In this article my I’m going to give you and overview of the best short nose road bike saddles. But before I do I want to give you some pointers of when I feel you want to be looking into these type of saddles. Just in case you don’t already know.
The birth of these saddles was because professional racers wanted to be as far forward onto their bikes while still within the bounds of UCI regulation. Without going into what those rules are, the result was to basically cut of the nose of the saddle, which isn’t used all that much anyway, and move the whole thing forward.
Some professionals experienced benefits in power transfer with a more effective position with relation to the crank, and better aerodynamics as well. So with that information out in the world the entire cycling industry would follow, buoyed by popular demand.
The latest short-nosed version sort of combine the best practices of traditional saddles with saddles that force you to sit on your sit bones entirely. Since there’s less real estate to move around on, these saddles feature large cutouts, more flexible shells, and more pronounced tapering to prevent the shell from digging into the inner thighs.
They obviously display all the other distinctions that a manufacturer can choose to incorporate into a saddle. From using different materials, shapes and sizes.
So how short exactly does a saddle need to be before it can be called short-nosed. The first short-nosed saddle was 240 millimeters long, which is very short. I would argue that anything below 260 millimeters can be considered as being short-nosed, and probably shows short nose characteristics to accommodate for the smaller length.
The list features an overwhelming amount of saddles from the Italian brand Selle Italia. Selle Italia is a company known for its saddle innovations throughout the decades. And although they didn’t forerun the short-nose movement (that would be Specialized), they did fully embrace it and have created some of the very best and most comfortable versions to hit the market.
So that’s my take on the short-nosed craze, and here’s my list of the best short nose road bike saddles I could find.
Contenders short nose road bike saddles
Fabric Line-S Race Flat
The Fabric Line-S Race Flat is a race-worthy saddle for racers who don’t want to dig too deep into their wallet, but still want a high-quality short-nosed road saddle.
At 240 x 142 millimeters and just 230 grams the Line-S can even be considered light, with an attractive titanium rails supported a well-padded nylon shell with center depression for additional comfort.
With such a short nose and this road saddle is for people who don’t like to wiggle around all time, because it keeps you firmly planted. The wide and flat upper means you’ll be just as comfortable in the hoods as in the drops.
The length of the saddle supports a geometry to put the power down in a more forward position.
There’s a version of this saddle with a carbon rails dat adds 80 euros to the overall price while remained unchanged otherwise. I have to admit that a carbon rails does add a bit more flex and comfort to your ride, but it’s up to you to decide it such a steep increase is worth the added cost.
If you feel the answer to that question is no, than the Fabric Line-S Race Flat is one of the best way to enter the short-nosed revolution.
Prologo Scratch M5 Pas
The Prologo Scratch M5 Pas is a short-nosed lightweight road bike saddle.
The overall design features a large seating platform and dropped nose, which enables dynamic riding where you need to get frequently out of the saddle.
The saddle offers two options for the rails with the Tirox alloy versions hovering around 200 grams and a much lighter carbon version sitting at 134 grams. Oval carbon rails necessity a carbon specific seatpost, so make sure you have one, should you decide to opt for the carbon version.
The Scratch M5 is decently padded and looks futuristic with its five panel layout across a rounded 250mm length shell. This separate pannelling should help to add some extra flex to the saddle for added comfort.
Selle Italia Flite Boost TM
The Selle Italia Flite Boost TM is the non-cut out version the one appended with Superflow.
Selle Italia has a penchant for huge cut outs, but this version adds a mere 10 grams to the weight, tipping the scales at about 240 grams.
That’s a respectable weight for a high-quality endurance saddle. I already covered the Superflow version but I have to reiterate than in terms of comfort and value-for-money, this is one of the best allround saddles for long distance riding in the market today.
So unless you really have something against shorter saddles, because this is one of those, consider this one.
Selle Italia Flite Boost TM Superflow
Selle has gone all-in with short-nosed saddles and the Selle Italia Flite Boost TM Superflow is a great affordable option.
The Flite name has been around for an extremely long time, but this saddle looks nothing like the first iterations.
The narrow version of this saddle sits at 135 x 248 millimeters. The stubby nose means less sliding around, for those who appreciate that, putting your body more firmly in place and more easily in a forward position. The entire notion is a better power transfer to the pedals.
