S-Works Romin Evo first test with Specialized Mirror seat
The 3D printing revolution is on its way and Specialized is one of the main promoters, having already launched the impressive S-Works Power with Mirror saddle in June of last year. This new technology has literally turned the best segment of road bike saddles upside down, reaching levels of support, comfort and performance never before imagined.
While others have followed suit, most notably Fizik with its Antares Versus Evo 00 Adaptive saddle and Bjorn Cycles to a lesser extent, the Morgan Hill-based company remains focused on refining its saddle recipe using its Body Geometry philosophy. with the almost unlimited levels of tunability offered by 3D printing from a liquid polymer.
The company has just unveiled its latest installment in its line of 3D printed saddles, the S-Works Romin Evo with mirror, a pole it says has unprecedented levels of seat bone support and performance. Let’s take a closer look …
While it shares its design pattern with the regular Romin range, it should not be confused with anything other than a 3D printed saddle, with its richly structured mesh upper. Unlike the S-Works Power mirror saddle we tested last year, the trellis is more detailed and sculptural in appearance with the outer cover used only on key contact areas. This measure not only cuts down on unnecessary material, but also unblocks visual design complexities that would otherwise be hidden away.
Like its sibling, the color choice is limited to black – a proven shade that holds up well to scuffs and dirt, not to mention complementing any bike colourway. Like his stable mate, the nomenclature is minimal. In fact, there is nothing that pertains to its make or model except for a solitary “S” that resides in the lower rear portion of the mesh strap – a touch that should see the saddle no longer used by cyclists of rival bicycle brands. The intricate, exposed strap runs the entire center channel and flows into the base, then around the sides of the saddle. And while this strap looks amazing, it brings the possibility of irreparable damage in a crash (the exterior cover of the S-Works Power saddle with mirror is more complete and protective in contrast).
3D printed mesh padding is affixed to a concave shaped carbon fiber shell with oversized 7x9mm oval carbon rails. The Textreme base and rails not only have the look of the piece providing an aesthetic complementary to the boldly styled upholstery, but they also double as a measure of compliance.
Specifications and driving experience
The Romin Evo is a long nose saddle that is narrower (fender to nose) than most options in Specialized’s full line-up. It is 260mm long and can be specified in one of two widths: 143mm and 155mm, depending on your seat bone measurements. Of course, the total weight depends on the width you choose, but Specialized claims 190g for the 143mm option. On our scale it weighed 185g, nine grams lighter than the S-Works Power with mirror.
As for the design attributes, Specialized has managed to use a thicker Mirror print, thanks to the concave shape of the Fact carbon shell. This enabled real estate to compose 8,000 supports and 2,901 additional nodes compared to its brother (22,000 supports / 10,700 nodes against 14,000 / 7,799). Essentially, this unlocks more travel in the 3D printed network, which in turn provides better comfort and compliance.
The length and shape of the saddle is more suitable for riders who like an aggressive riding position. As such, the rear section soars, but the nose area still offers sufficient padding and support. To further improve blood circulation and support – especially around the perineum area – the 3D printed, canvas-covered cutout helps distribute the weight across the cushion rather than the soft tissue around your seat bones.
As a fairly light rider (175cm / 62kg) who prefers the more gritty and aggressive riding position offered by a long nose saddle, one of the first attributes I noticed was the levels of structure support. of the cushion. Most of the time, the lack of support – especially when riding on the tip of the saddle – can cause numbness and pain, but the low-speed compression around the nose (and sides for that matter) has added a additional compliance layer that helps avoid having to constantly move around to find a comfortable position.
Another area that has stood out is how the trellis pad and carbon base / rails work together as a system to smooth out road imperfections. Often times, saddles with regular foam padding and a stiff carbon base tend to hit a rider when they hit expansion joints or dips in the road. The Specialized S-Works Romin Evo saddle with mirror helps mitigate these jerks to some extent, keeping you planted in the saddle and more in control of what’s going on beneath you. In this regard, the S-Works Romin Evo with mirror could also be a real option for gravel riders.
At $ 450 / £ 350, the Specialized S-Works Romin Evo saddle with mirror will cost you as much as its 3D printed snub-nosed sibling. It’s also $ 210 / £ 175 more expensive than the Romin Evo Pro with the Mimic saddle it’s based on.
While some would say this is an unnecessary upgrade based on the marginal performance gains on offer, comfort with performance levels is a tangible advance over the foam-based alternatives and rivals, allowing you to become more one with your bike rather than just a passenger. .
The S-Works Romin Evo with mirror brings next level support, pressure relief and communication and transforms the way you feel, move and work with the bike, however long you spend in the saddle.
Technical specifications: Specialized S-Works Romin Evo with mirror saddle
- Price: $ 450 / £ 350
- Weight: 185g (actual)
- Width: 143mm (tested)
- Rails: Carbon, 7 x 9 mm
- Shell: Carbon
- Cousin: Digitally printed polymer mesh
- Colors: Black