It’s been ten years since Italian cyclist Salvatore Truglio first ventured into the world of saddle building with the express aim of mixing affordable
saddles for leisure cyclists with the creation of pro- level designs. A decade later, Prologo is able to say that its saddles are the most-used saddles in the World Tour series. The secret to success, according to Alex Rowling of UK brand representative Chicken CycleKit, is the mix of sharp design, accurate fitting and the ultimate goal “to become the biggest saddle brand in the world”.
Of course, this is easier said than done. The saddle market is one flooded with intelligent research and design, and setting yourself apart as a brand is no easy task. “I would suggest a retailer takes the time to look in detail at the build quality of other saddle brands and then look at a Prologo model – the difference is astounding,” says Rowling. “The MyOwn fitting system, which we believe to be the most scientific and accurate on the market, drives footfall to retailers.”
“MyOwn gives a retailer the confidence to say: ‘we will be able to provide you with the most comfortable saddle possible’ and be 100 per cent confident with the recommendation.”
The system in question is designed around the use of Prologo’s Connect Power Control (CPC) technology. It’s a material used all over the world in many demanding industries including military aviation, Formula One and Moto GP, where immense grip is needed. The fitting system works by measuring the distance between the ischial bones, which has a big impact on the shape and width of the most appropriate saddle for the rider. It then measures the rider’s pelvic flexibility to determine whether a round, semi-round or flat seat is optimal, and finally by taking the rider’s measurements and working out a BMI to determine how much pressure is exerted onto the saddle.
If you’re expecting the resulting product to look like a traditional saddle, think again. Rowling explains: “The Dimension saddle is completely different in shape to the look of a traditional saddle. The concept behind the Dimension was to ensure that the greatest number of cyclists are always sitting in an optimum position. Prologo found that the optimum design for this was radically shorter than a traditional saddle.”
The brand has been developing this entirely new saddle with the help of its six World Tour Teams, who have been continually field-testing designs. The end result is the Dimension. The saddle is 30mm shorter than previous models and is wider at the back, measuring at 143mm, compared to a more standard 135mm. In the R&D phase, Prologo found that most cyclists have a tendency to slide forward on the saddle, creating additional pressure. The Dimension holds the rider further back, relieving pressure and adding much more long-ride comfort.
The next key development for Prologo was finding materials durable enough to ensure hundreds of cycling hours in various weather conditions, while remaining high-tech and most of all, comfortable
MyOwn gives a retailer the confidence to say, ‘we will provide you with the most comfortable saddle possible’ and be 100 per cent confident with the recommendation
for the rider. “There is no perfect material, only a combination of the right materials used in the right way,” explains Rowling. “Selecting the correct combination of materials comes from intense testing for each model of Prologo saddle, be it a top- of-the-range Nago or an entry-level Kappa. Prologo uses a vast array of different materials to provide specific properties.
“Sensible material selection is vital. The saddles need to balance intended use against aspirational preconceptions and costs of different materials.
“Carbon shells balance weight-saving with durability; there is no point in producing the world’s lightest saddle if it will break in six months, as other brands have discovered.”
The last 12 months have been a time of huge investment for Prologo. Distributor i-Ride is already on board, and the company has recently signed a new distribution deal with Chicken CycleKit. Now is the time in which the distributor is choosing to shout about the partnership, which it says perfectly fills what was previously a gap in its range. “Our customer base expect us to have a high-end saddle brand in our portfolio,” explains Rowling. “Prologo, in our opinion, offers the best quality and most technical saddles on the market – we’re happy it allowed us to join the Prologo family alongside i-Ride in the UK. The build quality of its saddles impressed us and the technology used on the products is excellent. It just shows how much R&D goes into the brand.”