Saddles and stuff: the voice of the Pros

We asked Pierpaolo De Negri, rider with NIPPO Vini Fantini Team, some of his views on “planet saddle” – i.e. a professional’s opinion of the object on which he is seated for so many hours per year, and which also impacts on his performance.

 

During the season we use two types of saddles. The seat normally used to train, identical to the racing and time trial saddle, is gauged according to the rider’s measurements and height – in my case 1.69 m – and can be “cut” i.e. shortened as far as UCI requirements allow.

As I say, there are no differences between the racing and training saddle; I even once used the same for both, because the saddles of former times tended to change with use, taking the shape of the rider who used it.

Now, with advanced technologies and innovative materials like those used by our partner Selle Italia, saddles don’t get deformed anymore, so the rider can mount two identical models on the race and the training bike.

 

The ideal saddle

The ideal saddle is one that supports the pelvis and the ischial tuberosities in an appropriate way, without getting in the way of pedalling.

So finding the right size is key in this sense. If the saddle is too narrow you feel fine when you start riding, but soon after you begin to feel discomfort due to compression of the perineum and the genital area. This is because the ischial bones are “slipping” wide and not supporting the rider.

A saddle that’s too wide makes you adopt an awkward leg position and interferes with good pedalling posture.

Which model is most used by Team NIPPO Vini Fantini?

Without a doubt our riders go for the SLR Team Edition by Selle Italia, although some prefer the Flow version – the model with the central hole, which reduces pressure in the support area.

 

 

The Team

The NIPPO Vini Fantini team, founded in 2015, is the first Japanese-Italian professional cycling team, with the aim of nurturing the best young Italian and Japanese talents ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, putting them alongside experienced riders who can help them develop as they target their Olympic goals. It was logical then the first experienced figure brought in was a champion, both in terms of sportsmanship and athletic prowess, of the calibre of Damiano Cunego, a cycling icon in Italy and Japan alike.

The winter season

The first months of the 2017 season were positive – despite Damiano Cunego’s unlucky injury early on at the Vuelta san Juan (fractured collarbone).

The team’s growth goals are very ambitious as we aim to become the 3rd top team in the Asia Tour and the 15th team in the European Tour.

A very important part of this goal will be the Tour of Japan and the Japan Cup, as well as all the Italian races.

The NIPPO Wines Fantini team will be the first and only professional Italian team to take part in the Hammer Series, a new international format that involves a series of “high intensity” 3-day races in which the teams will be pushed to the limit in different disciplines: Sprint, Climb e Chase. The first series will be held in Limburg (Belgium) from 1 to 4 June and is expected to be spectacular event for the public.

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