Road Gear

Reviewed: Specialized S-Works Romin Evo saddle

The S-Works Romin Evo is a kinder, gentler race saddle — well, sort of. It's got slightly more padding, but it's super-light and firm.

The S-Works Romin Evo is a kinder, gentler race saddle — well, sort of. It’s still very light, and very firm, but for this latest iteration of the Romin line, Specialized has given the saddle its Level 2 padding, which is slightly more cushioned than the Level 1 flavor of the S-Works Romin, its predecessor.

Despite the change in padding, the new Evo is 135 grams (23g lighter than the old S-Works Romin) in the 143mm width. Specialize also offers a 155mm width. And indeed, the Italian-made, carbon-shell, carbon-rail saddle is meant for racing. It feels firm and provides plenty of feedback, although not to the point of discomfort.

Though saddle choice is tremendously subjective, I was very happy with the Romin’s shape, and the cut-out kept my nether regions comfortable. According to Specialized, all of their saddles must allow a minimum of 50 percent blood flow to soft tissue (you know, the bathing suit area).

Available for $300, the S-Works Romin Evo is certainly a premium component, but it has already earned some fans — Specialized representatives said that when Marcel Kittel spied a prototype at the company’s California HQ, he asked if he could keep it. They acquiesced.

Is it better than the Romin Evo Pro, which is $100 less? The two felt nearly identical on the bike, but the S-Works is 70 grams lighter. Only you can decide whether that’s worth it.