Designed specifically for off-road use, the X-LR saddle has a downward slanting nose which, Selle Italia claims, allows a greater freedom of movement while pedalling seated.
The rail is made from hollow 7mm diameter manganese and is claimed to help to reduce vibrations coming up through the seat’s surface.
It has double density padding, with the padding in the nose softer than the high-density padding in the rear, which should help give you better seated stability.
The saddle’s wings are wrapped in a rubbery-material that should help to see off any knocks or damage from crashes.
With a convex shape, Selle Italia has intentionally made the saddle narrower and shorter than ‘traditional’ saddles to help the rider move. At 140mm wide and 262mm long it is neither the shortest or narrowest saddle on the market, but it does boast a large 41 x 220mm pressure relief channel and weighs a mere 219g.
It’s also available in a narrower 125mm wide version.
The saddle’s cover is a waterproof material that shouldn’t soak through in wet weather.
Selle Italia X-LR TM Air Cross Superflow saddle performance
Despite the saddle’s incredibly convex shape, it performed exceptionally well when climbing, which actually caught me a little off-guard because I was expecting it to be one of the more uncomfortable models I tested.
Looking at the saddle’s overall shape, the rear is the highest position on the seat, as well as being the widest part. This focusses your weight into one specific area, and because the aperture of the pressure relief channel isn’t higher than the sitting area, and is itself long, wide and deep, it’s very effective at eradicating almost all unwanted perineum pressure.
The saddle feels fairly stiff when seated but didn’t cause me any discomfort when riding. Comfort overall is certainly helped by the saddle’s dipped nose, which allows you to sit further forward without pressure on sensitive nerves.
On the downhills, though, despite Selle Italia’s claims that the saddle is narrower than traditional models, and even though the saddle’s wings do slope away, I could still feel the rubber bumpers on the edge of the wings.
These were in contact with my legs a considerable amount, and because the material is relatively hard and sticky — at least in comparison to the saddle’s smooth cover — they rubbed my legs more than I would have liked.
The nose of the saddle didn’t interfere with my riding and although the bumpers were a bit of problem, this didn’t outweigh the comfort and performance the saddle offers on the climbs – particularly for someone who wants to pedal to the top of trail heads.
If the rubber edges were less grippy or softer I think this would solve this issue.
Generally, the X-LR TM Air Cross Superflow is a surprisingly comfortable and relatively light weight saddle despite its convex shape.