If you’re after a more traditional shaped saddle with a comfortable profile and which doesn’t weigh too much, the Selle Italia X-LR is a good bet. It has a cutout-free profile with a shallow central pressure relief channel and is padded adequately to avoid discomfort on longer rides.
Comfortable saddle for longer rides
Lightweight for its price
A rather flat profile
By Paul Norman
Selle Italia makes a huge range of saddles. To make finding the right one a bit easier it now categorises them according to their profile and fit to different rider anatomy, as determined by its idmatch bike fit system. The Selle Italia X-LR fits into the S1 category.
When I had a demo fit with idmatch, my anatomy and riding position singled me out for an S1 category saddle, so the X-LR should be a good option. Nevertheless, it’s quite a narrow saddle and not massively padded. As well as the 125mm wide S version tested, there’s a 140mm wide L variant of the Selle Italia X-LR saddle.
There’s a shallow central channel while the nose has a slight downward tilt. The overall shape of the saddle and its nose are quite similar to the Prologo Scratch 2 saddle, which I really like and which was in our Editors Choice for 2017. Many of Selle Italia’s saddles have cut-outs, some quite extreme. It’s a feature that I don’t find that comfortable, so it was good to find that it was absent from the Selle Italia X-LR saddle, although there is a shallow central pressure relief channel.
At 178g, the Selle Italia X-LR saddle is on the light side, particularly for a model sitting on metal rails. Selle Italia puts this down to its TI 316 stainless steel, which it says results in a 15% weight decrease relative to a traditional metal rail. Another £70 buys you the carbon rail version and brings the weight down to a claimed 152 grams.
Selle Italia uses two different padding densities in the Selle Italia X-LR saddle. The nose of the saddle is softer than the rear, to make riding a bit more comfortable. There are harder plastic edges at the far rear, to help avoid the scuffs and cuts that saddles can get in day to day use.
I’ve found the Selle Italia X-LR saddle comfortable for longer rides, both on road and off. Although there’s not much padding, what there is seems to be in the right places for me. It’s quite a flat saddle too, which is good for moving your weight around, although I found that I didn’t feel quite as securely perched as on a saddle with a more upward curved rear section, like the Fizik Aliante.
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