Since I’ve had great experiences with Selle Italia saddles before, I was stoked to receive the new SLR Super Flow (145) for testing.
Looking at the picture above, I am pretty sure most people would think that that saddle is installed on an XC bike. WRONG.
I admit it: I’m a weight weenie. I’m always looking for ways to keep the weight of my Santa Cruz V10C low and this saddle does the trick, saving me a measured 30 grams.
This saddle comes in at 179 grams, 6 grams less than advertised. With a length of 275 mm and a seat width of 145 mm, this slim-line saddle fits much like a regular SLR–just without padding in the middle. What is left is a 30% carbon composite shell with a good balance of fore and aft flex, and a decent amount of flex side to side.
The saddle covers the EVA padding (Ethylene-vinly acetate) in perforated full-grain leather. Despite looking very stiff, underneath the front nose there is a small elastomer that acts as suspension, giving you that flex front to back. Along with the elastomer, the 7 mm titanium rails also add a bit of flex in addition to keeping the weight down.
Having installed the saddle on my V10C first, I had no issues with it! Now granted, on a DH bike you don’t use the saddle as often as you would with other types of mountain bikes. You do, however, put the saddle through some rough abuse when your body slams off a hard landing from time to time. And in that respect, the saddle did pretty well. Getting used to the saddle took a bit of time, as the lack of the center material opens things up down there. One upside: the large opening allows for some extra breathability.
Once my Nomad Carbon arrived, I swapped the Super Flow saddle over to that bike. Now on my Nomad I typically ride for about 2 hours or so and I’ve had none of the pressure issues you might think would occur during that time. The trick there is the width: you can get the SLR in either a 130 or 145 mm width. Once you get that right, you have your seat bones right on the wings of the saddle with just enough padding.
Now again, I have been riding for ages and have lost the sensitivity that new riders have when seated on saddles for any length time. So for a first time rider, this may not be the saddle for you. If you’re a racer or advanced rider who spends many hours in the saddle, then this feels pretty darn good.
If you’re interested in purchasing one of these featherweight saddles, you can contact Pronetcycling.com or the retailer nearest you. The SLR Super Flow 145 saddle sports an MSRP of about $300, so light weight and comfort don’t come cheap… but think of Selle Italia as the Ferrari of mountain bike saddles!
I’d like to thank the folks at Selle Italia for sending down the SLR Super Flow for a review.
I’ve been riding the Selle Italia SLR XC Flow for almost 3 years now and it’s still my favorite. The cover has held up well and the rails are still super tight.
I’m a little surprised at the weight on the Super Flow compared to my XC Flow… officially 15 grams heavier. I would think with the extra-wide cutout and the titanium rails (!) the Super Flow would be even lighter but I guess the 145mm width and the elastomer puts it over the edge. How does the elastomer feel on the trail–can you tell a difference b/w this saddle and a saddle without one?
Well right below where it has that carbon cover (SLR Superflow) the elastomer sits between the rails and saddle form. That allows a bit more flex in the saddle form. You would think that because there is a rather large hole there would be a great reduction in weight, but that is not the case. The edges of the hole have to be reenforced, to take up the lack of material that would otherwise been supporting the riders mass. Add to that the extra work to attach the leather to the hole opening. SO the net result is what we have there…A reduction, but not as much as you would hope for. The opening is good for ventilation and adds a bit more overall flex ( a good thing).
Hehe, $300? I’ll just eat one less cheeseburger and call it even.
LOL schwim for the win! I’ve gotta agree: if this purchase was about weight…. really? But if it’s about comfort, then MAYBE someone could think about dropping 300 bones. But even then, there are a lot of comfortable saddles for a lot less money.
forte pro sl cutout saddle 220 grams 49.99 one of the most comfortable saddles i have owned. got one on the road bike as well. you will never notice an extra 40 grams(1/8 lb) not even noticable in rotational wgt. i’ll stick with 250.00 less saddle.
From the side: That’s one sharp looking saddle.
From the top: That’s one interesting looking saddle!
I like the extra ventilation, but not for $300. I’d rather use the one that came with the bike and use the $300 for a dropper post…granted, I also can’t afford two SWEET bikes like the V10 and the Nomad Carbon. Consider me jealous! 😀
…….just beware of puddles and stream crossings.
i’ve been riding a selle smp for medical issues and love it. looks like the selle italia super flow can offer up some competition for the less pressure on the delicate nerves and vessels in the perineum.
in the long run, it’s not all about a few grams of weight