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Giant's Fleet SL saddle is a very good choice for occasional racers looking for more comfort when riding in an aero position. The saddle features firm padding but there's a little flex in the base along with a large central cutout, and I found it to be very comfortable, especially as the miles ticked up. The weight is good, but the price is a little higher than the competition.
Short saddles, if you hadn't seen, have become incredibly popular on sporty road bikes recently, adopted from the world of time trialling and triathlon. The stubby design at the front end allows riders to push their saddle forward without falling foul of the UCI bike setup rules. This means you can get further over the crank axle for a supposed power gain.
As I favour a rather long and low bike setup, I find these types of saddles to be very comfortable; when shunted forward, they place more of the supportive rear part of the saddle under me. The Fleet SL does this really well and I've really liked my time spent on it.
My testing has included as much variation in types of riding as possible, from flat-out efforts to lazy spins through the lanes. I've fitted this to my race bikes and also popped it on my cyclo-cross bike to test out a slightly more upright position. It was comfortable on both types, so I wouldn't pigeon-hole this saddle for race bikes only.
The shape flows down from the rear to the front, which felt great for supporting me when tucked down in the drops. I have chosen saddles with a split design for a few years now. I like the pressure relief, and the Fleet SL worked well here too.
Inside the saddle, under the sit bone area, Giant says that 'high-elastic, free-flowing particles' have been packed in. It claims that this reduces pressure points by more than 20% while also helping to distribute pressure across a broader contact area. Personally, the saddle feels quite firm to me, but I find this better for all-day comfort, so the fancy particles work for me.
Build quality is very good. I'd say that this saddle is at the entry-level of the market, yet it has a quality finish to it and no problems have arisen during testing.
I've also been riding the Fleet SLR saddle. That has simply got a lighter set of carbon rails, so what you're getting here is all of the important features, just with alloy rails. Compared directly against the SLR's carbon rails, they only seem to transfer a little extra road buzz.
Even with alloy rails, the weight of this SL version is pretty good. It compares well with the Bontrager Aeolus Comp saddle at 286g, though that does come in at a lower price of £49.99.
Overall, if you're looking for a short-nosed saddle with a firm feel then this is a great option. I found the Fleet SL to be very comfortable, and not just on my road race bike.
Very comfortable short-nose saddle that works for a variety of riding
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Giant Fleet SL saddle
Size tested: 145
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?
Giant says, 'The all-new Giant Fleet SL saddle is a high- performance short-nose road racing saddle tuned to deliver superior performance to a wide range of male road cyclists. With new generation saddle shaping and an ergonomic cut-out design delivering comfort in a multitude of riding positions, ultra-light Rebound foam providing incredibly high elasticity for ultimate support and lightweight SST alloy rails, the Fleet SL gives riders the opportunity to reach maximum gains.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Rail Material: SST
Rail Size: 7mm
Shell: Ultra-light Carbon Composite
Padding: Rebound Foam + Particle Flow
Stack Height: 41mm
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Fleet SL does very well. I was always comfortable, no matter what bike I used it on.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The comfort is number one for me when picking a saddle and this one really works for my behind.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's a little more expensive than Bontrager's Aeolus Comp saddle at £49.99.
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
I found this very comfortable on more than just my race bike, the firm padding and shape really working for me and making it worth the £20 extra over rivals.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.