Sadistic or Soothing?
I get strange looks from the uninitiated when they see the saddle I am riding. It's the Selle Italia SLC Gel Flow. The SLC is comprised of a nylon Rylsan and carbon fiber platform which is wrapped in leather and positioned on carbon fiber rails. At 210 grams there is not much to it beyond the aforementioned ingredients. But the ingredient that escapes those uninitiated nose-wrinklers is the science and engineering that goes into it. The question is, is intelligent engineering enough to make a sliver of carbon fiber not hurt my supple derierre?
Getting some time in the saddle will make or break any saddle. The first time I rode the SLC, I felt greater comfort than I had anticipated but I did develop a few hotspots around the sit-bones as the miles began to add up. The independent suspension system sculpted from the carbon fiber platform has a considerable amount of give and does a great job of replacing the need for ample cushioning. The leather wrap over slight gel strips provides a minimal layer of padding that softens the hit between carbon and skin. Additionally, the full split system offers a decent sized anatomical groove as not to reduce blood flow to tender male parts. The groove falls right into the correct anatomical zone and guides the sit-bones to the correct locations. The curves along the profile of the SLC, from heel to slender nose, also seem to sit right in the body's natural shape as not to encumber the pedal stroke.
The more I ride the SLC the more comfortable I get. I still find that longer durations in the saddle offer some minor hotspots. I think this saddle is intended for the sprinter/criterium rider because it seems as though both of these riders would need the ultimate in lightweight equipment but, would be riding in shorter duration events. A tourer or century rider might want something a tad more plush.
Fit n' Finish:
The look of this saddle is fairly unique with its large split rail cut-away, carbon accents and leather wrap. The SLC actually changes the whole look of your bike when you put it on. It's hard to explain but your bike just looks faster. I guess it draws from the same minimalist aesthetic that makes track bikes so visually appealing. Less substance, clean lines, bare bones yet, equal function. Beyond the stylish look the SLC is made from premium materials and crafted to last. I've been riding Selle Italia for years now and have never had a problem with their construction. This saddle has the same solidly constructed feel to it that Selle Italia users have come to expect.