A vibrant young Italian company, Astute is redefining high-end saddle design thanks to cutting edge manufacturing techniques while also drawing on the expertise of its team of artisans, who have over 40 years of saddle-building experience. The result is the perfect combination of heritage, innovation, functionality, aesthetics – all 100% made in Italy.
Astute Italia was formed in 2013 with the goal of revolutionising the bicycle saddle by introducing new, patented manufacturing techniques in order to create lightweight, yet fully padded saddles with an elegance and finish quality unmatched in cycling history.
The passion project of Italian entrepreneur Andrea Rizzato, Astute's designs would usher in new levels of innovation, yet never losing sight of Italy's rich saddle building heritage.
In a time when many of Italy's most cherished saddle brands were moving manufacturing abroad, Astute's saddles would be 100% hand made in Italy. And what better way better to establish the prestige of this new company than by assembling a staff made up from the country's most experienced artisans?
The combined talents of three Italian designers and a team of craftsmen and women, who have been safeguarding the secrets of made-in-Italy saddles for more than 40 years, ensured Astute's saddles would be something truly special.
Three international patents and the passion of the Astute team ensured the company's first saddle range, the Sky, was a timeless fusion of functionality and aesthetics when it was unveiled in August 2013.
Constructed with a dual shell design, the upper shell is furnished with triple density padding, including memory foam, before the cover is stretched over. The lower shell is then pressed in to give a completely stitch, staple and glue free finish that's beautiful to behold. Add in rails that sandwich shock absorber pads and the result is an incredibly comfortable yet astoundingly light saddle. The top-end model of the three-tiered range – the SkyCarb – came in at just 140g.
The three versions of the saddle – each with the same shape, but differing materials – were available with either a cut-out (VT) or closed design (SR) while Astute soon developed Pilarga versions, which broadened the saddle from 135 to 145mm.
While overwhelmingly positive feedback from the press and professional riders flooded in – Astute sponsors UCI Continental Team NFTO – work began in secret on a whole new saddle collection. At Eurobike 2015, Astute revealed five completely new saddle designs ready for the 2016 season – the Mud, Rush, Sea, Star and Time Lite, which apply Astute's unique construction methods to off-road, track, triathlon and TT disciplines respectively.
Astute joined Saddleback in January 2015, the brand making its UK debut at the annual Core Bike show. With its combination of Italian craftsmanship, cutting edge design and pro-level leanings, Astute fits perfectly into our family of performance brands.
Astute's range has grown to include the track-specific Rush, triathlon-orientated Sea and off-road friendly Mud, but with its perfect fusion of ultra-light carbon fibre and luxurious memory foam comfort, the SkyCarb remains the Italian brand's masterpiece.
Designed to be the ultimate high-performance saddle, the SkyCarb uses a pair of ultra thin full carbon shells and 3K carbon rails to help keep weight down to a feathery 140g. Despite its lightness, the SkyCarb is also extremely comfortable thanks to triple-density memory foam as well as Astute's Shock Pad Absorber System (SPAS) damping, sandwiched between rails and hull.
The SkyCarb features a Future microfibre cover that's strong, waterproof, breathable, washable and sumptuously soft. Like all Astute's saddles, the SkyCarb is 100% made in Italy and is finished to a beautiful high-end standard with no visible glue or staples.
The SMART twin shell design is a patented technology that utilises one internal and one external skeleton to give structure to the saddle. This helps resist twisting during hard efforts, reduces vibration and gives a completely clean high-end finish to each saddle.
The Shock Pad Absorber System uses two elastomer pads placed between the shell and rail for effective damping without material fatigue. This ensures a more comfortable ride without compromising the life of the saddle or strength of the rails.
Developed for luxury sports cars, Tri-density neS70 is an ultra-light padding material made from three specially expanded foams and featuring memory foam technology that retains its shape over time. The resultant padding offers exceptional comfort and also helps to eliminate many common saddle-induced cycling maladies.
This clever man-made material is strong, waterproof, breathable and washable, making it a highly practical saddle covering while the soft finish is luxurious to touch.
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