The SLR Boost Endurance is Selle Italia’s latest take on its short-nosed saddle design, in answer to a call for greater comfort over longer distances. It delivers on that mission, but you’ll need to be prepared to pay for it.
The trend for short-nosed road saddles shows no sign of abating, and Selle Italia has already had great success in this arena with its SLR Boost. Where that saddle has divided opinion, however, is in the firmness of its padding. Not everyone needs a race-ready perch, and if big miles are your thing then comfort becomes of ever greater concern – the wrong saddle is an annoyance on a 60-miler, but it can be the difference between completing a 600km audax or not. With that in mind, Selle Italia has released the Endurance version of the SLR Boost to make the miles pass more enjoyably on long rides.
It’s worth pointing out here that while the Endurance has been tweaked for comfort, first impressions of the Light Gel Plus padding suggest it is still very much at the performance end of the spectrum. There is no bulk here, as befits a saddle that weighs in at just over 200g with steel rails, so in the looks department, you don’t have to worry about sacrificing style for comfort.
In use, however, the padding is a revelation. Along with a shape that is perfectly designed to accommodate the sit bones, the Light Gel Plus padding has just the right amount of give to see you ticking off the miles.
Saddle choice is always a very personal affair, but if you prefer to sit relatively still on the bike, rather than switch around between positions, then short-nosed saddles are designed with you in mind, and this is a seat that deserves your attention.
That said, even in its Endurance guise the SLR Boost is not a bad place to take up an aggressive position during spells in the drops. That snub nose is designed to take pressure off the perineum and although the saddle is not a split design there is a continuation of the wide cutout at the nose in the form of a central indentation, to offer relief to most sensitive parts. In my experience this worked well, and the amount of time spent riding hard was dictated by pain in the legs rather than the perineum.
I can generally get on with just about any saddle over modest distances, but for longer rides I have found pressure relief channels to be a really effective way of increasing comfort. The SLR Boost Endurance’s channel is wide enough to offer genuine relief, so with the rear of the saddle shaped to support the sit bones and encourage hip rotation, it lived up to its billing during our test period.
I didn’t ride Paris-Brest-Paris on it, but my four-hour rides were enough to suggest it could be a worthy contender if I ever were so daft as to do something like that again.
A saddle this well designed, well made, comfortable and stylish comes at a premium. On the face of it, over £200 seems excessive for a steel-railed saddle, but the SLR Boost Endurance is lighter than many racier rivals such as the carbon-railed Fizik Vento Argo for £185 or the Specialized Power Expert at £110 with titanium rails.
Selle Italia’s own regular Novus Superflow Endurance(link is external) has an rrp of £159.99 if you prefer a standard length saddle, and features an elongated cutout with a split nose.
If it suits you, and your pockets are deep enough, the SLR Boost Endurance will reward your investment.
If its strengths tally with your needs, this has all the features to be a perfect saddle
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Make and model: Selle Italia SLR Boost Endurance TI316
Size tested: W145xL248 mm
Tell us what the product is for and who it’s aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Selle Italia calls the SLR Boost Endurance: “A saddle designed and conceived for those who make long journeys their life philosophy, in response to the ever-increasing demand for short saddles designed for long distance riders.”
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Selle Italia lists:
Weight: S 204 g – L 209 g
Rail: TI 316 Tube Ø7 mm
Dimensions: S 130×248 mm, L 145×248 mm
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The SLR Boost Endurance TI316 offers excellent comfort and light weight at a premium price.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Excellent padding, wide cut-out channel.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Short nose won’t be for everyone.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on?
Excellence comes at a price. You can get the similar Fizik Vento Argo for £185, and that saddle features carbon rails which should further aid comfort. The Specialized Power Expert is yours for half the price at £110 and comes with titanium rails, although even then it is heavier than the SLR Boost Endurance. Selle Italia’s own regular Novus Superflow Endurance costs £160 if you prefer a standard length saddle and features an elongated cutout with a split nose.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, if they were in the market for a £200-plus saddle.
Use this box to explain your overall score
As with all saddles, if this is the right one for you it will be worth the investment. If you value good support for your sit bones and a generous cutout, and if racking up the miles is your cycling passion, then this could be the perfect seat.