Having tried a large number of female specific saddles over the years, including offerings from most of the major manufacturers (with varying degrees of success), I was keen to find out about this new kid on the block, the Forza Cirrus Women's Saddle.
Forza- or 4ZA- is the standalone accessories brand of Belgian bike manufacturer Ridley, distributed through Today's Cyclist.
Where the company produces three different saddles for male riders, there's just two for the ladies, the Stratos entry level model and the mid-level Cirrus (the men's range also includes a Cirrus Pro). The Cirrus is designed to be a lightweight performance orientated perch, with good features at a good price.
With a quoted weight of 250g (mine tipped the scales at a very reasonable 256g) this is indeed a super light saddle, with only a few seriously high end saddles coming in lighter. It only comes in one width, 142mm, which is towards the narrower end of the spectrum for most female specific saddles, with only a scant handful available that are narrower.
It has a 'Micro Fiber' cover and hollow titanium rails (to help keep the weight down) and lightweight padding.
Lookswise, it closely resembles some of the classic female specific designs produced over recent years, with a cut-out section in the centre. It's available in black or white and looks much swankier than its sub-£50 price tag would suggest.
I normally ride on a 142mm saddle, so the width of this one was spot on, with the rear of the saddle providing excellent support for the sit bones and a really good shape throughout.
There were no issues with pressure, thanks to the well designed cut-out, and the cushioning was well distributed.
The only letdown for me was the overall firmness of the seat, with the padding being far from plush. This meant that despite a really competent design, the saddle was quite hard all over, and particularly unforgiving on the sitbones, which was a real shame given what good value it was otherwise.
A great looking saddle, well designed and excellent value, but strictly for those who like a firm ride.
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Make and model: Forza Cirrus Womens Saddle
Size tested: White
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?
Mid level saddle aimed at female riders looking for lightweight performance at a great price.
Pretty much does what it says it should.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Hollow Titanium Rails
Micro Fiber Cover
Available in Black or White
Feels sturdy and well made. Nice quality.
Supportive and well shaped.
Well made and good quality materials.
Very light, especially for its price.
Excellent shape and well distributed cushioning, just a little overfirm.
Great value for money for a performance saddle of this type.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Weight, shape, distribution of cushioning, cut-out, style.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, probably.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
An entry level price for a well-specced saddle, slightly compromised by overfirm cushioning.
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
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, general fitness riding, mtb,
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.