The Mongolia Bike Challenge returns after a four-year stop due to the pandemic and Ukraine war. Many things have changed in these four years and the situation is certainly not the most optimistic for organizing such a particular event in the steppes of Chinggis Khan.
Willy Mulonia - organizer, tireless traveler and citizen of the world – knows it very well
It won't be easy to restart after four years. Many things have changed after the pandemic: the war in Ukraine, the increase in the cost of air tickets and inflation. It will be a challenge for the participants, but also for all of us who work to ensure that MBC continue. If it was easy then I wouldn't be the only one organizing it.
What has Willy done in these four years?
First of all I learned to build my resistance on the basis of resilience. And then, having so much free time, I went back to studying, earning a Master's Degree at the university. Also with Selle SMP, after 14 years, I have built a relationship of resilience. From the outside it looks like it's just a sponsor of the Mongolia Bike Challenge, but from the inside it's a family relationship. Selle SMP is more than a sponsor, we have grown together over these 14 years and we have both learned what resilience really is. We have also learned that our body is constantly changing and that we need a different saddle that adapts to our changes. This year, for example, I felt the need to increase the perception of comfort.
I have been using Selle SMP since 2006 and over the years I was able to appreciate different models. In each of my new trails, the choice of saddle has become a priority, especially when the journey lasts for days. Selle SMP recommended a GEL saddle to me. In this years I have used the F20, more linear and less shaped than the Dynamic I used before. The one I have now, which is VT20 GEL, is absolutely the perfect one for me now. I've used it in Alaska, Japan, the Atakama Desert and Patagonia and the GEL has never changed. And above all, it never gave me the feeling of cold when I rode in Alaska or hot when I rode in the desert. The saddle also helps me always find the perfect position on the bike. This is very important for my comfort, especially when I ride long distances in extreme conditions.
Do you have any expectations for this Mongolia Bike Challenge 2023, which we takes place from 11th to 20th August?
I'm curious to see people again, the environment I've built over the years and what has changed. These years I have also a new team partially renewed and in which there is also my son Lucas, who is twenty years old. It is the first time he joined me in my professional world which is also my passion. It was his initiative, I never insisted and obviously I'm happy about it. I just asked him the reasons that prompted him to participate and he gave them. It will be a totally new experience especially because I changed too, a lot in these years and I'm really curious to see how will this fantastic adventure continue.
The number 108 often appears in the images we see of the MBC, does it have any particular meaning?
Yes! It is a very important number in Buddhist philosophy and in Mongolia 70% of the population is Buddhist. It indicates completion of a cycle or full circle. It is often associated with meditation, prayer and the practice of chanting mantras. In our case it is the maximum number of participants that we have reached in different editions.
Selle SMP sent home a saddle to try out to all the participants of the Mongolia Bike Challenge: the VT20C GEL, like mine but the shorter version. Over 40% of those who received it at home will have it during the Mongolia Bike Challenge 2023
The Mongolia Bike Challenge returns after a four-year stop due to the pandemic and Ukraine war. Many things have changed in these four years and the situation is certainly not the most optimistic for organizing such a particular event in the steppes of Chinggis Khan. Willy Mulonia – organizer, tireless traveler and citizen of the […]
Urban Bike Messengers is the first bike courier company born in Italy, Milan. An example of what the green economy means. They make express deliveries in the city of Milan using cargo bikes and their service is totally zero impact. Their commitment is to guarantee a professional, fast service, attentive to environmental and corporate sustainability.
At Selle SMP we care about the comfort and well-being of cyclists, and every day we are committed to creating ergonomic saddles to feel good on the bike. For us, the bicycle is the solution for a greener society, which is why we aim to cooperate more and more on sustainable mobility projects.
They are 21 messengers, they ride their bikes every day from 9 am to 6 pm and each of them rides up to 18.000 km a year and a couple of them already used Selle SMP. It was therefore necessary to start from here and from the physical characteristics of each messenger: height, weight and above all the width of their sit bones, also taking into account personal preferences in terms of saddle padding level. We identified two-three models to go into the testing step, which lasted about two months. The test results were very positive.
