When it comes to cycling gear, the best stuff always feels as if it isn’t there. You want bibs that are comfortable, jerseys that are tight yet breathable, and a helmet that bonds well with your head. A saddle is no different, and as the place where the most contact is made between rider and bike, it’s among the most critical parts.
I got a bike fit back in 2018 and after being measured in every way imaginable, I found out that I have wide sit bones. Sit bones support the body’s weight and are the main point of contact between the rider and the saddle. I could go on for hours about how important the relationship of sit bones and saddles are, but I digress. The big takeaway is that I have a wide ass, and Latus is latin for wide, so my curiosity was piqued by Selle Repente’s Latus CL.
Founded in 2016, Selle Repente is relatively new to the cycling scene. It’s an Italian outfit (as if the name didn’t give that away), everything is made in Italy and, despite being just five years old, the brand offers some incredibly high-tech saddles.
My previous saddle came from the Specialized Power line and is similar in design to the Latus CL. The shape is dubbed “snub nose” because it’s essentially a normal saddle with the nose chopped off, reducing the overall length quite a bit while keeping the essential parts. Many companies such as Specialized, PRO, Fizik and Prologo produce such saddles. I was curious to see if a scrappy Italian upstart could take on these better-known brands.
What We Like
My saddle weighed in at 143.6g, which is less than the manufacturer’s claimed weight of 145g. I’ve probably had sneezes that weighed more. This saddle is lighter than almost everything other brands offer for a wide full-carbon race saddle. The truth is in the numbers, and I guess this makes me a weight weenie now.
Had you ever heard of Selle Repente before this review? Don’t lie, you haven’t. Until this test unit, I’ve never come across any of its saddles in the wild or in any bike shops. Almost all of the press coverage on Selle Repente was in Italian, and I bet most people riding these saddles measure their rides in kilometers rather than miles. There is only one distributor for Repente across the US. For me, it’s exciting to find new cycling brands that are relatively unknown, and there are definitely some cool points to be scored for running stuff no one else has.
It took a few rides to dial in the correct fit for the Latus CL. I had to really pay attention to how my sit bones were hitting the padding, but I eventually found pure harmony. The Latus CL is what I imagine a perfect race-day saddle should feel like, offering extreme lightness and freedom of leg movement, paired with firm but all-day comfort for when you want to spend a few more hours in the saddle. I’ve logged about 1,000 miles with this saddle and I’m ready to log many more.
Selle Repente uses a process called Autoclave Resistance Enhancement, an advanced method of machining carbon fiber, avoiding any use of molding. I’m not well versed on how it works, but the UD carbon buildup of the saddle allows for more stiffness while keeping the weight way down. The padding is lightweight EVA foam, which is stiff to the touch but quite comfortable in the long run. Stiffer padding over a long period of time is better for the sit bones, not allowing them to sink too deep.
When it comes to a full-carbon racing saddle, be ready to spend well north of $200. Some saddles even reach $300 or more. The Selle Repente Latus CL retails for roughly $246 USD, a reasonable price for such a product.
Watch Out For
Though Selle Repente’s logo reminds me of Blade Runner, I think it looks badass. It’s definitely proud to be an Italian saddle, what with the little Italian flag detail and the shouty graphics. The looks are marmite: people will either love or hate them.
These saddles ship from Italy, and as I noted earlier, I’ve never seen products from them before. I can’t say I know of any bike shops that stock them, so if you’re the type to want to try out a saddle before buying it, that may be a tall order.
Is it for me?
Do you… have a wide butt but don’t want to feel burdened by it? Do you want your legs to be free to drop the highest of watts? Do you want to pedal fast and look fierce doing it? Do you desire high-end products from brands you’ve never heard of? If you’re nodding along to most or all of those questions, the Latus CL is your answer.
The Selle Repente Latus CL is a superb product from a relatively new brand unknown to most Americans. It’s priced fairly, offers racing performance and endurance comfort and is lighter than most of the competition. All these winning points make it pretty hard not to recommend.