Those stubby saddles are taking over the world — with good reason. For most riders, these shorter saddles allow you to find that sweet spot in a jiffy and deliver comfort and efficiency for long days on the road. Until now, Bontrager hadn’t officially entered the stubby saddle market but that’s changed with the new Bontrager Aeolus saddle line.
Bontrager Aeolus Elite Saddle Features:
- Optimized InForm design built for aero road riding position
- Full saddle cut-out to minimize soft-tissue pressure and a more powerful, rotated position
- Two sizes for proper sit-bone placement
- Austenite rails are lighter and stronger than hollow Titanium
- Lightweight shell provides balance of weight, strength, and compliance
- Elite-level trim optimizes foam padding for added lightweight comfort
- Available Blendr accessory mounts to cleanly integrate rear light
- Dimensions: 250mm L x 145 or 155mm W (46mm wide at nose)
- Weight: 235 grams (155 actual)
- MSRP: $149
Aeolus, now for your backside
Bontrager has a way of using the same model names across their line. Now, to complement their Aeolus wheel line, there is the new Aeolus saddle — available in Pro, Elite and Comp. I’ve now had significant saddle time aboard the Elite 155 and Comp 145. My actual sit bone with is ~135mm and I have found that the Fabric Scoop Shallow Race, Ergon SR Comp Men and Fizik Arione 00 are the best saddles for my backside.
It goes without saying that saddles are a very personal thing, but Bontrager’s recipe here is pretty straightforward, and inline with the majority of the shorter saddles on the market. The full-length cutout provides soft tissue relief, but if you look at the profile of the saddle, it’s otherwise a standard affair. This saddle shape works well, but keep in mind that this one is made for aggressive riding (more on that experience below).
Setting up the Aeolus Saddle requires a little bit of patience and finesse. Again, keep in mind that the nose of this one will sit at least 2cm back from a traditional saddle. I simply place the saddles atop each other and align the saddles based on the widest part, then start by placing it there.
Bontrager recommends that the Aeolus Saddle be set up -2 degrees nose-down. Depending on your seat post clamp style, this can either be a breeze or a bit of a chore. Using Trek’s seatpost cap aboard the Trek Emonda SLR Disc, it did take a bit of patience. I got it close, then tapped the nose or rear of the saddle to make micro adjustments. I used a level and the “Measure” app on my iPhone to check for -2 degrees.
Again, I rode both the 145 and 155 width and found the 155 to better suit my body. It wasn’t a huge difference, but was noticeable enough that I stuck with the 155. I also toyed around with the saddle angle. I found that (for me), -2 degrees meant that I was constantly slipping forward in the tops or hoods, but most comfortable in the drops. So, I went to -1 degrees and I felt more comfortable and planted in the tops and hoods, but felt just a touch of extra pressure when riding in the drops.
What does that indicate? Well, certainly, the Aeolus Elite Saddle caters to aggressive body positions (as stated). If you hang out in the drops a lot, -2 should be your starting point. If you don’t, try -1 and see how it feels. Yes, just 1-degree difference can be felt.
As far as overall comfort goes, Bontrager has done well to attach the rails as far fore and aft as possible. Sharp-edged bumps aren’t as pronounced as with other stubby saddles. Part of that is also due to the 46mm wide nose, which helps spread out the pressure and allows you to move a little forward for long TT efforts. Pedaling power is great, with my backside pushing off against the tail of the saddle. Numbness wasn’t something I experienced here.
I also appreciate the Blendr integration for attaching a Flare RT. It positions the light up and back for even better visibility.
- Great addition to the stubby saddle market
- Square-edged bumps are more muted than with other short saddles
- Standard rails are easily-mounted
- Two widths to suit your body
- Integrated Blendr for rear light placement
- Can plop right into the sweet-spot for optimal power
- Full-length cutout provides relief
- Aggressive riding positions only
- Proper saddle angle may take some fiddling
The Bottom Line: Bontrager Aeolus Elite Saddle
Bontrager’s InForm construction focuses on supporting riders in the most comfortable way possible. Applying that knowledge to a stubby saddle has paid off well here. If you maintain an aggressive riding position, you’ll be well-served with the Bontrager Aeolus Elite Saddle.
Bontrager's InForm designs have helped droves of riders achieve a more comfortable riding position on the bike. With the new Aeolus Elite Saddle, it's easy to feel comfortable, but only if you ride in an aggressive position. It's relatively light and also available at affordable price points. Fiddle with the saddle angle, starting with -2 degrees, as recommended.