7 New Saddles from Fabric, Selle Italia, Ergon, SDG, & Pro - Pond Beaver 2020

Apr 10, 2020
by Brian Park  



Most of us are sitting at our computers more than on our bikes these days, but there are interesting things happening in the world of saddles. We're curious to spend time on a bunch of these.





Fabric's New Line-S Flat



Fabric Line-S Flat Features

• Options for carbon (Pro), titanium (Race), or chromoly (Elite) rails
• Available in 142mm and 155mm widths
• 236mm overall length, with a shorter nose for aggressive riding positions
• Broad, flat back section, and a large cut-out for pressure relief
• Slightly raised at the back profile
• 45mm stack height from mid-rail to saddle top
• Microfiber cover
• Weights from 182g (Pro 142mm) to 240g (Elite 155mm)
• Prices: £59.99 / $80 USD (Elite), £79.99 / $100 USD (Race), £149.99 / $180 USD (Pro)
• More info at fabric.cc

bigquotesThe Line-S is a new direction for Fabric. With a big cut-out channel, a flatter mid-section, and a profile that's slightly raised at the back, it's got a lot of what people are experimenting with in saddles right now. The shape reminds me of a Specialized Power saddle (which is a good thing), and it's nice to see some more reasonably priced options.

While this saddle looks promising for XC and road riders, I'm curious if naming them "Line-S Flat" means that there's a "Line-S Radius" line coming, which could be better for trail and enduro riders.

Dan Sapp has his hands on the new Line-S and will give his thoughts once he has more saddle time on it.





Pro's short, wide-nosed Stealth Offroad



Pro Stealth Offroad Features

• Superlight EVA padding in variable thicknesses
• Stainless steel rails
• Glass fiber-reinforced carbon shell
• Claimed weight starting at 195g
• Available in 142mm and 152mm widths
• Floating 'C-Tec' rail mounts for compliance
• Designed for lower, more aggressive riding positions
• Price: £129.99 / $149.99 USD
• More info at pro-bikegear.com

bigquotesPro introduced a mountain bike variant of their popular Stealth road saddles over the winter, called the Stealth Offroad. The idea behind their short, wide-nosed saddles is originally from working around the strange saddle position restrictions in the road bike world, but a lot of brands are bringing those shapes to mountain biking as well.

Like a few other saddles we're seeing at the moment, the Stealth has a small swoop up at the back, which is intended to increase power in aggressive riding positions and give you something to push back on while climbing. The dual-density padding is a slightly different shape than the road version, and the faux-leather cover feels tough and grippy.

I like that the relief cutout is actually covered to prevent puddle enemas, and the 195g weight is pretty impressive given its stainless steel rails (the road versions are carbon or titanium). The padding seems fairly minimal and the shape suggests it'd be best for a more aggressive riding position, so I'm curious to see how it fares as a trail bike saddle.





Selle Italia's redesigned SLR Boost and Flite Boost



Selle Italia SLR Boost Features

• 248mm long (25mm shorter than previous SLR)
• Made in Italy
• Shock absorbers located between the rails and the shell
• Fibra-Tek synthetic cover with 'SuperFabric' sides for abrasion resistance
• Claimed weight from 122g (186g as shown)
• Options for carbon, ti, and magnesium rails
• Available in 2 sizes (S or L), as well as without cutout (S1 or L1) or with a large 'Superflow' cutout (S3 or L3)
• Also available as an 'SLR Boost Lady' version that adds some padding
• Price: 225€ / $320 USD (ranges from 110€ / $170 USD through 300€ / $450 USD)
• More info at selleitalia.com

bigquotesSelle Italia actually updated the SLR last year, but I wanted to include it to compare it to the new Flite (below). The big claim to fame with the SLR s that it's the lightest shorty saddle at 122g, which is true if you only consider other major manufacturers. Regardless, it's an impressively low weight for the race seat. The version we have here is the X-Cross Superflow, which weighs a respectable 186g.

The most significant change was a shorter overall length, as well as a slightly updated nose shape. The X-Cross is their MTB version of the saddle, which sees reinforced edge materials and "shock absorbers" between the rail and shell.

Despite the shorter length, the shape is fairly traditional and worth a look for everything from XC marathon to enduro racing.



