The Bontrager Hilo RXL Speed Dial caught us a bit by surprise. While we were looking forward to testing its innovations, we were a bit wary of a long nosed triathlon saddle. Mike did the majority of testing and tends to prefer shorter saddles like the Dash Tri.7. Yet after putting nearly 1,000 miles on the Speed Dial, he walked away rather impressed. Once he was able to get it dialed in to his exact fit, the saddle was one of the most comfortable saddles he has tested to date.
The Speed Dial
What makes it so comfortable is the adjustable Speed Dial feature found on the front of the saddle. If you haven’t had a chance to check out our First Ride article on the Speed Dial, here is the condensed version: a nose width adjustment (16mm) allows you to increase or decrease the width of the saddle, and thus the channel running the length of it. In slightly less technical terms, the Speed Dial allows you to make fairly significant adjustments to the saddle’s fit.
The Speed Dial is built with Titanium rails and an integrated transition hook. As we mentioned in our first article, the textured surface at the rear of the saddle is a small but smart detail that helps to keep you firmly planted in your most aero position. Weighing in a 335g, the Speed Dial is no light weight. But it’s still only 27g more than a comparable Adamo Podium. Interestingly, Bontrager recently brought out the Hilo XXX Carbon. The XXX is a carbon version of the Hilo RXL, a sister saddle to the Speed Dial, and drops 70g from the Hilo RXL. One hopes that some of the technology in the XXX can trickle down to the Speed Dial to save another 50-70g.
Fitting the Speed Dial
Getting the fit right (width dialed in) took a bit of time. However, that’s not because it took a while to find the right fit. We actually found our ideal fit on the very first try and chose to spend the next 5 rides trying different widths. We started at roughly the 5mm mark and found it worked well. However, in the name of testing, we then took the saddle down to the minimum (0mm) and out to the maximum widths (16mm), as well as 10mm. In the end we came back to the 5mm mark—the perfect fit for Mike. Luckily adjusting the Speed Dial throughout our testing was as easy as grabbing a 5mm Allen wrench.
Building the Speed Dial
While reviewing the Speed Dial, Trek (Bontrager) shared via Facebook some of the development steps that went to crafting the Speed Dial. You can check it out here. It is obvious that quite a bit of thought was put into building this product.
Due to his training schedule, Mike put more miles on the Speed Dial than any other product in recent memory and still walked away with a smile on his face. This is a very good (though slightly heavy) saddle for those looking to move to a split-nosed saddle. And if you already have a split-nosed saddle but the fit needs just a bit of fine tuning, the Hilo RXL Speed Dial may be exactly what you’re looking for.