Here is some stylish bling from Italy for your AM / DH rig. Let’s face it, some of the best things come from Italy like cars, motorcycles, shoes, and yes, bike saddles. Unlike many minimalistic saddles, the 225g Selle Italia SLR T1 ($192 MSRP) is a balance of strength and comfort in a lightweight package. The T1 is a saddle that can soften the blow of rough trails while standing up to the abuse ride after ride.
The seat rails on the SLR T1 are made from Vanox, a combination of Vanadium and Titanium which is actually lighter than Titanium alone. Even though the rails are only 7mm in diameter I found them to be very durable. Despite many jumps and drops they stayed straight and didn’t creak or groan during the abuse.
The beautiful and flawless Lorica cover (black or white) not only looks great but will maintain that sleek look for a very long time. Lorica is a high abrasion resistant material and the strategically placed Kevlar side reinforcements will keep this saddle from unraveling itself when you tank the bike.
Stripping away the great looks of the saddle we get into the feel of the ride. Gel placed in different thicknesses and densities under the skin of the Lorica allows the folks at Selle Italia to pinpoint comfort without unnecessarily increasing weight. Selle Italia’s gel is one of the lightest out there right now and this stuff absorbs impact 40% better than other saddle gels. After a little while in this saddle the gel will mold itself to your unique shape, further improving the feel and comfort of the ride.
The T1 is 131mm across and 275mm in length which is pretty similar in shape to other MTB saddles within a few millimeters. For my size and hip width this saddle fit extremely well – just as good as my WTB Devo. Unlike the Devo, the SLR T1 feels a bit softer and although I personally prefer a firm saddle, the T1 was nice as well, especially when riding hard and hitting roots and logs. Compared to this saddle’s cousin, the SLR XC, the tip of the SLR T1 is a bit more blunt with extra padding, great for when you have the bike on an extreme angle and you’re putting weight on the nose.
For the money the SLR T1 may not be for everyone but it’s tough to put a price on comfort. At the end of the day there are few saddles out there that match the quality of workmanship and good looks of the T1 and it shows. It’s a good idea to test ride any saddle before you buy but if it fits, the SLR T1 is a high performance saddle that will go the distance for miles to come.
Thanks to the folks at Selle Italia and ProNet for the saddle for review.