Italian start-up Repente has a new lightweight carbon fiber saddle concept using a modular set of rails/frame and separate saddle tops. The idea is that their RLS setup allows riders to quickly and securely swap the saddle cover/shape, while retaining the same full carbon saddle support structure below. While you (and we) may question why you would ever really need to swap saddle shapes on the same base, Repente has some interesting arguments…
Their thought is not only that riders may change their mind in what they look for in a saddle, but that we ride in a wide range styles often on the same bike.
When out training & putting in winter base miles we have different objectives than on race day. While you may be a weightweenie at the local hill climb shedding that extra bottle cage, when you go for an all day epic tour you are probably looking for more comfort. Year round we ride in different weather, clothing, across all distances, and at varying speeds & intensities. Sometimes it could make sense to raise or drop your bar position for more comfort or speed, so maybe why not swap the saddle to match?
So then, if you accept that you might swap saddles, the simple posts and clips of the Repente Locking System (RLS) makes that swap easy, without impacting your position/fit on the bike. Three easy steps: check that the o-rings are on the saddle top posts, push the pins through the corresponding holes on the base, and snap the three retainer clips into place.
Repente says you can even move your preferred saddle top from bike to bike while keeping bases on each bike (although that sounds tedious, and unnecessary really.)
The Repente saddles are made up of a carbon saddle base with carbon rails, made from UD T700 fibers with a 1k overlay. The variable thickness saddle base gets a pressure relief cutout, and a nice feature of two small Side Guard extensions at the back of the base that protect the saddle tops from getting scuffed when you lean the bike against a wall (or invariably the asphalt.)
Then on top of that you get one of three tops, which includes its own thin carbon shell that interlocks with the base. Repente says this allowed them to make a strong end product, while actually freeing them to tune the stiffness of each complete saddle system separately, and better incorporating bump absorption.
The Aleena is the lightest top, totaling 130g with the universal base. It measures 275mm long with a 137mm width, and is available with simple black or white tops. It uses the thinnest overall EVA foam padding and a full length pressure relief cutout, with a carbon bridge at the tail to link the sides back together for overall stiffness. Like all of the saddle tops, it uses a synthetic leather microfiber top and its own UD carbon integrated base.
The Comptus is more of a classic curved saddle shape, again with a thin layer of supportive EVA padding. At 135g total, the Comptus setup shares the same overall dimensions of the other two saddle, but offers a padded perch from tip to tail for road or mountain riding.
The 145g Kuma is the most thickly padded of the three and shares a similar shape with the Comptus. This one is definitely geared more towards the endurance or marathon rider with its own more flexible carbon shell, while still delivering on light weight.
Each of the saddle tops gets slightly thicker padding at the nose for more comfort when you are ‘on the rivet’ whether time trialing of climbing a steep section of trail. The final result then is a light padded saddle, and the flexibility to change shapes for riding on or off-road.
The premium Repente saddle bases and tops are sold separately through a regular international shop dealer network. The universal modular carbon base with rails sells for 200€. The lightest Aleena top retails for an additional 130€, while either of the Comptus or Kuma tops will add 120€ to the base cost.