Selle Italia have conﬁdently sat on the pot of gold that has been their Flite and, latterly, their hugely popular SLR models. Time and saddle shapes wait for no man though, and they’ve ﬁnally got around to re-jigging their mountain bike staple SLR XC Flow model.
From a simple glance, the changes to the lower edge of the rear ﬂanks are clear – there’s a distinct extra tab on the forward edges of the saddle wings. These areas are covered in protective wear resistant Kevlar to fend off light crash damage and day-to-day ‘leaning up’ scuffs that can ruin fragile saddle uppers.
The nose proﬁle is ﬂat as per the old model, though the tip feels a bit more padded than before. Saddle comfort is largely a factor of hull shape and ﬂexibility and Selle Italia use a 30 percent carbon-infused plastic to tune in a degree of ﬂex. In the case of the cut-out Flow model we’ve tested the effect is slightly magniﬁed over the non cut-out version.
Selle Italia’s own ‘Bio Fit’ memory foam is used in the saddle. This really does take note of your sit bone pressure points, and over a few rides begins to mould itself to your speciﬁc ergonomics for a really personalised ﬁt. The saddle’s rear end is still 130mm wide and while this is standard, we’d love Selle Italia to follow Specialized and give us a 140mm option for the times when we’re sitting on it all day.
Weight weenies will be pleased to ﬁnd that all this talk of comfort hasn’t tipped the scales too much. With a 160g claimed (165g actual) weight it’s still in the zone for featherweight builds. To call it a racer’s saddle though is doing the SLR Flow a disservice, as it’s just a good saddle, period.