The Arte Selle Dakar Print is a really good race saddle at a very reasonable price.
We reviewed the Arte Selle Dakar Double saddle earlier in the year and liked it a lot. This one is very similar.
The shell is 275mm long and 130mm across; about normal for a saddle of this kind. That plastic shell is carbon-infused and it flexes a little to reduce vibration and smooth over pot-holed roads.
There's a reasonable depth of EVA foam over the top; enough to add cushioning without feeling squashy or spongy. The amount of flex and cushioning you like in a saddle is a matter of personal preference but I found it enough for all-day comfort; no worries at all on that front. I've ridden 100+ miles on this saddle in one go a couple of times and felt comfortable throughout.
The rails are titanium which keeps the weight down and ensures durability while the cover looks leather but is, in fact, microfibre with a grained finish. It's faring well several weeks in with virtually no signs of wear so far.
The published weight of this saddle is 225g. Ours is nothing like that. It's 177g which is low for something of this price. We've reviewed lighter saddles in the past, such as the Selle Italia SLR, but they've been more expensive than this.
The thing I like best about it is the shape. The nose section, which bears most of your weight when you're leaning forward on the drops, is fairly flat rather than arched. I find saddles that are curved across the nose concentrate more pressure down the middle, and I don't like that when I'm settling in for the long haul. This one spreads the pressure for increased comfort.
Lightweight and comfortable saddle at a very reasonable price
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Make and model: Arte Selle Dakar Print saddle
Size tested: Black
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?
It's a performance saddle; racing, sportives, training... you know the deal.
The underside isn't the cleanest bit of workmanship ever but that's not an issue.
177g is very light for a saddle at this price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A very good, no-nonsense performance
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The flat-nosed shell shape
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 40 Height: 190cm Weight: 74kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.