Selle Italia has announced a new X-Tech manufacturing technology, said to produce their most environmentally sustainable saddles to date. In a move to fight the push for off-shore production, the entirely made-in-Italy X-Tech saddles are to be manufactured on a new robotically automated production line at their northeastern Italian factory in Asolo.
Produced from a mix of various “technopolymers” (which we assume means fiber reinforced plastics or composites), the X-Tech saddles will not use any glues to bind separate components together, and can be disassembled at their end of life to be recycled. Little more concrete detail about the final materials is provided, but it looks much more refined than most 3D-printed constructions we’ve seen. We’d also have to make educated guesses on intended cycling disciplines, weights, or expected consumer availability since no more info is being offered at the moment besides news of the new process in industry journals BRAIN & BikeBiz. But the detailed prototype images give a good sense of what is coming…
Selle Italia X-Tech sustainable, Italian robot-made saddle prototype
“Our introduction of the innovative X-TECH production process confirms our commitment to producing high-end Italian-made saddles and, most importantly of all, demonstrates that sustainability is an added value offered by our range,” says Selle Italia president Giuseppe Bigolin.
This all-new unnamed “Model X” saddle is all we have for a real idea of what type of saddle is likely to be the first to feature X-Tech construction. That thin, put padded profile suggests a lightweight performance saddle to back up Bigolin’s statement. The shape is a bit more scooped than even an SLR, with a high back and flat nose, you don’t often see in a modern Selle Italia saddle.
The prototype appears to be a blend of the most modern, short versions of their Flite & SLR saddle shapes. We do see it gets the Boost label – Selle Italia speak for their modern compact saddle lengths, and it has a large Superflow ergonomic cutout too. No detail on the rail material or shape, but it appears to get some metal reinforcing over the composite base structure.
Now we just have to wait and see for more details from Selle Italia…