Selle Italia Flite Boost Features

• 248mm long (27mm shorter than the old Flite)
• Made in Italy
• Options for carbon, ti, or magnesium rails
• Available in 2 sizes (S or L), as well as without cutout (S1 or L1) or with a large 'Superflow' cutout (S3 or L3)
• Fibra-Tek synthetic cover
• Weights from 157g (Kit Carbino Superflow S3) to 243g (magnesium rail L1)
• Pricing isn't yet confirmed, but there will be a wide range
• More info at selleitalia.com

bigquotesThe Selle Italia Flite is an iconic saddle. With a heritage that includes wins on the road from legends like Patani and Gilbert, the Flite is almost 30 years old, so it's nice to see Selle Italia give it a modern update called the Flite Boost.

The "Boost" part of the update means they've shortened the saddle dramatically, but it's nice to see that they've retained much of the classic shape. It already has a win at the Cyclocross World Championships under Mathieu Van der Poel—who's used the previous Flite on his mountain bikes over the years as well.

While it's a little flatter and shorter, they've resisted the current trend of going with a super-wide nose. Fans of the previous design won't be too put off by this new version, and it will be a more accessible saddle for a lot of road, gravel, XC, and marathon riders.

Here's to hoping Selle put out an understated, ti-railed "heritage" edition as they did with the previous Flite Racer.

Bonus: Selle Italia's X-LR eMTB saddle

I never saw myself writing the words "space phallus," but here we are...
I'm actually curious to give this one a shot in a more upright position.





Ergon's New SM Enduro saddle

Yep, everything has to be oil slick at the moment.

Ergon SM Enduro

Ergon SM Enduro Features

• Available in 3 versions: SM Enduro (chromo rails, comfort foam), SM Enduro Comp (chromo rails, AirCell foam), and SM Enduro Pro (titanium rails, AIrCell foam)
• Oil Slick rails available on the Comp version
• Edge protection (Comp and Pro only)
• Long flat rail sections for more adjustment
• Claimed weights range from 225g to 255g
• Pricing ranges from $80 to $180 USD
• More info on ergonbike.com

bigquotesErgon has been at the forefront of a lot of the current saddle thinking—raised areas at the back, flat overall profiles, etc., and the new (ish) SM Enduro adds "overall shorter" to the list. There's a little more padding as well, but it's still fairly firm and supportive enough for the long days of EWS racing (remember racing?).

The SM Enduro isn't as shockingly light as some in this list, but the prices are a lot less stratospheric, too. A saddle is a wear item on an enduro bike, so maybe not spending a week's salary on one is a good idea. And to that end, it's got tough-feeling material around the back and sides of the saddle as well.

The flat portions of the rails are longer than others to help nail your seat position. This is a super nice detail for taller riders who often end up with slack effective seat-tube angles once their saddle height is correct. More adjustability is a big help for them.

The oil slick colorway available on the Comp model will be polarizing, but they all come in normal colors as well. Without the oil slick, it's a sleek-looking silhouette, and no surprise we'll be seeing it on a lot of enduro riders' bikes this year.





SDG Bel-Air 3.0





bigquotesFormally launching in May, we've gotten our hands on one of SDG's new Bel-Air 3.0 saddles. We first showed you a prototype a year ago at Core Bike, but it looks like there have been some changes to the shape since then.

We'll keep putting some time in on it, and give you all the details next month.





There are some clear trends here: shorter, wider, raised rear sections, etc. Where do you think saddle development is going?


99 Comments

  • 120 1
 At least with the ventilation afforded by the cutouts on all these saddles you'll be able to avoid a pond beaver.
  • 3 2
 Hotwat
  • 3 1
 Best comment ever!
  • 6 0
 TVT - Taint Vent Technology
  • 2 0
 Big comment from Big Tim
  • 1 4
 I need a much bigger channel in the center.
  • 5 1
 @jorgeposada: Jorge Posada, everyone, once again displaying his insecurities for the world to see hahaha
  • 1 4
 @karpiel002: You were, that's pretty pathetic, hopefully you get some help.
  • 1 0
 @jorgeposada: are your hemorrhoids really that big these days? Poor. poor Jorge..
  • 22 6
 Why do we want/need shorter saddles? Mountain bikers need to shift their weight around for seated climbs.

Why would any cyclist want somewhere for water to collect on their saddle? Are we all fair weather riders now?