True to both its racing and endurance nature this is an almost entirely flat saddle with a huge cut out, something a lot of Selle Italia saddles are known for. And it offers a thicker of padding to stay comfortable with long hours in the saddle.
The overall build quality of this saddle is superb, with a gorgeous perforated Soft-Tek microfiber upper and subtle brand covering.
Although not cheap per se, you get a lot of tech from one of the biggest brands in the saddle industry.
Selle Italia Novus Boost Evo Superflow
Selle Italia tops makes some of the most expensive bike saddles in the world, with a strong focus on both true road racing pieces.
The Selle Italia Novus Boost Evo Superflow is another great example of the Italian brands solid engineering. And they do so in a well-designed package that does not cross 100 dollars.
In line with today’s penchant for short-nosed saddles, the Novus Boost measures only 248 mm in length and has a standard width of 145 mm. Superflow is the term designated for their models with cut outs.
It’s a great-looking piece of equipment with nuanced detailing in the form of a perforated black upper and logo. The center cut out sits in the middle of a dipped area. And underneath the shell you’ll find a 7 mm alloy rails to keep the price the way it is.
I may not be as budget-minded as in my college days, but if I was this is probably the saddle I’d pick.
Selle Italia SLR Boost Endurance Superflow
At 202 grams the Selle Italia SLR Boost Endurance Superflow is a featherweight short-nosed premium performance saddle.
SLR denotes Selle Italia’s forray into short-nosed perches and at 130 x 248 mm for the regular and 145 x 248 mm for the wide version, they are short indeed.
The swooping design is felt even more by the gel padded cover. It’s amazing that Selle Italia has managed to cram so much comfort and padding onto a saddle that weighs so little.
Like most of Selle Italia’s premium endurance saddles, this one features a titanium rails and durable Fibra-tek cover onto a carbon composite shell.
Saddles are exceptionally personal product offerings, and when buying such an expensive one as this one you want one that’s right for you.
This saddle is anything but cheap, but for that premium you get one of the lightest endurance saddles in the market for long comfortable hours in the saddle.
Selle Italia SLR Boost Lady TI316 Superflow
The Selle Italia SLR Boost Lady TI316 Superflow is a female-specific short-nosed premium endurance saddle.
It’s so similar to the Selle Italia SLR Boost Endurance Superflow I really had to look at what makes this a woman’s road bike saddle.
It has the same overall shape with large cut out, titanium rails attached to a carbon composite shell, with gel padding, and a Fibra-Tek cover.
It has the same overall dimensions and it weights the same… No wait, it doesn’t because it’s even lighter. 3 grams for the regular and a single gram for the wide version to be exact.
I’ve overlayed the Lady onto the unisex version and the width actually seems to be a bit smaller, though the number that Selle Italia gives says it’s 130 mm in both cases.
Well it’s a great saddle, and it’s cheaper. What’s in a name.
Selle Italia SLR Boost TM
If you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on an SLR saddle the more moderately priced Selle Italia SLR Boost TM is a great way to venture into short-nosed saddles from this Italian manufacturer.
Although it’s much more affordable it’s just slightly heavier at 220 grams, and I’m not convinced a person will notice a 20 grams difference anyone. This one has a manganese steel rails versus the titanium one. The 7 millimeter diameter rails ensure they’ll be compatible with standard seatposts.
The rails are attached to a nylon shell. That means it’s less forgiving and more firm than either a full carbon or carbon composite shell, which will cost you way more money. Of course it’s difficult to explain what more firm actually feels like for the individual, and some people actually prefer firm saddles.
Selle Italia SLR C59
The lightest saddle in Selle Italia’s lineup, the Selle Italia SLR C59 is a remarkable piece of bike saddle technology.
To achieve such a low weight the saddle has a huge cut out and is really narrow at 128 millimeters. So if you’re used to wider saddles, this is definitely not one for you.
If you’ve ever ridden a non-padded saddle, you know that from a comfort standpoint it doesn’t matter, as long as you don’t use it on your gravel or mountain bike.
Such a light and narrow saddle for such a steep price means you’re either a professional hill-climber athlete or fancy extremities in bike tech.
