I’ve made several posts about my initial experiences on the Specialized Power Pro saddle, but this morning I am ready to render my final verdict.
My first impressions of the Power Pro (after 360 miles) were extremely positive, and I gave the saddle an preliminary rating of 8 out of 10.
After logging 600 miles I made a followup post, and raised my rating to 8.5 out of 10.
In that last blog entry, I mentioned that I wanted to reserve my final rating until I’d done a century on the saddle. This past Friday I rode a century, and I came away more impressed with the saddle than ever! I’ll get into that a little further down…
So I’ve had the Specialized Power Pro for about three weeks now, and have logged a total of almost 900 miles on it. I can say without any reservation that the past three weeks are the most comfortable I’ve ever been on a road bike, and by a large margin.
When I bolted up the Power Pro, I’d just removed the ISM Breakway saddle I’d been demoing for the past month. During the month I was using the ISM seat, I put 1,300 miles on it. It was a terrible match for me: I was in constant pain on the bike, and developed agonizing saddle sores early on. Those saddle sores became worse as the month wore on.
Within a few days of switching to the Power Pro, my saddle sores were all but gone. After about a week on the Power pro, the saddle sores were completely gone, and they did not return.
I should note that the saddle I was using before the ISM, the Selle Italia Max Flite Gel Flow, was barely okay for me. I put more than 20,000 miles on that saddle, and saddle sores were an on-and-off issue the entire time.
Let’s get back to Friday’s 100 mile ride…
During the ride itself, I experienced no significant discomfort. Of course when you’re sitting on a small bit of carbon with minimal padding while riding over rough road for 4+ hours you’ve got to switch riding positions to prevent discomfort, but that’s true of any saddle. The point is, I was comfortable the entire ride.
What I was really curious about is how my butt would feel on my ride the day after the century. I’ve done dozens of century rides, and the day after a century I would always feel some tenderness and discomfort–always.
I set out on Saturday morning to do a short 20 mile recovery ride, and there was absolutely no (and I mean ZERO) discomfort. I’m not kidding, as far as my butt knew I had not even been on the bike the day prior, let alone done a 100 mile ride. I felt so good that I wound up extending the ride and going harder than I’d planned.
Yesterday (Sunday), I did a 53 mile ride and, once again, there was no tenderness or discomfort from the previous days’ rides.
In the past putting in 200 miles over a long weekend would always be a literal pain in my ass, but on the Power Pro it’s a non-issue. I’m all smiles.
I’ll also note that the short nose and large cutout are working as designed: I’ve experienced absolutely no numbness or tingling.
My final rating of the Specialized Power Pro saddle is a solid 9 out of 10. I would recommend this saddle to anyone who spends a lot of time riding aero.
A huge “thank you!” goes out to my buddy Hector for turning me onto this gem; my enjoyment of the ride is at a whole new level now that I’m finally comfortable.