There are many saddles and companies that lay claim to creating the modern racing saddle. We aren’t here to choose the winner, but we have brought you some of the stories behind those saddles and their claims. A saddle with perhaps the strongest claim, based on results and influence, has to be the San Marco Concor.
Created in 1977, and unleashed on the peloton and the world shortly after, the Concor was ground braking for a number of reasons. Where saddles had been flat prior, the Concor was dramatically sculpted. It curved down at the nose, and kicked up significantly at the tail. Why?
San Marco designers simply watched the pros and saw they slid back, looking for a solid surface to push against, as they climbed and when they really dropped the hammer they slid forward, onto the rivet. At the time, that wasn’t a metaphor, many saddles still had a rivet on the nose. San Marco had the simple, yet profound thought to make a saddle specifically designed for these motions.
The Concor was born, and named for its resemblance to another child of the ’70’s, the Concorde airplane. The saddle went through many iterations after that, but always with the same basic form, a raised tail to push against, and a slopped nose to help you really drop the hammer. The Concor was also the first saddle to bring carbon rails to the peloton with the Concor Light.
The saddle has multiple classics victories and world road and time trial championships to its credit, but is best know for one rider and his legendary loyalty to the saddle. Lance Armstrong. The Concor was under him for every one of his record seven straight Tour de France victories.
For 2012 San Marco has given the Concor perhaps its most drastic redesign but even with the new shape the same basic design is still the priority. The saddle has been race tested by both Damiano Cunego and Alessandro Petacchi since 2010 and now it is ready for the market place.
The most noticeable changes to its shape are a slimming down of the saddle’s mid section to give your thighs more clearance and a wider, flatter nose for more comfort and confidence on the rivet. Material experience results in a saddle much lighter than any past Concor across all six new models. The carbon rails of the Concor Carbon FX utilize a unique crossed design under the nose increasing the saddles stiffness in this critical area despite a weight of only 160grams. All the saddles utilize a carbon reinforced plastic shell, Biofoam padding and a Microfeel cover.
Concor Racing Weight: 190grams MSRP: $149.99
Concor Racing Arrowhead: 184grams MSRP: $154.99
Concor Carbon FX Weight: 160grams MSRP: $199.99 (pictured)
Concor Carbon FX Arrowhead Weight: 153grams MSRP: $209.99
Concor Sprint Weight: 186grmas MSRP: $154.99
Concor Protek Weight: 191grams MSRP: $149.99
More info: www.vittoriaindustries.com
For more new products from Interbike 2011: 3 for the Road