that cush causes pain. The plush foam compresses and springs back on each down stroke and you’re butt is sliding back or forward seeking out a stable position.

Selle San Marco Regal Titanium SaddleWe don’t know why it’s so hard to switch. A conceivable reason for the working stiff rider is that you have the same saddle on all your bikes, and changing one saddle will necessitate switching all the saddles. Admittedly, this is our biggest saddle issue; we have Flites on four bikes and like knowing the saddle is the same wherever we swing a leg over a top tube.

While Selle San Marco doesn’t seem to know why the old saddle designs remain popular, either, they have finally decided to stop fighting the trend and are embracing it. They’ve got a vintage line that includes not only the Regal Ti, but the Regal, the Concor Light, the Concor, and even the Rolls. Sadly, they don’t apply their S.I.Z.E. (Superficle Ideale per la Zona Ergonomica) system for determining the right saddle for each body to the Collezione Classics. .

This retro saddle is not only an old design, but harkens back to even older designs; the saddles that were nothing more than tough leather stretched over saddle rails. We guess that an ass just knows what comforts it.

The first thing to know about the Regal Ti is the weight. It tipped our scale at 287g. This makes it a bit heavy, though not a tank. Many saddles are in the 200-230g range, so we’re only adding 2-3 ounces over what we consider the “average” weight of a saddle. To us, a “tank” of a saddle is another 2-3 ounces heavier.

While weight is something, it’s hardly everything. If you’ve ever had a saddle that doesn’t agree with your body, you know what we mean. An uncomfortable saddle can ruin every ride. And with bikes getting lighter and lighter, most are willing to sacrifice a few ounces for all-day comfort.

In terms of saddle dimensions, the Regal is a bit wider than many saddles we’ve seen.It’s also among the longest that SSM produces. The width is 147mm at the tail and 280mm long. San Marco’s Aspide line has widths of 130mm and lengths of 276-278mm. The Era K of 125mm wide and 272mm long. But width isn’t everything. Selle San Marco Regal Titanium SaddleThe nose of the Regal starts at 34mm and widens to 76mm before it starts to flare. In contrast, our Flite starts at 34mm and widens to 67mm before it starts to flare. The Flite is 20mm longer, but the flare starts at about the same point, 180mm from the nose.

While the top of the saddle isn’t entirely flat, it’s a bit flatter than we’re used to. We figured that some of our own saddle’s curve could be sag, drooping from use. Concerned about this difference, we called San Marco. They say that a “broken in” saddle will have a little more curve than a new one and breaking in process should take about 200 miles. While we can’t profess to notice any break-in or able to measure any greater sag, it did take us three rides to get used to the saddle. It is firmer than what we’re used to riding, both because there’s less padding and because the shell is stiffer. As many can attest, a greater contact area supports weight better. .

We can see how the stiffer, wider saddle has appeal as it flexes less than many lighter saddles. We felt like our body was glued to the middle of the saddle when we were sitting on it, we neither slid forward when hammering on the flats nor back when we were powering up climbs. The feeling of having a “back stop” to push against added comfort and maybe a little power for the in the saddle, high-power, low-cadence moments that occur when you’re over geared.

Selle San Marco Regal Titanium SaddleAfter over 1,000 miles logged, we think we’ve gotten a good taste of what the Regal is about. We definitely like how firm it feels when riding hard, though there have been some moments when it feels too firm. Aesthetically, our saddle seemed to get what appeared to be a case of chicken pox after we rode it in the rain three days straight. Selle San Marco recommended washing with soap and water, but that didn’t seem to get out the spots. They seem to be of a bluish hue, as if our blue shorts rubbed off on the white. We’re probably the only ones who notice.

When it comes to saddles, comfort is the best performance enhancer. We wouldn’t care if this design was debuted this year, or before we’re born. It works.

Saddle speak

hard or soft saddle?

Let me start off by saying I have never had problems with saddles – I find most comfortable.

I had a Selle Flite on my Klein (this was a road bike saddle) but suited the bike until I wiped out and cracked the plastic shell. Some people have terrible problems so here is the article in bits ….

Can’t tell you what the best saddle is (Brooks!) because only your bum can tell you (Brooks!). I can point you to an excellent article on saddle fit, and excerpt some content, with deepest gratitude to Sheldon Brown (who was a god on all things bike):

Everybody wants a comfortable saddle on their bicycle. What is not so obvious is what constitutes a comfortable saddle.