Lots to confuse me with this lot.
  • 8 0
 @Spittingcat Yeah, they look strange... I ride an SQ-Lab 611 Active and I like it because it's longer than a 'normal' saddle and it helps with climbing I cannot imagine any benefits of a shorter saddle. Specialized started with their Power and now the rest follow it. The water/mud collection pockets are just pure stupid...
  • 9 2
 I was looking so long and hard for a short enought saddle for my DH rig. There is not enough choice around! I need a short saddle to not scrub on my rear wheel at bottom out and not stick too far forward so catch the back of my knee when leaning the bike over.

This goes for my enduro bike as well, but I can get by with a bit longer seat on that since I don't have as much rear wheel travel.

Also: waterproof shorts.
  • 21 3
 Because seat tubes are getting steeper, so there is no need to shift your seating position forward.
  • 3 0
 @megatryn: in case you are not using dropper: bmx seats all the way; some of them even with rails (instead of pivot)
  • 8 0
 @bikeinbih: I'm with you on the SQ Lab. I don't get short saddles for mountain biking. Even with steep seat tubes, I need my saddle in a neutral position so I can be back a bit for flat or less steep climbs and then still have support when I slide forward for 25% gradients.
  • 5 1
 @Spittingcat "Why would any cyclist want somewhere for water to collect on their saddle?"

Because these are cheaply made and they would break without the two sides being connected.
And they cost the same as a Selle Italia... that will outlast all of them put together, besides being better designed.
  • 3 2
 Because some people want shorter saddles. Some mountain bikers might shift around less/these designs may prompt less movement/there may be still adequate space to move around on these new saddles.

Some cyclists may not be bothered by the water that may or may not collect in these saddles/the amount of water that may collect maybe negligible and may have been been deemed a non-issue. Some people are fair weather cyclists, by dint of choice or climate.

Being confused isn't a bad thing. It's an opportunity to learn something and look at the world in a different way.
  • 3 0
 Some of us have fat thighs. Short saddles are nice for not rubbing through shorts.
  • 3 0
 @ryan77777: If you actually have that issue, you may want to use a noseless saddle. I have had few on my commuters. They avoid pants crotch wear. The best one I have used is Hobson Easyseat 2.
  • 1 0
 Bought one of these yesterday can't wait to test it out..

www.ebay.com/itm/133161729488
  • 3 0
 Did u try it? Im a bikefitter professionaly now for 10y. Short saddles are the best thing ever in this 10y for riding comfort for most of riders. My 2 cents...

But yes, I see a lot of need of moving around on the saddle from riders, who are in really bad position on their bikes.
  • 1 0
 @bikeinbih: I have the SQ-Lab 611 too. I thought I would love it, but the nose is just too long. If I'm stopped in traffic, then try to get onto the saddle too quickly, I end up crushing a testicle between the nose of the saddle and my thigh. Also, they didn't make an opening in the depression, so in the winter/slush/rain months (7 months of the year) my ass is soaked, fenders or no.
  • 1 0
 @megatryn: Chromag Overture.
  • 2 0
 Another vote for keeping some longer saddles in the market – for those that climb really steep stuff, shortening a saddle negates the benefit of having steeper seat tube.
Longer with nice wide soft nose is even better, to minimize Prostrate Exam experiences on said climbs
  • 1 0
 @nickmalysh: I swear by I-Beam on my DH. Found a DJ seat that is short enough. BMX posts doesn´t exist in the size that fits my frame.
  • 3 0
 @cebe: I have no idea where you ride but that comment is nonsense. Moving about on the saddle has nothing to do with bike fit-well it might in some cases I guess. Moving about on the saddle is about maintaining climb traction as well as giving your thighs the ability to steer the bike. You steer with your hips not your bars and that grip option is essential for technical and DH riding. I ride in a very sandy pebbly area with lots of short step climbs. Moving about is vital to constantly manage traction. Also, staying sitting in the same place is not good for protracted periods.
  • 1 0
 @RedRedRe: thanks! I’ll check that out
  • 1 0
 @Zayphod: Spot on.
  • 1 0
 I love short saddles. Less chance of poking myself in the back when standing over my bike. They also look more proportionate on bikes with shorter top tubes. I'd never buy a long saddle again if I had the choice.
  • 18 5
 The original Flite is the all time greatest looking saddle.
Why give it's name to that hideous looking thing?
  • 4 0
 I think the Boost actually looks quite good, and you can tell it took inspiration from the original Flite. It's kinda like the Alpine A110
  • 5 5
 awwwwh change is scary, you'll get through it.
  • 2 0
 An insult to the original Flite!
  • 9 0
 I'll wait for next years Super Boost saddle, thanks!
  • 5 1
 Is that ebike saddle for real? the soggy lumps look like they’re really soft and comfortable. Also, I love how it looks like a burnt marshmallow cat on the end of a stick. This saddle is perfect for me so I can file an insurance claim that my bike melted in a fire and I can finally upgrade to boost spacing. That reminds me - does the saddle come in boost with a droopier nose? I’d also consider buying it for all my friends if we could just get a long-term review please.
  • 4 0
 I'm really interested in short nosed saddles, specifically the Specialized Power because their other saddles treat me well, but I've been nervous to pull the trigger. Anybody have experience with them?
  • 2 0
 I am in the same boat as you was holding the S-Works version yesterday. While I am not afraid to spend $300 on a seat, it is, after all, a test.

