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Short saddles are quite the thing right now. They originated in triathlon where a more forward position can be advantageous, and they're becoming increasingly common on road bikes too. The Selle San Marco Shortfit Supercomfort Racing saddle (hereafter: the Shortfit) is a good one. It's well made and comfortable, with a wide pressure-relieving channel and plenty of padding.
Who's it for? Well. According to the Selle San Marco website, you might want one if you're riding for under two hours, because 'the sustaining subcutaneous tissues don't have to adapt to prolonged pressure', and you might also want one for more than five- or six-hour rides because of 'the time that the subcutaneous areas are subject to pressure'. So does that mean that it's not ideal for a three- or four-hour ride? Well, not in my experience.
I've knocked out some fairly big rides on the Shortfit, and I've raced a crit on it, and I've used it on the indoor trainer. In all cases I've found it a very comfortable place to sit. Compared to a standard race saddle it's shorter (natch) and, in this build, fairly wide at 142mm; other saddles in the Shortfit range also come in a narrower 134mm width.
It's well padded, too, more so than usual for what's described as a racing saddle. The padding's quite firm though underneath the Microfeel synthetic leather cover. The saddle uses a Biofoam layer that has a 'Biodynamic structure that follows the movements of the pelvis during pedalling', apparently. Presumably that means it deforms, which is something that can be said of most padding. All padding, actually. It has a closed-cell construction which means that it won't hold water like a sponge, which it certainly can't.
There's a layer of gel padding in there too. The padding is thicker where your sit bones, erm, sit, and it's very effective. This is a comfy saddle. It's not wallowy or squishy, but it is noticeably plusher than most race saddles. It's sufficiently bouncy that Selle San Marco recommends it for gravel riding as well, and it'd probably do that job pretty well, though I didn't try.
The central channel is wide and long, the nose fairly flat and broad, and the wings are fairly deeply swept over the carbon-reinforced nylon base. If you're a fan of a long, flat saddle then this is a long way from that. I prefer a bit of shape, and it worked out very well for me, the curved rear suiting the curves of my rear and the channel keeping the blood flowing in the important bits. As always, bear in mind that there's no one saddle that'll suit everyone. If you can, try before you buy.
At a nudge under 200g – the XSILITE rails keep the weight down – it's light rather than super-light but for anything short of your dedicated hill climb bike – you know, the one with no bar tape and drilled-out levers – it's not going to look out of place. It feels like it's built to last, and the cover is resisting scuffs well. The rails, not so much: there's some kind of clear varnish on them which is easily chipped and now they look a little bit messy.
At just under £150 you wouldn't say it was cheap but the build quality is good, and it's a nice thing to sit on. If you're looking for a shortfit saddle then the excellent Specialized Power Expert would set you back a fair bit less, and Selle San Marco's own Shortfit Supercomfort Dynamic is a fair bit cheaper without really sacrificing anything in terms of performance.
Overall, though, I've enjoyed using the Shortfit. It's got a racy look but it's padded enough for longer rides and even a bit of gravel bashing. It's quite a versatile saddle, really.
Nicely made short saddle that's comfy for long hours in the saddle
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Selle San Marco Shortfit Supercomfort Racing
Size tested: Wide
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?
Selle San Marco says:
SHORTFIT is the perfect saddle both from the aesthetic and technological point of view. It has the virtue of satisfying the most demanding cyclists and it never disappoints those who test it for the very first time. It is a light and comfortable saddle that ensures remarkable performances. The design is unique: an essential shape synonym for lightweight and comfort. The ergonomics have been redefined through a specific study in order to find a perfect balance between support and relief zone.
The Supercomfort version is perfect for several types of users:
1. Riders who don't spend a lot of time on a bike. If on average the ride doesn't last more than 2 hours, it is better to use more padding; in this case the sustaining subcutaneous tissues don't have to adapt to prolonged pressure.
2. Riders who spend a lot of time on a bike. If you spend more than 5-6 hours on the saddle, you need thicker padding, considering the time that the subcutaneous areas are subject to pressure.
3. For riders who prefer rough terrain and use Gravel Bikes, the Supercomfort saddle better absorbs the vibrations caused by bumpy surfaces.
The Shortfit Supercomfort was developed considering the specific components that determine the level of comfort:
– Padding: The Racing version features a layer of Biofoam combined with an additional layer of Gel. These are merged with variable thickness depending on the support area, in order to optimize the part that comes into contact with the pelvic bones.
– The long central cutout (Open -Fit) guarantees all-day comfort and support on the whole length of the saddle. This feature improves the blood ﬂow preventing numbness and provides relief from pressure on the perineum. Recommended for individuals with averagely high pelvic rotation.
– The covering features micro perforations to facilitate air flow and keep contact surfaces dry.
This saddle features the side profile of the seating surface with a central depression of more than 5 mm that is similar to a curved line. For this reason, it is listed as Waved saddle. Recommended for individuals with both ﬂat back (retroverted pelvis) and accentuated lumbar arch (anteverted pelvis).
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From Selle San Marco:
Rail : Stealth Xsilite
Shell : Carbon Fiber Reinforced
Foam : Biofoam *
Cover : Microfeel
Dimension : 277 x 142 mm
Weight : 210 gr
Level : Racing
Material with a high percentage of silicon, combined with titanium and carbon particles. It is light and resistant and is not affected by any weather conditions. The stealth-technology processing ensures resistance to fatigue stresses. All Racing saddles are proposed with Stealth Xsilite frame.
Biodynamic structure that follows the movements of the pelvis during pedalling, guarantees comfort, reduced weight, lasting resistance and ideal support. The 'closed cells' surface assures the water repellency of the padding.
Breathable covering with high abrasive resistance. It is less subject to deformation compared to traditional materials and is lighter. Bio- compatible. Now available with some models and with the new silk-touch finish, Silk Microfeel.
£144.99 isn't small change, there are plenty more expensive saddles. For the build quality and weight, it's decent money
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfortable, well made, reasonably light.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Rails scuff easily.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
£145 isn't exactly cheap, but you can pay twice that for a race saddle. There's plenty of competition at this kind of price but the Shortfit holds its own.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a nicely made saddle at a decent price. If you find it comfy (I did) then it represents a decent outlay.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.