Touted as a lightweight, do anything saddle that’s as suitable for cross-country as it is downhill, Race Face is looking to tick as many boxes as possible with this one.
The saddle’s profile is virtually flat, but with a 132mm width it’s particularly narrow compared to a lot of other seats on the market.
It’s also missing a pressure relief channel, but Race Face claims that the foam is firm to help keep your sit bones elevated above the centre of the seat thus reducing perineal pressure.
The saddle’s overall length is 290mm – one of the longest mountain bike saddles on the market – but that length doesn’t mean it’s lardy, and at 239g it’s weight is fairly average.
The saddle’s overall length is 290mm. Georgina Hinton
Also, the Aeffect uses titanium alloy rails and has foam padding, which is claimed to be super light.
The hull is made using a honeycomb structure and the cover is constructed from a durable microfibre material.
It uses titanium alloy rails and has foam padding. Georgina Hinton
Race Face Aeffect saddle performance
Surprisingly, the lack of pressure relief channel doesn’t compromise the saddle’s comfort, hinting that there’s more to a saddle design than the usually-crucial slot.
The flatness of the seat combined with the firm foam, as Race Face claims, did seem to elevate my sit bones enough to considerably reduce pressure on the perineum.
The saddle’s nose, like its rear-end width, is also quite narrow. Georgina Hinton
In fact, despite the saddle’s narrow width, which meant that my sit bones weren’t entirely engaged on the seat’s surface, the saddle is one of the comfier models on the market at the moment.
However, if the seat was wider and flatter across even more of its surface — so its wings slope downwards towards their outer edges — then it could be one of best saddles out there.
The saddle’s nose, like its rear-end width, is also quite narrow, which means that it didn’t contact with my legs when I was pedalling and the smooth, soft cover also helps to reduce any discomfort if you do happen to run against its edges.
On the downhills, I found that the seat didn’t come into contact with my legs at all and I had to actively search it out to use it as a maneuvering aid for my bike.
Once you’re used to where the saddle is going to be and how far you need to move your legs, though, this isn’t really an issue.