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Bontrager Aeolus Comp Saddle



Budget shorty saddle which offers an exceptional level of comfort, but the low price means more grams
Competitively priced
There are lighter saddles in this category – but possibly not at this price

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Bontrager Aeolus Comp is a unisex shorty saddle with a large cutout that's designed to take the pressure off soft tissues in an aero position – which it does very well. It's comfortable for both long road rides and short, intense turbo sessions thanks to its well judged level of padding and flexible shell. As the entry-level Aeolus saddle in a range of three, the price is competitively low, but the weight is on the high side.

Shorty or 'boost' saddles are increasingly popular because they make holding an aero position more comfortable by eliminating the traditional longer nose that can put pressure on soft tissues for both men and women. The penalty, however, is that they have to be set up exactly right because shuffle space is reduced. In addition, because you're more 'locked' in position they have to fit your sit bones more precisely. So at this point, as usual, I'll point out that saddle is always a personal thing and one person's feather bed might be another's bed of nails.

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For me, the Aeolus Comp was much closer to the former. The shape looks simple but it's very effective. The sit bones are well supported on flat sections either side of the cutout, while the nose, which is wider than the noses of other shorty saddles such as the Selle Itala SLR Boost Superflow, lets you perch on it in a stem-chewing situation in more comfort than Selle Italia's SLR shape does, maximising available space. And the semicircle of padding at the tip, which closes off the cutout channel, cleverly stops you from sliding too far forward.

2020 Bontrager Aeolus Comp Saddle - top.jpg

Although the Aeolus Comp might be approaching feather-bed comfort as far as shorty saddles go, it is a long way from being feather light, and that's my only criticism of it. As I mentioned, the Aeolus Comp is the entry-level version, with the Aeolus Elite (£89.99) and Aeolus Pro (£149.99) above it. What the extra dollar mostly does is reduce the weight. The top saddle with its carbon rails and carbon-reinforced shell weighs 173g, over 100g lighter than the Comp, while the Elite weighs 222g for the 155mm size.

However, for the price, the Comp is not bad. The Fizik Tempo Argo R5, the cheapest in that range, is lighter at 245g but at £89.99 is priced at the level of Bontrager's mid-range Aeolus Elite. Another shorty we reviewed recently, the Fabric Line-S Race Flat, weighs 235g but costs £79.99.

> Buyer’s Guide: 10 of the best short saddles

Setup is pretty straightforward, but obviously since it's shorter than a traditional saddle you need to measure from the rails rather than the tip. Bontrager also recommends a two-degree downward tilt because the Aeolus kicks up slightly at the rear, which I found to be accurate.

2020 Bontrager Aeolus Comp Saddle 2.jpg

I tested the 155mm size, and while my sit bone structure on paper would be more compatible with the 145mm version, it worked perfectly, allowing a full, unimpeded pedal stroke even when sitting further back and riding on the tops. (Riding a wider saddle than your sit bone size is generally deemed OK, but not a narrower one.)

> Buyer’s Guide: 21 of the best saddles

The padding is neither too squidgy nor too firm: you don't feel the edges of the cutout – as I did with the SLR Boost – but you don't lose connection with the bike and the road either.

I also found there was a perfect amount of flex built into the shell along the whole length of the cutout. As I noted with the SLR Boost, a shorter saddle tends to be stiffer, but the Bontrager Aeolus Comp supplies a good level of suspension despite the short length, and on rougher roads I experienced none of the sit-bone pummelling of other shorty saddles.

2020 Bontrager Aeolus Comp Saddle - underside.jpg

Finally, build quality is great. Despite it being entry level, this saddle has a good quality look and feel and I would expect decent durability from it. The steel rails and sturdy shell are certainly bombproof, while the cover seems tough enough too.


The Bontrager Aeolus Comp offers excellent performance for the price. It is one of the most comfortable shorty saddles I've ridden. If you're looking to move over to the this style of saddle but don't want to commit to spending a lot of money at first, this saddle is a great way to find out if it works for you. The only thing to bear in mind is that it's heavy for a modern saddle.


Budget shorty saddle which offers an exceptional level of comfort, but the low price means more grams test report

Make and model: Bontrager Aeolus Comp Saddle

Size tested: 155mm

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?

Bontrager says: "An aero road saddle with a full cut-out using the latest biomechanical research to minimise soft-tissue pressure while maximising power and sustained comfort.

