In partnership with Selle Italia.
Founded in 1897 saddlemaker Selle Italia has supported racers with forward-thinking designs since the earliest days of bike racing. Spitting out era-defining models like the Turbo, Flite, and Concor, alongside their design, Selle Italia has accumulated more than a century of ergonomic research on which to draw.
Now distilled into a compact range of saddles, its latest release is this update of the radical Novus platform - the Novus Boost Evo.
Created in 1994, with its concord-style nose and vented front section, the original Novus looked like nothing else on the market. Since then the Novus line has developed into a waved saddle made to serve a wide range of riders with a high degree of rear pelvic rotation. Intended to increase stability via a supportive and ergonomic shape, its curvature suits riders who prefer to generate power from a relatively static position on the saddle.
Short on length big on support
Like an espresso, the Novus provides just what riders need in a condensed form and without superfluity. Perfectly hitting the spot, its compact and modern design has since been echoed by plenty of other brands.
However, no single saddle can cater to every rider. Instead, the best saddles closely match the morphology and riding style of their target audience. When Selle Italia first launched the Novus, its radical dropped-nosed profile added another tool to help riders get comfortable, and in doing so prefigured a trend that’s now become mainstream.
Short yet highly supportive saddles have since become a major category in their own right. Somewhere between 20 to 40mm shorter than traditional models, Selle Italia has dubbed this shorter style of saddle ‘Boost’. It’s an option that’s proved so highly demanded that it’s now become an option available across its entire range.
Idmatch: A perfect saddle for the right rider
Of course, the most well-designed saddle is only useful if correctly matched to the rider. To this end, Selle Italia has invested heavily in training bike shop staff and fitters to correctly assess riders.
Taking into account age, sex, weight, riding style, along with measuring the width of the pelvis and ascertaining its potential rotation, this process should deduce the style required. Once on track towards a correctly-fitting model, an extensive saddle testing programme also allows riders to try before committing to purchasing.
For Selle Italia, the physical characteristics of the rider always form the starting point of saddle design. Matched via its idmatch fitting protocol, the Novus Boost Evo is designed for riders with wide sit bones and an increased degree of flexibility. Classed as an L3-type fit, for riders with a wide intertrochanteric distance and high pelvic rotation, this designation will suit a broad range of riders, being one of the most commonly assessed rider types.
“The idea behind idmatch is to improve the way sports equipment fits our body shape, tailoring it to the individual’s functional needs,” explains Professor Luca Bartoli, founder of Ergoview and collaborator on the idmatch system. “A huge amount of work went into designing body shapes and working out how to design for the requirements of each”.
Unlike brands that simply match their saddles by width, for Selle Italia, the flexibility of the rider is just as important. If a rider possesses a high degree of pelvic rotation, this means they’ll tilt their pelvis forward to achieve a comfortable position. Given the angle at which they’ll then engage with the saddle, anatomically it follows that they’ll require different structures to support themselves. This is partly the reason for the large pressure relief channels that characterise the Novus.
Knowing exactly where the rider will be sat allows the Novus to perfectly target these features. Ensuring soft tissue isn’t uncomfortably compressed, its SuperFlow cut-out technology can be seen running down the centre of the saddle. Drastically reducing discomfort caused by prolonged pressure on the soft tissue areas, it combines with the saddle’s wave profile to tailor the entire design to aggressive, race-pace riding.
Fixed positions, multiple options
Available in four versions, the first three Novus Boost Evo models employ steel, manganese, or titanium rails, while leading out the quartet, the 165-gram carbon Kit Carbonio Superflow is amongst the lightest on the market.
Still, having a perfectly fitting saddle is little use if it can’t be slotted into exactly the right spot. To this end, the Kit Carbonio Superflow version sees the length of its rails increased by a centimetre over the standard models. Allowing for a further range of fore and aft movement, it promises to seamlessly combine with even the most radical of bike-fits.
If you already know how you measure up, the Novus Boost could well be the ideal fit. If you’re unsure, get down to your nearest idmatch centre and have them crack out the callipers. Either way, you’ll be on course to a saddle that perfectly hits the spot.
For more information visit Selle Italia.