Selle Italia's saddles have some of the longest names on the market and with this new 3D-printed model it's got even longer. The SLR Boost 3D Kit Carbonio Superflow may be a mouthful to say, but it is light, comfortable and well made. But boy, is it expensive!
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This is one extremely comfortable saddle. The 3D-printed mesh styled upper is firm enough to give you good support, but there is just enough compression to take out minimal undulations in the road without it feeling like it is sapping performance, and the flex in the 'wings' of the shell allows your legs to flow through the entire pedalling stroke without hindrance.
They keep you seated when riding across rough sections on the road too.
Benefits over a traditional foam or gel saddle upper are noticeable, as this model has small variations in the 3D-printed pattern in different positions across the saddle, which results in greater firmness in some areas, and a bit more give in others. It's as though the ride has been tuned specifically to be supportive where it needs to be, and softer for comfort elsewhere.
A large central cutout helps with pressure management and it's good to see that Selle Italia has made sure that the upper is firm enough around the edges so it doesn't sag into the opening. The upper is also tough, so isn't going to scuff easily when you lean your bike against a wall.
While there is flexibility from the shell, the carbon fibre rails aren't giving anything away in terms of stiffness. They are 10mm tall with flattish sides, but their width means they should still fit the majority of seatposts that are designed to accept 7mm tubular rails. You just need to make sure you have the adjustment there.
The saddle is 248mm in length and I found plenty of room to move backwards and forwards in the saddle when riding, and I also got on well with its shape. The slightly dropped nose helps your efforts when crouched in the drops, while the rear section kicks up a bit, which allows you to push against it when getting the power out or climbing.
There are two widths on offer: 130mm or the 145mm model I tested. The narrower option has a claimed weight of 166g with the wider coming in at 171g, both with a +/- 8% tolerance. Ours weighed in at 177g on the road.cc scales, which isn't super light, but still impressive considering the thickness of the upper.
For comparison, the SLR Boost Kit Carbonio Superflow, which has a standard padded upper, weighs just 129g.
The Boost 3D is lighter than the Specialized S-Works Power Mirror that Mat reviewed, if you are going full-on weight weenie, though the Spesh is a relative snip at £390. The non-S-Works version that I reviewed last year is cheaper at £290, but weighs 254g.
The Fizik Vento Argo 00 Adaptive saddle also uses 3D-printing for the upper and costs £399.99 with a claimed weight of 175g. I'm currently riding around on this one, so keep an eye out for the review.
If you're reading this review to help you decide on which 3D-printed saddle to fit to your bike, I'm guessing its price isn't at the top of your priorities. Saying that though, the Selle Italia does sit at the top of the costings. But purely from a performance point of view, it is a great saddle that I found very, very comfortable even when spending lots of time seated.
If the shape suits, I'd definitely recommend it.
Even pricier than other pricey 3D printed saddles – but oh so comfortable
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Make and model: Selle Italia SLR Boost 3D Kit Carbonio Superflow saddle
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?
Selle Italia says: "Made with a proprietary, 3D printed pattern, the SLR Boost 3D Kit Carbonio Superflow provides support on the toughest road rides helping you conquer the steepest of climbs and fastest descents. The differentiated cushioning zones give progressive absorption and Hi-Tech Carbon rails provide strength and ensure comfort on every pedal stroke. This high-tech road-specific saddle with Carbon DLS™ Technology is one of the most advanced on the market and is the perfect way to finish your dream build."
Very expensive, but incredibly comfortable and well made.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Weight: S3 166g (+/- 8%) – L3 171g (+/- 8%)
Dimensions: S3 130 x 248mm – L3 145 x 248mm
Rail: Carbon Ø7x9 mm
Intended use: Road
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Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
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Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very comfortable saddle that allows you to move around on it.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
By any standards, a price north of £400 is a lot of money for a saddle.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
All 3D-printed saddles, especially the lightest ones, are pricey – but this is even more expensive than the saddles from Fizik and Specialized.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, if I get any takers for a used kidney!
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
One of the most comfortable saddles I've used, and while all 3D-printed saddles are pricey, this one is even more so, which knocks the overall score down a touch.
Age: 44 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,
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