All the guys could find the right model for their needs and that made them feel good on their bikes throughout the day. And today all UBM messengers ride a Selle SMP.
To celebrate our collaboration you will find us, together with the messengers from UBM, at BAM! in Mantua, Saturday 9 June.
On Saturday morning the guys from UBM will leave Milan, with their cargo, to bring us our supply of Birra Impavida. Second partner with whom we decided to create this project during the event because he too care about the future of our environment.
We have a “message in a can” for you:
The right saddle is comfortable and makes you feel good! Come tu our stand, get a Birra Impavida and..let’s chat.
Urban Bike Messengers is the first bike courier company born in Italy, Milan. An example of what the green economy means. They make express deliveries in the city of Milan using cargo bikes and their service is totally zero impact. Their commitment is to guarantee a professional, fast service, attentive to environmental and corporate sustainability. […]
Push your limits, discover your new comfort zone
Are you competitive and demanding? Are you always looking for maximum performance and you want to feel good on the saddle?
With the new F20C s.i. and F30C s.i. short racing saddles you will reach the most ambitious goals!
The absence of padding eliminates any "filter" and connects you directly to the bike: you will have total control in every situation and will be able to express your full potential.
The patented Designed on Your Body ergonomics ensures great comfort and well-being:
Impactful design, high quality materials and 100% Made in Italy craftsmanship guarantee lightness, product durability and resistance to the toughest stresses.
The two models differ from each other only in width. F20C s.i. (135mm) is ideal for those with sit bones up to 115mm, F30C s.i. (150mm) for riders with wider sit bones.
Your body and your bike: power, resistance and technology connected to achieve maximum performance!
Push your limits, discover your new comfort zone Are you competitive and demanding? Are you always looking for maximum performance and you want to feel good on the saddle? With the new F20C s.i. and F30C s.i. short racing saddles you will reach the most ambitious goals! The absence of padding eliminates any “filter” and […]
The saddle is crucial to be comfortable and achieve maximum performance on the bike. The feeling between the athlete and the saddle must be total.
We went more in detail on these aspects with one of our off-road athletes, Nicolas Samparisi of the KTM Alchemist Brenta Brakes team, who explains the reasons that led him to use the F30 for cyclocross and F30C for Mtb.
F30 and F30C
Both saddles are born from our patented "Designed on Your Body" ergonomics and share the same unique features: the wide central channel avoids genital and prostatic compression, the "eagle's beak" tip guarantees maximum comfort when riding in a very low position. The rail, available in two versions - AISI 304 stainless steel tube and carbon fiber - allows a wide fore-and-aft saddle adjustment, thanks to its unmatched length.
The padding is minimal and made of foamed elastomer, a very flexible material with great elastic responsiveness.
The F30 and F30C are unisex and suggested for cyclists with sit bones width from 11.6 to 15 cm.
The difference between them is in the length: F30 has a standard length, F30C is its short version.
The field test with Nicolas Samparisi
“I've been using SMP saddles since 2009, following their developments over the years. Composit was my first model, but since the new F Series was created, I started riding on both F30 and F30C, which have been a real revolution for me.
In Cyclocross, a discipline where we move a lot on the saddle, I prefer a longer model especially in muddy conditions. On mostly wet and muddy terrain, the F30 gives me more thrust on the pedals, even on the tip of the saddle.
Another aspect to consider about the F30 are the two rear “flaps”, very useful when pedaling backwards and the saddle is wet: in this way backwards slipping is avoided. In the Mtb Marathon we ride for 5/6 hours, so comfort is the key factor in choosing the saddle, even more than in Cyclocross, where a race lasts about an hour.
For Cross Country and Marathon I use the F30C, the short version of the F30, which helps me a lot while riding off-the-saddle. Like F30, the F30C also gives a lot of freedom of movement on the pedals. As the sitting area is similar, the choice between them is very personal.
My advice to all bikers is: “When you are buying a saddle for your bike, both road and off-road, always put comfort first. Only on a comfortable saddle we can enjoy the ride and get the best performance!”
