The first thing you’ll notice about the updated edition of Selle Italia’s SLR Team Edition saddle, one of 13 saddles in the SLR range, is that the design has moved away from the classic black and white to a more intricate red/black interwoven design.
In terms of construction, the main change is the switch from carbon to titanium rails which adds 35g onto the weight. But despite the carbon rails being binned, there’s still a 30 per cent carbon construction in the rest of the saddle. Selle Italia list a claimed weight of 175g, but we weight our saddle at 186g.
The good news is that, with the weight gain, the price has dropped accordingly, and where the older version would have set you back £160, the update comes in at £115. It’s still not cheap, but not a bad price compared to similar offerings from other manufacturers.
In terms of profile, the saddle is fairly flat and suited to riders who adopt a more extended position. This meant it worked well for me as that happens to be my primary riding pose. Having said that, I didn’t have any comfort issues when sat more upright, and that comes down to the added padding and Fibra Tech Selle Italia have used throughout.
There’s an acceptable amount of give from the body of the SLR which is something I was particularly impressed with as it offers a good amount of protection from road buzz, but the solid foundation means you’re not compromising any power to get that extra comfort. I’ve ridden with the SLR on four to five hour rides without any discomfort, which is probably the biggest testament I can give to its quality.
Pre-riding, there were a few aspects of the saddle I was slightly sceptical about, the first being the dropped sides at the rear which I was worried might irritate the hamstrings when pedalling. But in use they were hardly noticeable and, if anything, possibly added a bit of comfort.
Another thing was the surface material. It’s a little smoother than the previous incarnation and the immediate worry was whether I’d move about more while riding as a result. It was an issue for the first few rides, but when broken in it stopped altogether, so couldn’t feasibly be described as a problem.
Overall, the Selle Italia SLR Team Edition is an impressive saddle, even without the carbon rails of last year’s model. Despite the flat profile it has a good amount of give, but that doesn’t impact on your ability to put power through the pedals.