Selle Italia’s Shiver sounds fairly bland on paper with its manganese rails, faux leather cover hovering around 250g on the scales but variable padding, elastomer damping coupled with excellent detailing mean it’s a real contender and not just for the mountain bike and cyclo cross fraternities.
Faux leather covers are no longer synonymous with vegans/strict vegetarians or a manufacturer looking to cut costs and the hardy Rylsan upper is impervious to water, requires little more than a periodic once-over with a damp cloth and will resist the rigours of sweat soaked turbo trainer slavery better than genuine hides.
287mm gives ample length to shuffle about on, especially on longer rides and the texture is perfect, not too slippery but not akin to sitting atop a sheet of fly-paper either. Discrete Kevlar corners safeguard against premature wear when leaning the bike against walls, street furniture and of course, the occasional spill.
Flip it over and there’s not a staple in sight, just a tidily screwed base and nicely finished manganese rails with clearly etched increments for quick and easy adjustments. One up from Cro-moly, some may cock a snoot and I’m sympathetic to the suggestion that some manufacturers exploit consumer confusion with the more exotic magnesium. However, manganese is highly unlikely to fail and coupled with the clever elastomer damping, gives remarkably smooth passage over rougher asphalt and even bridle path.
Variable padding thickness, especially around the winged base provides ample support to the Ischial Tuberosity (sit bones) and feels narrower than its 153mm width suggests while the pressure-relieving groove combats numbness. Better still, unlike the cutaway designs this won’t leave the soaked crotch souvenir on wet rides sans mudguards.
However, the additional width became noticeable on longer rides-especially alternating between my regular saddles, by no means uncomfortable or detracting from the Shiver’s performance but reinforces the point that saddles are extremely personal choices.
Good saddle for general riding but some may find it too broad
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Selle Italia Shiver 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?
"The ample length of the shell and strengthend front offer greater freedom of movement for the benefit of rough terrain enthusiasts". While primarily an mtb saddle, it has a lot going for it in terms of general riding too.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
287mm long, 153mm wide, Rylsan synthetic upper, variable thickness padding, manganese rails and elastomer damping and kevlar scuff pads.
Very well made with excellent attention to detail.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Shiver is remarkably comfortable in all contexts thanks to clever elastomer damping, variable padding and effective manganese rails. Sublte pressure releiving groove does just that while reducing the likelihood of a wet crotch when riding bikes without guards in wet conditions. Faux leather covers are easier to care for too-something to note if you ride extensively in the rain and/or indoor trainers.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort, detailing and build quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing, only a little broader than ideal for me.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 36 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)