Very rare Unica-Nitor prototype saddle made by Tommaso Nieddu

Very rare Unica-Nitor prototype saddle made by Tommaso Nieddu

This was the first of the modern plastic saddles and was introduced around 1959–60.

In 1959, Cino Cinelli was approached by Tommaso Nieddu of Turin, (founder of Vittoria derailleur company) to propose a collaboration on the production of a brand-new plastic saddle, the Unica-Nitor. They consult with Giotto Cinelli who by then had many years of experience with the injection molding of plastics. Cino enters into partnership with Nieddu in 1962. First version has square-section steel rails and a dedicated steel seatpost later replaced with a conventional round-section steel rail version for use with conventional seat posts.

The early saddles are marked Unica Nitor. The saddles were called "Unica" but the name was already patented. Therefore, Cinelli decided for "UNICANITOR", a combination of "Unica", "NI" for the first letters of the inventor Nieddu and "TOR" for Torino (Turin), the city of Nieddu. The UNICANITOR is the first saddle with plastic hull in the history of cycling and would be used by all the greatest champions, including Felice Gimondi and Eddy Merckx.

New models with padding and a leather top were introduced in the late 60s. Despite looking uncomfortable most riders find them very comfortable.


The Cinelli Unicanitor Saddle in black is a revolutionary product that has made history in the cycling world. It is the first plastic-bodied saddle ever created, and it has been designed to provide cyclists with the ultimate comfort and performance during their rides.

Cinelli is one of the most recognized trades in over the world as a manufacturer of bicycles and components. It was founded in 1948 by Cino Cinelli (1916-2001), a professional road racer and president of the Italian Cyclist Association.