For the elite female racer, nothing cuts it quite like a lightweight, lightly padded saddle. Find out why many professional women cyclists are opting for Terry’s latest bike saddle design in this Terry FLX Gel Saddle review.
The FLX saddle is Terry’s latest innovation in the brand’s split saddle design. This model features extra gel padding for greater comfort.
The lightweight saddle comes in a sleek shape with a slim profile tailored to female cyclists who move around on the saddle and like to ride fast over long distances. It features manganese rails that help keep the overall saddle weight low.
In terms of price, the Women’s FLX Gel Saddle is more affordable than some of the more popular options in Terry’s lineup.
If aggressive riding is your style, this Terry FLX Gel Saddle review will give you plenty of reasons to swap your old bicycle saddles out for this performance option.
Terry FLX Gel Saddle Overview
Terry is a well-known brand when it comes to bike saddles, with plenty of its models spotting eye-catching and functional designs.
The Italian manufacturer keeps that tradition alive in its innovative FLX Gel Saddle design. The model takes the lead when it comes to split saddle engineering. It features a slim profile engineered to suit women with narrow sit bones.
A gel insert makes the saddle a fantastic choice for elite riders seeking something that’s not too padded. To give you an idea of what the padding feels like, the FLX Gel falls between the stiffer FLX Carbon and the softer Butterfly model.
In addition to thinner padding, the rails are made from lightweight material contributing to the overall lightness of the saddle.
Before I go further into this Selle Italia FLX Gel review, let’s go over a few pros and cons of the award-winning saddle.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Bike Saddle
There is no end to attractive and sleek saddle designs, so it can be tricky to choose a model based only on aesthetics.
Bicycle saddles are not created equal, which means it is crucial to understand a few factors before choosing one. Whether or not you are eyeing the FLX Gel saddle, here are the most important considerations to keep in mind when buying a bike saddle.
- Fit: The right bike saddle for you should fit you nicely when you sit on it. Whether a bike’s saddle fits you will depend on the size of your sit bone. As a general rule, wider saddles are more suitable for women.
Still, it is important to measure your sit bone to determine if a narrow or wide saddle will be your best fit.
- Riding position: Some riding positions require actually sitting on the saddle while others only have the rider perching on the bike. Your riding position is mostly dictated by the type of cycling you do.
Road racers and riders who spend lots of time in the drops typically have aggressive riding positions and will require light saddles with large cutouts. That’s because there is more pressure on their soft tissues as they lean forward while riding.
Conversely, there is more pressure on your sit bone if you ride in a more upright position. In this case, it is better to choose a saddle with more padding at the rear.
- Saddle Weight: Think about the overall weight of a saddle, as it can affect your pedaling efficiency.
Heavier models with plenty of padding are okay for casual or recreational riding. On the other hand, a lightweight, less padded saddle is your best bet if you are looking to push your performance boundaries.
- Riding duration: If you spend long hours cycling, you are better off with a saddle that provides a stiffer platform to support your weight. Choose a saddle with less padding if you want something for performance riding.
For mountain bikes, it is best to choose a smaller-shape saddle with a bit more padding. These types of saddles provide leverage for mountain bike racers when cornering and descending.
Opting for a saddle that feels like a fluffy pillow does not necessarily mean more comfort. This is particularly the case if you usually ride over long distances.
If casual cycling is your thing, you can go for a heavily padded saddle. However, keep in mind that excess padding can cause unpleasant chaffing and quickly lead to fatigue.
- High-Quality materials: You don’t want to compromise your comfort by getting saddles made with cheap materials. The shell, cover, and rails are some of the materials that impact the overall construction quality of the saddle.
Features and Benefits
Reading reviews is great, but the surest way to know whether a particular saddle is the right one for you is to try it out.
Having said that, it is crucial to get clear on what a saddle has to offer before deciding whether or not to try it. For this reason, this part of the Terry FLX Gel Saddle review will focus on the nitty-gritty details that set the model apart from others.
In designing the FLX Gel Saddle, Terry Bicycles used high-quality materials and state-of-the-art technology to craft one of the most innovative bike saddles on the market.
These materials include:
The saddle features a top-of-the-line black leather cover with a white patent accent. Evenly-spaced perforations run along the length of the saddle from the nose to the rear.
While this feature enhances the product’s beauty, it is also functional. It allows the leather to “breathe” and increases air circulation.
The material is waterproof, meaning it will stay new for a long time even if you clean it with water. You can confidently ride in wet conditions knowing the accents won’t fade and the leather won’t damage.
Plus, the leather is very durable so it can take a bit of punishment and will serve you for a long time before ever showing any signs of wear.
To the casual rider, the FLX Gel might feel like an un-padded saddle but that’s not the case at all. This bike saddle features a multi-density foam base with a light layer of gel. The gel insert provides just enough cushioning for sit bones to prevent discomfort during long hours of cycling.
The saddle’s unique shape comes from the nylon shell, which is both rigid and light. Performance and endurance cycling is more comfortable with lightweight, stiffer saddles. The FLX Gel model fulfills these criteria with its gel insert and hard nylon shell that help improve pedaling efficiency.
Like many other models, the FLX Gel Saddle has two parallel rails that clamp to the seatpost. The rails extend from underneath the nose to the rear of the saddle and provide excellent support.
