Reviewing a saddle is a bit like a discussing politics or religion. There is no right or wrong, just opinions and personal preferences and an infinite range of variables. Did I like riding this saddle? Yes. Now that is out of the way, what is this thing?
Until I pulled the Rasso 146CS out of the box I’d never heard of or seen a Rasso saddle. The graphics instantly narrowed Rasso down to being an Italian or Taiwanese maker in my mind, and it turns out that it is the latter. Rasso is an in house brand of a saddle manufacturer called DDK. You won’t see DDK branded saddles around, but I have seen plenty of their saddles rebranded for sale from P&A brands and on compete bikes emblazoned with the bike makers’ graphics. Rasso is one of DDK’s concept brands and is aimed to compete in the aftermarket upgrade segment. You could conceivably replace one DDK made saddle with another, and be none the wiser.
I immediately thought the shape of the 146CS resembled the Selle San Marco Aspide, another saddle that I have enjoyed riding. The 146CS is not a flat or hard saddle. The rear of the saddle kicks up so that you can push against it when laying down the torque, and this kick keeps your sit bones softly cradled like a hammock in the centre of the saddle. I like this, but it’s not for everyone.
Rasso list the saddle at 164 grams and it’s impressively light seeing it hasn’t been chopped back to the size of a glorified seatpost protector. It’s a full size saddle at roughly 275mm long and 130mm wide, and on my scale it weighed in at 156 grams. Bonus! Rasso get the saddle light by using carbon for the saddle base and rails, and their own super-light padding foam. The base of the Rasso is like a trampoline. The frame is a relatively rigid carbon perimeter and the bulk of the saddle’s upper surface is suspended over the hole in the frame by a flexible, stretchy synthetic. I weigh 75kg and I was fine on the 146CS, but the flexibility of the centre of the saddle could be a concern for clydesdale riders that might sit deep into the flex of the saddle as soon as their knicks meet the cover.
Speaking of the cover, the Rasso uses a synthetic upper printed with some bright red graphics and black texturing. The cover slides nicely over your knicks without being grabby or too slippery. I did bump the nose of the saddle against a bench top when propping my bike up, and this small bump tore the cover on the point of the nose. I was surprised how easily the cover tore. The cover also notes that the saddle is designed by Kevin. Rock on, Kevin.
Downstairs the carbon rails are ovalised (9.6x7mm standard) so it is essential to use the 146CS with a compatible post to prevent crushing the rails. The rails are gloss finished, but didn’t slip or creak at all during the review period.
Overall, I’d be more than happy to leave the 146CS on my bike. The proper padding and full size make it comfy for all-day riding, and the weight is not a trade off for a real saddle.
It looks sleek and classy too. At $299 it’s no casual purchase and it’s right up against premium offerings from the big name Italian brands. If you’re not worried about brand names then the old adage of the best saddle being the one you don’t think about comes to mind.
Distributed by GKA Sports