I'd not come across Arte Selle before their Misy 3 Action Titanium saddle turned up at road.cc HQ - but after a bit of research it seems the Italian company knocks out a whole range of saddles to suit pretty much every riding style, carbon race jobbies through to full on padded armchairs.
The Misy is part of the 3 Action range, well to be fair it is half the range as there are only two models – the Misy and the Misy AX (which we'll review soon). 3 Action is a design concept that takes into account your position on the saddle relative to the terrain, a profiled rear for climbing, flat mid section for the, er... flat sections and a dropped nose for when you're getting a lick on – 3 actions.
When riding in mountainous regions, especially in Europe where you can be climbing for hours, I've always found moving right to the rear of the saddle helps ease stress on the lower back and makes pedalling more efficient. The tail end of the Misy arcs up giving you a platform to push against when the elevation starts to increase enabling to get the power down while remaining seated. It's well padded at this point to so perching your posterior here for a few hours at a time is quite a pleasant experience.
But unless you live in the Alps the mid section is where you are going to be spending most of your time and Arte Selle have gone for a central cut-out to reduce pressure on the perineum - unfortunately though, it moves the pressure elsewhere. The area around the cut-out is pretty solid and takes a good few hundred miles to break in so the Misy is not exactly a saddle you can jump straight on out of the box and knock out a century ride.
Its titanium rails do their best at removing road buzz but with the racing nature of the saddle they've got a job on their hands. On the flip side though, the shape is spot on, narrowing so that your thighs don't rub when pedalling.
Up front the dropped nose isn't as extreme as some tri/time trial specific saddles but the gradual slope allows you to put the power down when low in the drops without crushing your vitals. I rode a couple of 10 mile time trials and the benefits were noticeable compared to a more standard flat-nosed seat.
Priced at £79.99 the Misy is reasonable, taking into account the titanium rails and a weight of just 175g. The build quality is decent, as you'd expect for the price and should give a fair few years of service - and a choice of colours to match your bike gives plenty of options.
Comfort, as always with saddles is a personal thing but after 700-800 miles when it was fully bedded in, the Misy became a good performance saddle. It's a seat that works best at the extremes though. The Misy is more comfortable at the rear when climbing and at the nose when you're on the rivet than the mid section where you're going to be spending most of your time. For sportives or other long distance rides you'll be better off with something a little more forgiving.
One for the racers, a good looking, well built seat that that is more suited to quick blasts rather than long days in the saddle.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Arte Selle Misy 3 Action Titanium saddle
Size tested: Yellow
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The Misy is a racer's saddle with its light weight and stiff upper.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The 3 Action design provides various profiles and positions depending on the type of terrain.
Well put together and finished neatly.
Looks like it should last.
175g is pretty impressive.
Not the most comfortable, better suited to shorter blasts.
A fair price for the spec.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Okay, not the most comfortable out there but looks good and well made.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The looks and the weight.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The stiffness around the cut out.
Did you enjoy using the product? It was okay.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Probably not.
About the tester
Age: 34 Height: 180cm Weight: 78kg
I usually ride: Whatever I happen to be testing My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.