When Selle Italia launched its revamped Novus in 2016, itself inspired by the company’s nineties collaboration with Ferrari, it was one of our favourite saddles of the year. For 2018 Selle Italia has taken the Novus, with its flat top but rounded shape, stepped down nose, full-length channel and split nose, and compressed it into a shorter 250mm length.
That puts it inline with the current trend of short saddles that started with Specialized’s Power and more recently seen on Pro’s Stealth and Prologo’s new Dimension.
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This is the range-topping Novus Boost, with carbon rails and weighing 188.4g, but the range starts at a more affordable Novus Boost TM at £79.99 / $109.99 / €89.90.
As part of Selle Italia’s saddle selection process you can be measured using its digital ID-Match system. Calipers are used to measure your hip width, thigh circumferences, left and right, and the angle at which you can bend forward comfortably. This leads to one of six results: S1, 2 or 3 and L1, 2 or 3. You then choose a saddle that corresponds to your measured figures.
I measured up as an L2. The Boost is an L3, but Selle Italia suggests that you can use numbers higher than your result comfortably, just beware of going smaller.
Each saddle is backed with a 30-day refund/replacement policy should you find it doesn’t suit.
The Novus is an extremely comfortable saddle. I was a big fan of the revamped Novus with its kinked downward nose, flared padded heel and well-shaped full-length channel.
Selle Italia has compacted that shape, keeping the width and padding at the rear and the slender nose, which has the advantage of staying out of the way when you’re down in the drops and powering along. What you get is a saddle that’s plushly padded with no chance of friction as your thighs turn with the pedal strokes. The short shape is best suited to more aggressive riding positions, so if race bikes are your thing this is the way to go.
The generous channel means no unwelcome pressure, so you get a padded saddle that offers superb freedom of movement yet bags of support, and the short shape means you don’t shift around.
I reckon this short saddle, with the long name, is the current king of its genre, but I’d probably opt for a cheaper model.