We review six tri-specific saddles to find out which is the best triathlon saddle
Selle Italia SLR Tri Gel
The SLR Tri has a thickly padded ‘Genuine Gel’ nose that’s incredibly comfortable over all distances. While it’s fairly wide, it doesn’t rub or chafe. The long length means a smooth transition from aero tuck to the back of the saddle for climbing, where the slight dimple makes it a pleasure to sit on. Selle Italia’s vanox (vanadium-steel alloy) rails offer plenty of room for adjustment and the SLR Tri’s 236g weight is a good compromise for this level of comfort.
Bontrager Hilo RXL
With a full-length split, Bontrager’s Hilo is a good choice for those who prefer a cut-out in their saddle. It’s instantly comfortable when perched right on the end to give good hip rotation, while also allowing upright riding without discomfort or chafing. The long rails, made from hollow titanium, allow a perfect set-up and the carbon fibre reinforced shell is finished with a pair of rear hooks to secure your bike in transition. At 276g, though, it’s overweight.
PRO Turnix TRI
Weighing only 184g thanks to its carbon rails and lightweight foam padding, the Turnix is an enticing proposition for weight weenies. The nose is wider than a standard saddle – though narrower than the Bontrager and Selle Italia – and has plenty of give, which increases as the leather cover softens with use. The main contact point on the centre of the saddle is quite flat which, combined with the comfortable nose, makes switching positions smooth and easy.
Selle San Marco ASPide Triathlon
The ASPide Triathlon is light at only 197g. The nose is narrower than some other tri designs and also features quite a sharp curve which, despite the ample padding, makes it hard to find a comfy end-of-nose position. The raised back is good for support but the smooth surface of the saddle leads to slippage in some shorts. The rails aren’t the longest but are fine unless you have an extreme position and help keep the weight down, being a titanium/silicon/carbon mix.
Fizik Arione K1
The K1 is Fizik’s top-end tri saddle and features a carbon thermoplastic composite hull and carbon braided rails, meaning it comes in at a paltry 195g. Halfway between the company’s regular Arione and more extreme tri-specific designs, the K1 has more padding than the road version but a fairly narrow nose for a tri saddle. It’s still comfy though, with the sharkskin texture giving good grip. It’s also ready for Fizik’s snap-on bags and lights, but is a pricey proposition.
Prologo Nago Evo Tri40 Nack
The Tri40 features Prologo’s Nack 10 carbon rails – keeping weight to a svelte 200g – and the company’s unique Slide Control grippers, which run along the fairly narrow nose. It’s the firmest saddle here, and with no cut-away or obvious pressure relief, it places more pressure on the perineum, especially when down on the extensions – a feeling that turns to numbness on longer rides. The grips do help you hold a powerful position for short, flat-out efforts though.