The saddle is crucial to be comfortable and achieve maximum performance on the bike. The feeling between the athlete and the saddle must be total. We went more in detail on these aspects with one of our off-road athletes, Nicolas Samparisi of the KTM Alchemist Brenta Brakes team, who explains the reasons that led him […]
There are those who want the saddle not padded and those who want little padding.
For us each saddle is not a point of arrival but of departure. All our successful models are the basis for creating new saddles. Blaster is one example. It all started with some professional athletes using the Composit, a completely unpadded yet very comfortable saddle. It is well known that advanced cyclists are very sensitive to the reactions of their bikes. A padded saddle could affect this perception. And it is also known that advanced cyclists are very demanding, and with good reason considering the stresses to which they subject their bodies. So demanding as to ask for a slightly padded saddle, but not too much, and with the same technical characteristics as the Composit.
Each SMP saddle is like a tailored suit
We have created a customized prototype with the same hull as the Composit and the same sitting surface as the ischial tuberosities. The only difference? A light padding spread over the entire saddle. The field tests fully met expectations and the Blaster was born.
Choosing a saddle must respect the anatomy of your body
Riding the bike constantly and for many hours can lead to a series of problems that can vary depending on the age and time spent in the saddle. There are three points of contact with the bicycle: pedals, handlebar and saddle. The correct handlebar grip, the shoes and cleats positioned in the right place, the pedals, but also the padding of the shorts are not to be underestimated. But it is certainly the choice of the wrong saddle that can cause a series of issues for men ranging from prostatic inflammation to decreased genital sensitivity and even impotence. In women, however, the intensive use of the bicycle with a saddle that does not respect the anatomy can cause vaginitis and cystitis. In addition, continuous trauma of the pelvis on the saddle can cause compression of the pudendal nerve resulting in numbness of the genital area.
Our saddles put to the test by two scientific studies
One of our guiding values in recent years has been research. All our saddles have been designed and developed with the contribution of athletes from different disciplines, but our vocation, constantly aimed at the well-being of the cyclist, has gone further. We asked a team of doctors, experts in cyclist pathologies, to carry out two scientific studies: the first on a male sample of cyclists, the second on a female sample.
Using special sensors, the pressure exerted on the genital area and its consequences were assessed on both samples of athletes. The result was clear and unequivocal: SMP saddles limit the crushing of the genitals, improving blood circulation. Better blood circulation is essential to protect the nervous and vascular structures and give more oxygenation to the soft parts. These studies have shown that the pressure at the perineal level is due more to the shape and geometry of the saddle rather than to the padding.
On the health side of cyclists, the peculiarity of the female anatomy must be considered. Disorders of the female genital area are sometimes more complex and different than male ones. It can range from common skin irritations caused by rubbing to folliculitis, nodules, temporary numbness of the clitoris, swelling of the labia majora up to epidermal infections. Indeed, cyclists have a harder time finding the right saddle for their needs. And also in this case, in addition to our patented ergonomics, the numerous models developed on indication and tests carried out with some professional athletes come to our aid.
An ergonomic saddle also improves your performance
When choosing a saddle, always remember that you can improve your performance. You can choose it according to your riding style: aggressive or resilient. The type of bike you use: racing, mtb, triathlon, gravel, e-bike. And also to the geometry of your bike. But the only choice that improves your performance is well-being and comfort, in other words ergonomics.
Blaster, even with its minimal padding, is a comfortable bike saddle because it embeds all the concepts of our patented “Designed on Your Body” ergonomics. Comfortable bike saddle. There are those who want the saddle not padded and those who want little padding.For us each saddle is not a point of arrival but of departure. […]
It will be an exciting end of the season for Selle SMP, thanks to important off-road partnerships.
Gravel and Cyclocross are very important market segments for the pioneer and leader in ergonomic saddles.
It starts on Sunday 16 October with Marca Bianca Gravel, an inclusive event, reserved for any type of bicycle that can tackle routes with dirt roads (gravel, cyclocross, mountain bikes, e-bikes, suitably rubberized road bicycles). It was born within the Gravel in the Land of Venice project, with the organizational and technical collaboration of Pedali di Marca, AMG Alta Marca Gravel and the logistical support of Montello a Tavola.
