Despite the all the claims of improved stiffness and pedaling efficiency, we were most impressed by the lightness of the Essax Adrenaline R, which is hard to beat for the price. Comfort is also good, just as long as you’re bent low over the bars.
Seriously light for the price
Encourages aggressive position
Uncomfortable when riding on tops
The Essax Shark saddle may have stolen all the headlines, but the Spanish brand has a full range of saddles that it hopes will attract the same levels of attention. The performance model is the Essax Adrenaline R which comes in three models with either carbon, titanium or chrome rails. We put the budget (£57.99) chrome-railed version to the test.
As with all Essax saddles the Adrenaline R includes the company’s patented AF Net (Anti-Fatigue Net) technology. This is a matrix built into the saddle which aims to improve the rigidity of the shell by 40% (compared to an Adrenaline R saddle with AF Net technology removed), therefore increasing the efficiency of the pedal stroke, with independent tests showing a 2.5% gain in efficiency over a comparable Fizik saddle.
The performance focus of the Essax Adrenaline R saddle is easy to see with the slender nose and limited padding encouraging, and rewarding, and aggressive riding position. Indeed Essax also produce the Adrenaline KRBON, a full carbon version which keeps the same shape.
However the flip side of this come on longer climbs, especially when riding with your hands on the tops, where we experienced some discomfort with our weight supported more by the rear of the saddle. Of course saddles are a very personal thing when it comes to comfort, and Essax dealers have sample saddles to let you try before you buy.
Perhaps the most impressive part of the Essax Adrenaline R is the weight. Considering the sub-£60 price tag of the chrome-railed version we had on test, the 157g weight is fairly astonishing. To put this in context, the lightest saddle in our £120 saddle grouptest that will be published in the 12 February issue of Cycling Weekly, the Pro Falcon, hits the scales at 155g – and that’s with a carbon rail! Put simply, this is by far the lightest saddle you can pick up at this sort of budget.
For more details visit the NRG4 website.
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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
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