For many, the saddle is the hardest element of the ride to pin down. Comfort is different for everyone and finding the right seat often just requires trial and error, figuring out what works for you and what doesn’t.
The wrong saddle can lead to fatigue, discomfort and saddle sores, while the right one makes every ride a pleasure.
- The unique gel provides great comfort in a low-profile and light saddle.
- A well designed cut-out relieves pressure and increases air flow
- The C2 is lightweight for a saddle offering this level of cushioning.
- It's relatively narrow at the flare - so if you have wider sit bones, it may not fit well.
- Some riders report premature wearing of the leather covering.
Summary: Firm or soft? Flexy or stiff? The right balance can be elusive, but when you find it, the saddle ‘disappears’ under you and miles melt away.
It may require lots of experimentation, but those who’ve found their Goldilocks saddle swear it’s well worth the effort. For many it's the saddles of Selle Italia.
Selle Italia is one of the most-respected names in the field, and have long been one of the top choices of professional racers. Their innovations in design and materials have made them an industry leader in both racing and comfort-oriented saddles.
The saddle is one of the most popular saddles in the line. It features a flat profile, a center cutout to reduce perineal pressure, a perforated leather cover, and a unique polymer called Genuine Gel that contours to the rider’s shape.
The saddle is heavier than pure racing saddles, but not by too much, and is designed for comfort over long distances and fast riding.
Who Should NOT Invest In The C2?
- If you have wider sit bones, you're unlikely to find comfort in this narrow seat.
- If you are a more casual, short-distance rider, a cushier saddle will be more comfortable.
Who SHOULD Invest?
Road Testing The C2
I’ve tried a lot of saddles over the years and have a few different models on different bikes. All serve their purpose well: a fully retro leather seat on my touring bike, a light and very firm saddle on my go-fast road bike and a cushy-ish but firm perch on my cyclocross/gravel/off-road bike.
The saddle went on the cyclocross bike for a pretty long day on smooth roads, not-so-smooth roads, gravel and a bit of rough singletrack.
I was very happy with the way it felt. I personally like the smooth feel of leather, and as miles added up I appreciated the just-right level of cushion.
The distinctive gel offered enough absorption of road vibration to feel luxurious, without moving around too much underneath me.
That’s the tradeoff with gel or any type of padding- it may be softer, but if it’s too soft you’ll move around too much, adding to fatigue and friction.
This is what makes longer rides dreadfully uncomfortable for many.
The Selle Italia, for me, struck a great balance here. I grew fond of it very quickly, and I suspect it would break in really nicely- though I don’t have the miles to know.
I tend to gravitate to firmer saddles with no ‘padding’ per se, preferring my padding to be in my shorts. My well-worn leather saddle feels like home, and I love my Brooks Cambium, a vulcanized rubber perch with a woven fabric top.
I moved away from saddles with any gel or other padding a long time ago, and I was just a bit skeptical of this saddle.
I’m glad to have been wrong. The saddle, honestly, felt good.
Watch the video below by to see some of the features the C2 has to offer
Alternatives To The C2
One consideration here is sit bone width- as mentioned, this is a pretty narrow saddle and if you’ve got wider sit bones it may not ‘sit’ well with you.
The flat version of the Fabric Scoop saddle, a unique molded polyurethane and microfiber model, offers just a slight cushion, and the flat profile helps support the sit bones. There’s no cutout but a center channel helps relieve pressure.
For riders in a slightly more upright, but still performance-oriented position, the Fizik Aliante is a classic. There’s just a bit more padding than the Fabric, but does not feature a cutout.
All-around Comfort, Performance and Style
This saddle made me rethink gel padding, and rethink at least one of my long-serving bike seats.
With just enough give to enhance comfort, a firm enough feel to keep me in position and a well-designed cutout, this saddle hit all the right notes for me. Even if it doesn’t last forever, I find this to be a hard-to-beat value.