Mini Review: Selle Royal Contour Saddle *PRICES CORRECTED*

Got a project that has been taking up too much room in the garage for too long, and trolling eBay for good condition vintage saddle squeezes one solitary little tear out of your wallet?

Selle Royal has got your back.

Since they are owned by the same parent company as Fizik, they don’t need to worry about making the lightest, carbonest, raciest little saddle to top off your $300 seatpost. Focusing mostly on saddles for recreational bikes, like cruisers and hybrids, Selle Royal is getting back to its roots and recreating the 1972 Contour saddle.

Read about their Origins line, plus a mini-review, after the break.

The new Contour is wide and long at 160mm x 273mm, has sexy looking low sides that hide your seatpost guts (but isn’t that hard to install, despite a warning from them that it might be), and at weighs approximately the same as two Aliante saddles  (395g).

It’s available in two versions; a real leather, handmade in Italy version for $90 or a Microtex covered version for $60. about $140 or a Mictrotex covered version at about $95 (prices converted to USD from GBP found on their site)

They sent one over for me to test, but it just wasn’t right on my bike, so I passed it along to a friend to test. Gordon just happened to have his original Selle Royal saddle fall apart recently and needed something for his Raleigh Technium (pictured at the beginning of the post, with new saddle).

New vs. Old

Here’s what Gordon had to say about it:

Finding the perfect saddle is not an easy task. Because it is one of the few places that the rider comes in contact with, the saddle must cater to a ride range of riders. A person may know nothing about bikes, but understands what it means to find something comfortable. With today’s technology, light weight seats optimized to cater to a wide range of riders is no longer impossible. However, a narrow seat with carbon rails may not matter to us if we do not have a 14lb racing machine. What about something for the daily commute, and possibly the chance of longer rides on the weekend? Enter the Selle Royal ContourRoyal.

I got the chance to use the ContourRoyal for a month, courtesy of Chris Klibowitz,. My bike is a 20 year old Raleigh Technium so lightweight is out of the question. Instead, I thought about the look and the overall performance. Bottom line, this saddle fits perfectly with any vintage road bike. It looks the part and made with modern materials. Although not heavy, it does have a bit of weight, but like I said, that is not the point. Selle Royal wanted to continue the timeless appearance of older saddles with today’s technology. That means a narrower seat to contour to each specific rider. I rode with both jeans and bib shorts and my bottom did not complain. Drawbacks? The black leather added a bit of color to my shorts. However, that is to be expected with real leather. Overall, a great saddle to complete a vintage ride.

Comments

Androo - 10/21/11 - 4:00pm

Seems awfully pricy for something that looks like it came on a $100 department store bike. If you’re going to be aping vintage saddle design, unless it’s a solid leather saddle (a la Brooks, and many other manufacturers back in the day), I don’t know how many people are willing to pay a huge premium for a plastic shell with leather on it. Especially without any kind of cut-out!

Granted, saddles are a very personal thing, but there are so many options out that that are equally discrete, more comfortable, and cost so much less…I’m looking at you, WTB.

Robin - 10/21/11 - 7:56pm

Selle Italia Regal: real leather on a plastic base. No cut-out. About $129 retail and mega comfortable. Since when does a cut-out mean comfortable and blood vessel friendly for everyone? Answer: it doesn’t.

Craig - 10/22/11 - 4:22am

And when does a real saddle with no cut-out mean comfy for everyone? Just because it works for you doesn’t mean it’ll work for others. It’s called choices. Now go grab your shoe shine box.

Will - 10/22/11 - 10:36am

I think the point is to be retro on purpose. It is not meant to keep up with the flurry of carbon/mono post- ultralights. if you look at any of the old school bikes from the eighties almost all of them have a seat like this, even the pro tour level bikes.

Robin - 10/22/11 - 1:53pm

Will is correct. It should be noted the bike comes with advanced technology that allows the user to mount the saddle of their choosing. The bike is so advanced that even allows the seat post to be changed if the saddle of the user’s choosing won’t work with the OEM seat post. Amazing.

Keith - 10/22/11 - 3:40pm

It may be retro but it’s still ugly and looks like it came of a $100 department store bike. Better looking examples of saddles from this period are the Cinelli Unicanitor and the Sella San Marco Concor (which has been reissued as well).

Turbofrog - 10/22/11 - 6:28pm

Obviously it’s all about choice, and I distinctly mentioned that. I’m just shocked they can sell this for more than $50.

(…and now that I look, I suspect other people have had the same reaction. Chainreaction is selling this for $70.)

AnonymousChris - 11/16/11 - 6:04pm

The prices I had were incorrect, as I converted them from the Euro site. The US office has provided the correct pricing, and this post has been updated accordingly.

My apologies to everyone.

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.