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I reckon the Prime Primavera Shorty Carbon Saddle is an instant classic. I found it comfortable straight out of the box thanks to its flowing shape and perfectly judged padding. For a full carbon saddle, it's well priced too.
Short-nosed saddles on road bikes have been around for a while now. I have changed all of my bikes over to this stubby kind of design. For me it gives increased comfort when in the drops on the road bike and less saddle to get in the way when taking on challenging sections on the gravel bike.
Saddles are a very personal thing – a shape that suits me might be absolute torture for you – but I must admit I'm pretty lucky and can ride pretty much any perch without any major discomfort. I prefer some to others, but nothing is really off limits.
The Primavera Shorty is up in the top few of my favourites list, though.
The shape is spot on: raised at the back slightly to give you a platform to push against when climbing hard, with a subtle arch in the middle for supportive comfort when tapping out the miles, which stops you sliding forward or backwards.
The short nose allows you to get down low in the drops and really crank the pedals over without interference.
It is probably the padding density that is the winner here for me, though. When I'm riding, feedback is key, and anything that detracts from that isn't welcome. That's why I ride with my tyres pumped up harder than most, and why I like a firm saddle.
The Prime nails it.
The padding is thick enough that it takes out high-resolution buzz without muting all feeling from the road. There is just enough give in it that it'll soak up the bigger bumps of a broken road surface, so it is comfortable for longer rides without being so soft that it gives over the top flex, which I find can cause numbness.
It's neither too firm, nor too soft. It's just right.
Beneath the padding is a 3K carbon fibre shell which brings its own bit of flex to the ride.
There is very little movement at the front, but the sides bend a little, which takes the sting out of the ride. It does it so well that this has become the saddle of choice on my winter bike, which sees lots of steady miles for three to four hours at a time, with me barely getting out of the saddle.
The rails are also 3K carbon fibre and are marked with easy-to-read measurements.
They are stiff and their profile gives no issues when offered up to a whole range of seatpost clamps.
Overall build quality is top notch. The edges of the upper are sandwiched between the padding and the shell so there are no signs of any excess glue or material ruining the smoothness of the finished product.
It's durable, too. Yes, the shell will scuff if you drop the bike, but the upper certainly does not.
If you like your saddles wider then you're out of luck, as it's only available in the one width, 143mm. Prime says it's suitable for women and men.
There's also a mount that clips into the rear of the base, to hold Prime Saddle Integration (PSI) accessories such as the Prime 360 rear light.
Priced at £119.99, the Primavera offers great value for money for a full-carbon saddle.
The seat it replaced on my bike was the snappily named Selle Italia Novus Boost Evo Kit Carbonio Superflow, a saddle that I have spent thousands of miles on now, and is very impressive.
I find the Prime slightly more comfortable, though, and it comes in at much less than the £259.90 asking price of the Selle Italia.
Liam was impressed with the Giant Fleet SLR, which is a similarly constructed short road saddle, but a tenner more than the Prime, at £129.99.
Overall, this is a great saddle. From its shape to its padding balance, through to the quality. Throw in the price, and it really is excellent.
Impressive comfort, durability, shape and build quality for a bit of a bargain price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Prime Primavera Shorty Carbon 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?
Prime says, "Featuring a durable water-resistant cover, this high-performance road bike saddle is designed to keep you supported in all-weather and surface conditions. Developed with Team Wiggle Spectra, this model is also kitted out with a stiff 3K carbon shell and rails for the best combination of stiffness, strength and lightweight performance on every mile. Another highlight is its low-weight polyurethane (PU) foam padding and central cut-out, which reduce any pressure and fatigue from around your sit bones, allowing you to go the extra distance with all day comfort."
It's a very comfortable, light road saddle that is also very well made.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Cover Material: Tough water-resistant cover
Shell Material: 3K Carbon
Rails Material: 3K Carbon
Padding: Lightweight Polyurethane (PU) padding
Size: 240x143mm (L x W)
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's a supportive saddle for long and short road rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's perfect for me in terms of comfort.
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?
The Prime is very well priced, even against something as 'cheap' as the Giant saddle mentioned in the review.
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
An exceptional saddle straight out of the box with well-judged padding density and the amount of flex allowed through the shell to control comfort. It's a bit of a bargain too.
About the tester
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 Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 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. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!