There is no saddle in the world that will suit everyone – or at least no such invention has come into our hands yet, and we don’t expect to see one in the near future.
The best brands out there offer a selection of different saddles, and then do their best to fit them to individuals. Selle Italia’s version of this is called ID Match and it looks at a selection of criteria before recommending a seat for a rider.
Selle Italia dealers are trained in the ID Match system – a four stage examination that first looks at experience and riding style, before going on to work with specific measurements to determine the best option.
The fitter begins by identifying the basics: age, height, weight, gender, and riding style – these form the early stages of fit and help eliminate the obviously inappropriate options.
Next up, the fitter measures the rider’s Intertrochanteric distance – that is the distance between the two ischial tuberosities of the pelvis – using pelvic calipers. The tool removes any chance of mis-measurement and this will determine the sort of width saddle the rider is likely to need.
Next up comes a measurement of thigh circumference – the relationship between this and the Intertrochanteric distance helps the fitter to determine where pressure points are likely to arise.
Finally, a rather scientific pelvic inclinometer measures rotation of the pelvis – an essential measurement which helps determine the degree to which the rider will sit forward on the saddle. This will determine for example if they’re most suited to an SLR Flow, or a Gel Flow.
All of these measurements combine to offer the rider a choice of several saddles. With the correct saddle chosen, Selle Italia also equip their fitters with one further tool – a Biomechanical Reference Point system which helps the trained expert to ensure the saddle is sitting in the correct position on the rails and that the rider is interacting with it correctly.
Selle Italia’s research shows that 60 per cent of people tend to be sitting too far forward
Selle Italia’s research shows that 60 per cent of people tend to be sitting too far forward on a saddle, and therefore putting too much pressure on the pubic area – so the reference point tool shows correct parameters, allowing a fitter to spot immediately if the rider is placing their weight on the wrong part of the seat.
Most saddle brands have some sort of fitting system, but what we like about Selle Italia’s is the way each fit can provide multiple options, giving the rider a chance to choose between a few possible seats. Not only that, the provided tools leave very little room for error, and also mean we can see genuine data and information about our body being put to good use.