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Selle San Marco Shortfit Carbon FX saddle review

19 Feb 2018
Verdict:

A stubby saddle that could be a step forward for fidgeting cyclists

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Comfortable, suited for aggressive riding
Against 
Incredibly expensive compared to non-carbon version

When I ride, my body moves a lot. Whether I'm climbing a hill or putting down the power on the flat, I generate the most power through the rotation of my hips. It's far from graceful and bares little resemblance to the flowing, metronomic style of a Jacques Anquetil or Bradley Wiggins, but it works for me.

While this cumbersome style sees me ride faster, it doesn't exactly work in perfect harmony with the majority of cycling saddles. The tip of the saddle constantly knocks the inside of my legs, and the narrow rear makes me feel millimetres from slipping off constantly.

Buy the San Marco Shortfit Carbon FX saddle from ProBikeKit here

Enter Selle San Marco and its Shortfit range of saddles. Short and wide, it is bang on trend and promises 'to meet the needs of the most demanding cyclists'.

Short and stubby wins the race

I have wide legs. Years of playing rugby in the front row (the big guys at the nasty end of the scrum with weird ears) means that they have acquired a fair bit of bulk. They have got leaner since taking up cycling but they are bigger than your average pin.

Combine this with my tendency to fidget in the saddle and you are posed with the problem of constantly bashing your saddle.

One ride with the Shortfit Carbon FX saddle later, however, and this is no longer the case.

Regardless of how much I moved when planted in the saddle, my legs remained free to complete a full revolution without obstruction. Rise out of the saddle to get myself over a steep pitch and again there was no knocking.

I also found when getting in and out of the saddle I was able to plant myself down with more stability, without getting my bibshorts caught on the protruding saddle nose.

This stable seating was also aided by Selle San Marco spreading its saddle out with a wider, more generous rear section that when looked at cannot but help you think of a stingray. With wider edges, there was a noticeable increase of contact point between me and the saddle which not only helped offer leverage when pedalling but seemingly offered a more comfortable ride.

Fundamentally, comfort is the most important duty of a saddle and I found that this particular seat had it in abundance.

Chucking it in at the deep end, I used the saddle at the Hell of the Ashdown sportive. Hell by name, hell by nature, with 2,000m of climbing over 105km with 11 major climbs en route. By the end my legs had been plunged into pain but my rear had not.

I have been truly impressed by the performance of this saddle and would happily say it's among the most comfortable I have ever used. But (and there is always a but) I am not sure its performance justifies its price.

With an RRP of £189.99, this Shortfit saddle comes in at the £30 more expensive than flights and a hotel for three nights in Barcelona with Easyjet (other holiday providers are available), which when you think about it is kind of crazy.

What's even more mind-boggling is that these days that's only middle-of-the-range. Selle San Marco prices its Aspide saddle at £324.99, while a Bontrager XXX saddle will set you back a quid under £300.

On the other hand, for £89.99 you can buy the Shortfit Dynamic – the non-carbon equivalent of the Shortfit Carbon FX. There is a 73g weight penalty but it's £100 cheaper, and weight seems to be the only noticeable difference between the two. 

Buy the San Marco Shortfit Carbon FX saddle from ProBikeKit here

If money was no object though, I would opt for the Selle San Marco Shortfit Carbon FX every day of the week, as it's a mighty impressive saddle. But with an almost identical alternative at under half the cost, there is definitely a more sensible buy.

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