Nobody wants to get saddled with a bad saddle when they sit on their mountain bike at the start of the day. There's nothing worse than realising a few minutes into a weekend ride that you're going to be uncomfortable for the next few hours, and that the chances are unfortunately high that you'll be walking funny for the next few days.

That's where Selle Italia's all-new off-road range, the X-LR, comes in. It's a thing to behold. Italian craftsmanship at its finest, the revered saddle-makers have spared no effort in constructing one of the most desirable off-road saddles available.

For those of you unfamiliar with Selle Italia, they've been leading the way in saddle design for 120 years, and given that the modern bicycle was only technically invented 201 years ago - by the not-nearly-famous-enough German Baron Karl von Drais - it's safe to say that the Italian company got into the game early. The company started just outside of Milan in the late 19th century, and to this day they are widely considered to be the best manufacturers of high-end bicycle saddles on the planet.

"A slim profile and Carbon fibre construction combine to make the XLR a featherweight"

So, back to their latest release, the X-LR. This is an off-road saddle that has not just been designed with aesthetics in mind, but, as you would expect from such an esteemed company, been engineered to last and boast a wealth of impressive features.

A slim profile and Carbon fibre construction combine to make the XLR a featherweight; this is as light as it gets. Just 138 grams in fact. What's more, Selle Italia has taken every effort to make sure that this saddle is not just lightweight, but robust too. We would go as far as saying that the saddle is borderline indestructible.

To make it so, the X-LR utilises 'Fibra-Tek', a technical microfiber material that guarantees a strong and durable lifetime whilst allowing the saddle to maintain such a low weight. The tech doesn't stop there either, the X-LR incorporates a bump-absorption system between the shell and the rail that significantly reduces shocks and vibrations, which should make for a more comfortable bum-on-seat ride.

Adding to the theme of strength and durability, the X-LR's carbon rails are coated with ceramic to protect the clamping area from scratches and cracks and reinforced edges protect the side of the saddle from impacts. There's been no detail overlooked here.

As for the SuperFlow aspect of the design, the technology is intended to provide the optimal riding position which in turns reduces prolonged pressure in the pelvic area, especially over long distances. Making for what should be an ultra-comfortable riding experience.

As ever with Selle Italia's saddles, the X-LR doesn't come cheap. With a recommended retail price of €239, the X-LR is placed firmly in the premium category of saddles. But if you want to shave some precious grams off your ride and invest in a saddle that will last, the X-LR is one of the best options out there.

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