Since its introduction in the 90s, the Selle Italia Flite saddle has been popular among professional and amateur riders worldwide. The Flite saddles combine a lightweight and sleek design paired with a flat-top profile that offer impressive comfort and performance on the bike. In fact, they’ve remained so popular that Selle Italia re-released the original design as the Flite 1990s saddle in response to consumer demand. To celebrate the 30th year anniversary of the Flite saddle, Selle Italia has released a newest variation of the Flite saddle – the Flite Boost. Selle Italia offers the Flite Boost in 6 key variations: three different rail material options (carbon, titanium alloy and manganese) as well as Superflow option for each. There are also wide/narrow variations available for each of the saddles that correspond to their “idmatch” system.
The Selle Italia Flite Boost saddles are an exciting evolution of the original Flite.
In this review, we’ll specifically be looking at two of the Boost variations, the Flite Boost TM and the Flite Boost Carbonio Superflow. These two saddles represent the least and most expensive of the Flite Boost saddles currently offered. The biggest change with the Boost saddles is that they’ve been shortened to 248mm, which is consistent with the market trend toward stubby-nosed saddles. With a shorter length, the Flite Boost saddles boast a lighter weight and more aerodynamic design as well. Other notable changes are the modernized Flite logo and length/width information on the rear of the saddle.
|Retail Price||$149.99 (TM) / $399.99 (Carbonio Superflow) – note Ti variation is $289.99|
|Measured Weight (in g)||252 (TM) / 160 (Carbonio Superflow)|
|Likes||+ Compact |
+ Shares design element from original Flite
+ Multiple “idmatch” variations
|Dislikes||– Lack of color choices|
– Shorter length may not work for everyone
– Premium price for carbon variations
|Where to Buy (US)||Selle Italia|
Not much to say here, as the saddles are zip tied to a cardboard backing to keep them in place. The graphics are crisp on the cardboard backing and an instruction manual is attached to the rail of each saddle.
FIT & FINISH
While the Flite Boost is a new saddle, Selle Italia didn’t deviate too far from the original Flite saddle design. Placing them side-by-side, it’s clear they have a very similar profile and flat top. The shorter 248mm length of the Boost saddle is achieved by reducing the length of the saddle nose. Aside from that, the updated Flite logo has a more modern appearance that works well with the subtle graphics of the saddles. Selle Italia doesn’t offer any color variations with the saddles, but does have subtle white highlights on the TM and Ti saddle versions while the Carbonio version is red. The Selle Italia logos on the sides of the saddle are also subtle and are printed in a slightly reflective gray color.
Unlike the original Flite saddle which used a genuine leather cover, the Flite Boost saddles use advanced synthetic materials. The TM saddle uses what Selle Italia refers to as Soft-Tex (a polyurethane mix) while the more premium versions use Fibra-Tex (simply described as a technical material). These feel grippy to the touch and have a comfortable but minimal layer of padding. Interestingly, the higher end saddles also have perforations, while the TM only has reflective graphic dots in the same locations. We found that the texture on both saddles prevented us from sliding around on the saddle but still allowed for easy position adjustments.
As we own a few variations of the Flite saddle, we were also able to compare the weights across the generations. The Flite 1990s (Ti rails) in the L1 variation weighed in at 226g while the Flite Boost TM L1 (Manganese rails) came in at 252g. What was impressive was that the Carbonio Superflow came in at a featherweight 160g, a pretty impressive weight reduction. What we particularly like about the Flite Boost saddles though, is the fact that the length/width info is printed on the rear of the saddle which makes replacing your saddle far easier, as you can identify the exact measurements.
The bike saddle is something most riders don’t put much thought into, unless it becomes uncomfortable. If you’ve experienced a poorly fitting saddle, you’ll know it can make even short rides painful. However, saddle fit is very much personal so we highly recommend you try the saddle yourself instead of taking the word of reviews. As someone who’s been riding Flite saddles on nearly all our bikes, we were initially hesitant to try the Flite Boost variation. On the road, we actually found the Flite Boost saddle felt better than the Flite saddle. Also as someone who rides in a fairly aggressive position, the shorter length of the saddle made it easier to position myself. The saddle material on both Flite Boost saddles is also very grippy, ensuring you don’t slide around.
Overall, we found that the Selle Italia Flite Boost saddles are an exciting evolution of the original Flite. The Flite Boost saddles incorporates the iconic flat shape and T-profile of the Flite saddles while also evolving the design. With the short 248mm length, the Flite Boost saddles are more compact and aggressive than the original Flite. As someone who has been riding a Flite saddle for nearly a decade it felt more comfortable, however, the short stubby-nose saddle may not be for everyone. The available wide/narrow and Superflow options also mean most people can find a saddle that matches their riding style and anatomy. Although the Carbonio Superflow is the variation weight weenies and carbon fiber enthusiasts will lust after, the more affordable TM saddle offers the same riding characteristics for those that are more budget conscious.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Selle Italia. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.