Italy’s fabled saddle maker, Selle Italia, has previous when it comes to partnering with supercar brands. More than 25 years ago, for the original Novus, it collaborated with Ferrari, and saw Selle Italia provide the saddle know-how and Ferrari the engineering expertise.
Back then, the Novus saddle applied Ferrari’s composites knowledge and ‘active’ suspension within the rail attachment design. It was also one of the first saddles to provide a central channel.
While the modern Flow channel might be a more extreme take on the original’s, you can still see the 1994 design’s influence, nonetheless.
Superlight supercar-worthy design
This all-new saddle features the Selle Italia’s Superflow channelling that was pioneered way back then, but the rails, hull and materials all come from carbon composites experts Dallara.
You may not have heard of this Italian based engineering company, but you will have seen some of the fruits of its labours.
Dallara provides composites expertise to some of the world’s greatest sports brands, including the likes of Bugatti, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Ducati.
It’s not just carbon it’s an expert in, though, Dallara’s wind tunnel is used by car and motorcycle makers to optimise their vehicles for motorsport and it even has a vehicle dynamics division that builds simulators for the world’s fastest vehicles, too.
For this new saddle, Dallara has taken Selle Italia’s highly-regarded Boost short saddle design and reimagined it by using some of the lightest composites available.
However, it hasn’t just been a case of making a saddle shell that weighs next to nothing. Dallara’s brief was to create a minimal carbon fibre perch that exhibits the same characteristics as a traditional padded saddle, but at a fraction of the weight.
Once a prototype of the saddle had been made, Selle Italia involved legendary classics rider Fabian Cancellara in further testing and development.
Spartacus had this to say about the new flyweight perch: “As a former professional athlete, I know what professional riders need and I am very proud to have added my contribution to the process of creating this ultra-lightweight saddle, made entirely of carbon, the result of the research and drive by Selle Italia towards increasingly advanced solutions in the cycling sector”.
We don’t have a great deal of detail from Selle Italia about the saddle’s performance claims but are impressed so far by how the saddle looks and how it’s shaped to mimic the standard SLR Boost.
We’ve got a sample in to test, and while we haven’t had time to bring you any initial thoughts yet, we can confirm it weighs an impressively low 97.2g for the L3 model.
The slimmer S3 idmatch variant (Selle Italia’s sizing technology that matches “your body shape to your cycling equipment”) is claimed to tip the scales at an even lighter 95g.
We’ll be fitting the Dallara/Selle Italia collab to a bike as soon as we can and will report back on whether a flyweight saddle really can match a standard saddle in the comfort stakes.
Selle Italia SLR Boost Tekno Superflow saddle details
- Versions: S and L
- Size: S – 130mm×248mm) / L – 145mm×248mm
- Size idmatch: S3 / L3
- Claimed weight: S3 – 95 g / L3 – 96 g
- Rail: Hi-Tech carbon
- Cover: Full carbon
- Price: €449 / $TBC