Product Test: Selle Italia Flite Boost Kit Carbonio Superflow

The modern saddle facelift

PUNCH LINES

  • Made in Italy
  • Tradition with evolution
  • A version for all price points

INNOVATION FROM A CLASSIC

Not just one of the most well-known saddle brands in the industry, Selle Italia is also one of the longest-surviving brands the sport has known, having started business back in 1897. Their Flite series has been a go-to race saddle for riders since it was launched in 1990. Over the years the Flite has seen its fair share of colors and construction options, but none as distinct as its latest update.

THE TECH

Selle Italia has launched the new Flite saddle with a full array of models and options. Our 168-gram saddle is their top-tier version that features 7×9 carbon rails and an ample relief cutout. We got the wider 145mm (L3) version, but a narrower 135mm (S3) version is also available. If the $400 price tag is too high, there is also a titanium rail or magnesium rail version, and they are each available with or without cutout and in both widths for a total of 12 saddles under the new Flite Boost range.
This is a “flat” saddle, and our Carbonio uses a synthetic cover they call Fibra-Tek for a long-lasting and durable life. The 248mm-long saddle is 27mm shorter than the previous Flite. Selle Italia says this allows a rider to more efficiently find their optimum position on the saddle. This is all aided by the idmatch system that helps select, fit and position the saddle.

THE RIDE

When we compare the Flite Boost to the Flite, there are some subtle differences, but one stands out the most—the length. The new saddle is nearly 30mm shorter in length. This design trend is gaining ground in the market, and it doesn’t always work, but we liked how the new Flite still offered plenty of nose to offer multiple positions. The shape of the saddle with its T design was also preferred more than the current trend of progressively widening saddles. The cutout was large, and there were no complaints.
While riding we found the padding to be very supportive and even throughout the length of the saddle. The nylon base is stiff, but does offer flex on both the outer wing of the saddle and in the middle as you transition forward. This was nice, as we would slide up for big efforts onto the narrower portion but get some relief thanks to the minimal flex. When moving back, the pronounced shape made it easy to locate our normal position.

THE VERDICT

At the end of the day, the saddle is expensive but proof positive that evolution means change and a different experience. For us, the experience was good, even better than the traditional version. We enjoyed the more modern approach of the Flite Boost that really looked to improve the shape and fit of the saddle. Top-level construction positions it as a premium product with less expensive options in the line.

STATS

Price: $400
Weight: 168 grams
www.selleitalia.com

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