It then continues with the confirmation of the most important Cyclocross circuit in Italy, the Master Cross Selle SMP. Five tests, four of which international, which will attract the best interpreters of this discipline.
Here is the calendar:
Follow us on our social networks to stay tuned on these events and all the Selle SMP news:
It will be an exciting end of the season for Selle SMP, thanks to important off-road partnerships. Gravel and Cyclocross are very important market segments for the pioneer and leader in ergonomic saddles. It starts on Sunday 16 October with Marca Bianca Gravel, an inclusive event, reserved for any type of bicycle that can tackle […]
The Selle SMP handlebar tape for gravel bikes and racing bikes comes in two models: GRIP 2.0 and GRIP Gel 2.0
The tape for the handlebar of our bike can seem like an accessory that is not very meaningful and sometimes even underestimated. It actually makes a difference in the comfort and driveability of the bike. And also on its look, not secondary for lovers of aesthetics.
The new bartapes are Made in Italy with the highest quality materials, are very comfortable and have a coating that allows a high grip in all conditions.
Vibration absorption is optimal thanks to the HPP 2.0 (High Performance Polymer 2.0) polymer structure, an innovative compound created in the Selle SMP laboratories. This material, in addition to absorbing vibrations, is a guarantee of comfort, high performance and durability.
A handlebar tape can make a real difference on our bike, especially if it’s a gravel bike. The routes covered with this type of bike are varied: rough terrain, rain, mud and dust. In this case we recommend the GRIP Gel version which, thanks to the increased thickness (3 mm) and the internal self-modeling Gel layer, guarantees the highest level of comfort and vibration absorption.
Another important aspect is the assembly of the bartape, a simple operation if done following precise rules. Selle SMP handlebar tapes have excellent elasticity to facilitate handlebar taping.
You just have to enjoy the Made in Italy quality of GRIP 2.0 and GRIP Gel 2.0, choosing the model that best suits your needs.
The Selle SMP handlebar tape for gravel bikes and racing bikes comes in two models: GRIP 2.0 and GRIP Gel 2.0 The tape for the handlebar of our bike can seem like an accessory that is not very meaningful and sometimes even underestimated. It actually makes a difference in the comfort and driveability of the […]
Alessandro Fabian, European Champion and several times Italian Triathlon Champion. He participated in the Olympic Games in London and Rio De Janeiro. A career in which Alessandro followed his Olympic spirit. Three Olympic four-year-olds, the last one affected by the Covid which complicated Alessandro's personal situation a lot, moving time forward.
And finally the new dimension of father, who has brought various things into play, like the transition from the Olympic Sprint to the half Ironman: “With long distances I feel like I'm young again, I had to look for a new balance because it changes a lot between the two disciplines: the rhythm, the materials ... in short, a completely different approach. A new challenge that gave me the right incentives to get back into the game ”.
Triathlon is often seen as a difficult sport
It seems complex because there are three disciplines, but in reality it’s all accessible. The problem can be swimming, especially for those who are new to this sport. I was lucky because I come from swimming, but I started late at 18. I had a team from Padua that helped me a lot at the beginning and above all the family that supported me.
Any advice you can give to young people who want to approach triathlon
If you are not very familiar with swimming, concentrate on this discipline because it’s the one that puts you most in difficulty in all types of competitions. Take it as a challenge to yourself and you will see that in the end even swimming becomes as fluid as running and cycling.
And above all a recommendation also to parents: the approach to triathlon must be pure fun, because it’s a very demanding sport and the workouts are intense and take time. The risk is, over the years, of accumulating too much fatigue and giving up everything. Furthermore, a good technique and a good group of close-knit guys who can grow together and be able to make the leap into professionalism are needed.
Some technical advice when starting to compete or even simply riding a bike for pure pleasure
Choosing your equipment carefully is very important. In particular, the saddle is essential, especially when riding over long distances. In the saddle you have to be comfortable otherwise you pedal unwillingly and numerous complications can arise. I have had several bad experiences with previous saddles. Thanks to the advice of the Selle SMP technicians, I arrived at the VT30C Gel almost immediately. It’s perfect for my wide sit bones, moreover it’s the right compromise: neither too dry nor too soft. Right from the start I had a great feeling with VT30C Gel.
