Saddles - carbon or TI rails?

cc78
cc78 Posts: 599
edited February 2015 in Road buying advice
Hello, I'm looking for a spot of advice on the difference between carbon and titanium rails on a saddle...

Aside from the marginal weight saving, is there any noticeable difference in ride comfort, road feedback and/or flex?

Specifically I am looking at the Selle Italia SLR Flow... the price difference is about 40 quid (or put another way the carbon model is roughly 50% more expensive).

All suggestions gratefully received, ta

Comments

  • mercia_man
    mercia_man Posts: 1,431
    I use carbon, steel and titanium railed saddles. Aliante VS carbon, B17 steel and titanium, Rolls steel and titanium. There is no difference in ride comfort or road feedback between the steel and titanium. I can't say for certain about the carbon rails because I only have the one carbon railed saddle, which, incidentally, is really comfortable. The metal rails do flex a bit more than the carbon but most flex comes from the saddle base. The shape, padding (if any) and flex in saddle base are the main factors in the feel of my saddles. The main difference is weight. Titanium rails are definitely lighter than steel and carbon rails are lighter still.

    Be aware that some seatpost saddle clamps may not fit some carbon rails which may be fatter or slightly oval compared with metal ones.

    Edit: I also use a Selle Italia SLK saddle with steel rails. It's the flexiest of the lot and comfortable enough but not as good as the Aliante Vs for me.
  • TheHound
    TheHound Posts: 284
    I have the Selle Italia SLR Kit Carbonio Flow. Took my ass a little getting used to, but now it's broken in a little it is very comfortable.

    I had the Selle Italia Gel Flite with ti rails before. Can't say there's any difference really.

    But obviously carbon gets bling points.
    Bianchi Intenso Athena
    Handbuilt Wheels by dcrwheels.co.uk
    Fizik Cyrano R3 Handlebars
    Selle Italia SLR Kit Carbonio Flow saddle
    Deda Superleggero seatpost
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    All 6 of my saddles are carbon with carbon rails. This is due to the stiffest saddles typically being at the top of the range and there's nothing I hate more than a saddle that flexes. That said, it does depend on the manufacturer and model as the beauty of carbon is that you can build it compliant or stiff.

    Of course all of the above has to do with the shell. Realistically the rails aren't going to make much difference (I've had an SLR in both carbon and Ti rails and didn't notice an real difference in flex).
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • cc78
    cc78 Posts: 599
    Thanks for the comments so far.

    Looks like it is coming down to bling factor and a weight saving of about 1% of the total weight of the bike (or in other words, head v heart)

    Decisions decisions...
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    My Kium railed Fizik creaks and slips in the clamp on one bike and I would probably pay the extra if I upgraded just to avoid that.
    I could try other solutions first but it is something that will make me lean towards carbon for future saddles.
  • Matthewfalle
    Matthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    I use the SLR Ti railed and carbon railed 135g jobs - absolutely no difference at all. Same weight, same feel, exactly the same.

    I only have different jobs because they were in the sales at different times.

    Be aware though that the carbon rails are slightly thicker than the Ti rails so you may have seat post issues.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • I use identical saddles in Ti and carbon rails (Specialized Toupe Expert and Pro respectively).

    I've ridden with them on the same bike on the same roads (before switching the Ti one to my winter bike) and can honestly say there is no discernible difference apart from looks and a handful of grammes.

    Each one has done over 4,000 miles now and each looks and feels like new. I'm 72kg if it makes any difference.
  • gimpl
    gimpl Posts: 269
    I have two Romins, one carbon and one TI. Can't tell any difference in comfort between the two. As mentioned previously though the carbon rails are oval and they don't tighten very well on my standard Giant seatpost and it creaks like mad ! It is so noisy I usually just swap the Ti one over onto the bike I am using most at that point. One of my riding buddies won't come out with me if I have the carbon saddle on. I am about to try the superglue trick to see if that works.
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    Then get a seatpost with the appropriate clamp or the clamp adapter if possible. Never had so much as a peep from a carbon railed saddle.

    I too have tried carbon and Ti railed Spec saddles. At the limit the carbon is a bit stiffer.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • gimpl
    gimpl Posts: 269
    Grill wrote:
    Then get a seatpost with the appropriate clamp or the clamp adapter if possible. Never had so much as a peep from a carbon railed saddle.

    I too have tried carbon and Ti railed Spec saddles. At the limit the carbon is a bit stiffer.

    Any recommendations please?

    Ta
  • TheHound
    TheHound Posts: 284
    Does your current clamp clamp top and bottom or squeeze the sides of the rail? And do you use fibre grip?
    Bianchi Intenso Athena
    Handbuilt Wheels by dcrwheels.co.uk
    Fizik Cyrano R3 Handlebars
    Selle Italia SLR Kit Carbonio Flow saddle
    Deda Superleggero seatpost
  • gimpl
    gimpl Posts: 269
    Top and bottom.