Selle Italia’s Flite 1990 By Nick Legan Price: $138 The Scoop: Titanium rails, classic design, still relevant! Weight: 220 grams Pros: The saddles that defined the lightweight saddle segment is still great Cons: Not available in all the colors that it used to be offered in
Selle Italia arguably started the lightweight saddle segment and it did it with the Flite saddle. It was the first saddle to weigh under 200 grams. According to Selle Italia, the Flite is still the winning-est saddle in its lineup and that must be due to its nearly ubiquitous use by pros in the 1990s.
While this re-issued model is slightly heavier (220 grams), the now-classic shape of the Flite is still better than many modern models. The widest part of the saddle is 146 millimeters and the transition there from the nose is nice and gradual.
At 280 mm long, the Flite is quite a bit shorter than the fi’zi:k Arione Tri saddle than I normally ride, but I still found plenty of room to move around when needed. I think that it’s the shape. The hammock-like base flexes under the rider and the thin padding never seemed harsh. Titanium rails always seem to help make a saddle that little bit more comfortable too.
Unlike many other Lorica-covered saddles, the Flite uses full-grain leather.
The only bummer for this reviewer is that Selle Italia no longer offers the Flite in all the bright, sometimes garish, colors that it used to. I still have a celeste, Marco Pantani (Il Pirate) embroidered saddle that looks amazing. But black is the new black when it comes to saddles, so Selle Italia has your bases covered there.
If you loved Flite saddles in the past, you won’t be disappointed by the re-issue (or the newer version of the Flite- the Flite Team Edition). If you’ve never tried a Flite, shame on you!