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Verdict: 
A superior quality design offering superb comfort for all styles of bike and ride. An excellent women's saddle
Weight: 
255g
Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow saddle
9 10

Saddles are always an extremely personal issue, and what's comfortable to one rider might be torture to another. The Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow saddle is, however, one of the most widely rider-recommended saddles I've ever come across, and trying it out, it's easy to see why. It's comfortable, flexible, light and it even looks good too.

Straight off it's easy to see that this is a high quality saddle. The top is made from full grain leather and is nicely finished as well as attractively designed, sitting just the right side of feminine rather than being overtly girly.

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There's a substantial cut-out in the middle, and it's crammed with gel and other padding for a comfortable ride. The width is 152mm, which isn't the narrowest and might not suit hardened racers, although I do personally know a multiple medal winning track cyclist who never races on anything else! Those looking for a narrower option might want to investigate Selle Italia's SLR Lady Flow instead, at 131mm wide. The rails are made from 7mm Vanox tubing.

It's neither the lightest nor the most aggressive saddle, but out on the road (or off – Selle Italia markets this saddle as suitable for either) the Diva Gel Flow really is a winner in the comfort department. Despite the fairly broad rear (the saddle, not mine), which is broader than I would normally ride on, there was sufficient flex in the wings that this was not a problem and led to a very comfortable and natural feeling ride motion.

The body of the saddle and the nose are plenty supportive enough for all distances of ride, and cope well with a variety of riding positions too.

>> Check out our buyer's guide to the best saddles here

Price wise, this sits somewhere along the continuum of performance saddles, but it's far from being at the super-expensive end, and marks really good value for money for female riders intending to go out for long periods of time. There seems to be a very good reason for all the positive chat about this one!

Verdict

A superior quality design offering superb comfort for all styles of bike and ride. An excellent women's saddle

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow saddle

Size tested: 152 x 270mm, Black

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?

For female riders - a women-specific saddle for any style of riding or bike.

Selle Italia says: "Selle Italia's DIVA has a shape that is perfect for the female anatomy and posture. With its unique streamlined shape and sporty style, DIVA is the perfect high performance comfort saddle for women.

"For women who ride leaving no one behind."

Spot on.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

152mm wide/270mm long

Vanox 7mm rails

Full grain leather cover

Silicone gel inserts around cut-out

Cut-out in centre

Elastomer suspension shock absorber system

Comes in black or white

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
10/10

Extremely well made from very high quality materials.

Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10

Performed exceptionally well on a variety of different bikes with different riding positions.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

Should last for years, particularly if you look after the leather cover with some leather treatment now and then.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10

Not the lightest, but far from being a heavyweight for its levels of comfort.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
9/10

Superb levels of comfort for a variety of riding styles and distances.

Rate the product for value:
 
9/10

Very good value considering quality and levels of comfort and also versatility for use on a variety of bikes if you like to swap around.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Performed exceptionally well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Style, quality, comfort, versatility.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

Did you enjoy using the product? Very much. A surprising amount considering it's broader than my usual choice of saddle.

Would you consider buying the product? Definitely

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

Many women recommend this saddle and now I know why. Comfortable, supportive, attractive and well made.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 73kg

I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi  My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking

 

Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling. 

Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other. 

She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting. 

10 comments

Avatar
Simmo72 [699 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Add pink - check
Call it a silly feminine name - check

Womans cycling kit continues to keep its sexist approach going.

Avatar
freestyle_gus [1 post] 2 years ago
0 likes
Simmo72 wrote:

Add pink - check
Call it a silly feminine name - check

Womans cycling kit continues to keep its sexist approach going.

A bit harsh, it's not just badge swapping. I have the male one. It's a fantastic seat, this one may have pink, but it's also a different shape.

Avatar
Vejnemojnen [288 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Nonsense. The saddle is actually both wider and shorter than an average male saddle, and comes with a different shape-padding, wider nose.

Almost has zero in common with a male saddle.. So, it's not just the pink.

See the same with REAL women frames: shorter reach, longer headtube, most women bikes have shorter-shallower-narrower handlebars, different head-seat tube angles... Sometimes the brake-shift lever units are equipped with inserts to reduce the reach to brake levers..

so REAL women specific bikes do exist, and this saddle seems like a female specific model also.

I'd get it if I were a female  1

Avatar
Crumpets101 [9 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Vejnecske wrote:

Nonsense. The saddle is actually both wider and shorter than an average male saddle, and comes with a different shape-padding, wider nose.

Almost has zero in common with a male saddle.. So, it's not just the pink.

See the same with REAL women frames: shorter reach, longer headtube, most women bikes have shorter-shallower-narrower handlebars, different head-seat tube angles... Sometimes the brake-shift lever units are equipped with inserts to reduce the reach to brake levers..

so REAL women specific bikes do exist, and this saddle seems like a female specific model also.

I'd get it if I were a female  1

I AM a female and bought this as my first saddle. It is sheer torture. Just in case you are curious here is an article in which a professional bike fitter describes the saddle as "crap" - http://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2015/aug/05/in-search-o...

Also - the saddle may well be designed for the female shape but why does that mean it is ok to stick some pink on it and give it a delightfully patronising name? Do companies really think this makes women squeal with delight?!

Trust me. It doesn't.

Avatar
Jem PT [180 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

My wife and a couple of her friends have upgraded to these and are very pleased with them.

Avatar
StraelGuy [1512 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Which reminds me why reviewing saddles is like juggling potatoes, mildy amusing but ultimately pointless.

Avatar
Metjas [362 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Crumpets101 wrote:

I AM a female and bought this as my first saddle. It is sheer torture. Just in case you are curious here is an article in which a professional bike fitter describes the saddle as "crap" - http://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2015/aug/05/in-search-o...

just bought one for my wife as 96% of 440 female Wiggle customers would recommend this to their friends - I regard that as a better reference point.

Avatar
Justin Loretz [3 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

My missus has this saddle, and though I bring new ones for her to try, with cooing tones of 'look carbon bits, no pink...' she can't be tempted to leave the Diva for another. Mind you, I'm like that with pedals...

Avatar
fancynancy [78 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I also had this saddle & I concur, its dreadful. I swapped it out for a Fizik Arione Donna K:ium & have never been happier  16 But saddles are a very personal choice, each to their own I say.

Avatar
VeloPeo [353 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Went with my wife to a very interesting talk by Chris Garrison (@PunkassCG on Twitter) - she's the brand manager for Trek/Bontrager in the UK. She's very into getting people onto properly fitted bikes and definitely not into "shrink it and pink it".

There was a lot of talk around proper saddle fitting and the main point is that there's no perfect saddle, everyone's different and width of sit-bones and the position of your "bits" will mean that the saddle your mate raves about is agony for you. With a lot of manufacturers and shops offering 30 day trials on saddles you really should try a few different ones to find the perfect match for you. Better still, get a proper bike fitting and look at the saddle as part of that process.

She's got a number more talks coming up around the country and if you're a female rider (or just a bloke that's interested - there's a lot of cross over in what she says) they're well worth going to
https://www.facebook.com/TrekBicycleUK/posts/961489203889402:0