Selle Italia Novus Flow saddle review
Selle Italia has reintroduced the Novus into its range. Designed in collaboration with Ferrari, its race car inspired shape has been brought up to date.
Whilst the Selle Italia Novus Flow saddle brings a refreshing style to saddle design, the shape is one that you will either love or hate. Using the Selle Italia ID Match system takes some of the guesswork out of choosing the correct size but comfort is still subjective. The firm, curved shape will suit riders who like to move around on the saddle, but it certainly is a saddle to try before you buy.
ID Match shape choices eliminate guesswork
Suits riders who move around on the saddle
Flow model has increased comfort
Unusual shape makes quick set up difficult
Doesn’t suit all riding styles
The shape of the Selle Italia Novus Flow saddle will be familiar to riders of a certain age as it is a re-launch of one of Selle Italia’s iconic saddle designs of the 1990s. The distinctive, almost futuristic shape was the result of collaboration with Ferrari. As a consequence the shape has more than a nod to F1 car design, the oddly angles nose particularly reminiscent of a F1 nose cone.
Leap forward to the present and the Selle Italia Novus Flow saddle has been reintroduced, benefitting from over a decade of saddle refinements from the Italian company. The design remit of the Novus was to provide a saddle that allows easy body movement forward and back on the saddle according to riding style, enabling the rider to maximise comfort.
>>> Buyer's guide to road bike saddles (video)
The Selle Italia Novus Flow saddle is available in two sizes encompassing a broad range of sitbone widths, Selle Italia’s ID Match bespoke saddle fitting system should help to work out which would best suit. The Flow version has a large cut out to reduce perineal pressure and offers a carbon reinforced base and titanium 316 rails to reduce road buzz.
Selle Italia saddles are always well made and it’s hard to fault the construction of the Novus, in particular the smooth, perforated upper is fitted perfectly to the base. Weight is on par with other similarly priced and shaped saddles.
Watch: how to set your saddle height correctly
Initial setup of the Selle Italia Novus Flow saddle can take a while due to the curved profile; it took at least three attempts to get the angle feeling neutral and ‘right’. When the sweetspot is hit in terms of angle, the shape worked just as Selle Italia describes, providing a saddle that allowed easy body movement.
>>> Saddle height: how to get it right, and why it's so important (video)
Unfortunately I don’t tend to move around a huge amount on the saddle, tending to sit generally towards the nose and thus the Selle Italia Novus Flow saddle didn’t feel great. Its padding is on the firm side, especially at the nose and combined with the noticeable angled ‘droop’ of the nose it always ended up feeling like I was in a ‘transition’ position and never fully comfortable in one place.
It felt better when I pushed my sitbones further to the aft of the saddle and I can see that it would be comfortable for riders preferring a slightly more open hip angle, i.e. sitting more upright.
For more details visit Chicken Cycles.
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James Bracey's career has seen him move from geography teacher, to MBR writer, to Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and video presenter. He possesses an in-depth knowledge of bicycle mechanics, as well as bike fit and coaching qualifications. Bracey enjoys all manner of cycling, from road to gravel and mountain biking.
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