Pro-Lite Cles CrMo saddle  £24.99

7/10

Good budget perch offering innovative design but needs firmer padding.

Weight 285g   Contact  www.pro-lite.net

by Shaun Audane   June 29, 2009  

Pro-Lite Cles CrMo saddle

Micro matrix (faux leather to you and me) coverings and indexed Cro-moly rails might not set pulses racing but the Pro-Lite Cles CrMo saddle's superb build quality, innovative design, competitive pricing, and unique “full zone” cut-out could be a big hit with those looking for a minimalist racing saddle at a price to match.

Pro-Lite claim that their full-zone cutaway is genuinely unisex, fully supportive to a woman’s pelvic region while greatly reducing pressure and maximising airflow to the prostrate for men- eliminating the need for gender specific design. A sceptic might wonder whether this is simply a great marketing gimmick serving to keep production costs low or double the potential market. Either way, attention to detail is superb for the price, the synthetic cover neatly screwed into a resin base, classy silver detailing reflects when struck by car headlamps and the suede scuff guards are more than up to the job but might not suit those like myself who enjoy a little freedom of movement.

Cro-moly rails might well be poor man’s titanium but are very robust and uniquely arched to provide a more supple passage over rougher surfaces and seem effective enough for moderate trail riding. For all this, our first outing wasn’t terribly favourable, traditional, heavily padded short inserts contorted uncomfortably in the cutaway amplified further by the scuff guard which gave the impression of sitting atop fly-paper. Higher end shorts with less pronounced padding transformed the ride and while the cutaway wasn’t as prostrate perfect as some, I churned away cheerfully for several hours on my road bike without discomfort.

It’s better suited to traditional road bikes as the slightly more upright positioning of my rough stuff tourer saw my Ischial Tubersity (sit bones) sink into the base thanks to softer padding, leading to discomfort after an hour’s bridle path blasting. Attacks from masonry and foliage alike have made negligible impression on the cover suggesting it will retain its good looks for a few seasons and 258g is pretty good going for a budget model.

Saddles are arguably the most intimate of contact points and despite getting along very well with the Cles, I’m not completely sold on the idea of a universal cut-out and firmer support would broaden the appeal to cross/similar disciplines. That said those looking for a lot of bang for relatively modest buck should take a closer look.

Verdict

Good budget perch offering innovative design but needs firmer padding.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Pro-Lite Cles CrMo saddle

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

The Cles is marketed as a unisex race saddle at a very keen price and in most regards it meets the design brief.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Micro Matrix covering, unique cut-away is designed to provide support to a woman's pelvis on the one hand while equally releiving pressure on the prostrate. Arched, indexed cro-moly rails keeps costs down and weight respectable.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Very well made for a budget model.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

Generally very good but would benefit from firmer foam padding.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Better than I've come to expect at this end of the market.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10

258g is pretty good going for a budget model.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Generally very well constructed and comfortable but I'm not wholly convinced of the inserts universal appeal.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Great build quality, modest weight and attention to detail.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing particularly but the padding could've been a touch firmer in places.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Quite possibly

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

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