"Aeolus Comp brings comfort, power and speed to road riders looking to dig deep and rotate further forward into a more aero road position. Added padding make it the go-to saddle for anyone who wants to get the most out of their aero road bike comfortably. A shorter overall length with a wider nose and full cut-out ensure targeted support that eliminates soft-tissue pressure."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From Bontrager's website:

inForm saddles are born of cutting-edge biomechanical research to maximise performance and rider comfort

Designed to support riders in an Aero Road riding position

Full saddle cut-out minimises soft-tissue pressure allowing for a more powerful, rotated position

Two sizes (145mm and 155mm) designed to align saddle with bone structure for both men and women and avoid soft-tissue compression

Lightweight shell provides balance of weight, strength and compliance

Comp-level trim optimises foam padding for added lightweight comfort

Available Blendr accessory mounts to cleanly integrate rear light

Size 250mm x 155mm

Length 250 mm

Width 155 mm

Rail dimensions Round 7x7 mm (Standard)

Cover material F-24 (soft-touch)

Rail material Steel

Weight 289g

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Great build quality.

Rate the product for performance:

Very impressive.

Rate the product for durability:

The steel rails are bombproof, the plastic shell is very sturdy and the cover seems durable.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)

Not the lightest saddle despite the large cutout.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)

I'd give it a perfect 10. Given the price and the materials, I wasn't expecting this level of comfort.

Rate the product for value:

Very good value for money compared to the competition.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It performed extremely well, enabling lower, more aggressive positions on a road bike (Bontrager doesn't claim it's a TT saddle) without the soft tissues paying the price.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Very comfortable. The shape, the padding and the flex of the shell all worked for me.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The weight.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

The Bontrager Aeolus Comp could be the cheapest of the latest generation of short-nosed saddles we've tested. The Fizik Tempo Argo R5 is the cheapest in that particular range but costs £89.99, the Fabric Line-S Flat costs £79.99. So although there are cheaper traditional saddles out there, for a short-nosed 'aero' saddle it represents good value.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

I was really impressed with the comfort of the Bontrager Aeolus Comp but was slightly surprised by its weight, especially considering it has such a large cutout. Having said that, it's priced pretty low, is well made and the steel rails will be durable. So I'm giving it 'very good', bearing in mind the low price compared to rival saddle manufacturers' shorty saddles.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 50  Height: 178cm  Weight: 68kg

I usually ride: Racer Rosa custom alu  My best bike is: Colnago Master Olympic

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, touring, club rides, sportives, School run on a tandem

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kil0ran | 1 year ago

Had this saddle recommended during a bike fit and it's an absolute revelation. I'm a heavy rider (around 115kg) and it's finally replaced my Charge Spoon after a decade of service. It's supportive, has a decent amount of flex, and for me at least lets me move around on the bike a bit more rather than being fixed in one position. Find I start on the nose and work back as fatigue increases.

Vovis | 3 years ago

I agree with review for the comfort level. The Comp saddle flexes a lot nicely absorbing and smoothening most of minor road imperfections. The channel was efficient with reduction of pressure on soft tissues (very comparable to Prologo Dimension Tri Pas TiroX Saddle I tested at the same time) and in combination with Canyon S15 VCLS CF Seatpost it offered greatest comfort level. Since surface of the Bontrager saddle is curved it locks you in one place so proper saddle fit is mandatory in contrast to Prologo that is more flat and allows some movement. It doesn't allows however as much forward push as Prologo. Compared these two for comfort level (with hands on top of bar and in more agressive position) I am leaning towards Bontrager Aeolus. Without doubt the execution,  material quality and optics of the Prologo saddle is in higher category as well as the price.

My only one complain is creaking noise that Aeolus Comp version (145  mm tested) generates. When I sit on it or take off, it sounds like it is just about to break. It is just an innitial sound that doesn't bother during ride. I also tried Aeolus Elite version that was free of the issue. It also seemed to be more solid however Elite version offers sensible less amount of padding compared to Comp (therefore ~ 70 g less weight).

One more interesting detail. Both Comp and Elite versions came with black rails in contrast to officially released images where Elite is shown to have crhome rails.

sammutd88 | 3 years ago

I must agree with this review. I've found this saddle great so far after about 10 rides (both leisurely and fast rides). I also bought the Comp model, and weight aside, it's really really comfortable. I don't notice it during a ride, there aren't any specific pressure points and afterwards I don't have any tenderness anywhere. I ended up with a -1 degree tilt, not -2, I found -2 produced too much pressure on the hands, but everyone is different. 

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