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Events-20725

TESTED: Selle San Marco Aspide Superleggera Saddle

May 10, 2016
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Selle San Marco made an early foothold in the world of anatomically designed saddles when they introduced their famous Concor saddle back in 1978. As the years have gone by, Italian saddle-maker Selle San Marco has continued to experiment with new materials and designs to create saddles that became lighter and more comfortable. Lightweight, anatomical, and high-end materials are still Selle San Marco’s main beat, most evident with the arrival of their newest saddle, the Aspide Superleggera.

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THE TECH
There are four elements to a saddle. No one part will make the saddle shine; it is only the cohesion of all layers that Selle San Marco strives to perfect. At the bottom, the rails that support the rider and the rest of the saddle are met with a unique shape that Selle San Marco calls the DNA Rails. The DNA carbon fiber rails provide a lightweight yet strong and stable support system for the rest of the saddle. Marginal amount of torsional flex, due to the DNA Rails’ shape, stabilizes the pelvis while pedaling. Atop the unidirectional carbon shell is a layer of firm Pebax foam, which is wrapped with a tacky Microfeel cover that helps to decrease rider slippage. Selle San Marco has a sub-109gram weight guarantee for each of the Aspide Superleggeras made. In fact, every saddle is signed off by the person who made it with a hand inscription of the saddle’s actual weight found on the underside of the base.

THE RIDE
We gauged the Aspide’s likability on two metrics: compliance and anatomical fit. Although the Aspide provided great support from the rails and shell, we were surprised, especially with a cut-out, that it didn’t provide the flex and vibration damping we anticipated. Though the dense Pebax padding and flexible cover did make up for some of the loss in damping, it was not quite enough to make the Superleggera an all-day-long comfort saddle. However, when it came to the Aspide’s anatomical shape, it was spot-on—well, almost. If the center channel remained deep to the end of the nose, we would not fuss, but unfortunately the channel shallows at the tip, and you end up with soft tissue lying on bare carbon while you are leaning forward in an aggressive position.

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VERDICT
Fully padded at only 104 grams—that is a worthy accomplishment—so kudos to Selle San Marco for pulling it off. The Aspide Superleggera is certainly the stuff of dreams for the most weight-allergic riders out there, and if ever there was a saddle that best reflected the pro-racing mantra of “light and stiff,” the Aspide Superleggera would be it. If, however, like us, a $500 saddle isn’t in your budget, you might prefer the cost/weight benefits found in the $280 Carbon FX model. Almost $300 less expensive, with only a 17-gram hit and available in a narrow and wide shape—now that’s something that gets us excited.

PUNCH LINES
• Rarified world in price and weight
• Only available in narrow
• A little stiff for our taste

STATS
Price: $475
Weight: 104 grams
Colors: black, white

Check out all of their high performance saddles at sellesanmarco.it

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