The new CADEX Amp saddle inherits core features from the acclaimed Boost saddle (reviewed here) but aims at a wider audience. From a quick look, the new CADEX Amp shares a similar shape to many popular short-nosed saddles. But a closer look reveals that the Amp saddle also boasts all the tech of the Boost… including the same carbon base, integrated rails, and particle flow padding.
So does the new CADEX Amp outshine the Boost?
CADEX Amp saddle creation
The CADEX Boost saddle is one of the most comfortable saddles we’ve ridden. The shape, however, might only fit some, and it can take some time to get the correct angle. Saddles are very personal. Lastly — the Boost is more of an aero-focused saddle, and a comfortable fit is dependent on where your sit bones hit its limited padding.
Taking that feedback (which is pretty universal), CADEX developed another new design with a broader appeal and still offers support to a rider with a low, aero position on the bike — landing on this new Amp.
What is it the Amp?
The CADEX Amp features all the good that came with the Boost while giving a slightly more stable perch for pedaling. The shape will be familiar to most riders, with a very open ergonomic rear curve that CADEX says “helps increase ischial support.” The new shape gives more room for large thighs and the upswept rear helps the planted pedaling feel.
What kind of rider is the CADEX Amp for?
The CADEX Amp is a high-performance race saddle that should fit the general cycling public and more varied cycling disciplines, slightly better than the narrow-focus Boost. The shape looks familiar but has some slight tweaks on the short-nose, wide-wing design (more on that later).
Now, the lightest CADEX saddle
The Amp knocks the Boost out of the top (and only other) spot for the lightest CADEX saddle. The CADEX Boost is already respectably light at 138g, but the Amp rolls in at just 129g — very impressive considering the more versatile comfort.
That low weight is helped by the full carbon base. It’s the same CADEX Advanced Forged Composite (AFC) tech with carbon rails that the designers used for the Boost. This AFC composite helps the Amp hit a superlight weight and provide some compliance.
The carbon rails’ attachments (similar to the Boost) are positioned at the edges of the saddle shell, well away from the main contact points with a rider’s sit bones. This unique rail position allows the saddle to better dampen road vibrations and alleviates pressure points, something very noticeable when riding.
Why a different shape?
The short nose shape allows many riders to enter the CADEX brand and gives Boost riders a more “universal” saddle setup. Not to say that the Boost isn’t an off-road saddle, but the Amp’s shape is far better suited to off-road fit and positioning.
The short nose shape also pushes the rider back into the saddle to achieve a powerful, yet still aerodynamic riding position.
Shape-wise, the CADEX Amp has very sculpted wings compared to others with similar shapes. The top of the saddle has a crowned shape that drops away at the wings, and the full-carbon, low-seated base eliminates flex, helping to enable pedaling power.
Technical Specs — CADEX Amp Saddle
- Weight: 129g
- Length: 245mm
- Width: 145mm
- Stack Height: 44mm
- Rail material: 7x9mm Oval Carbon
- Shell: Advanced Forged Composite Technology
- Padding: Lightweight Reactive Foam with Integrated Particle Flow
- Price: $315
Cadex AMP Riding Impressions
Saddles are something that, admittedly, I don’t really like reviewing. Fit is a personal preference, and it can be hard to describe something that might not work for a particular rider. I’m a creature of habit, and I’ve used the same model of Specialized Power (143mm) for the last couple of years — on and off-road.
However, I took the chance to check out the CADEX Amp because my impressions of the CADEX Boost were already great. I still ride the Boost on my road bike, but it has never made it off-road successfully.
A Shape That You Can Trust
The shape of the CADEX Amp is inviting, it’s familiar, and the look of the saddle is pure class. You can see some of the attention to detail at a quick glance, but when you pick the saddle up, you really appreciate the craftsmanship.
The base of the saddle is raw carbon, almost unfinished looking. The shiny carbon against the matte black padding appeals to me; it looks like a racing prototype you’d see in the pits at a World Cup. The padding is slim but generous and contains much more on the nose of the saddle than the Boost. Then, the padding gets more dense and voluminous as you fade to the rear of the saddle.
CADEX Amp Set-up
Positioning-wise, I set the Amp up similarly to the S-Works Power Mirror it replaced. The length is similar to the Power Mirror, but the thigh glide area is longer on the Amp. Tilt-wise, the Amp was a little tough to dial in, but worth it. I found the nose is lower “feeling” because of the higher rise on the wings. I positioned our demo model at -2° out of the gate and moved from there.
The Amp feels much more like a “regular saddle” on the bike than the Boost. Where the Boost felt like something completely new, the Amp feels like a better version of something you already know. It didn’t take much time at all for me to get used to the Amp’s new fit. The tall wings in the rear can be slightly weird initially, but I adjusted after just one ride.
I mounted the Amp on my Canyon Inflite for do-it-all riding and to prep for ‘cross-season. #crossiscoming. Mounting the Amp on my cyclocross bike allowed me to experience it both on- and off-road. After several trainer sessions, I hit the road, content with over-analyzing my positioning.
The nose is a neutral width, not small but enough that your legs are slotted, similar to the PRO Stealth but slimmer. The wide thigh glide area helps maintain this sensation. I ended up moving the Amp forward 3mm from my regular positioning and was satisfied. The slightly longer thigh area and slow taper to the wings make it feel like a longer saddle.
Off-road riding on the CADEX Amp is a pleasure, though thoughts of snapping a carbon rail were always in the back of my mind. But, after a few hard days and bad lines, I felt safe — though the replacement price is possibly high enough to keep this saddle firmly on the tarmac for the nervous among us.
For the few cyclocross sessions the Amp saw, I can say the tall wings in the rear might not be the best for a clean re-mount. But, as mentioned before, I’m coming from a slightly flatter saddle, so I might simply need to adjust my technique.
CADEX Amp Saddle — Final Impressions
After miles on the CADEX Amp, I confidently say it is as good as the CADEX Boost.
Is it better?
It is a better all-around saddle when compared directly to the Boost. The general short nose shape fits my body well, and I’m accustomed to its fit and positioning. Given a choice between the two, I will now choose the Amp — based solely on the fact that it is closer in shape to other saddles I regularly ride.
Yes — it’s $315… expensive. But like the Boost, it’s a premium product with a price tag to match. Hopefully, CADEX will bring out a line of saddles that reflect the Amp and Boost shape with a more affordable ask. If the price is your holdback… note: like the CADEX wheels, bars, and other offerings, the Amp and Boost saddles come with the CADEX Composite Confidence. If you crash, damage, or whatever in the first 2-year of riding the product, CADEX will replace or repair it.
CADEX Amp — Conclusion
If you’re a performance-focused rider looking for a new saddle that will offer max comfort and dampened road feel — the Amp is your choice. The color (matte black) will match all bikes. And the 129g weight is almost assuredly lighter than what’s currently on your ride. We look forward to more rides on the Amp — look for a long-term review follow-up early this fall.
The CADEX Amp saddle is available now, at retailers and online in select markets worldwide.