It’s a pretty regular occurrence for a saddle company to claim that it has revolutionised the way to sit on a bike. More often than not, this is marketing speak for, ‘check out the new saddle doodad we’ve come up with,’ but Italian saddle manufacturer Selle Italia has created something unique with its SP01. Released in July, there are now three new models in the lineup, offering suspension for off-road as well as road riders.
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The SP01 follows on from the P-01 aero saddle, which was on show at Eurobike last year. The P-01 carried the independent rear wings and claimed to have taken “the parameters of a saddle shape to the wind tunnel to tune aerodynamics”, but it also lacked any padding. To us, the SP01 seems a bit more realistic.
Claimed to weigh just 125 grams, the left and right sides of the SP01 are not connected at the tail of the saddle allowing them to flex independently in what the brand calls its special suspension link movement. This carbon leaf spring is engineered to support the movement of your pelvis without compromising stability while pedalling. We’re a bit dubious of this claim though it seems to us there would be definite compliance benefits, though Selle Italia doesn’t mention it.
There are four different versions of the SP-01, with the range incorporating carbon and titanium models; the top of the range model – the Tekno Superflow – is available now, costing £310 / $430 / AU$TBC / €350, with the three additional models detailed below revealed at at the Eurobike 2017 tradeshow.
SP-01 Tekno Superflow
The saddle itself is made almost entirely of carbon fibre, bar the cover and minimal padding. The prepreg sheets are hand laid and sandwiched between two heated moulds in what Selle Italia says is an effort to achieve perfectly repeatable quality standards.
As a carbon fibre structure like this is likely to be quite fragile on its own, Selle Italia has given the SP01 its ‘Carbon Wear’ treatment, which combines high tensile strength carbon fibre and a protective film to improve durability.
The saddle’s basic shape appears similar to the Novus Superflow Enurace S saddle, though the SP01’s Superflow cutout is much larger and extends out to the rear of the saddle instead of the front. This is claimed to reduce the physical limitations caused by prolonged pressure in the perineal area, and Sella Italia says it provides for a comfortable riding position, too.
Measuring 130mm wide and 268mm long, the SP-01 Tekno Superflow is designated an S3 saddle by Selle Italia’s Id Match saddle fit system.
The new additions to the SP-01 range
While the SP-01 Tekno Superflow is very much focussed on road cycling, the three new additions are aimed at both road and off-road use, and like the Tekno Superflow come in two sizes: small and large.
- SP-01 Kit Carbonio Superflow – carbon ceramic rails, with a claimed weight of 160g (S) to 165g (L)
- SP-01 Superflow – Titanium Ti 316 rails, with a claimed weight of 200g (S) to 205g (L)
- SP-01 Titanium Superflow – Titanium tube rails, with a claimed weight of 180g (S) to 185g (L)