Founded in 1897, Selle Italia has, in recent years, innovated in everything from weight to comfort to durability. They’ve upgraded their saddles with everything from titanium and carbon rails, to specific material choices for a balance of flexibility, weight, and comfort.
The new Flite line of saddles is a product of those years of innovations. With an improved design over the older saddles with the same name, the new Flite brings in even more new technology. The new Carbonio Speciale introduces what Selle Italia calls their Carbokeramic rail system, which uses a 7x7mm 3D braided carbon weave with a ceramic coating. Unfortunately, there is a 100kg weight limit.
The Flite Carbonio Speciale is an “L1” saddle (according to Selle Italia’s own categorizing system), which means it’s meant for people with wide hip bones who do not sweep their upper body much. With a 142x275mm dimension and 180g weight, this saddle fits nicely on nearly all flavors of bikes (just keep in mind the 100kg/220lb rider weight limit).
Out on the Trail
Installed on my Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon, I personally had few complaints about the Flite, compared to other saddles I have used. When I was seated on climbs or long stretches of terrain, the 142mm spacing fit perfectly on my seat bones, allowing for a comfortable ride with no hot spots.
On rougher terrain, the padding and carbon rails both provided enough give that I was more-or-less alright on long rides. That said, a new comer to the sport might complain up, down, and sideways that this saddle is painful and uncomfortable. Make no mistake: this is a saddle for a seasoned rider who has a bunch of miles under his belt… or in this case, his butt.
All in all, the new Flite Carbonio Speciale is a top-notch saddle for the seasoned rider.
Thanks to Selle Italia for sending over the Flite Carbonio Speciale for review!