Selle Italia's SLR Boost Lade Superflow is a wild looking saddle with a cavernous central opening, but the high price and the lack of support make it more at home on the road than in the dirt.
Selle Italia has had a strong presence in the women’s saddle market with the Selle Italia Diva Gel – a long standing favourite for many women riders looking for the best women’s saddle. The SLR Boost Lady Superflow is not marketed as an MTB saddle, but with no female offering for its SLR Boost X Cross off-road saddle, we opted to try this female-specific saddle instead.
There is no disputing this is a performance offering. This is the lightest saddle in the test by a long way, although that is reflected in the high asking price. Almost flat in profile, as well being the slimmest saddle certainly helps the weight, but it doesn’t scream comfort at first glance. But this is a perfect example why you shouldn’t judge something on first impressions – it’s a surprisingly comfortable ride.
The SLR Boost Lady Superflow is dominated by a very large central cut out measuring 165mm by 35mm at its widest. Even at the rear of the saddle, the cut-out narrows only slightly, so the only part where there is any contact on your soft tissue is the very tip of the nose. The size of the cut-out removes all pressure from the labia, and where it is so much wider than most, it seems to alleviate the problem of trapped soft tissue identified by Specialized. However, although you gain benefits from decreased pressure, you also lose support, and it takes some time to get used to the sense of having so little saddle beneath you.
The smaller overall dimensions combined with the large channel doesn’t allow for huge amounts of movement when you are seated for pedalling, which is not so good if you are prone to a mid-ride fidget. This probably wouldn’t be a problem if using the saddle on a road bike, where you spend more time in a prolonged fixed position, but mountain biking is a far more dynamic activity and this aspect doesn’t transfer across as well. It would be great to see some of the performance design of this saddle adopted by a women’s specific Selle Italia MTB offering.
We were disappointed by the Selle Italia SLR Boost Lady Superflow, and not only because the term Superflow sounds like a sanitary product. It was actually pretty comfortable as long as you remained still, but mountain biking demands a more dynamic style and the Selle Italia just lacked support. It’s also very expensive and the large cutout ensures a soggy arse in wet weather.