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Astute Skylite VT Carb AM saddle review

19 Dec 2016
Verdict:

Quality and style don’t come cheap but the Skylite is certainly comfy and comes in a wealth of options

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£200
For 
Lovingly constructed, niche range, artisan cool
Against 
Pricey, somewhat confusing range

If it wasn’t for the beauty and quality of Astute’s Italian-made creations we’d be tempted to suggest there’s little need on the market for yet another range of high-end saddles. Thankfully for this review, there is more than a touch of class about the Skylite VT to go with its high price.

You’re certainly spoiled for choice when it comes to the dizzying array of individual models in the range. There are three lines of Astute road saddle to choose from – the flat Sky and rounded Star men’s options, and the Miss women’s variant.

Choices, choices

Our test saddle is part of the Sky range, which is further divided into the Skycarb, Skylite and Skyline combinations of shell, base and rail. There’s a choice of two widths in each, plus or minus a central groove, as well as various colourways.

For the purposes of our review, then, we’re looking at the Sky shape, with Lite construction and VT hole in 135mm width – hence Skylite VT Carb AM.

Despite its carbon rails and high price tag, the Skylite is actually far from the most expensive in Astute’s saddle lineup. It features a nylon/carbon internal shell in a nod to cost-saving, but at least it’s in a place it won’t be noticed – from a visual point of view, at least.

What you’re really paying for in the top models, however, is weight – or rather the lack of weight. The Astute range runs from £125 all the way up to £380 for a 170-gram version – nearly double the price of our 190g variant – so shaving off that extra 20g will certainly hit your wallet hard.

Delayed comfort

Italian-made microfibres cover the three-density foam underneath. Being a ‘memory’-type foam, it has a comparatively slow yield when you first sit down. As a result, it feels on the firm side initially and while it does become nicely conformed within a minute or two, it takes a few rides to get accustomed to.

That said, there’s no question the Skylite has been well made. It has proved highly durable over several months of use, and there’s nothing to suggest that’ll change any time soon.

Verdict: Quality and style don’t come cheap but the bottom line is that Skylite is comfy and comes in a huge range of options. 4/5

£200, saddleback.co.uk

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