We first saw Prologo’s new CPC saddle at Eurobike last September, and we've been waiting to get our hands (okay, not exactly our hands) on one ever since. Today one arrived in the post, and here it is.
CPC (Connect Power Control ) is an intriguing technology based on the premise of offering increased grip between shorts and saddle, and uses a synthetic grip material first developed for the military which Prologo reckon will give the utmost control when on the limit.
Say what? Okay, it’s basically an elastic polymer moulded into a mat made up of tiny volcano shaped cones of varying shaft sizes and diameters, that act like suction cups. When these tubes are pressed against a surface, like your bum, these tubes compress and the dilation that occurs increases the surface grip. The compression of the tubes also gives a side benefit of vibration absorption, for a little extra comfort. Clever stuff.
This CPC technology has proved extremely effective in its military application - troops used it in gloves for sliding down ropes and allows them to stop really fast - and has other characteristics which on paper at least sound highly appropriate for sporting environments. No surprise that it has since found its way into F1 and MotoGp. And now cycling – Prologo have an exclusive license to use it.
They’ve added carefully shaped pieces of these tube clusters along the nose of the saddle and in the sit bone zones, to provide a non-slip perch no matter the weather - the polymer is non-absorbent so should be ideal in wet weather. Prologo stress that the CPC doesn’t lock you into position, you can still move about easily and micro adjust your position. Their pitch appears to be about increased control, of helping you maintain the optimum position on the bike.
Grippy saddles aren’t new as such, it’s possible to buy a time trial saddle with grippy material along the nose section, where because of the UCI rules riders perch right on the nose, so a grippy material added in this area is a desirable performance benefit. But we haven’t seen the application shift to saddles to be used outside of time trialling, for road racing and everyday riding. Until now.
It’s an interesting development, and Prologo have also applied the technology to gloves as well. We’ve haven’t got any of them yet, but we have this saddle in for testing. I’ve been using a regular smooth Scratch saddle for some time so I’ll be replacing it with this one and will report back with my findings.
Sliding around on the saddle on our road bike isn't something of an issue I frequently suffer from, but if it is for you then here is a very smart solution. For those on the rivet moments, it has obvious advantages. Only testing will reveal it’s real-world suitability..
The saddle has made its way into the pro peloton, we spotted a few riders using it at Paris-Roubaix recently, a race that would suit the benefits the CPC offers.
The CPC tech is available on four saddles, the Zero TT, Zero II, NAgo Evo and the Scratch Pro Nack featured on this page. It weighs 208g with a carbon fibre injection base and carbon rails, with EV2 active density padding. They’re finished in a blue colourway to ensure they stand out from regular Prologo saddles. Wallet poised? The Scratch CPC costs £199.99.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.