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CADEX Boost saddle review

Can a saddle offer both unrestricted performance and all-day levels of comfort? CADEX thinks it has the solution with its premium Boost saddle

CADEX Boost Saddle review
(Image: © Graham Cottingham)

Our Verdict

A performance saddle with an aggressive profile that doesn’t compromise comfort

For

  • The shape gives a locked-in, supportive and powerful pedalling platform
  • Immensely comfortable padding
  • Lightweight
  • Striking profile

Against

  • Shiny material might squeak with some bib shorts
  • Price

CADEX is more than just an OEM brand for the bike behemoth Giant. While it does produce the wheels which are used on the top-end Giant TCR, CADEX is primarily aimed at providing premium componentry which is used by the likes of Team CCC in the WorldTour. We have put CADEX’s Boost saddle through its paces to see if it has what it takes to compete against the best road bike saddles.

Design and aesthetics

Visually the Boost is quite striking although not from all angles. While the padded body isn't as detailed as the futuristic crop of 3D-printed saddles we have recently seen, it's undercarriage represents quite the antithesis.

The mottled carbon rails start as a square section at the nose before transforming into the oval clamping area and finally flattening where they are pleasingly integrated into the very rear edge of the saddle. 

Closer inspection of the overall shape reveals that it curves a bit more than other saddles such as the Specialized Power Pro and Prologo Scratch M5, both of which possess a more uniform structure. 

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CADEX Boost Saddle review

Closer inspection of the overall shape reveals that it curves a bit more than its rivals (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)
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CADEX Boost Saddle review

There's no disputing the maker of this perch (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)
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CADEX Boost Saddle review

The Boost saddle uses a channel rather than a full cut out (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)
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CADEX Boost Saddle review

The channel is padded for the frontal portion, and fades into carbon at the rear (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

 Specifications 

CADEX only offers the Boost in one size and while the 149mm width is a little wider than I would normally opt for, there was no discernible discomfort for me when riding. I had no trouble adjusting the saddle in a comfortable position either, choosing a flat set up with a slight elevation of the nose. 

At 141g it's a supremely light saddle. CADEX credits the low weight to the integrated rail and two-piece saddle construction. By using an integrated rail segment that is formed using a method CADEX calls 'Advance Forged Composite Technology' (AFCT), intricate rail shapes are created which are claimed to make the saddle lighter and stiffer where needed - all the better for dissipating road vibrations. 

The padding uses a combination of EVA foam and 'free-flowing' ETPU particles. These CADEX-specific particles are positioned within pockets in the centre of the saddle and presumably act in the same way as a bean bag does, albeit a very firm bean bag, moulding to your body to help relieve pressure points. 

Rather than go with a full cutout, CADEX has used a channel for pressure relief that extends through the length of the saddle. A small hole with a scoop in the base has also been added, presumably to dial in some ventilation.

The saddle is finished in a microfibre covering with dimpled texture in the centre and a shiny material around the nose to reduce possible friction between the inner thigh and saddle.

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CADEX Boost Saddle review

The rails offer 60mm of fore and aft adjustment (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)
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CADEX Boost Saddle review

Cadex's Particle Flow Technology is used for added comfort (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Riding experience

With my mixed experiences from testing other stubby saddles, I was apprehensive as to how the CADEX Boost would perform. Safe to say, it was love at first sit. 

The CADEX saddle has a welcoming shape with gentle curvature across the top providing an even level of support that was easy to settle into without needing to reposition to find the most comfortable position. Comfort from the ETPU-particle-padded areas was quite extraordinary without signs of areas that could potentially become uncomfortable on longer rides.

The raised rear end encourages a little shuffling forward into an aggressive position and paired with the concave transition onto the saddle's shoulders, more power can be driven into the pedals. While this gentle nudging onto the nose promotes a more aggressive position it does limit the real estate at the back for sitting up after an effort. That said, I found the centre of the saddle was more than accommodating due to its profile and superb padding.  

CADEX Boost Saddle review

The upward curve at the rear gently urges you into an aggressive position (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Verdict

With CADEX only offering a small range of products it might be easy for riders to look past the brand’s single saddle offering. CADEX, however, has really hit a sweet spot with the Boost saddle making it a more than worthwhile consideration against other premium players in the performance saddle segment.

Tech spec: CADEX Boost saddle

  • Price: £249.99 / $300 
  • Material: Carbon 
  • Rails: 9mm
  • Widths: 149mm
  • Length: 246mm
  • Colours: Black
  • Weight: 141g, actual (138g claimed)