Genuinely designed for women, the Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow saddle delivers top of the range comfort and great performance for all types of cycling. (Juliet Elliott contributed to this review.)
One of the most comfortable saddles we've ever used, the Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow's generous gel padded cut out relieves pressure where it matters and the slightly wider rear end makes this saddle a delight.
The Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow delivers comfort from a combination of many factors. The overall shape and design is important and it is clear that Selle Italia know what we women need in that respect.
This saddle is actually narrower than some, but you shouldn’t equate this with a lack of comfort. Wider saddles can be great for short rides, particularly in an upright riding position, because quite simply there is more to sit on.
However, these saddles can also put the hips in an unnatural position and may interfere with the pedalling action, especially at high revs. So, bizarrely, narrower saddles tend to be more comfortable for longer rides, because they allow the body to find a more natural position and allow the legs to turn more freely.
While the Diva Flow isn’t the most aggressive-looking shape, it performs well under pressure; you're not sacrificing performance for comfort. In fact with a comfy undercarriage you're able to concentrate on riding rather than wriggling around trying to get comfortable.
The comfort offered by the Diva Gel Flow comes from much more than just its shape. The hull of the saddle is made of a 10 percent carbon composite, with Vanox (hollow, high-strength steel) seat rails and incorporates elastomer suspension. The combination allows for a very slight flex and acts as a shock absorber.
This works with silicone gel inserts, which sit on top of variable-thickness padding in the saddle and all of that is formed around the cut out section. When you sit on it you realise that the result is greater than the sum of the parts.
In the city with your skinny jeans on, the tough seam of your denim nestles in the cut out rather than prodding you where it hurts which is something worth considering if your bicycle is multi use. The Diva Gel Flow also performs well on longer training rides. We've also never experienced any chafing on the inner thigh from it.
The saddle is finished in breathable, full-grain leather. This took a real beating from us and still looks like new, which suggests it will be extremely hard wearing and we expect there’s many years of use in it.
At 265g, it is not the lightest saddle on the market, but that prize goes to a men’s saddle that weighs in at less than 100g and costs five times as much!
On the subject of cost, at £75 it is not the cheapest saddle either. You can pick up a saddle for just £15, but if you ride for more than an hour or so at a time you will probably regret it – most cheap saddles are less than comfortable. Given that you can pay well over £100 without trying too hard, the Diva Flow represents great value for money.
If, like Juliet was, you're experiencing pain in the saddle, this high performance all rounder may be the answer to your prayers. Even Total Women's Cycling editor used this saddle to cycle 4,000 miles round the coast of Britain, experiencing no issues - a testament to the saddles design.
Super-comfortable all-round saddle. If you’re going to be on your bike all day, this is the saddle you need.
- Versatile – works well on road and mountain bike
- Not too heavy
- Racers will want something lighter
More information: Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
UK supplier: Chicken Cycles
What Selle Italia says about the Diva Gel Flow
Selle Italia’s DIVA has a shape that is perfect for the female anatomy and posture. With its unique streamlined shape and sporty style, DIVA is the perfect high performance comfort saddle for women.
For women who ride leaving no one behind.
- Weight: 255 grams
- Rail: Vanox Tube Ø 7 mm
- Size: 152×270 mm
- Use: Road/Offroad