The Selle Italia Novus Boost Evo Kit Carbonio Superflow saddle not only has a very long name but is now one of my favourite short style race saddles. It's stiff where it needs to be and isn't where you don't want it to be. The padding is a bit thicker than I normally like, but when paired with the carbon hull and rails it works brilliantly.
First things first, as with any saddle review, when it comes to comfort it's entirely subjective – what I find comfortable might, to you, feel like sitting on a bed of nails, or what is uncomfortable for me might make you feel like you're floating on a cushion of air.
As you can guess from the price, the Novus Boost Evo is one of the flagships of Selle Italia's range. Every saddle maker has a showboating top-end model that uses the lightest and most expensive materials to achieve the lightest weight and highest levels of stiffness and comfort, and if the Boost Evo Kit Carbonio is too rich for you then there are other models in the range, all the way down to £74.90, which still have the same shape. This Carbonio model does give you an extra 10mm of fore-aft adjustment, though.
While we're talking about price, we might as well take a look at the competition.
The Novus is near as damn it the same price as the Cadex Boost, a similarly shaped short saddle that, for me, offered a great balance of stiffness and comfort. The design is clever, integrating the rails into the base of the shell rather than them being separate entities like most saddle designs. The result is a very low weight of just 141g.
I really like the Prologo Dimension Nack, too. I got on very well with its shape, finding it surprisingly comfortable for such a stiff saddle. It uses a carbon construction for the main shell and also for the rails, just like the Selle Italia. It's a bit lighter too at 157g, and 'only' costs £169.99.
So, the Novus Boost Evo isn't the lightest or the cheapest, but let's look at the good bits.
First up, the shape. Rather than a flat saddle, I like one that has a bit of a curve in it – or 'waved', as Selle Italia calls it. I tend not to move around on a saddle that much, and spend much of my time seated even when climbing.
The upwardly curved rear section of the Novus gives me something to push against, and the short nose (the saddle is just 245mm long) allows me to bend over onto the drops.
I'm not a big fan of thick padding on saddles, so out of the box the Novus probably wouldn't be my first choice, but after riding it now for over 500 miles I've found that, although thicker than some, the padding is very firm and therefore supportive. Its lack of compression keeps you raised above the central channel to ward off any numbness.
In fact, a lot of the give and comfort actually comes from the carbon fibre shell flexing rather than the padding. Where the rails fit into the saddle shell at the rear isn't that far off the centre line. This keeps the saddle firm down through the middle for when you are pushing hard on the pedals, while the 'wings' are allowed to flex.
I've not only used the saddle on the road, it has also been on my gravel bike, and this small amount of flex makes for a very comfortable ride. There is also a smaller amount of flex in the centre of the saddle, which takes out some of the bumps from the road.
When it comes to quality, the Novus Boost Evo can't really be faulted. The edges of the Fibra-Tek upper are tucked away neatly so the underneath of the saddle looks just as good as the top of it.
Overall, I found the shape and the comfort levels of the Novus Boost Evo great, and if money was no object then I'd happily choose this for all of my rides, long or short.
Not the lightest or cheapest, but it's a saddle with a great shape and loads of comfort thanks to flex where you need it
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Selle Italia Novus Boost Evo Kit Carbonio Superflow saddle
Size tested: W 145x L248 mm
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?
Selle Italia says, "THE PERFECT EVOLUTION OF COMFORT AND PERFORMANCE"
It's pricey, but it is one of the most comfortable saddles I've used.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Selle Italia lists:
RAIL: Carbon Rail (7mm x 9mm)
DIMENSIONS: 145 x 245 mm
SHELL: Carbon fibre
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It works for performance riding on road or gravel.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great comfort levels.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The price is my only stumbling block.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's the same price as the Cadex Boost mentioned in the review and arguably more comfortable, although the Cadex is lighter. Something like the Prologo Dimension Nack is much cheaper for a very similar build.
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 great saddle and I really got on with the shape. The way the hull flexes for comfort yet is still stiff is a very clever piece of design. It's very good and would score more but for the fact that there are some very good saddles out there for a lot less money.
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,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!