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Forza Team Issue 2012 Saddle



Lightweight racy saddle for those who like a flat perch

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Forza – or 4ZA – is the standalone accessories brand of Belgian bike manufacturer Ridley and it has just got widespread UK distribution through Todays Cyclist. The Team Issue saddle is the first Forza product we've reviewed on and it's a really good start.

The saddle is about as flat from front to back as you'll find. If you're familiar with the popular Fizik Arione, it's as level as that. There's no wave in the shell and barely any rise towards the rear.

Of course, whether you find a saddle like that comfortable comes down to individual preference – there's always that proviso in any saddle review – but I like that shape and I know that plenty of other people do too.

The nylon base is 285mm long and 145mm wide, which is about normal for a race/performance-style saddle. It's hard to give dimensions for the nose – where do you measure it? – but I'd say that at about the halfway point it's 48mm wide if you want to compare that to your current saddle. Again, that's about average.

One of the main things determining a saddle's comfort for me is the profile of the nose from side to side. If there's a pronounced hump, forget it. This one isn't super-flat; you couldn't balance a ball bearing on there (hey, everyone has to have a hobby) but it's certainly towards that end of things.

The base comes with a reasonable degree of flex to dampen out the effects of pock-marked roads. In the central area where some saddles have a cutout section, there's a 3/4-oval shaped slit that's filled with a squidgy elastomer material to provide more give without the need for more padding. Does it work? It seems to; with a middling amount of foam over the top, I found the level of flex spot on.

The cover is Microfeel which is a synthetic material that's pretty hard wearing. Selle San Marco, for example, use something very similar. You can move about on it easily enough but you won't slip and slide when you don't want to.

The rails are titanium and they seem perfectly capable of handling everything they need to handle. They come with markings that help you micro-adjust your position.

Forza claim a weight of 155g although ours was 184g. That's still respectably light for a saddle, especially for a mid-priced option. Overall, you're getting a really good deal here.


Lightweight racy saddle for those who like a flat perch test report

Make and model: Forza Team Issue 2012 Saddle

Size tested: n/a

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?

As the name suggests, it's a race saddle. That doesn't mean you have to use it for racing, of course, but it's intended for that kind of riding.

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

The base is straight nylon rather than carbon-reinforced or anything like that, but it seems none the worse for that.

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Neat, tidy, good materials... nothing to moan about there.

Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:

Forza haven't gone to town adding durability but not many people do on a road saddle, and that would add weight. The titanium rails should last for ages and the cover is reasonably tough.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

I found it very comfortable although, with saddles more than anything else, that's largely down to personal preference.

Rate the product for value:

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

It put in a strong performance.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The shape suited me a treat.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

I'm not over-keen on the graphics. I prefer something simpler. But, again, that's a matter of personal taste.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, I'll carry on using it on one of my bikes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes, I'd consider it

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 41  Height: 190cm  Weight: 75kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,


Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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naffets | 12 years ago

Anyone know who are the high street retailers for this saddle??

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