Long Term Review: Selle Italia’s SLR Superflow 145 Saddle

Selle Italia SLR Superflow 145 top view

Thanks to the charge lead by Specialized and their Body Geometry fit options, the choices in saddles from many different companies have grown.  Saddle choice / needs can vary greatly from rider to rider, making this a much welcome change in the industry.  Over the years, and after trying many different saddles, I have found I prefer a wider, flatter saddle with a cutout and some flex in the wings.  Fitting into that category are both my Specialized Toupe 145 and Fizik Antares Vs. which I have been riding for a couple years now.

Add to that collection the Selle Italia SLR Superflow 145.  For the past year, I’ve had this saddle on a few different road bikes.  Head past the break for the details and review…

Selle Italia SLR Superflow 145 Rail Marking Detail

The SLR Superflow was the first in what is a growing trend for Selle Italia.  This saddle features multiple widths (130mm and 145mm) plus a massive cutout.  This model has titanium rails, uses their EVA high density padding, and is covered in genuine leather.  The shell is 30% carbon.  Mine weighs in one gram heavier than the claimed weight of 195g.

Selle Italia SLR Superflow 145 Side Profile

The saddle measures 275mm from tip to tail, and hits 145mm at its widest.  The cutout runs nearly the entire length of the saddle (I measured it to be 194mm long).  It starts at a narrow 18.5mm wide, and grows to 35mm wide in the rear.  Externally, the nose is narrow, and measures out to 32mm.  At 130mm back, it widens gradually to 68mm.

Selle Italia SLR Superflow 145 Front View

Riding this saddle has been a dream.  From the first ride to the last, I have had zero complaints. Chafing and numbness are a thing of the past. For me, this saddle sits at the top of my preferences when it comes options for my road bike. It works with my anatomy extremely well. I am a bigger rider (6’2″ 215lbs), and a cutout has always been a must have. This super wide cutout has made a noticeable difference in comfort for me as compared to the other saddles I have been on. The flat top is supportive over long rides, and yields very little fatigue thanks to the flex of the wings.  The ti rails help to add a bit of comfort as well.

Selle Italia SLR Superflow 145 Logo Detail

One thing to keep in mind for some however, is that the cutout doesn’t extend all the way through the nose like it does on the Fizik Antares Vs model.  And, the nose is a bit short and pretty narrow.  While I don’t spend much time on the nose of the saddle when riding, anyone who does may want to try before you buy, to make sure there are no comfort issues.

Selle Italia SLR Superflow 145 Rear Three Quarter View

The cost of entry for this perch is on the high end, but for me, totally worth the hard earned money. Some Googling reveals that the cost online ranges from $250 to $330 depending on color (white or black) and width (130mm or 145mm).  My personal advice, if you think this is the right saddle for you, find a local bike shop that has a good demo program or return policy and purchase it there.

Selle Italia SLR Superflow 145 Rear View

Comments

DerHoggz - 10/12/13 - 6:31pm

I take issue with the first sentence, even if Specialized did invent curved stays and using the color red on bikes.

HillDancer - 10/12/13 - 7:21pm

This an outstanding saddle. A positive not mentioned is the leather’s smooth surface. Saddles with textured coverings wear holes in my shorts and/or chamois, or at least cause piling. The SuperFlow’s smooth surface allows me to fine tune sitting position while in motion without having to lift & place, and allows a frictionless transition when moving in and out of the saddle. Another plus, in addition the pleasing lack of perineum intrusion, is welcome aeration of the same region.

Dennis - 10/12/13 - 7:54pm

Large cutout may place perineum at slightly higher risk of avulsion injury during acute fall at an angle.

David - 10/12/13 - 11:12pm

I was having numbness issues, and this saddle fixed the problem asap. It is by far the most comfortable saddle I’ve ridden on for both long and short efforts. If you think it’s right for you, do a little online snooping; it can be found for sub $200.

Naton - 10/13/13 - 1:41am

@DerHoggz: Specialized invented bike fitting and I wish all the haters would just settle down and accept it. I have a Specialized saddle from the early 2000s in my shed and it has a cutout. I rest my case.

Mindless - 10/13/13 - 1:54am

@Naton: Specialized stole EVERYTHING they sell. From the very first bike.

From Brook catalog: ‘The B17 Imperial features the central cut-out, first designed by BROOKS over 100 years ago. The “registered cutting”, as can be read in the 1890 catalogue, is “a sure preventive to all perineal pressure”.”

Bruno - 10/13/13 - 3:15am

@Naton: do some research before making silly statements. Specialized never invented bike fitting. This was being done in Europe (at least) many decades before Specialized even existed. Marketing is one thing, but reality is another.

WG - 10/13/13 - 3:38am

@Naton – please do not be silly. Retul was known long before BGfit.

yogibimbi - 10/13/13 - 5:20am

oK, what I see is a huge hole in the saddle and two screws from underneath sticking up. Looks like a recipe for something very unsavory. I recently had an accident where the nose of my Prologo Zero II broke, so I must have come down pretty hard on the saddle (I only remember that part of the accident where I flew over the handle bars), so, coming down hard and two screws sticking up does not sound very comfortable in my ears…
But this seems to be not so much a feature of the saddle itself, but of the underlying fixing mechanism, so it might not be an issue on my bike at all. Currently I am riding a Specialized Phenom expert, which I bought in a bit of a hurry due to aforementioned accident and because I needed a new saddle (I ride to work every morning). So far it feels great, even a slight improvement over the Prologo,which I also liked, yet this might be also due to a slight change in inclination of the saddle. But I have just done tours of up to 75 km with a light rucksack, so I couldn’t say how it stands up to > 200 km and a tent, sleeping bag and 3 l of water in the rucksack…

pornitswhatlwouldratherbmaking - 10/13/13 - 7:29am

its expensive

wallymann - 10/13/13 - 8:15am

this brooks surely pre-dates any BG offering! http://brown-snout.com/events/2006_paris/img_8310.jpg

NhbikeGuy - 10/13/13 - 9:16am

@ Nick Burklow- how did you come across the SLR SUPERFLOW145 was the right saddle for you? Did you take part is Selle italia’s idMatch program at your local IBD or just pick it off the rack, due to size and shape comparison to your old saddle.

