HomeReviews & TechTESTED: Selle Repente Prime 2.0 & Spyd 2.0 – Saddles with a...

TESTED: Selle Repente Prime 2.0 & Spyd 2.0 – Saddles with a split personality

“Cycling is an art” is the motto for Selle Repente and if you take a closer look at their saddles you will uncover the evidence that they have really taken this to heart. At a glance, the Prime 2.0 and Spyd 2.0 saddles appear similar to many other saddles, in looks, material, weight and construction. So what is so special about Selle Repente?

The difference lies beneath. Not below the surface, in terms of padding or fancy materials, you need to look further below.  Selle Repente have unique take on the “how” to make a saddle that suits a variety of tasks and requirements and this is what makes them different. If you look under the saddle, at the extremities you’ll notice three small pins. If this piques your interest, read on!

repente acium spyd saddle-review

Construction – a tale of two halves

Like the ‘holy trinity of bicycle wheels’, a similar theory exists for saddles; “light, comfortable or cheap. Pick two” . The Selle Repente ticks the checkbox for being lightweight (and ranges from a very svelte 130g to a still very light 175g). I find the saddle and design really excels in comfort so this leaves price and in this respect, you would describe Selle Repente saddles as premium.

The big feature is RLS, the Repente Locking System which is a two-piece design. Yes, 2 pieces! There is a lower section, a base that includes the familiar rails (carbon fibre) and lower ‘shell’. The removable ‘Upper Cover’ which is affixed to the base using the three aforementioned pins and small circlips. 

repente saddle covers

In total there are three series with 7 models where the base and cover is interchangeable. The bases / covers can also be purchased individually. However this is not a completely interchangeable system, it is split into series so you really have to pay attention. I am reviewing the Prime 2.0 and Spyd 2.0 covers with LCF base and this is my understanding of how the Repente series is split with the interchangeable RLS option.

LCF series: LCF base fits Prime 2.0 and Spyd 2.0 covers (these are in review)

Carbon Tepex series: Carbon Tepex® base and fits Prime and Spyd covers which are available in two colour options

Carbon series: Carbon 4.0 base is compatible with Aleena 4.0, Comptus 4.0 and Kuma 4.0 covers. Each of these models have 5 colour versions.

Trying to understand the compatibility is tough, the website is not particularly helpful and we received a catalogue that was more structured, although of the ‘technologies’ (like LCF) appear across different models from different series. The Magnet TT saddle belongs to the Carbon series although doesn’t have the interchangeable cover.

repente saddle collection

The Australian importer and retailer is Acium Sports in Victoria and they stock a more limited range for road cycling, time trial and off-road which makes it much easier. They can also help with compatibility.

An ah ha moment

So compatibility is something to keep an eye on, but we still haven’t dealt with a more fundamental question… why two parts? Almost all cyclists probably know that finding the right saddle can be a frustratingly painful and expensive process. Saddles from different manufacturers can often have subtle dimensional, shape, padding and construction differences that make life difficult so it can be a game of chance. Been there and done that!

repente interchangeable saddle

The two-part, RLS interchangabe saddle solution from Selle Repente opens up a few possibilities for riders. For a start it is easier to start with one base and swap out just the covers to find the one the best suits. But there are other scenarios, for example if you have multiple bikes you can simply get 1 set (base and cover) and then just get extra bases for the other bikes swap over the cover. Alternatively Riders could choose to have one base and swap covers to suit different riding situations. A practical aspect could be for very busy riders who wear down (or destroy) saddles is now just replacing the cover rather than everything.

Version 2.0 in Review

For review I received the Prime 2.0 and Spyd 2.0 covers with the LCF base. These are the starting models in the Repente hierarchy for the RLS system, although a set (base and cover) retails for $279 so it is still a very handsome price. A base (in this series) costs $140 and a cover costs $139. For context, the top-end Aleena 4.0 saddle (base and cover) retails for $529.

I found it unusual that the next level up from the Prime 2.0 and Spyd 2.0 is the Prime and Spyd. This 2.0 ‘advancement’ is pitched at bringing the RLS saddle to riders in a more cost effective format. At a glance, the two saddles covers for review appear to be similar in size. The Prime 2.0 weighs 170g and has a cutaway and the Spyd 2.0 weighs 180g and features a channel in the middle but no cutaway.

saddle cover test review
The LCF Series Base
repente saddle test
Prime 2.0 Cover and LCF Series Base
repente spyd saddle test
Spud 2.0 Cover (and no base)

A common feature of all of the RLS saddles is that the bases use ovalised (rather than round) rails made with T700 Carbon fibre. While they share the same rail construction, there is a different between the material and construction method of the platform for the structural cover across the different series. The uppers are all made with super lightweight EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) with a microfiber outer coating that gives it a good finish and durability.

repente carbon rails

There was a considerable difference in shape and padding compared to my current Prologo saddle with both the Prime 2.0 and Spyd 2.0 from Selle Repente being slightly flatter and with less padding. With this in mind, I also felt some trepidation prior to the first ride.

Before even installing the saddle I closely inspected the cover and base to conclude that this is indeed “art”. They look stunning and are beautifully made. The ovalised carbon rails in particular and the flare to the rear and attachment points (or RLS, Repente Locking System) are details that really stand out. For modern bikes, Acium Sports confirmed that there will be no problems with secure installation and only some older (retro) seatposts may not accommodate the oval rails.

