Last summer Selle Italia teased this new Model-X Green Superflow saddle, saying it would be made in Italy by robots using a new X-Tech production process that was better for the environment than any saddle before. Now the “100% sustainable saddle” is here, blending a rare mix of premium performance, environmentally-responsible manufacturing, and an actually affordable price that is less than 1/6th of what the latest carbon Flite saddle we reported on costs!
Selle Italia Model-X Green Superflow eco-friendly, sustainable saddle
We thought it was just a project code name when we heard it last summer, but Selle Italia has given their latest new saddle line the name Model-X, plus of course the new Green designation. But while we are used to new tech debuting at the top of the pricing spectrum, this actually becomes their cheapest saddle in $, while also being one of their lightest under $100.
How they manage that combination, all comes down to an innovative new streamlined production process in their factory in Italy.
Green-Tech: What is a 100% sustainable saddle?
Selle Italia calls the new saddle sustainable for a few reasons. Their biggest eco selling point seems to be that the Model-X Green saddle does not contain any glue or polyurethane adhesive – instead, using a co-molded construction that mechanically connects the separate elements together.
Producing the saddles entirely in Italy with an efficient automated manufacturing process is said to reduce the saddle’s CO2 emissions transportation footprint and minimize waste, while also freeing Selle Italia from relying on the fragile global supply chain.
As for the construction itself, Selle Italia doesn’t actually explain how the chosen materials themselves are green or especially environmentally-friendly – although it is claimed that they can be disassembled and recycled at the end of the saddle’s life.
What we do know is that the Model-X Green saddle starts with a set of Fec Alloy 7mm round steel rails that then get a reinforced composite shell injection-molded on top. Then a Total Gel cover is co-molded on top, doubling as the saddles padding. The differing flex characteristics of the shell & top are said to deliver better comfort & durability than other affordable saddles.
The result is said to be “top-of-the-range” fit & performance in a saddle with a claimed weight of 315g (in some channels it also gets claimed weight as low as 299g). Sure, that’s 145g heavier than the similarly-sized, premium Flite Boost Superflow Pro Team Kit Carbonio saddle, but the Model-X Green is also 265€ cheaper, a pretty good consolation. Probably better to compare it to the cheapest & heaviest of the Flite Boost saddles with manganese steel rails, which still 82g lighter, but also 2.6x as expensive as the Model-X.
Selle Italia Model-X Green Superflow – Pricing, options & availability
Any way you look at it, Selle Italia’s $50 / 50€ Model-X Green Superflow saddle is truly affordable. I don’t remember seeing any Italian-made saddle that cheap in decades, really. For now the Model X Green saddle is only being offered in just one waved-top, wide & short L3 Boost size (145mm wide x 245mm long) and only with the full-length SuperFlow cutout.
But Selle Italia has put a lot of development effort into this new “low environmental impact” automated production process, to be able to quickly produce high-end saddles in Italy at competitive prices. So we expect to see many more Green-Tech saddle options in the near future.