The very rounded, highly supportive Concor first appeared in 1978, but by the end of the 80s it had been overtaken in popularity by the better-looking Rolls – also from San Marco – and the iconic Turbo from arch rival Selle Italia.
But good ideas don’t die, and the ‘rouleurs special’ Concor – with signature tail flick – continued to attract fans, even if they had to search shops for ‘forgotten’ stock. Now, with the boom in sportives, the demand for support and comfort over low weight has ensured the re-released Concor a new slew of fans.
The natural dip in the Concor’s hull allows you to settle into it. It centralises you in the saddle, so you feel like you’re in the cockpit every time you jump on. Not everyone will gel with its swoopy lines, but unless you’re very flexible in the lower back and you like sliding back and forth during a ride, there’s a lot to be said for its hammock shape.
And if you need to rest the legs or put your back into a seated climb you just ease back into the tail and with a rearward push you can summon extra watts to top out a tough col.
The Concor’s central portion’s broad girth does take a little getting used to, especially if you’re used to the latest narrow-nosed Selle Italia saddles, but it’s never uncomfortable, thanks to a healthy portion of padding, just different. We actually found it helped keep our hips, knees and ankles lined up over the pedals as we spun in the seat.
And the very deep, gracefully curved sides that make the Concor look so big aid unrestricted ‘thigh glide’ under high revs, further enhancing its credentials as a true hard rider’s choice.
We’ve been using the Concor on road, cyclocross and mountain bikes during testing, and at no time were we anything less than impressed. At 300g, all this real estate and steel rails mean that, like lots of Seventies icons, it shows its age a bit, but there’s loads of life left in this classic yet.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.