In road cycling every gram counts. So when it comes to tipping the scales in the right direction, there is no part of the bike excluded. Even the saddle is fair game. Why? The heaviest of saddles can tip the wrong side of 300 grams but the lightest of saddles dip well south of 100 grams. The eternal optimist will see this wide range as an opportunity improve your ride quality all while dropping grams… if you can find the right saddle of course.
It’s no big secret that I’ve got the hot lust for Tune. They are an after market bike parts company with a solid reputation for high quality but light weight components. It also helps that they look so good. In the past I’ve written about their Schwarzes Stück seat post, the Wässertrager 2 bottle cages, and even their Mig Mag hubs that are on my Pacenti SL23 wheels. So when the chance came to shoot and ride the new Tune Re4mer saddle I (figuratively) sat right on the opportunity. The Tune website and promotional materials both quote the final weight of the Re4mer at 79 grams (80 grams on my scale) which is deservedly amongst the lightest of saddles on the market. For perspective, that’s about 40-50% less than most lightweight padded saddles. Other than weight savings what makes it so special?
Design & Construction
Tune have built the Re4mer completely out of 3K weave carbon fiber with the exception of an Alcantara strip along the nose. Does the choice in the woven fabric matter? I think so. A 3K weave is a woven fabric sheet that uses 3,000 carbon fiber strands in each bundle that make up the weave. It is such a common construction material that it is now what most people associate with carbon fiber. But why? Woven carbon fiber is made up of bundles of strands that are woven together but oriented on two axis. Although heavier than UD carbon fiber, a sheet of woven fabric is able to resist forces and bear loads on multiple axis. This is what makes a 3K weave a material choice for a saddle.
This is where it gets a bit complicated. When it comes carbon fibers, not all are created equal. It’s as much about the orientation and number of strands in the fabric as it is about the specific type of strands used. Different strands have different benefits between tensile and modulus strengths. Although Tune does not specify exactly which brand or model of carbon fibre strands ave been used in the Re4mer's 3K weave, with their history and reputation it’s pretty safe to feel assured it’s not a low quality fiber.
Resources: Calfee Design: Grades of Carbon Fiber
With any saddle, the biggest concern is comfort. Although it may not have traditional padding, the Re4mer won’t feel like a sitting on the narrow edge of a wood plank. If you’ve ever ridden some of the older all carbon saddles then you’ll know what I mean. The designers at Tune have engineered in comfort through two flex zones. Does that matter? Yes. The flex zones give the saddle the much needed cushion and contours. Without any padding the sharp abrupt edges of an all carbon saddle can wreak chaffing havoc. To address this the Re4mer has wrap around edges for a smoother surface to ride against.
At 259mm long, 62mm tall, and just 129mm wide, the dimensions of the Re4mer may also raise a few eyebrows. No denying the Re4mer is on the narrow end for saddles. But Tune says that riders don’t need as wide a saddle when riding in a lower, more forward position because of how the hips rotate. That may be so but they don’t provide any guidance on an equivalent saddle width that the Re4mer would be comparable too. So it’s a bit of trial and error.
Resources: Cervelo Saddle Fit advice
By now you’ve got that the Re4mer is light and comfortable. But that weight savings can’t come at the cost of strength. To beef it up, Tune has used 7x9mm ovalized carbon rails. And how strong are those rails? Well, the installation instructions call for a max of 10nm. This is above the torque spec of most seat post clamps. Speaking of seat posts, not all will work with ovalized rails so Tune have included a list on their product page of posts that are known to be compatible and those that are not.
The final part of the design (and maybe most important) is style. Anyone seriously considering the Tune Re4mer saddle has probably got a drool worthy ride to perch it upon. To ensure that the Re4mer matches the dream bike it is likely to be adorning, the synthetic Alcantara strip is available in 6 colour options. Not only does it help match your bike but it serves a purpose. Carbon fiber can be pretty slick and so the Alcantara is there for some anti-slip friction.
Your saddle is maybe not be one of the first places you’ll look to save some grams. If that is where you’re at then Tune Re4mer can definitely help.
Tune continues to push the envelope in light weight components. At ~80 grams, the Tune Re4mer is one of the lightest saddles on the market and at a cost of 219 Euros, it comes with the exotic price tag to match. Many will appreciate the 6 colour choices to ensures your ride is matching head to toe. But what you may appreciate most is that all that weight savings doesn’t come at the cost of comfort. The Tune Re4mer is a surprisingly comfortably saddle. It’s not an all day marathon saddle by any means but is still not limited to rides around the block.
Advice would be to either demo one if possible or find a fitter who can get you some reassurance that the narrow width will fit you while in a forward position.