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Selle Italia SLR Flow saddle review

10:27 12th September 2012 by David Arthur @davearthur
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Its light weight and good comfort have made Selle Italia’s SLR saddle a firm favourite among racers for a long time. With its pressure-relieving cut-out, the Selle Italia SLR XC Flow is the most comfortable version yet.

Selle Italia offers a wide range of SLR models so there’s something for everyone. What we have here is a happy medium between the wafer thin carbon saddles (like he 85g Tekno) and the more heavily padded gel models.

Slim and very firm, the Selle Italia SLR is a racers’ fave

It’s a narrow saddle (131mm) so you can easily get off the back of it on steep drops, which on a carbon hardtail without a dropper post is a huge advantage. And it’s not just cross-country racers who opt for the SLR either, you’ll spot this saddle on downhill world cup bikes as well, such is its popularity.

There’s a good length (275mm) to let you slide right forward onto the nose on steep climbs, and generally find a comfortable position. We found there’s a definite sweet spot to this saddle, providing you get on with the narrowness. It’s a shame Selle Italia hasn’t followed the lead of other manufacturers and offered a wider version.

Press your thumb into the EVA padding and it’s very firm, but sitting on the saddle is surprisingly comfortable, even for prolonged periods. It probably wouldn’t be our first pick for a solo 24-hour race but for shorter blasts and hacking about the woods, it’s absolutely fine. We know plenty of endurance racers who swear by it so it’s not like you can’t use it for longer stints.

Always a reassuring brand to see on a saddle.

The cutaway channel, a key feature of this Flow model, goes a long way to making it as comfortable as it is. Such channels have been a common sight on saddles for the past few years. They decrease pressure on the pudendal arteries and nerves, reducing soreness and numbness. And who doesn’t want that?

It works too. We’ve ridden many SLR saddles over the years and the Flow is by far and away the most comfortable of the lot.

The full-grain leather is reasonably hard-wearing but is susceptible to damage as there’s little reinforcing at the edges. If you’re prone to falling off, consider the SLR XC Flow, which has a Lorica synthetic leather top and Kevlar reinforced edges.

Verdict

A light and firm saddle that is surprisingly comfortable for shorter rides, and it’s not just for the racers either, trail riders seeking a lightweight perch will love it.

Pros

Light
Comfortable

Cons

No wide option

Price: £107.99

UK supplier: Chicken Cycles

Official site: Selle Italia’s SLR range

The Selle Italia SLR Flow’s official portrait

What Selle Italia says about the SLR Flow saddle

When light weight meets incredible strength, that’s the SLR. With attractive Italian style and an innovative carbon fibre structure, SLR is the last word in racing saddles.

Weight: 175 grams
Rail: Vanox Tube Ø 7 mm
Size: 131×275 mm
Use: Road/Offroad

Features: 

Leather: Covered in breathable full-grain leather
Flow: Anatomic cutout
PF: Self molding padding – Perfect Fit
30%: Shell made from 30% Carbon composite

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