Selle Anatomica, a California based company that makes premium, leather bicycle saddles, with industry leading frame rails, sent us this unique Selle Anatomica R2 saddle.
- Waterproof: Worry free riding even in wet conditions
- Riding Surface: Tensionable Vulcanized EPDM Rubber Top
- Frame: Cast aluminum
- Rails: Stainless steel tubular rails
- Weight: ~420 grams
- Weight Limit: 250 pounds
The Selle Anatomica R2 Saddle is a cutting edge saddle that features a next generation modular frame, with a EPDM weatherproof rubber top, that can be adjusted by a unique adjustment under the front nose of the saddle.
What makes this saddle unique is that it doesn’t use a regular railed frame like other bicycle saddles. The Selle Anatomica R2 Saddle uses a new Series two design that makes the saddle lighter weight (weighing only 420 grams), user serviceable, and fully upgradable with Carbon Fiber rails and different rubber leather tops that can be easily installed depending upon your needs.
How does the Selle Anatomica R2 Saddle look?
As soon as we opened the tiny box that the saddle arrived in, we immediately noticed the simple but unique design.
The whole look of the saddle looked kinda vintage, but with a modern twist.
Unlike regular saddles, this one has a lot of creative features for having such a minimal look.
The frame of the saddle is made out of cast aluminum with stainless steel tubular rails, all in a shiny chrome color. With the name Selle Anatomica etched into the rear part of the frame. Definitely a nice detail.
Under the nose section of the seat is the Hex Key Tension System that offers an industry leading fore/aft adjustability.
If I wasn’t told that this tension system was there from a video from Selle Anatomica, I would have assumed it was just a part of the frame. They did an excellent job of hiding it, making this look like a regular frame.
On top is a Tensionable Vulcanized EPDM Rubber Top with patented Flex-Fly Slot that relieves perineal discomfort and sit bone pain.
What I really like is how they made the dull black rubber look like real leather along with metal rivets that greatly accentuate the overall look. If I hadn’t touched it, I would have never known it wasn’t leather.
Even though this saddle is the newest and most affordable saddle that Selle Anatomica makes, it’s still the same width and length as the premium leather saddles. Plus, can hold an astonishing 250lbs.
What makes this saddle different and possibly even better is that it’s completely weatherproof. You can get it wet, muddy, etc, and all you have to do is wipe it off and be done with it.
All these great features make this saddle ideal for touring, commuting, and riding in all weather conditions.
R2 Saddle features:
- Tensionable Vulcanized EPDM Rubber Top
- Patented Flex-Fly Slot relieves perineal discomfort and sit bone pain
- Hex Key Tension System
- Industry leading fore/aft adjustability
- Optional Carbon Rail Upgrade
- Designed for cyclists who weigh up to 250 pounds
- Made in San Diego, CA, USA
Before we get into how to install the Selle Anatomica R2 Saddle and how it feels on rides, let’s find out who this San Diego, CA based company is that hand makes it.
Who is Selle Anatomica?
Selle Anotomica makes the most comfortable bike saddles on the market, right here in the USA, using premium materials for comfort and durability.
Their saddle offers a slotted design to reduce discomfort in the perineal area.
You can learn more about the medical benefits of Selle Anatomical bike saddles here.
They offer various grades of optimized leather on their saddles to satisfy specific weight ranges for your comfort.
Their selection of American-made bike saddles include leather and carbon options.
And their innovative hot and dry tanning process results in a saddle that doesn’t require break-in time. This means the leather is soft and flexible starting with your first ride.
Now that you know who Selle Anatomica is, let’s further discuss how to install the R2 saddle and how it feels on rides.
How to install the R2 Saddle
It’s always advisable to have a certified bike mechanic install new bicycle parts, especially high end saddles such as the R2 that costs $125.00.
Even though the R2 saddle has rails just like any other bicycle seat, a certified bike mechanic will know how to adjust the height, setback, tilt, rotation, and tension.
Get all these adjustments right and you’ll be able to ride many miles without numbness or pain.
On the other hand, if you get them wrong, your bicycle saddle can create lots of agony, resulting in you not wanting to ride your bicycle as much.
Another factor to consider is that if you over tighten any of the bolts or EPDM Rubber Top, you can damage your seat possibly voiding the warranty, even though Selle Anatomica offers a good one.
We suggest that you pay the few extra dollars to have a certified bike mechanic install it for you, but if you still insist on installing it yourself check out the handy guide from Selle Anatomica on saddle setup and adjustment.
How was the Selle Anatomica R2 Saddle on long rides?
After returning from the bike shop, we couldn’t wait to try out the R2 saddle.
For 4 days, we rode 15 miles round trip each day, for a total of 60 miles, and here’s what we think of it.
As many others on the reviews section of Selle Anatomica’s website said, the R2 is definitely the most comfortable bicycle saddle we’ve ever sat on.
The saddle doesn’t require any break-in period but feels very firm despite having the EPDM top suspended from the cast aluminum frame. There’s just a very slight flex in the seat as you sit on it, mainly where the Patented Flex-Fly Slot is located.
This allows the seat to flex just enough while pedaling, without effecting pedaling efficiency, eliminating the feel of rails digging into your sit bones, and the common perineal discomfort and sit bone pain that other seats cause.
It felt as if the saddle was conforming to the width of our sit bones, instead of us having to adapt to the fixed width of the saddle.
We didn’t experience any irritation on the inside part of our legs, because the R2 was just the right width and length.
Also, we didn’t experience any color transferring onto our pants, as only a few others have experienced. Maybe it’s due to the fact that we cleaned our R2 bicycle saddle before using it, or it just wasn’t part of the very small batch that caused the problem. Either way, we were very pleased not to have to deal with such an inconvenient problem.
NOTE: This saddle prevented us from sliding around while riding on our long journeys, and getting into different positions while on the saddle. Make sure you don’t try to move forward or backward while climbing on or off the saddle or your pants will get snagged. Always stand before trying to move into a different position while on the saddle.
There’s a possibility that after a few hundred miles, your R2 Saddle might start to break-in. At this point it will require you to adjust it with the Hex Key Tension System located under the front nose of the seat. Make sure when you adjust it, not to adjust it too much or you can overstretch the Tensionable Vulcanized EPDM Rubber Top. Turn the Tension System very little at a time.
During the 4 days that we tested the R2 Saddle we didn’t have to make any adjustments to the tension.
Would we recommend the R2 Saddle?
In our opinion, the R2 Saddle is definitely worth purchasing if you’re looking for a premium saddle that will offer unmatched comfort during your long commutes.
The R2 Saddle has tons of great features that are industry leading along with incredible attention to detail. We especially love the vintage but minimal look with superb adjustable features that aren’t obvious at first glance, making this look like an ordinary saddle.
At first, the R2 saddle might seem expensive at $125.00, but that’s the price that you pay for a saddle that’s handmade with the finest materials in the USA, that’s made to last much longer than your ordinary cheaper bicycle saddles.
Check out Selle Anatomica’s great selection of saddles at: selleanatomica.com.