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Cadex has created something pretty special with its new Boost saddle: a seat that seems to be able to deliver on comfort and stiffness at exactly the same time thanks to its construction and design. True, it's pricey, but compared with some of the saddles I've used, not over the top. The only downside to its short length is that you might not have enough fore and aft adjustment.
The Cadex brand was revived by bike behemoth Giant back in 2019 and carries a range of products like this Boost saddle. A carbon fibre-railed saddle with a carbon fibre base isn't that unheard of, but Cadex has gone about its design a little differently.
Rather than just plugging the rails into the bottom of the base, Cadex has designed a two-piece frame where the rail section continues around the front and rear, to also form part of the base, while integrating with the other section of the base.
At the rear the integrated rails come up right to the back of the saddle, unlike most traditionally railed saddles where they finish beneath the sit bones. Cadex says its design means that the rail connection isn't positioned under a rider's direct contact point, therefore reducing pressure. It also gives the side and rear elevations of the saddle one of the coolest profiles I've seen!
The shape of the rails are also said to dissipate road vibration, going from wide and flat at the rear to a rectangular section at the clamp area for stiffness. You'll need to check that your seatpost is compatible, as there are a few that only work with round rails.
The Boost is one of the new breed of short saddles, so you only get 60mm of adjustment fore and aft – a fair bit less than on a traditional length saddle, so that is something else you need to take into consideration when it comes to your position.
As for the padding, Cadex has used 'Free-flowing, CADEX-specific ETPU particles' which are placed in two pockets, one either side underneath your contact points and should mould to the rider's unique shape.
In reality it does seem to work very well, as the upper of the saddle feels firm from a performance point of view but absorbs a lot of the high frequency road vibration coming from below. Initially it feels like a hard saddle, and I was a bit apprehensive about how I was going to get on with it on long rides, but on three to four-hour jaunts I had no issues whatsoever, especially after a couple of rides on it and it had kind of settled to my shape.
From the side you can see that the profile is lightly curved, sitting higher at the rear and giving you a platform to push against to get the power down, before flattening off for the central section and then dropping ever so slightly at the nose for comfort when in the drops.
When it comes to quality, the Boost looks and feels top notch. There is no excess glue sneaking out anywhere between the differing layers, which you can get on some saddles, and the synthetic upper is durable and hardwearing.
I've sat on a lot of expensive saddles and the Cadex certainly stands its ground against the competition.
Okay, it's very subjective, but I find the Boost more comfortable than the £324 Fizik Arione 00 Versus Evo, and it even comes in lighter at 141g compared with the Fizik's 167g, which is very impressive too.
The Prologo Zero II PAS CPC Nack saddle isn't far off the price of the Cadex at £229.99, and again I find the Boost more comfortable, but the two are comparable for performance.
Overall, the Cadex Boost is a very cleverly designed saddle that offers the stiffness needed for performance riding while also being surprisingly comfortable when absolutely on the rivet.
Clever design means the Boost has a near-perfect balance of stiffness and comfort
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Cadex Boost Saddle
Size tested: Width 149mm Length 246mm Stack Height 44mm
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?
Cadex says, "The ultra-light CADEX Boost sets new standards in weight, rider support and comfort. Marrying the exclusive AFCT base and Integrated Rail Design has yielded a revolutionary carbon composite frame that provides maximum power transfer and compliance without extra grams, as our unique Particle Flow Technology provides the ultimate in rider support and comfort."
When it comes to its performance qualities, Cadex has come up with a clever design.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Advanced Forged Composite Technology
A state-of-the-art high-pressure molding process used to produce complex-shaped carbon fiber components creates a unique two piece saddle frame that yields the perfect balance of support and comfort.
Particle Flow Technology
Free-flowing, CADEX-specific ETPU particles, strategically placed in two separate pockets at the contact area, mold to the rider's unique pelvic contact condition. This eases pressure points and distributes that pressure across a broader contact area for a firmer, more comfortable ride.
Integrated Rail Design
Relieves pressure points by positioning the saddle rail connections to the base in an area that's not a contact point for riders. The shape of the rails also helps dissipate road vibration, and by eliminating the overlapping joint area normally found on saddles, unnecessary weight is avoided.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a race saddle it can't really be faulted.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It is a very comfortable yet firm saddle.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I'd like some more 'shouty' graphics.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
For a full carbon fibre saddle the price isn't over the top, especially when you look at the competition. The Fizik mentioned in the review is heavier (just) and not quite as comfortable for £324. Another short saddle design that I'm a big fan of is the Prologo Dimension Nack; the carbon version comes in a little cheaper than the Boost at around £200.
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
It's a fair old chunk of cash but it delivers on the bike when it comes to performance and stiffness.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 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,
As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!