For my road bikes I have been on Flight for decades, the OE Specialized saddle on my MTN is very comfy however. Time to time the nose catches the rear end of my shorts.
  • 4 0
 I have the power saddle on my cx bike and love it. If my seat tube angle were steep enough I didn’t have to move so far onto the nose to climb, I’d have it on my mtb too.
  • 2 0
 I have a power saddle on my Capra, I like it, sometimes climbing a steep section I wish I had a longer nose, but overall it’s great. I think the blessing on them is for people who want to get rowdy heading downhill, then you have less seat in the way of your knees and thighs.
  • 3 0
 I have the Spesh Power Arc (Ti rails) and the Mimic. I love the power arc on my MTB. I think the normal power has just a little too much platform for me on my mtb. I would highly recommend trying both, and see if you can get a few rides in with both.

Side note: I absolutely love how short the nose is. I can finally get into the drops (gravel bike) without being uncomfortable.
  • 3 0
 I think Spesh has a tryout program and a money back policy for saddles, so you should be covered there.
  • 3 0
 Wife loves the power saddle. Says it’s the best she has used and she has tried every women’s one. Does complain it can be short for steep climbs. Check out SQ labs stuff...beat out there IMO
  • 2 0
 You might have some good surprises if you browse on aliexpress...
  • 2 0
 Just got the Power Pro Elaston for my cx/gravel/indoor trainer bike and holy hell is it amazing. The one thing I’d say is that I’m a little hesitant to put it on a MTB because the sizing is wide (I’m normally a 143 in Specialized saddles and they recommended a 155 in the Power for some reason) and I’m not sure it would be the easiest saddle to move off of when shifting weight to the back wheel.
  • 2 0
 Huge fan! Got the ARC version which is better for me. Previously used phenom/henge saddles and this is even better.
  • 2 0
 @ryan77777: are you using it on your MTB? Typo above-I have the arc version too, just nervous to try it on the MTB because of width and the upward slope of the rear.
  • 2 0
 @DrPete: I think you'll be surprise. I actually like my power arc on my mtb more than my gravel bike.
  • 2 0
 @ryan77777: I agree on the Arc version, especially if you're a little more upright on a trail or enduro bike. I'd love to see a durable top version as well.
  • 2 0
 Short nose saddles are good if you don't seat on the saddle much. Otherwise it is a minus.
  • 3 0
 I tend to like the longer nose for moving forward on climbs/obstacles, but I run them on the road/CX and really like them.
  • 1 0
 @joaovasco: or get a brand x with cutout at crc haf mine a year best $20 I ever spent. And that included shipping
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: my sit bone measurement puts me between sizes according to specialized, so maybe the narrower size on the MTB and wider on the gravel ride would be the way to go... man, I’m supporting the bike industry during this pandemic. LOL.
  • 2 0
 As a bikefitter, last 3y I would go that 8 from 10 costumers say that Power (or P. Arc or P. Mimic) is the best saddle from all theoretically right ones which we test.

I personally ride Power Arc Elaston now for third year and is the best saddle I ever tried on MTB.