The Ride Experience

I initially fitted the Prime 2.0 to my road bike, if for no other reason than it looked good. I wanted to try the cut-out saddle first. Before installing the saddle, I documented all of the measurements (saddle height, position and angle) of my current saddle and was ready. It took a couple of minor tweaks to the seat angle for me to get fully comfortable, but was soon riding happily.

cycling saddle review

The difference in padding level was noticeable to my normal saddle, but any concerns for comfort vanished the further I rode. Yes, it felt ‘different’, but I didn’t notice any sit-bone pain, or unwanted sore spots, even after a 3hr ride soon after fitting it. I have found riding long ascents is the best way to determine whether my extremities can live with a saddle. This is when the most pressure is placed on the contact points and I quickly get warning flags for comfort. I was surprised how ‘at home’ I felt after several big rides through the Adelaide Hills.

Most seasoned riders know that it is not the amount of padding that lends comfort, rather it is the right fit and support and the Prime 2.0 really hit the spot. I liked the overall shape and contours. There was no thigh running or issues with the width of the sit-bone pressure points.

repente saddle

I can’t say that I detected any noticeable ‘pressure relief’ with the cut-out on the Prime 2.0 saddle cover… but not problems. For many riders, pressure from saddles is not painful though riders can feel numb and experience short term and long term consequences. This is a result of limiting blood flow in the perineum and the impact on riders can be very different.

After approximately 700km, I swapped over the cover to the Spyd 2.0. Interestingly, the Spyd 2.0 cover required a slightly different saddle angle for me to feel comfortable on the bike. I feel that the slight profile difference between the Prime 2.0 and Spyd 2.0, with the slight uptick at the rear of the saddle (similar to the classic Fizik Aliante) made it noticeably more comfortable during seated climbing efforts. The centre ‘groove’ on the Spyd 2.0 vs the generous cut-out on the Prime 2.0 was noticeable after first swapping and like the Prime 2.0, still delivered comfortable riding.

repende saddle spyd view

The surface finish on the saddles proved to be quite hardy with the graphics remaining as defined and bright as the first day. I felt that they provided the right level of ‘grip’ without being slippery and even when wet during some unexpected Spring downpours. Clydesdale would be a fair description of my bike and me as a rider however across the entire test there were no creaks or issues that would suggest the saddle struggled in any way.

repente spyd

Changing Covers

The beauty of the Selle Repente saddles is the ability to fine tune the saddle to your cycling preferences. The top level 4.0 saddles offer more ‘cover’ variations and even with this benefit, there may still be a guessing game for riders to decide which cover they need.

repente pins

Is it simple and easy to swap covers? I would say both yes and no. On the one hand it is as easy as you would expect; clips off, saddle off, new saddle on and clips in. But it can be fiddly as well and I found that when fitting the Spyd 2.0 saddle cover, there must have been a small tolerance stack-up in one of the rear RLS pins as it took several goes at getting it seated. I was being cautious to ensure that I didn’t inadvertently damage the plastic circlips.

repente carbon fiber saddle
repente cycling saddle

I quizzed Harrison Douglas from Acium Sports regarding fitting the covers and whether metal circlips would have been better. His response was, “The plastic circlips were originally in metal but they were prone to breaking which led Repente to search for a an alternative material that was both light and strong, thus settling on the current plastic compound. As advised from Repente and our current clients, so far we have no knowledge or experiences of these clips breaking.

I do understand your concern about a seated circlip potential, though for our dealers who we have gone through this process with; we find the rider/fitter is diligent in ensuring that the plastic rolls into the grooves. Personally, we have tested riding a saddle that under test conditions on a gravel trail with one less plastic clip and the product/ride was not affected. (A worst case scenario)”. 

My unfamiliarity likely contributes to the initial setup challenges though it was still easier than removing a saddle, refitting a new one and getting it dialled in again. During the time I had tested the saddles I didn’t lose or break a clip nor nor did I experience any other structural issues, so it gets a thumbs up in the end. If you purchase a separate cover, it comes with a set of additional circlips.

Summary

The Selle Repente saddles offer a unique solution to the problem fo getting the right saddle for fuss-free and pain-free riding. Although it’s likely that for most cyclists, once the right combination is found that there may be not further changes. But knowing you can is a plus and it is presents an attractive option being able to refresh just cover with a different model or colour rather than buying an entirely new saddle.

Given that the Repente saddles are fairly light-weight, these are attractive for riders afflicted with weight-weenie syndrome. While the Selle Repente Prime 2.0 and Spyd 2.0 (with base) weigh more than the Tepex and Carbon 4.0 models, they are still almost 100g lighter (40% reduction) than my own Prologo saddle.

acium repent cycling saddle

I can concur with the intentions of Selle Repente in says that ‘Cycling is Art’ as I feel that these saddles have been constructed in a way that wills me to appreciate them. I found they are extremely well engineered and designed. Even with my Clydesdale proportions, the base or covers showed no signs of wear or weakness throughout the test. And crucially, they proved very comfortable on short and long rides.

Selle Repent saddles are available in Australia from Acium Sports.

Michael Bachmann
Michael Bachmann
is a recreational cyclist that with an extensive background in Mechanical/Manufacturing engineering, and hence have a habitual need/desire to embrace "reasoned innovation". He loves being different, hence his bikes; the Volagi Liscio2 and Cinelli Nuovo SuperCorsa.
RELATED ARTICLES
- Advertisment -

Most Popular

The Selle Repente LCF with Prime 2.0 and Spyd 2.0 covers unveiled the benefits for changeable saddle covers comes close to top marks, even the handsome pricetag is considered against the benefit and potential savings.TESTED: Selle Repente Prime 2.0 & Spyd 2.0 – Saddles with a split personality