I have seen it cheaper than its suggested retail price of 600 USD, but even with a lower price, expect to dig very deep into your wallet for this beauty.
Selle Italia SP-01 Boost Kit Carbonio Superflow
The naming conventions of Selle Italia are very confusing indeed, untill you understand that they simply have a fancy way of putting saddle parts into the name. The Selle Italia SP-01 Boost Kit Carbonio Superflow is a good example.
SP-01 refers to a new innovation where the two halves of the sadlle are only held together at the nose. In this case we’re talking about a carbon composite shell dropping the weight to below the magic 200 gram mark at 160. That’s featherweight territory.
Kit Carbonio refers to the carbon rails, which further adds to the premium feel of the saddle. It adds an extra damping factor, but do keep in mind the oval rails need a compatible seatpost. The unique looking rails adds an additional shock absorption factor to the overall high comfort level obtained by the prolific use of carbon throughout the entire saddle
Superflow is Selle Italia’s way of describing their saddle cut outs, which are large and prominent. Even more so with the SP-01 outlandish shape.
And Boost is their way of telling you’re dealing with a short-nosed version of the saddle. With a single size of 130 x 250 mm it’s not only short but also narrow. The taper at the front does lead to a wider nose than on non-boost saddle, which makes a more forward position a comfortable possibility.
It’s the SP-01 saddle that provides the most performance and flexibility in use, with just the more outrageous full carbon Tekno trumping it. The saddle is both a gorgeous and astonishing feat of saddle engineering, that provides the absolute best the Italian company has to offer to the serious road cyclist.
Selle Italia SP-01 Boost Superflow
The SP-01 saddles is a separate category of saddles which provides more flex due to independantly moving saddle halves.
The Selle Italia SP-01 Boost Superflow is somewhat affordable, ditching full carbon rails for a titanium version. This means the saddle ads a couple of extra grams of weight, but the round 7 millimeter rails is fully compatible with your standard seatpost. So that’s a great benefit for riders who don’t want to add to their costs by needing a carbon compatible seatpost.
Still this is not a cheap saddle because it features the same carbon injected nylon composite that Selle Italia uses for their lightweight performance saddles.
Its flat profile and sloping short noise is perfect for a forward position while sitting in the drops. That means this is an aggressive racing road bike saddle.
Be aware of the fact that the saddle is incompatbile with saddle bags because of the open halves.
This design provides an optimal road feel with less padding needed, but still providing ample amounts of damping because of the relatively high amount of flex. So this unique design from the Italian saddle giant is a great innovation that’s bound to attract a faithful following.
Selle Italia SP-01 Boost Tekno Superflow
I cant shake the fact that the name of this saddle could be some underground German house song. Its cool though, but not nearly as cool as this saddle.
Each half of the Selle Italia SP-01 Boost Tekno Superflow is only connected at the nose. This causes them to flex more noticeably when riding ostensibly making the ride more comfortable.
Its the most beautiful saddle from this list and my first pick if I couldve found it for a price my wallet deemed more amenable than its full retail price of 450. Road.cc called it sex on rails. I agree.
Selle Italia SP-01 Boost TM Superflow
The Selle Italia SP-01 Boost TM Superflow is relatively new design from Selle Italia, where the center cut out moves all the way through to the end of the saddle.
That means no more saddle bags, you’ll won’t be able to attach them. But instead you get more flex in the rear because of the two halves that can move more independant from each other. The result is more road feel in a less bumpy ride while you ride in the drops.
Personally, I like the innovation but I can understand that such a design might not be for everybody. But you have to realize that you not only get independantly moving halves, but also more flex in the saddle itself. And at the end of the day it does work to improve riding comfort.
It’s like riding a saddle with more padding, without actually having that extra padding. That means the weight of the narrow 130 millimeter saddle stays at 200 grams, while the 250 millimeter short and straight length locks you into a comfy racing position.
I’m all in for cycling tech or else I wouldn’t be writing this stuff, and I can only applaud Selle Italia for making next steps when it comes to road racing saddles. And with Their SP-01 they’ve hit the mark just right.
Selle San Marco Aspide Short Open-Fit Sport (Narrow)
The Selle San Marco Aspide Short Open-Fit Sport is both a short and narrow saddle for aggressive road racing on a budget, at least where your saddle is concerned.