Sean Kneale - 10/13/13 - 10:53am

There will be a Demo Program in 2014 (to go along with the IDMatch system), so you will be able to test the saddle if you want.

I recommend trying the IDMatch system – really helps in narrowing down a saddle selection.

And about Specialized – they take other ideas and market them very well. I’m hoping the comment from Naton was a joke, otherwise, learn your history. Next he’ll say Specialized invented the wheel!

Robo - 10/13/13 - 12:54pm

“Thanks to the CHARGE LED by Specialized and their Body Geometry fit options”

This is 100% true. The sentance does not say they invented it but they did push the technology to the forefront and bring the prices of anatomical saddles low enough so anyone could buy them.

Nick Burklow - 10/13/13 - 1:15pm

@NhbikeGuy – 1) I have been riding long enough, and afforded the opportunity with this job to try enough products that I have a pretty good idea based on shape and measurements if a saddle will work for me or not. 2) It showed up in the mail one day so I tossed it on a bike. #firstworldproblems right!

Ajax - 10/13/13 - 8:06pm

How come pro riders are so against using holey cut out saddles?

Aaron - 10/13/13 - 10:32pm

Selle SMP saddles have been around a while now, yet aren’t given any mention in the article. Looking at this saddle, it seems to have taken many design cues from Selle SMP, which is a good thing IMHO. Prices are comparable.

Chris - 10/14/13 - 12:49am

http://thegoldenwrench.blogspot.com/2010/08/revolutionary-technology.html

Here are some I saw at the Henry Ford in Detroit.

WG - 10/14/13 - 2:28am

@Robo – they weren’t the first nor the most innovative. There was a number of companies before Specialized who marketed cut-out and ergo saddles for years. The rest is Spesh’s marketing BS which you choose to believe.

Naton - 10/14/13 - 4:03am

So, for the record, my outlandish comments about Specialized inventing bike fitting were 100% sarcastic. As evidenced by their extreme outlandishness.

Ben - 10/14/13 - 10:41am

Naked cyclist scrotum guillotine

Robo - 10/14/13 - 10:49am

@WG I’m sorry you can’t read but that isn’t what I said.

For the record, having ridden many saddles with varying degrees of cutout, I have always found more cutout is more comfortable (for me), so, I think, this would probably be a pretty great saddle. Here’s a company that took an existing idea and improved upon it. I can’t believe a company would have the halls to do such a thing.

kurti_sc - 10/14/13 - 12:35pm

@Dennis and Ben,
Okay Dennis, did Ben get a good translation on what you were saying? I was guessing it was something along those lines. Nutmeg to a fallen rider if he somehow stays in the saddle. I usually find some trajectory that ranges from 2 – 10m, however.

Myke - 10/14/13 - 10:49pm

Saddle reviews are worthless! If you think specialized innovates you have your head in a hole.

Speedy - 10/15/13 - 1:34am

@Myke – saddle reviews with measurements like this are helpful. It gives you a baseline for comparison to what you have already ridden. And, the article never said specialized innovates. It did allude to the fact they they helped popularize saddle fitting.

rico - 10/15/13 - 1:52am

Cutout saddles are awesome if you like them. I like fizik antares, dash stage 9, adamo breakaway. I race my bike, I ride a lot, and it’s just plain truth that this works with my anatomy. I’ve tried a zillion saddles since the 70s for bmx, mtb, road, casual and cross. So that being said, this article was interesting to me because the idea of a good flat/cutout saddle that doesn’t look like a puffy space fighter sounds nice.

Tx for the post. And the comments are interesting too, no prob with that at all, just adding my 2 cents. Peace!

Myke - 10/15/13 - 3:04am

Speedy, I actually own this saddle. I did a ton of research comparing measurements and sizing. It didn’t really help. I don’t find it comfortable on my road bike. The edges around the cut out are very hard and was never really comfortable.

Reid - 10/16/13 - 11:41am

I appreciate the author’s reference to other saddles that fit him.

Shemp - 04/22/14 - 1:40am

I’ve used this for a little less then two years on my cyclecross bike. I’m 145-155 lb depending not the time of the year. Cut-out is great, nor does it pose risk to the user and this includes remounts after running barriers. I do wish it was a bit more round in the back (the industry seem to moving more in flat wafer direction) as I still prefer the shape of original Flite, Rolls, & Regal, but finding traditional shaped seats with a cut out is more difficult. I have yet to try the SBC Chicane, or Selle Turbomatic (None of Selle Italia saddles with gel I’ve owned I ever found comfortable)

Similar to SLR Super Flow and I still prefer the non-gel SLC for shape to cut out ratio. Not sure why but Selle Italia never promoted the SLC. I thought non gel was one of finest seats they ever produced. Only other issue is wafers seats tend to wear out where the thighs rub, it is starting to faintly show on nose of the saddle.

Ronin - 07/09/14 - 9:48am

I changed my Ronin for this. It’s been over a year I think, it’s a great saddle, very comfortable. So thanks for this write up (and a deal on amazon) I’m more happy than I was before.

My test for a saddle is how long I can ride on my turbo trainer, and with this 2 hours isn’t an issue.

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