SellOttO Saddles: A New and Unique Shape
July 31st, 2017
July 31st, 2017
Anna is a jack-of-all-bikes, and has been riding and racing in a myriad of genres for over seven years; from World Cup level cross-country, to grass roots coaching kids on the road.
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When you review bikes and bicycle parts, you come to get used to the slight differences in the norm; with saddles, it tends to be a hole here, a bit of flex there, and a shape that promises support for different styles and niches of cycling, but all my usual comparisons will be going out of the window with the SellOttO.
Two Italian cyclists got together, one an engineer and one a doctor, and they developed a radical redesigning of the bicycle saddle. Its main purpose was to reduce the discomfort caused by common triangular saddles. Though the saddle is unlikely to appear on the same shelf as top brand cycling saddles in our local bike shops, it is still one that is 100% made in Italy, quality guaranteed, and strength and durability certified by the Engineering School of Torino. But despite its early attention to quality and performance, the SellOttO saddle has more of a yearning to perform in the arena of comfort rather than speed.
So what is it like to ride? Well, clearly it is not like any other saddle, and it doesn't feel like any other saddle either. Weight distribution is more centred on the buttocks rather than the, err, front bottom, and the figure-of-eight shaped saddle offers a large surface area to support both sides of the buttocks. There are even two little indents on the higher end models to cup the pelvis and hold it in place, theoretically holding up the rider with no pressure on the front perineal area.
In reality, the SellOttO certainly holds the pelvis nicely, but the lack of front-bottom support means all the pressure of leaning forward now goes on the arms and the crease between your buttocks and thighs. Imagine sitting on a wall with your legs dangling down; the edge of the wall eventually becomes a bit uncomfortable, and if you lean too far forward, nothing is stopping you have nothing holding you back. I did feel like I was slipping forward in a generic cycling position, which meant that I was riding with slightly more tensed arms than usual to push myself back. I suspect this saddle is much better suited to a bicycle that has handlebars higher than the saddle and a more upright cycling position, much like a ladies’ drop-bar shopping bike or a dutch-style city bike.
I’m not sure if this has solved one problem and created a new one, or not, but it did not suit my usual cycling style. It is very definitely aimed at a more upright cycling position on a bike that has a saddle height lower than the handlebars. I think it has a very niche audience, and for them, it’ll probably be the best saddle they’ll ever come across. It’s certainly nice to cruise along with a skirt and not worry about the saddle peeking through, and it was definitely more comfortable when used with a low saddle position, but unless you really find a triangular saddle uncomfortable, there may not be any reason to convert unless you simply find the fun designs and colour ways enticing enough.
Currently only available for purchase on Amazon in the UK.