The Genetic STV saddle goes a long way to provide comfort for long rides with plenty of flex and a cut out in the middle but it's all undone by overly firm padding and a solid nose. A seat for those who like a firm perch.
The STV is available in three widths with this test model here being the middle option at 143mm wide at the largest part. You can also get a 130mm or 155mm wide version to suit your preference and sit bones. Length is 278mm and the rails have 50mm of adjustment between the front and rear maximum markers.
I really got on well with the shape as the rear narrows into the nose quite quickly giving loads of room for my thighs.
It's billed as a sportive saddle and to that end STV has been designed to offer comfort by reducing pressure on the perineum by way of a central channel and a cut out of the nylon reinforced base.
The cut out only removes material from the base rather than the upper too but it does bring a certain amount of flex to the hull.
The hollow chromoly rails also flex a bit as well so on first inspection you'd think the saddle is going to be pretty comfortable. Unfortunately though the padding is on the firm side and the flat nose section doesn't budge at all which makes for a very solid feeling saddle that – for me at least – is uncomfortable unless you are just out for a short blast.
On any ride approaching three or so hours I actually found myself in quite a bit of pain which is a shame as in general I actually got on with the overall design. I appreciate saddle shape is a personal thing but I'd be surprised if anyone actually found the STV plush.
The overall finish is okay for the money with the PVC cover being stretched over the top and stapled to the bottom of the hull rather being sandwiched by twin hulls as you find on more expensive offerings.
When it comes to weight it's a similar story, against others that are similarly priced the STV is right in the ballpark.
Personally if I was looking for a saddle for longer rides like a sportive I'd be looking at the Fabric Line; the chromoly-railed option comes in two widths for the same price as the STV.
Nice overall shape but could do with softer padding especially at the nose
road.cc test report
Make and model: Genetic STV 143 Road Saddle
Size tested: 143mm
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"Modern, lightweight, comfortable sports saddle in a range of widths to suit different requirements of the rider's anatomy."
I found the Genetic STV saddle to be a nice shape but it wasn't very forgiving.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Light and strong Nylon Fibre reinforced base.
Lightweight, comfortable PU foam padding.
Sculpted anatomic shape.
Cut-away base to relieve pressure on the perineum
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I found the shape pleasant with the narrow nose offering loads of thigh room but the padding is very firm.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? For short rides yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they wanted a firm saddle.
Use this box to explain your score
The Genetic STV 143 offers pretty much what you'd expect for the money but I just found it too firm especially from a sportive saddle that you'll be spending a lot of time on.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.