Ps: if its good for S. Hill (3y already), then is also good for me! Wink Wink Wink Wink Wink
  • 3 0
 @DrPete: I use it on my MTB and road bike both! Dunno why it works for both but it does
  • 6 0
 E-MTB saddle also comes in a flesh-colored “Dick Pound limited edition.”
  • 4 0
 Man , all those saddles with that thin, sharp piece at the back between the sit pads make me cringe. If your off the back and the bike bucks back, That will chop your junk off!
  • 2 0
 Just bought a SQLab 611 for the gravel bike. After about 70mi decided to get one for the mtb. They're a bit different looking but work really well. Super comfy, no numbness or pain. Did the whole sit bones measurement thing and ended up very pleased.
  • 2 1
 I'd like to see saddles with concaves for the sit bones to.. well, sit on and stay there. Don't know if a common problem but if relax I tend to slide down to the nose of the saddle, just because is the natural thing if you think of the shape of sitting bones and saddle. To counteract this I have to raise the nose of the saddle slightly past the horizontal, which often leads to soft tissue discomfort on climbs. Slamming it forward made a big difference, but still the whole thing asks for concaves to me. Curious to try Ergon sme3.
  • 1 0
 Why would Ergon make the groove get more shallow as it goes forward? The chance for blood vessel or nerve injury gets higher as it goes forward (where they can pinch between the pelvis and the saddle). That’s what we’re trying to avoid, right?
  • 1 0
 Since most manufacturers are going with a center channel now why don’t more of them cut out the material in the seat pan like some of the selle saddles? At least that way I wouldn’t have to take the seat off to add air to my dropper post
  • 6 1
 On the XC/gravel side of things, it's nice to not get a steady stream of cold water up your backside when you're spinning in the saddle.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: I bet, but not much of a worry in the SE U.S. due to the heat and humidity. I guess maybe a removable rubber plug would be the cure for both issues.
  • 1 0
 Why not include the greatest saddle and bar manufacturer out there in this list?
SQ Labs has by far the most comfortable saddles out there and I can’t recommend their free seatbone measuring tool enough!

The 16deg backsweep bars they offer opened up a whole new world of riding comfort and bike control to me!
No more shoulder pain and numb fingers, which is amazing!
Also i have so much more force over my frontwheel now, that I can throw it around almost violently.
Berms and tight corners feel so much better now.
When whipping the bike in the air, it feels so effortless!
  • 2 1
 Pro's graphics are hideous. especially on this saddle, but also all of their other offerings. also, Selle Italia. Looks like the designer cruised a free font website and decided to use them all. dial it back a little
  • 1 0
 I like all these channeled saddles. Now instead of carrying my post ride hotdog in my shammy, I can simply slide it in the channel of my saddle. Still getting the warm up affects of body temp and more room in my trousers!
  • 1 0
 Is that a bottle opener on the back of the Ergon? So you can open a beer with a tool that's not only muddy but taint sweaty too?
  • 4 0
 WTB Silverado
  • 1 0
 Want another one? I tried it but ended up liking the Volt better.
  • 1 0
 @DrPete: Got the one I need, but thanks!
  • 3 0
 Hmm...gonna have to sit and think on this one. So many choices.
  • 3 0
 Bel Air for me!
  • 3 0
 Me too! That new BEl-Air 3 is my next saddle for sure.
  • 2 0
 the stack-hight of all these "new" saddles is a joke.
  • 1 0
 Agreed, I would like to see some lower profile options.
  • 2 0
 eMtb Saddle? Damn shits getting weird.....
  • 6 0
 Actually makes some sense to me. Since you usually pedal without, or almost without effort on an ebike, weight distribution is different, more of your weight is resting on the saddle, so different padding might be useful.
  • 2 0
 Sure hate those puddle enemas
  • 1 0
 6 space ships and a Selle Italia with its foreskin cut off...... Okay that SDG looks kinda okay...
  • 1 1
 I used the pro for a while. It's good for xc stuff. but the sides are pretty hard/sharp so not good to clamp or lean on
  • 1 0
 these all look like road saddles
  • 1 0
 Oil slick? My poor poor wallet
  • 1 0
 So many ways to sit down...so many dropper posts to attach them to.
  • 1 0
 Not enough Leopard print or Snake Skin. Try again SDG.
  • 1 0
 Where's the super boost saddle?
  • 1 1
 Third time is the charm, and the first two were good.
  • 1 2
 I installed my new bel air 2.0 yesterday and now the 3.0 is announced... ????‍♂️
  • 3 0
 Turns out that palm to face emoji’s don’t translate well from mobile to pinkbike!
  • 3 0
 @torstenfrost: welcome to the bike industry!
  • 5 0
 The one you have is as good as it was yesterday. Smile
  • 1 0
 #assstory
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