Last year Selle San Marco added their latest Shortfit ergonomic saddle shape for cyclists looking for a wide, comfortable option for aggressive, performance bike fits. Now that original Shortfit shape adds a new Narrow version for riders with more narrow hips looking for the same performance. And to highlight the new Shortfit Narrow, Selle San Marco has introduced new augmented reality functionality that lets you get preview the saddle before you buy…
Selle San Marco Shortfit Narrow road bike saddle
San Marco calls the overall shape of the Shortfit Narrow ‘waved’, designed for riders with a lot of pelvic rotation in order to fit on bikes with lots of handlebar drop. The saddle features a wide flatter rear section (even on this narrow version) with a long, deep Open Fit central cutout for pressure relief. The short 250mm overall length is also intended to give riders a forward position on the bike (without messing with saddle setback regulations.)
This Shortfit Narrow is 134mm wide (down 10mm from the standard Shortfit Wide). The new saddle is available in three spec levels: the 200€ Carbon FX with a carbon reinforced shell & carbon rails at 145g; the 150€ Racing with carbon reinforced shell & titanium alloy rails at 175g; and 100€ Dynamic with a carbon reinforced shell & manganese rails at 218g
Augmented Reality AR saddle viewer
So what benefit is augmented reality in selling a saddle anyway? We dropped the new San Marco Shortfit Narrow onto the cobbles outside our Prague office, and it offered an easy way to get a good sense for the saddle. (All these photos are screenshots from an iPhone using the AR saddle model.)
Most saddle makers only really share maybe top, side & rear views when they release a new design. But the AR functionality let us pan around from all angles to really get a good sense of its shape.
Will we start buying new saddles only using augmented reality? Surely not. But there are so many saddle options out there on the market now, and this new AR tool is really useful even just to trim down the field.
With AR you can get pretty good idea whether the Shortfit should even be in the running for your next saddle purchase.
Now to get the AR to work you need an up-to-date iPhone running iOS 12 or later. That certainly limits usability to many potential buyers. Plus, you can only access the full visualization of the two AR saddle models directly via the Safari browser as far as we were able to do.
We also tried to get it to work to see how the saddle looked on a bike, but it was a bit tricky and didn’t really tell us much. We had better luck on a flat surface (like the ground or a desk). In theory you can drop it virtually on the ground next to a real physical saddle too for side-to-side comparison.
Leaving the AR experience behind, you can still rotate the saddle around (and only then can see the bottom) to get a good look. We’re hoping Selle San Marco will add more models in the future, now it is limited to this Shortfit Narrow & the recent off-road/gravel GND shape. It would be great to see other brands add more AR functionality for fit related gear as well.