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The good old days.
Long before carbon and titanium, gel and cutouts, and saddles stripped of all but the most essential features in the name of saving a few grams, Selle Italia's Turbo 1980 Saddle was introduced to the cycling world and enjoyed resounding success. Now, the classic Italian brand has brought back its landmark design, introducing new riders to the saddle that carried Hinault himself to victory in five Tours.
Radical in its time, the Turbo presented a rare padding profile and a new shape to cyclists. The extra cushioning is concentrated mostly in the rear, and its comfort over long distances is still relevant even in the age of gel. While the shape is no longer considered radical compared to slimmer, sleeker designs, it's far from obsolete — the sides of the nose have smooth edges and enough depth to prevent chafing.
The Turbo sits on aluminum alloy rails and has a soft leather cover embellished with Selle Italia's original vintage graphics. It's far from the lightest saddle on the market now, but at a claimed 295g, it's no brick. Though we often see beloved designs altered or retired in the name of progress, it's refreshing to see a nostalgia-inspiring classic that’s as ready to ride now as it was in 1980.
- Item #SEL001W
- Q & A
Bought for the Look, Love the Comfort
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
The choice of a saddle is very personal and everyone seems to have their favorite. I saw the Turbo 1980 on the website and was reminded how much I liked this saddle 36 years ago when it was a bit of a groundbreaker and very popular with the top pros. The price was very reasonable so I bought it just for the retro look. To my delight, I was reminded how much I liked the saddle then and now how much I like it. The shape is very different than what I had been riding for over 5 years but I did find a sweet spot where the comfort is maximized and I also seem to be able to generate some extra power to the pedal stroke.