Monday, April 9, 2012 11.00am
By Cycling Plus
The usual trade-off with a lightweight saddle is comfort, but if you get the right shape hull to begin with you can achieve admirable levels of plushness with minimal padding. This is the approach Selle San Marco have taken with the Aspide range for some time now, and the addition of carbon fibre rails has made an already light saddle lighter, without losing the comfort.
The saddle here is the standard shape Aspide FX, but there's also an Arrowhead version available, which has an opening in the mid-front part of the saddle top. Weighing in at 2g less than the claimed 129g, the Aspide is 277mm long and 131mm wide at the widest point. The usable section of the rails measures 60mm, and the rails themselves are reinforced internally at the clamping area with aluminium to prevent crushing by over-zealous tightening.
The distance from the rail centre to the underneath of the saddle hull is a generous 35mm, offering plenty of clearance for even the oddest of rail clamp designs. It’s the shape, though, and the flex in the carbon fibre reinforced plastic hull that gives such a surprising amount of comfort for such a lightweight saddle.
If you like to sit and stay in one general area rather than move forwards and backwards on your saddle, the Aspide might be the best lightweight offering for you. With a bit of fine tuning of the saddle angle there is a definite sweet spot, and after just a few short rides, set up perfectly, it gives a level of comfort that would rival anything lighter than your favourite sofa.
Despite the low weight and relatively high comfort level it remains a solid platform when you ease back on it: there’s not much in the way of detectable flex from one side to the other or ‘rocking’ of the saddle hull at its widest point.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.
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