Selle Italia Max Flite Gel Flow review

  • Price Paid:$199.99
  • User rating:
  • Would buy again from this company: Yes
  • Used product for: 6 months
  • # of logged workouts:

"I just went through a bunch of saddles.

I pretty well liked the Selle Italia Flow I had on my old triathlon bike I sold. I didn’t LOVE it, but I didn’t think about it a ton. I got a new bike and the stock seat was one of those nose-less deals. I thought I would like it. I did like things about it, but after a several hour ride, or a few hour ride on the trainer (no sideways movement, no change in tile, no cornering) I really came to hate it.

I went to the bike shop and I tried one and just tried to concentrate on where my sit bones and pubic bone were aligned compared to the supportive parts of the saddle I was trying.

The first one, all of my bones felt like they fell inside of the cutout, like they dropped into a hole. So that was a no, and clarity that I needed something narrower.

I tried a narrower one, but I had an issue with the area where the sides of the seat flare out as they go back - the flare out was too wide or too far forward. The sides of the saddle in that area would rub uncomfortably against my inner thighs. Or that’s what I thought. I was thinking, well, why don’t I just move up on the nose more? Then I would not be hitting the sides. But I couldn’t figure out why that didn’t feel right to move up onto the nose more.

I saw this crazy saddle in the store that was entirely carbon fiber. No fabric or padding. It looked narrow and I asked to try it.

Me: I don’t think it works, you were right. But I would have wondered for the rest of my life, so thanks for putting it on.

Geoff, bike shop owner: Yeah, you aren’t able to rotate your hips forward.

Me: Yeah! I’m not! Why is that? Just because it hurts too much?

(Me trying to roll forward onto my pubic bone more)

(Me making faces)

Me: Yeah. I think it just hurts too much.

Geoff: Yep.

So then we knew I needed narrow, and I needed more padding in order to roll forward onto my pubic bone in the aero position. So then he asked more about the last saddle I had that I liked, and I showed him a pic. He came out of the back with a much more “cushy” saddle. Not big and wide and padded. Just a lot heavier and with gel padding. We put that on and it was a winner. I’m bummed that it weighs more, but if I can stay aero, that matters more.


Installs like any other typical road or tri saddle.


Not much to say here. Once it's installed, there's nothing to do but sit on it.


Yes, this is a solid brand with a long history of excellent materials and construction.


Fit is highly individual, of course, and I tried a number of saddles that weren't working for me before hitting on this one.


Comfort is highly individual, of course, and I tried a number of saddles that weren't working for me before hitting on this one.


This saddle is adjustable on the rails as any saddle would be, but doesn't have any fun tricks like being able to make it wider or narrower or anything like that. I've only seen that in a few models and there would be compromises to get that functionality.


I've been riding it for six months with no noticeable wear, not even on the lettering.


This is an uncomfortable price point for a miser like me, but it's certainly good quality and you get what you pay for.


The appearance is just fine, but I have to admit it looks a bit less sexy and like more of an older-person saddle than I wish it did. I don't know what it is about it exactly.


It took me a number of attempts, but I found a saddle that fits my sit bones and will allow me to be aero for hours without a lot of pain.

The gel padding and the innovative suspension where the saddle rails insert into "wings" makes for a very comfortable ride. (Finally!)

It's not light, that's for sure. The saddle I tried just before this one was full carbon and nothing else, and this one feels like picking up a Laz-y-Boy in comparison. 290 grams. It doesn't look super sleek, either.

Buyers clubMax Flite Gel Flow
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