You can easily adjust the saddle a couple of inches forward or backward on the seatpost with the well-constructed rails.
While Terry’s widely popular models, such as the Butterfly Century and Corta, have silver-plated titanium rails, the rails on the FLX Gel are constructed using durable manganese metal. They come in black color to match the overall dark shade of the saddle.
Shape and Size
Unlike many traditional bike saddles that come in a one-piece rounded or pear-like shape, the FLX Gel dons a unique sleek shape that suits riders with aggressive riding positions.
Instead of the usual cutout found in many performance- and endurance-style saddles, this one features an almost complete cutaway that stretches from the paddle to the nose. This shape ensures that you can get maximum pressure relief on the full-length channel. It also increases the saddle’s flexibility so that long-distance rides will feel more uncomfortable.
This means you don’t have to worry about numbness or pain in the tissues between your sit bones. Also, the shape at the front minimizes chaffing on thighs during rides.
The FLX Gel is designed to deaden vibrations and absorb shock transmitted by the bike’s seatpost and frame to some certain degree. You can enjoy a more comfortable ride on rough trails, such as gravel.
Of course, the padding on the saddle is minimal, but it is enough to prevent pain in the perineal region and sit bones.
Here is an overview of the features that set this saddle apart from other performance and endurance models.
|Feature Type||Specification||What This Means|
|Cover||Perforated black leather with patent accent||Leather material offers better breathability, especially when riding over a long distance.|
|Gel Insert||Stiff gel insert with minimal flex||The gel provides just enough cushioning to let you enjoy longer rides without experiencing numbness, suffering pain, or having issues with soft tissue and your sit bone.|
|Shape and size||10.2” x 5.5” (260 mm x 142 mm), 9.1 ounces (258 grams), slim profile with a unique shape||The split is not hard. The nose length and saddle width are great for women with narrow sit bones. Lightweight saddle for fast and more aggressive riding.|
|Shock absorption||Shell and padding reduces vibrations from the bike’s frame and seatpost||Cycling on rough trails is more enjoyable with less vibration.|
|Rails||Manganese||Manganese rails provide long-lasting durability and ensure an overall lighter saddle|
What Others Are Saying
It makes sense to dig around for what users of the FLX Gel Saddle have to say before you pull the trigger on a purchase.
Luckily, it is not too difficult to find customer ratings and reviews about the product. Interestingly, they are mostly positive reviews.
Here are a few screenshots of what verified buyers and real users think about the FLX Gel Saddle.
Terry FLX Gel Saddle Alternatives
It’s okay if the FLX Gel is not the best saddle for you – after all, everyone has their preferences. Fortunately, Terry has plenty of other great saddles to pick from besides touring and performance models. The brand offers excellent saddles that are great for sports or fitness and even for recreational cycling.
In this part of the Selle Italia FLX Gel review, I’ll quickly highlight a couple of great alternatives to give you an insight into how they compare with the model under review.
FLX Gel Saddle vs Butterfly Century Saddle
The butterfly century is one of the most popular models in Terry’s line. It offers better comfort for endurance riding, thanks to more padding compared to the FLX Gel model.
The saddle has a very low profile and features the widest cutaway in all of Terry’s models. This is a great fit for women with wider sit bones and who prefer touring or endurance cycling.
Consider the Butterfly Century model if you are in the market for a hand-made bike saddle with incredible shock absorption and greater soft tissue relief. Check our Terry Butterfly Century Saddle Review.
Butterfly Century Saddle Summary
- Price: $179.95
- Rails: Ti 316
- Area (length x width): 10.3” x 6” (262 mm x 152 mm)
- Weight: 9.5 ounces (268 grams)
Click here to check out the Butterfly Century Saddle.
FLX Gel Saddle vs Corta Saddle
The Corta Saddle is a snob-nose style model from Terry designed with the competitive rider in mind. The women-specific saddle features state-of-the-art technology and has an aesthetically pleasing design with distinctive graphics and silver-plated titanium rails.
Apart from good looks, Corta has a shorter overall length. This design eliminates excess surface area that can cause chaffing. With a shape that’s flat at the rear and a dropped nose, the platform provides adequate support for sustained seated climbs. It also offers outstanding relief in the soft tissue and genital area.
Terry Corta might be the right saddle for you if you are looking for a model designed specifically to support climbing and aerodynamic power pedaling. Check our Corta saddle review here.
Corta Saddle Summary
- Price: $189.95
- Rails: Ti 316
- Area (length x width): 9.8” x 5.8” (250 mm x 149 mm)
- Weight: 8.2 ounces (235 grams)
Click here to check out the Corta Saddle.
The Terry FLX Gel Saddle is a solid choice, especially for women with narrow sit bones. The saddle works great regardless of whether you are a pro cyclist looking for something to enhance your pedaling efficiency during races or you just want to enjoy road cycling without suffering pain on your tailbone and sensitive areas.
Overall, this minimally padded performance saddle is somewhat stiff but comfortable enough for long-distance rides. The perforated leather cover does not cause chaffing, and the gel padding underneath increases your comfort level. Plus, the manganese rail is rigid and durable for long-term use. Yet, it is lightweight.
If your current bike saddle is causing sore spots on your tush, Terry Bicycle’s FLX model with gel insert might be the best upgrade you can give your bike. Click here to check out the Terry FLX Gel Saddle.