You’ll notice that I do call them “saddles,” not “seats.” There is a reason for this. A “seat” is something you sit on, and is designed to bear essentially your entire weight. Recumbent bicycles have “seats,” but conventional upright bicycles have saddles. A saddle is intended to carry some, but not all of your weight. The rest of your weight is mainly carried by your legs, and some by your hands and arms.

A cyclist who is out of cycling shape, from being off a bicycle for a bit, will start out strong, but the legs will tire rapidly. When the legs tire, the rider sits harder on the saddle, and that’s when the trouble starts. Many saddle complaints are actually traceable to fatigue caused by starting out the season with a longer ride than you are ready for.

Hard or Soft?

When a cyclist finds a saddle uncomfortable, the first impulse is often to look for a soft one. This is often a mistake. Just as the softest mattress is not necessarily the most comfortable to sleep on, the softest saddle is not the most comfortable to cycle on.

Imagine sitting down on a coffee table. Your weight is concentrated on the two bumps of your “sit bones”, also known as the “ischial tuberosities.” These are the parts of your body designed to bear your seated weight. Most cases of saddle-related discomfort arise because the load is carried on the soft tissues between the sit bones.

Imagine placing a soft pillow on top of the coffee table. Now, as you sit down on it, the sit bones compress the pillow, which yields until the sit bones are almost on the table surface again. The difference is that now, you have pressure in between your sit bones from the middle part of the pillow.

Many cyclists are unaware of this, and many saddles are made to appeal to the purchaser who chooses a saddle on the basis of how easily the thumb can sink into the squishy top. This type of saddle is only comfortable for very short rides, (though an inexperienced cyclist will often find it more comfortable than a better saddle, as long as rides don’t exceed a mile or two). Saddles with excessive padding are also a common cause of painful chafing of the inner thigh, as rides become longer.

OK, so you want a minimalist saddle which is just wide enough to support your sit bones.

Most saddles are designed for men, not for women. Due to the wider hips of most women, this can result in the sit bones overhanging a narrow saddle, leading to painful pressure on soft tissues.

In general, women’s saddles are somewhat wider and somewhat shorter than those that work best for men. Some newer women’s saddles have a large cutout in the middle to eliminate pressure on soft tissues. These work well for many women, but some riders find the sharp-ish edges of the hole irritating.

My saddles have been that first Selle Flite (cracked in fall)

Selle Flite

Than a Selle Storika (for the looks) but bent the titanium rail when I took a big tumble and couldnt straighten it.


Selle Storika - post crash - see the rail bend

Then bought a Brooks Swift  – a great sadde but was getting slaughtered by the mud so moved it onto the Yuba Mundo

Brooks Swift

Then Ritchey WCS saddles on both my Carver and the Klein

Ritchey WCS Marathon

And another Brooks this time a B17 on my Brompton.

Brooks B17 Narrow

Until the mid 1970s, most good quality bicycles came with tensioned leather saddles. These have a frame basically similar to that of the padded plastic saddle. A thick piece of leather is rivetted to the bridge, and to an adjustable fitting at the nose of the saddle. The leather is suspended sort of like a hammock.

A properly shaped leather saddle is an excellent choice for the high-mileage rider who doesn’t mind the fact that it is a bit heavier than a plastic saddle.

Leather saddles provide “give” by stretching and flexing, without the need for foam padding. The lack of foam greatly improves comfort in hot weather, as heat and perspiration can “breathe” through the porous leather.

Leather saddles also “break in” to fit the particular shape of the rider, in much the same way as a baseball glove does (or a fine pair of shoes!). They do require more care than plastic saddles.

I have a Brooks B17 and a Brooks Swift. No, you can’t have either of them, I love them both. Best of luck finding your perfect saddle!

A new retro looking leather seat Seat – Selle Flite Storika

Just back from a nice little ride over my regular tracks – up the West highland Way. Singlespeed making me look at old routes in a new way. Still waiting on the Rohloff before the bike will be revealed so getting parts together.

Tried to transfer my old Flite saddle from the Klein unbolted it and realised a crack went straight through the middle and was holding together with just 4mm of plastic. So new saddle ordered – fancied something similar (but different) so just bought a discounted Selle Italia Storika – weighs 190grams and looks quite retro cool I think.