It has a carbon steel 7 mm standard rail underneath a glass fiber shell, weighing in at 265 and a foam upper. It has a very wide cut out, and in combination with the reduced length, this ensures your sitting bones do the heavy lifting and increases comfort.
This is a solid option for aggressive riders who don’t mind sitting in the drops. For more leisure touring look elsewhere.
Selle San Marco Shortfit Superleggera Wide
The Selle San Marco Shortfit Superleggera Wide is a full carbon saddle, which, as the name suggest, is pretty wide and short. It has dimensions of 250×144 mm and weighs in at 125 grams. A narrow version is also available.
Shortfit relates to its length of just 250 millimeters, roughly a couple of centimers shorter than average. This should make people favoring aerodynamic positions more comfortable.
The Italian brand has chosen to make a no-nonsense design for their flagship product, with a totally black microfeel cover stretching to the edge. It has a huge center cut out to alleviate pressure to delicate tissue.
Selle San Marco offers this design in a lot of materials but this carbon rail, carbon shell lightest version is obviously the most expensive at a retail price of almost 400 euros.
Specifications short nose road bike saddles
|Name||Rail||Retail Price||Dimensions||Weight||Shell||Padding||Cover||Buy at Amazon||Buy at Ebay|
|Fabric Line-S Race Flat||titanium||100 USD||240 x 142 mm||230 g||nylon||padded||microfiber||link||link|
|Prologo Scratch M5 Pas||nack carbon / tirox||138/213 euros||250 x 140 mm||nack 134 g – Tirox 201 g||padded||link||link|
|Selle Italia Flite Boost TM||manganese tube 7 mm||150 euros||S 135 x 248 mm – L 145 x 248 mm||S 240 g – L 243 g||nylon||padded||Soft-Tek||link||link|
|Selle Italia Flite Boost TM Superflow||manganese tube 7 mm||150 euros||S 135 x 248 mm – L 145 x 248 mm||S 230 g – L 233 g||nylon||padded||Soft-Tek||link||link|
|Selle Italia Novus Boost Evo Superflow||FeC Alloy 7 mm||80 euros||248 x 145 mm||247 g||padded||link|
|Selle Italia SLR Boost Endurance Superflow||TI 316 Tube 7 mm||320 euros||S 130 x 248 mm – L 145 x 248 mm||S 202 g – L 207 g||carbon composite||padded||Fibra-Tek||link||link|
|Selle Italia SLR Boost Lady TI316 Superflow||TI 316 Tube 7 mm||300 euros||130 x 248 mm||S 198 g – L 206 g||carbon composite||padded||Fibra-Tek||link||link|
|Selle Italia SLR Boost TM||manganese tube 7 mm||170 euros||S 130 x 248 mm – L 145 x 248 mm||S 220 g – L 230 g||nylon||padded||Fibra-Tek||link||link|
|Selle Italia SLR C59||carbon 7×9 mm||600 euros||265 x 128 mm||61 g||carbon||padded||link||link|
|Selle Italia SP-01 Boost Kit Carbonio Superflow||Carbon/Keramic 7×9 mm||360 euros||130 x 250 mm||160 g||carbon composite||padded||Fibra-Tek||link||link|
|Selle Italia SP-01 Boost Superflow||TI 316 Tube 7 mm||280 euros||S 130 x 250 mm – L 146 x 250 mm||S 188 g – L 194 g||carbon reinforced nylon||padded||Fibra-Tek||link||link|
|Selle Italia SP-01 Boost Tekno Superflow||carbon 7×9 mm||560 euros||S 130 x 245 mm – L 145 x 245 mm||S 105 g – L 110 g||carbon||padded||none||link||link|
|Selle Italia SP-01 Boost TM Superflow||manganese tube 7 mm||130 euros||S 130 x 250 mm – L 146 x 250 mm||S 200 g – L 205 g||padded||link||link|
|Selle San Marco Aspide Short Open-Fit Sport (Narrow)||carbon steel||59 euros||250 x 139 mm||265 g||glass fiber reiinforced||padded||Silkfeel||link||link|
|Selle San Marco Shortfit Superleggera Wide||carbon 7×9.8 mm||390 euros||250 x 144 mm||125 g||carbon||padded||link|