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Astute Sky Lite 3.0 saddle



A very comfortable, supportive saddle for the racer, with an excellent build quality

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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It's quite common for us to be sent £200 saddles for testing, and this Astute Sky Lite VT 3.0 is up against some tough opposition. It's impressively comfortable once the upper has bedded in, and the overall quality and finish is second to none. There is a lot going on in its construction too.

  • Pros: Supportive and comfortable memory foam (when bedded in), overall quality, plenty of colour options
  • Cons: Very little – if you can get your head around the price

While many saddle makers stick to the tried and tested formula of rails, a main body in whatever material, covered with a bit of padding and a top cover, Italian brand Astute has gone for a little more creative construction.

> Find your nearest dealer here

On the Sky Lite you start off with a set of full carbon fibre rails, which have a 7mm x 9mm profile so should match most seatpost clamping systems. Then, rather than one main body, you get a soft-touch nylon external shell, plus an internal shell made from 15% carbon fibre-reinforced nylon. On top you get memory foam padding and a microfibre cover.

It's very neat: the cover wraps around the padding and upper shell and then the lower shell hides the leftover material. (You can see a diagram of it here.)

Astute Sky Lite 3.0 saddle - underside.jpg

In between the lower shell and the rails you get what Astute calls 'SPAS', twin pads inserted to damp vibration – claimed to reduce it by 20 per cent.

Other than ripping the saddle apart and removing the pads, it's a tough claim to disprove, but I will say this: the Sky Lite is a very comfortable saddle, while remaining very firm for performance riding.

Astute Sky Lite 3.0 saddle - rail.jpg

I'd say a lot of the comfort and firmness is down to the memory foam padding. It's firm right from the start and remains that way, but once you've done a hundred or so miles it really starts to mould to your shape and fits nicely.

The firmness is a good thing too. As you can see, the Sky Lite has a central cutout – that's what the VT stands for, 'verta' or 'open'. Some cutout saddles with soft padding can squidge over into the gap and you lose the comfort, or some makers introduce firmer padding and stitching around the opening which adds pressure points. The Astute is spot on.

Astute Sky Lite 3.0 saddle - top.jpg

The ribs of the lower shell that bridge the cutout have a fair amount of flex and this offers a bit of give to the saddle to absorb some road buzz, but you don't feel like you are bouncing about when you really put the power down.

The great thing about using twin shells is that the microfibre upper can be sandwiched between the two for a smooth and clean look. This really is an excellently finished saddle.

So, £200 then...

In my opinion, a perfect saddle is worth pretty much any outlay, especially if you spend a lot of time on it.

Some will find this in a seat that's much, much cheaper. Something like the Fabric Line Titanium saddle, for instance, which costs less than half the Astute (£69.99) and I was very impressed with.

> Buyer's Guide: 13 of the best high-performance saddles

The Astute will save you about 40g, if that's important to you, and as a longterm investment it's hard to fault. Once the padding had moulded to me it was absolutely bliss to ride.

Against others in this price range it is a little bit heavier. The Fizik Antares R1 Versus Evo is 168g for its carbon build and £189.99 price tag. On my best bike I'm still running the Prologo Dimension Nack, which also costs £199.99. It's a stubby saddle, which is why the weight is only 157g, but I'd say the Astute is a touch more comfortable, so I can see a change on the cards.

The Sky Lite 3.0 also comes in a range of colours top and bottom, so you should be able to find a match for your bike without too much trouble.


A very comfortable, supportive saddle for the racer, with an excellent build quality test report

Make and model: Astute Sky Lite 3.0 saddle

Size tested: 135mm wide

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?

Astute says, "Innovation. High technology. Italian craftsmanship. Unique design. Sky is the first high-tech smart saddle on the market, the result of an exclusive project developed by Astute Labs to provide the highest level of safety, comfort and performance for the most demanding riders. Flat design for on-road endurance riding and long training or racing sessions.

SKY LITE VT 3.0 features an anti-vibration self-supporting twin shell. Designed to significantly reduce vibrations and reinforce the construction with the Spas System Technology (SPAS): 2 pads between the carbon rail and the shells dampen and reduce vibrations by 20%. The inner shell is made of 15% carbon-fibre reinforced nylon, while the outer shell is made of nylon with Soft Touch finish. Both of them come in an open U shape. An innovative construction enhances the saddle's look while maintaining a clean silhouette and improving performance, as it significantly increases the padding space while preserving the same volume and, as a result, reduces pressures in the perineal area and ensures ultimate comfort. This compact, high performance saddle is 135mm wide and 275mm long.

Full-carbon rail with 3K Carbon Rail 7X9 technology for reduced weight. A racing combination designed by Astute. Lightweight, ultimate performance and comfort, even under high-strain conditions.

VT seat (from "verta", i.e. "open" in Venetian dialect), designed with a central cut-out to eliminate pressure peaks in the pelvic area. The 'tension arc' is created with a perfectly balanced weight distribution for smooth, comfortable riding. Ultimate comfort, lightweight and high performance.

Features three-density progressive Memory Foam padding to provide better comfort in the perineal area - firmer in the back to support the sit bones, and softer on the front.

SKY LITE VT 3.0 is protected by three international patents and is exclusively handmade in Italy according to strict local regulations."

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

From Astute:

Flat shape Sky 3.0

Flat and streamlined. High technology. Features a self-supporting anti-vibration twin-shell with Spas System (SPAS) technology: 2 pads between the carbon rail and the shells dampen and reduce vibrations by up to 20%. High-performance saddle focus for competitive challenge.


Full-carbon rail with 3K Carbon Rail 7X9 technology for reduced weight. The best rail for racing. Lightweight, ultimate performance and comfort, even under high-strain conditions.


Traditional width of 13.5 cm. Created for athletes with regular sit bones seeking ultimate performance and comfort. Designed with a special shape to provide the highest level of comfort.





RAILS - CARBON 7x9 with S.P.A.S

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

It has just the right balance of comfort versus stiffness for a race saddle.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Memory foam padding once bedded in.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Some will find the price excessive...

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

The Fizik Antares R1 Versus Evo is £189.99, the Prologo Dimension Nack also costs £199.99. For the level of build quality, materials used and the overall finish, the Astute sits comfortably (no pun intended) against the opposition.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's a very comfortable saddle once bedded in, with excellent build quality.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for, and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!

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