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Product designers, marketers, and bio-mechanical engineers have, for years, pondered volumes about your nether regions. With good reason. Even a slightly off-fitting saddle can ruin the experience of the best fit rider. A new name in US cycling circles, Italian made Astute, aims to bring core stabilization to riders with its latest saddle – the Astute Sky Carb 3.0 VT.
Astute Italia focused on creating the most energy-conserving saddle available in its top-end Sky Carb 3.0 VT. Given equal pedal power, equal cycling time, and equal distance cycled, designers found on-bike energy is best saved through core stability and minimizing extraneous movements. By stabilizing the core through this platform, Astute saddles contribute to greater pedaling efficiency.
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The ‘Sky’ saddles have a flat platform, unlike the the brand’s line of more rounded ‘Star’ saddles and are available in 13.5cm or 14.5cm widths with carbon or titanium rails. The VT version utilizes the now ubiquitous cut-out, while the SR has a full shell. But, wait, the options continue! You can choose a full carbon shell or a nylon-carbon composite shell.
That shell is one of the ways Astute differentiates themselves from the rest of the saddle industry. Astute calls the design ‘twin shell’, and the two piece shell is intended to damp vibration before it can reach you, or even the memory foam padding on the saddle. It’s aided by two additional pads between the carbon rails and the shell itself. It’s handmade and finished off with premium Italian microfiber around the progressive memory foam. What’s truly impressive in the 135mm width Astute Sky Carb 3.0VT version of the saddle is that all this comes with a weight of just 170grams.
At $400 it represents the pinnacle of Astute design and technology, but it’s a broad range and Italian made Astute road saddles can be had for as little as $130 with the Astute Sunline. Check out ciclista-america.com for more information.