Bike fitting, saddle setup, ... how important it is for the cyclist
I highly recommend it not only to those who compete, but also to those who ride for pure pleasure and do many kilometers. The adjustment of the bike and therefore also of the saddle to adapt it to your physical and functional needs is too important. I'll give an example, again based on my experience: when I started riding, my saddle was too inclined. After several experiences, only thanks to the bike fitter I was able to find the correct position, certainly gaining in performance and well-being.
Alessandro Fabian's next goals
The Italian half Ironman Championship scheduled in October in Puglia, where I expect to reach the podium.
Alessandro Fabian, European Champion and several times Italian Triathlon Champion. He participated in the Olympic Games in London and Rio De Janeiro. A career in which Alessandro followed his Olympic spirit. Three Olympic four-year-olds, the last one affected by the Covid which complicated Alessandro’s personal situation a lot, moving time forward. And finally the new […]
In the last months we have launched the new VT Gel series (VT30 Gel, VT30C Gel, VT20 Gel, VT30C Gel) which have been promptly tested by the most important Italian bike magazines:
MtbCult.it tried out the VT30C Gel, read the article
Bicidastrada.it reviewed the VT20C Gel, here you find the article
Cyclinside.it, also this magazine, which offers several technical tips about bikes, tested the VT20C Gel, here the article
In the last months we have launched the new VT Gel series (VT30 Gel, VT30C Gel, VT20 Gel, VT30C Gel) which have been promptly tested by the most important Italian bike magazines: MtbCult.it tried out the VT30C Gel, read the article Bicidastrada.it reviewed the VT20C Gel, here you find the article Cyclinside.it, also this magazine, […]
Je hebt de bekende routes achter je gelaten om nieuwe wegen uit te proberen.
Zo heb je kennis gemaakt met de onverharde weg, landwegen en het contact met de natuur.
Hierdoor is je gemoedstoestand vrijer geworden van verbintenissen en vooroordelen.
We hebben de nieuwe lijn VT Gel ontwikkeld voor de eisen van het rijden over onverharde wegen en de typische lange afstanden van gravel. Dankzij de Gel in het vulmateriaal maken de nieuwe zadels VT Gel ook de meest ingewikkelde en inspannende routes aangenamer en bovendien zijn ze comfortabeler en duurzamer.
Het comfort van het assortiment VT GEL wordt gewaarborgd dankzij de gepatenteerde ergonomische eigenschappen van Designed on Your Body: middenkanaal, snavelvormige zadelpunt, geometrie van de steunzone, uitsparing aan de achterkant en design van de framestructuur.
Het comfort van Gel en topmaterialen
Polyurethaangel in combinatie met een vulmateriaal van SSPU vormt een dempend geheel dat perfect is om de typische herhaaldelijke belastingen van gravel te dempen.
Het gebruik van de beste materialen voor de structurele elementen van het zadel waarborgen veiligheid en kwaliteit: eenrichtings carbonfiber met hoge module, Aisi 304-levering en nylon 12 aangesterkt met carbonfiber voor de onderstructuur en het frame.
De bekleding SVT Velvet Touch garandeert een hoge weerstand, ook onder de zwaarste omstandigheden.
Het juiste model kiezen
Het assortiment VT Gel omvat vier nieuwe modellen:
VT20C Gel – kort zadel met smalle zitting. Voor tot 12,5 cm brede zitbotjes
VT20 Gel – smalle zitting. Voor tot 12,5 cm brede zitbotjes
VT30 C Gel - kort zadel met brede zitting. Voor meer dan 12,6 cm brede zitbotjes
VT30 Gel – brede zitting. Voor meer dan 12,6 cm brede zitbotjes
Je hebt de bekende routes achter je gelaten om nieuwe wegen uit te proberen. Zo heb je kennis gemaakt met de onverharde weg, landwegen en het contact met de natuur. Hierdoor is je gemoedstoestand vrijer geworden van verbintenissen en vooroordelen. We hebben de nieuwe lijn VT Gel ontwikkeld voor de eisen van het rijden over […]