Carbon saddles are extremely light, but most of them fail to deliver on the comfort side of the equation. Sure, you probably have at least one friend who swears his one piece carbon saddle is as comfy as any padded variety out there, but for the majority of riders they usually won’t cut it.
That seems to be why Selle Anatomica is partnering with composites experts and the University of California San Diego on a new project. Together, the team has set the goal of creating the “world’s first truly comfortable, ultra lightweight saddle with leaf spring damping.” If you’re not familiar with Selle Anatomica, they’re the company that has been making leather saddles in Wisconsin since 2007 with or without their iconic cutout. Using the knowledge they’ve gained from creating leather saddles, and the composites know how of their partners, the finished saddle should be leather-comfy and carbon-light…
Even without the cutout, the carbon saddle should get some built in comfort through what Selle Anatomica is calling a carbon leaf spring. Running from one end of the saddle to the other, the titanium rails will be attached to this carbon plate allowing the sides of the saddle to flex on each pedal stroke. Claiming to be working on an industry first comfort algorithm that will be used to mimic leather’s performance and translate it into a usable carbon layup, the saddles will also include Selle Anatomica’s Flex-fly slot for additional give to the saddle cover. Projected saddle weight is less than 200g, which if true would be more than 300g less than their leather options.
Currently in the prototype phase and being tested in UCSD’s composite engineering department, Selle Anatomica is offering the first run of saddles through a crowdfunding program. However, the company seems to be sidestepping the traditional Kickstarter or Indiegogo options and instead running the crowdfunding effort right out of their own website. Estimating a retail of $300-400, backers can pledge for a saddle at $199, or a carbon saddle later and a leather saddle immediately for $299. Backer’s saddles should be delivered by Interbike with production models expected in 2016.