13 January 2010

bikefix Exclusive Review: Selle Italia Flite XC saddle

I don’t like to write saddle reviews very often because they are so subjective. We are all built so differently, and many of us have a myriad of ideas on what feels comfortable to our sit-bones. So I’ll make this short and say: I don’t find this saddle comfortable at all. I actually used it longer than I would otherwise have because it was on my singlespeed, and therefore I don’t sit as much as normal, which allowed me to tolerate it for longer.

The Flite is good looking saddle. Actually, many of Selle Italia’s saddles are handsome these days- the two different textiles (shiny and matte Lorica top) look very nice together. They don’t feel that good though. Mostly, this saddle is just too hard and unyielding. It is a bit narrow for me, but some folks like that. The problem is that there are many saddles available out there that are more comfortable and weigh the same or less. Heck, Selle Italia’s own SLR is lighter and feels better on the butt to me. The only thing to recommend the Flight XC over an SLR would be durability. The Flight is fairly tough. I had some scrapes with it and it hardly looks used. The titanium seat rails are shaped to resist bending, and Selle wrapped some tough Kevlar fabric over the back edges of the seat to protect that vulnerable area where we all see rips from crashes, or even just leaning the bike over on the wrong rock.

If this saddle feels comfortable underneath you, then it has a lot to recommend it. I don’t think the two-tone cover is the way to go in everybody’s eyes, but it’s not that big of a deal. The Flight is respectably light at 220g and is very tough for such a minimal saddle. See if you can try one before you buy one- especially as it’s a bit pricey at around $190.



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