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Review: Specialized Romin Pro Saddle

One major component of being successful at cycling often boils down to being able to withstand a lot of pain, for a long time. In the moment, this pain may seem like it will last FOREVER, and its hard to get that thought out of your mind. Lance Armstrong once said “pain is only temporary, but quitting lasts forever,” which might be my single most favorite quote.

If there’s one kind of pain that I simply can’t handle on the bike, it’s the pain that comes directly from the saddle or the “nether regions.” Since I began racing, I’ve been on the search for the “perfect” saddle, but have never come close to this goal. With the Specialized Toupè I came very close, but it just doesn’t do it for me on those longer rides. Putting it all out on the table, I have a serious issue with numbness on the bike, which is extremely uncomfortable. With this, choosing the right saddle is more crucial to me than any other equipment I may own. An uncomfortable saddle leads not only to numbness, saddle sores, etc., but also to not riding to ones full potential. If you’re focused on how uncomfortable you are, you simply can’t be giving your maximal effort on the bike.

While building up my new racing bike, I can finally say that I have found the PERFECT saddle for myself. One of their newest racing saddles, the Specialized Romin is quite different from their Toupè model. The first thing that you notice on this saddle is the enormous cutout that actually extends for the entire length of the saddle! Second is the upward sweep in the back, compared to the board flat look of most racing saddles. I was somewhat skeptical at first coming from a flatter saddle, but after my first long ride I knew that the Romin was for me. Even after a good five hours on the bike, I had not experienced one bit of numbness. Some complain that the saddle is more firm than most, but I did not notice this at all and was 100% comfortable the entire time. For the first time in my riding career I can go for a ride without having to think about what I’m sitting on.

Where I find the saddle really shines is while climbing and riding in the drops. Because of how the cutout extends for the whole length of the saddle, there is no going numb while in the drops for me which was usually when it happened most frequently. The sweep in the back enables me to get a little bit more leverage while climbing because I have something extra to push back on to squeeze out that bit of extra power. One aspect of the saddle that people should be aware of though, is the width of the nose of the saddle. Although I did not find it uncomfortable, it was noticeable at first coming from a very narrow-nosed saddle such as the Toupè. After getting used to it, I actually prefer this characteristic because I feel as though it helps to disperse some of that pressure when hammering in the drops on the nose of the saddle.

Though there are several different models, the “Pro” version comes standard with carbon rails which you can bet makes this saddle fairly light at around 170 grams. Most carbon railed saddles will run you a hefty price, sometimes above $300. The Romin Pro retails at $150, which was actually cheaper than the alternative alloy railed saddles that I was looking at.

Overall, I truly cannot explain how happy I am with this saddle and I can finally fully enjoy those longer rides. Do yourself a favor and test ride one of these from your local Specialized dealer, you may kick yourself as I did for not doing it earlier! Keep in mind though that saddles are very individual and one that is perfect for me may be like a torture device for others. Regardless, I feel that the Romin is in a class of its own when compared to the other high-end saddles, and its at the peak of saddle comfort. Specialized, I applaud you!  No more complaining from me! (At least from saddle discomfort)

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8 Responses

  1. It looks like you have the saddle installed on a thomson post, do you find those rail mounts to be too edgy as you warn against?

    • Definitely not! The Thomson Masterpiece fits near perfect with these saddle rails. The edges are not too sharp on the clamp and the oval-shaped carbon rails make the fit easier.

      • Glad to hear! I have the masterpiece post, so this saddle should work out nicely for me. How is the saddle enduring after all these months?

      • I have put the saddle through a lot of miles and it is still in great shape. The only scuffs on it were caused by me leaning it up against walls. It’s showing no other signs of wearing, which is great!

        I also actually purchased the lower end “Comp Gel” version as well to put on my other bike. If you’re looking for comfort alone and don’t care about weight, the extra cushioning in this version is definitely worth it.

  2. Romin is everything a road bike saddle should be. 143 mm version is just perfect for me. Dreams come true. Thanks for Roger & Specialized!

  3. I got the same saddle, but in white. If I wanted to write an article about this saddle, I would write it exactly like this! My third and hopefully the last saddle model. It’s amazing!

  4. Hi Michael,

    thanks for this great review. I have been looking high and low (pun unintended) for a saddle to relieve similar pains as you have described. I too have narrowed down my search to the Romin Pro. However, there seems to be very little information about what kind of posts these rails are compatible with. Is there anything specific I need to know or will these work where a Selle Royal Viper would fit. I have a Cannondale Bad Boy 2009. I like the Viper but not for long rides. On a couple of occasions I had just get off and walk for a while to relieve the pain. Thanks again for your review.

    • Hey there,

      Sorry for such a late reply, but did you ever find the answer to your question? If not, you do have to be careful with carbon rails. For the most part, you’ll be safe with most seatposts that clamp on the top and bottom. Seatposts clamping from the sides are generally a no-no for carbon rails. Secondly, if the clamp has very sharp edges, be careful not to over-torque the clamp on the rails (or avoid that seatpost if possible). Again sorry for the late reply, but hope that helps!

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