Roundup: Sleek carbon (and other) saddles from Astute, ISM & Selle Esse


Originating in Italy like so many other high end saddle manufacturers, Selle Esse had some elegant looking high performance and high feature saddles that bundle in things like NFC chips to verify product authenticity and looped rails for micro suspension.

Above, the Pelle Carbonio saddles come in your choice of full carbon or full carbon with a genuine leather cover bonded over the shell. There’s no padding, but with looks like these, we’re not complaining…


The leather-topped models add just 10g to the bare glossy carbon, coming in at 120g and 110g respectively.


The Carbonio’s dimensions are 135mm x 280mm.


Their Vela saddles come with either carbon (160g) or Inox (200g) rails. These Vela LTD saddles use premium leather covers and incorporate NFC technology. Hold your NFC-equipped smartphone up to the tail of the saddle and an app will verify that this is an original and show you details about the saddle and how to care for it. Only 100 of each of the six leather colors available is being made, each numbered by the builder.

These and the Carbonio are their higher end “race” saddles, below which are a wide variety of upper/mid-level road and mountain bike performance saddles, followed by an assortment of well padded enthusiast and comfort options.


The upcoming Zeta saddles use a unique looped shape on their rails to create a suspension that moves with your body and absorbs bumps in the road.


The shell retains a performance shape, making these a solid choice for endurance and touring road bikes where a little extra weight isn’t as big a deal.


The new ISM PN 2.1 takes cues from their Attack and road-oriented PN 1.1 saddle shape to create a narrow, physiologically friendly triathlon-specific saddle. The padding is thicker, like the PN 1.1, and it comes with chromoly rails for $189.99.


Compared to the Attack, it has a shorter back and flat section with transition hook to hang your bike in the racks The truncated rear end lets it better fit saddle/seatpost-mounted hydration systems. Size is 110mm x 270mm, weight not specified.


Launched in 2013, relative newcomer Astute debuted this camo version of their Skylite saddle last winter in a run of 888 pieces.


The Flowers edition is even more limited at just 88 pieces worldwide.


The saddles are also available in a Fluo line with day-glow base shells. The Skylite saddles are available with or without the center cutout, measure 135mm x 275mm and weigh in around 165g.


Their saddle line has, until 2016, been comprised mainly of variations on the versatile Sky series saddles, offering slight shape and color variations. Next year, the company will have an expanded line up of options that are more tailored to specific pursuits.


For track riders, their new Rush saddles have a round shape in a narrower 125mm width, which makes them suitable for junior riders, too. It’s available with three base plate colors plus black and comes in at about 166g.


The new Time series is a round profile saddle for time trials. Available with (VT, 190g) and without (SR, 175g) center relief channels, it uses a memory foam, carbon-nylon shell and full carbon rails.


The Italian microfiber is embossed but all black. Six color options come with matched center sections and rear base plates. Measures 135mm x 250mm.


The new Sea line is made for triathlon that shapes the center relief channel to help draw water away from the rider’s shorts and funnel it away through the use of special materials. The squarer shape and padding placement are also optimized for the more forward, bent-over riding position. It has full carbon 7x9mm rails, a carbon nylon shell and comes in at 185g. Measures 138mm x 250mm.


Lastly, the Mud series for mountain bikers. Available with carbon (lite, 195g) and titanium rails (line, 215g), they’re designed around enduro style riding. Specifically placed padding, a round shape, bumper pads at the tail and a narrow but long 125mm x 260mm shape give you plenty of positions and support while working yourself through the woods.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Fast Forward Freddy
Fast Forward Freddy
6 years ago

That is the best name I’ve ever heard for a saddle company.

Drew Diller
6 years ago

Heyyyy I like the idea behind those Zeta saddles! It’s a longer leaf spring.

As a guy who needs the soft tissue clearance, I’m still baffled by the presence of the slotted saddles. But, different shapes for different butts…

Mike D
6 years ago

I second that idea behind the Zeta saddle! I’d love to try one, they look great! Simple concept, where just a little suspension can go a long way.. as long as they aren’t bouncy 😉

6 years ago

Same here – I’m very curious about how the Zeta saddle concept works in practice.

I figure pairing that with Selle SMP’s saddle shape would make for a nice randonneering or ultra-long-distance riding saddle.

6 years ago

125mm? Are these supposed to fit between my sit bones like a clipless pedal cleat?