Review: Syncros FL Carbon Rail Mountain Bike Saddle
Syncros’ FL product family is their lightweight, XC-oriented group of components. FL stands for “Freakin’ Light” and thus far, we haven’t been disappointed when we’ve thrown FL goodies on the scale. Most recently, I reviewed their FLavor tires and, despite a thick coating of leaves and mud on the trail, can’t bring myself to take them off.
While rolling on their rubber, I’ve also been testing the FL carbon rail mountain bike saddle. It should be known that I’ve broken every other carbon railed saddle I’ve ridden on a mountain bike, usually within the first ride. Just ask Cannondale and Felt.
Fortunately, after about eight months of riding the FL, it’s barely made a scary sounding creak or two, and it shows no sign of wear. Even the nice white microfiber cover is still looking fresh!
Click through for actual weight, specs (updated with dimensions) and more…
The FL saddle is made of a nylon/carbon shell sitting on 7×9.6mm carbon fiber rails with super light foam covered by a microfiber upper that feels like synthetic leather. It’s listed with a claimed weight of 236g on their website, but I’m happy to say mine came in much lighter at 188g. I’m thinking their website is wrong because we’ve seen it listed at trade shows at 190g to 200g.
UPDATE: At the widest point, width is 5.25″ (133.5mm) and length is 10.75″ (273mm).
It’s also available in black. No rider weight limit is prescribed, but common sense should prevail. I weigh about 185-190lbs when fully kitted out with a small hydration pack and summer gear. I also tend to remain seated more than I probably should, so the saddle takes whatever impact force my Niner’s Jet 9 rear suspension doesn’t soak up. The point is I’m not a featherweight and I definitely give the saddle a workout.
The rails are taller than wide and are designed for tradition seatposts that clamp the top and bottom of the rails. An adapter is needed if you’re using a single-bolt post or one that clamps from the sides of the rails (like a Moots, for example).
Since I haven’t broken it yet, I’d have to give this saddle a pretty high rating. It’s comfortable for three to five hour rides. It’s very lightweight. The padding is plenty for an XC/marathon saddle. The shape works well for mountain biking with a well padded nose for inched forward climbing and a slight lift to the tail for power, but not so much lift that you can’t easily slide off the back for steep descents. It has enough curvature to put my sit bones in seemingly the right place. There’s a slight recessed groove in the center of the saddle to relieve pressure, and I haven’t experienced any of that sort of discomfort with this saddle.
MSRP is $179, but Syncro’s website has it discounted for about $135 as of this posting.