Selle Italia began life in 1897 in the village of Corsico, just outside Milan. Its original output was saddles for work bikes, delivery cycles and all the other types of bicycles used by those who couldn’t yet afford one of those new-fangled motor cars. It carried on this way more or less uninterrupted until the 1970s when, with the needs of cyclist very much changed from work-related to sport-related, the company was taken over by the Bigolin family. The Bigolins pushed through a total change in the company’s ethos and their products. Selle Italia saddles were now streamlined, advanced things of clean lines and aesthetic beauty, subject to constant refinements, improvements and innovations.
Today Selle Italia is one of the leading saddle manufacturers on the planet. Models such as the Flite, the Turbo and the SLR are about as iconic as saddles are ever likely to get. Eddy Merckx, Francesco Moser, Miguel Indurain, Marco Pantani and Ivan Basso are just some of the champions who have ridden for the Selle Italia team.
As you would expect with any high-end manufacturer of anything, they espouse the benefits of their rigorous design process, their work with top scientists and top cyclists and their constant search for new, better materials. However, Selle Italia do also offer something a little bit different; their idmatch. They claim to be able to find your individual perfect saddle, based on four different sets of measurements, including your ‘intertrochanteric distance’ (basically the distance between the widest part of your femurs).