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About Selle Italia

Saddles can be difficult – every bum is different, a perch that’s absolute perfection for one rider might be the most uncomfortable thing in the world for another.

The saddle you ride on is one of the most important elements of your overall bike fit – when we spoke to Osteopath and ex-pro cycling Alice Monger-Godfrey she explained that a bad saddle can indeed cause problems with alignment and position.

Monger-Godfrey told us: “If you’re experiencing pain, your body will try anything to get out of that pain. So if you have a boil or a blister, your body will shift so you’re not sitting on that part, and that changes the mechanics of your pedal stroke. A lot of people don’t see it that way, they just think it’s a saddle sore but it can have more repercussions.”

Though there is no one saddle brand to rule them all, we do notice that a notable number of female riders choose Selle Italia – and we don’t think that’s a pure coincidence.

The brand was founded in 1897, and today they’re a world leader – renowned for their scientific research into new materials, the pursuit of cutting-edge technological solutions and design. Marrying these together allows them to meet the needs of a wide range of individuals – from amateurs to professional riders.

In 1984 they created the first shock absorbing system – using three integrated pads on the key contact points between the rail and saddle. In 1990, they made the ‘Flite’ – the first saddle that was less than 200 grams and in 1991 they brought out their ‘Genuine Gel’ inserts for comfort. Come 1998, they created the ‘Tans AM’ – their first saddle to have an opening in the middle (now called a cut out) to help relieve pressure – something a high number of women are after. In 2012 that cut out grew, with the SLR Superflow designed to provide an answer for those suffering with soft tissue discomfort.

It was in the 90s that Selle Italia began to focus on the women’s market. Now they work with a selection of pro cycling teams around the world to provide comfort to women spending hours upon hours on the bike, and gathering feedback to help them further develop their offering.

Most notably they sponsor the women’s team Ale Cipollini Galassia, also working with Team Ladies Lensworld – VDB, Team Top Girls, Team Vaiano – Fondriest and Team Stoekli. Alongside athlete feedback, Selle Italia work with doctors and specialists in biomechanics to help them perfect their creations, alongside careful lab testing.

Of course, you can create the best saddles in the world, but if they’re not properly fitted to riders then they’ll never have the desired effect – which is where Selle Italia’s ID Match fit system comes in. The fitting system is employed by all dealers, and measures rider’s body make up and flexibility to ensure they walk out with the best of the best.

There are of course a wide range of brands out there offering saddles, and we won’t pretend that Selle Italia have the perfect solution for every woman. However with their expertise, research, rider feedback from female pros and careful fitting system, we’d certainly recommend giving them a try above most.

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