Over top of a fairly straightforward ultralight carbon shell & rails, Bjorn Cycles’ new Setka saddle 3D-prints custom carbon composite padding on top to add comfort without many extra grams. In fact, Bjorn says that their Setka is only the third 3D-printed padded saddle to come to market, and the lightest one yet…
Bjorn Cycles Setka ultralight carbon 3D-printed padded saddle
We’ve seen a few intriguing 3D-printed saddles in the last two years, with the goal of creating lightweight, tunable comfort that offers support exactly where you need it, not where you don’t, and can even potentially be custom-made to the end-user. Each of these previous saddles from Specialized & Fizik already starts with a standard saddle shell & rail construction, simply replacing conventional closed cell padding with an open 3D printed latticework of carbon composite elastomer material to balance comfort & support – much like this new Bjorn saddle.
But Bjorn claims that their new Setka – the third such saddle to offer this 3D printed padding technology – is the lightest yet.
In fact, Bjorn is the third producer not the third saddle, as each of the other two now offers multiple saddle options with the same tech – the Specialized S-Works Mirror versions of the Power & Romin and Fizik’s Antares Versus Evo in Adaptive 00, R1 & R3 variants.
But the lighter weight claims seems pretty safe since the Specialized & Fizik options range from 174-215g, at least 29% more than Bjorn’s claims.
What’s more impressive, is that this ultralight Bjorn Setka is actually cheaper than the $450 S-Works versions & on par with the top-tier $400 Fizik Adaptive saddle.
Now, lest you worry about buying cutting-edge tech from a carbon component maker from Russia that you’ve never heard of? Bjorn Cycles worked with Carbon Inс to develop their Setka 3D-printed padding. That’s the exact same Redwood City, CA company that developed both the Specialized & Fizik saddles and produces them all through their global Carbon Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) 3D printer contract manufacturing network.
Starting off logically, Setka means “net” in Russian. This net was developed together with Carbon Inc specialists in several iterations based on saddle pressure mapping data, finalized to provide comfortable support under your sit bones without extra material where it wasn’t required. The final padding design includes 9 variable stiffness zones within its hollow webbed-net structure to offer variable support depending on how a rider sits on different parts of the saddle while moving around on the bike – softer on the nose and more rigid out back.
The base structure itself is an extension of the ultralight carbon construction Bjorn already developed for their 80g+ Sedlo unpadded carbon saddle. It features a hand-laid high modulus carbon base with a large central cutout for pressure relief, and separate 7x9mm oval carbon rails, not simply bonded to the shell but inserted into reinforced slots.
The ultralight Setka saddle is 250mm long and available in either 143mm or 155mm widths. The narrower version has a weight claim of just 135g, yet is rated for a 120kg rider plus up to a 10kg saddle bag. And you can use it on road, gravel, or mountain bikes.
Yes, it is approved for use off-road, with Bjorn saying that it is actually a “perfect” saddle for cross-country, trail, or enduro mountain bikers. Although I still wonder how you will keep one of these things clean on muddy trails?
Bjorn Setka – Pricing, options & availability
The ultralight Setka saddle is available now direct from Bjorn Cycles in Moscow in the narrower 143mm width for $420. The wider 155mm version isn’t ready quite yet, labeled as ‘coming soon’. Global delivery is free, plus the Setka comes with a 2-year warranty and 50%crash replacement policy.
Other Bjorn carbon saddles
At the base of the Setka saddle is their proven full carbon saddle from Bjorn called the Sedlo. That $300 full carbon saddle is already designed to be comfortable without padding, with claimed weights from just 80g for a 131mm wide saddle, or 85g for 143mm wide version – each 250mm long with a max rider weight rating of 120kg.
All Bjorn carbon components are produced in Moscow, Russia. While the Setka padding was developed & manufactured in the US by Carbon, Inc.