Selle Italia launched the original Novus in 1994, the result of a collaboration between the saddle maker and Ferrari. Selle provided the saddle knowhow and Ferrari engineering applied some composites knowledge and ‘active’ suspension within the rail attachment design.
It was also one of the first saddles to provide a central channel. It wasn’t as extreme as the Flow design seen on the modern version, but you can see where the idea came from.
The shape follows similar lines to the classic Flite, with a pitched up tail and a nose that rises out of the central hollow. What makes it different is how the nose sharply dips down in its final few inches, looking like the nose of a Formula One car – perhaps that’s Ferrari’s influence.
The latest Flow S here is designed to meet Selle Italia’s ID Match S2 dimensions, so it’s 275mm long with the crucial width being 137mm. You can choose the L, which matches L2 sizing at 278x146mm. The expanding channel through the centre has a 100mm hole starting 100mm from the nose to relieve pressure.
Titanium rails hold the carbon-reinforced nylon hull, and it’s topped with deep padding and a quality finished cover. Plastic scuff guards on the nose and flanks should keep it safe from tears or rips, and the 222g weight is less than the claimed 225g.
Riding with the Novus is a brilliantly comfortable experience. Yes, the long slender design doesn’t look that inviting but we do like its shape. The dense and deep padding is in exactly the right places and the relief channel perfectly matches you. The dipped nose encourages you to shift your weight forward on the climbs to push hard on the pedals.
We’re hugely impressed by the Novus; it’s like a Flite with a little more cushioning and little in the way of a weight penalty. The only thing we can’t work out about the Novus is why Selle Italia waited so long to bring it back.