With the launch of the Iron triathlon/time trial saddle and an even lighter CarbonKeramic version of their carbon rail, premium Italian saddle brand Selle Italia had some serious new kit to show at Eurobike 2013.
Iron tri/TT saddle
With the huge popularity of the snub-nosed ISM Adamo saddle, it was only natural that the biggest bike brands would release their own interpretations of the design – Fi’zi:k has the new Tritone, Specialized the Sitero. Now, Selle Italia have the Iron. The saddle is still in its prototype stage, so UK and US pricing is to be announced, but the Tekno Flow S, carbon-railed version will cost €349. Availability is expected to be January 2014.
The saddle has a snub nose that tapers but retains vertical sides along its length – that should mean your thighs don’t chafe against the saddle as you pedal, fitting in with Selle’s Friction Free concept.
The split nose also has an elastomer net bonding the two halves; the honeycomb shape is designed to allow water to run off as triathletes transition from the swim to the bike leg.
The production Iron will have a built-in reflector in this red area
The most distinct part of the saddle is the extended, unpadded carbon section at the rear. Selle Italia claim that this has been designed to offer an aerodynamic advantage, the ‘spoiler’ preventing a vortex cascade behind the rider’s body. The lift at the very back should also provide something to push against in a full aero tuck.
The Iron will be available in two sizes, S (135mm wide) and L (145mm), with both titanium rails and a new carbon rail. There will also be a new Speciale lightweight version, claimed to tip the scales at just 155g (S) and 165g (L).
The Iron – like and the Nekkar, SLR and Lady models – will be available in two widths because users will be able to select a saddle using Selle Italia’s ID Match system.
The ID Match process involves getting measured for certain parameters at a Selle dealer. Firstly, they’ll record your age, weight, gender, height and riding preference. Second comes the ‘intertrochanteric distance’, measured using special callipers. Thirdly, thigh circumference is checked – essential if you want a saddle that uses a Friction Free design. The final step is a measurement of pelvic rotation.
If you’re not satisfied with your saddle, Selle Italia offer a 30-day, no questions asked money-back guarantee.
Selle Italia have also been working on a new saddle rail material for 2014. It combines traditional carbon fibre with a ceramic element so, not surprisingly, has been named CarbonKeramic. Selle claim that the new one-piece rail reduces weight by 20 percent but is 30 percent stronger. In real terms, that equates to a 30g-plus weight saving for the SLR saddle. The new rails feature on the Iron saddle.
Selle Italia's K Kit Carbonio Flite saddles come in this distinct black and green finish
To coincide with the new rail, Selle Italia have launched a range of special edition Flite saddles, under the K Kit Carbonio umbrella. These combine a new carbon-infused hull, the CarbonKeramic rails, Lorica covers and increased padding while still remaining lightweight. The K series Flite saddles will be priced at €229, with UK/US pricing to be confirmed.