The PRO Griffon Gel is a well-made, dependable saddle that will please most riders most of the time, but it's relatively heavy and arguably no more comfortable than cheaper, lighter foam options. It's a strong choice for adventure bikes, though.
- Pros: Grippy cover, solidly made, fairly shock-absorbent
- Cons: Heavy, flat nose lacks effective channeling, only PRO 'ass savers' will fit
With its stainless steel rails, glassfibre-reinforced plastic hull and gel padding, this version of PRO's Griffon saddle was never going to be light, though at 284g it's no clunker either. On the other hand, its thick padding, rail attachment design (they fix into what amount to laterally-mounted leaf springs) and high mass mean it's good at filtering out vibration and softening small impacts.
Combine this with a solid build that can survive a few knocks and a densely textured polyurethane cover, and it's a good option for gravel bikes and even mountain bikes. The almost flat shaping, with just a slight raise at the tail and dip on the nose, means it's as much a saddle for every rider as every bike.
On the road, the advantages are less obvious. Saddle comfort is personal, obviously, but while I found the Griffon instantly comfy in a very neutral way, it didn't stay that way any longer than many others. In fact, for me the long, flat nose – which only has a very shallow channel – encouraged numbness where thinner, harder but more deeply notched saddles don't. It also seemed as good but no better than basic saddles at less than half the price.
While the design of the rear rail mounting points encourage flex (not actual springiness, even if you sit right back), they also stop you fitting a clip-on 'ass saver' style mudguard. Your only options are to either cut yours down or buy PRO's dedicated, bolt-on rear guard. The saddle has threaded steel inserts to take one (or any other PRO accessories, such as camera mounts and CO2 brackets). The inserts don't help the weight either.
It's available in this 142mm or 152mm widths, both with steel rails. The price seems high given the spec. For instance, Fabric's gel-enhanced Scoop is slightly lighter and just £50, while the similar-looking B'Twin 900 Sport also offers gel, is also lighter and is £20. And if you're after a similar cutout and shape but firm padding, check out the Kinesis Elite at £40.
Chances are you'd be perfectly happy with the PRO Griffon Gel on your bike, especially if your rides are casual, brief or bumpy, but the mudguard-unfriendly tail and high weight are disappointing – and there's just no reason to spend so much.
A well-built saddle with decent comfort, but underperforms for the price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: PRO Griffon Gel Saddle
Size tested: 142mm
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The official line is that Pro's Griffon Gel "offers support to riders that need help maintaining an efficient position on the bike ... The gel pads, cut out section and flexible base will ensure good day-long comfort."
It's a conservative shape that most people will get on with instantly, but possibly no better than general entry-level designs.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Pro lists these features:
Glassfibre reinforced base
Polyurethane upper to minimise friction
Solid build and chunky plastic base looks like it can cope with knocks.
A little heavy, but comfortable for short to medium rides. Pressure relief channel may not be long/deep enough for some.
Tough design bodes very well.
Steel rails, chunky plastics and gel inserts mean a weight that's disappointing for the price.
Good for shorter rides and rough surfaces, but the long, flat nose can cause pressure after a while if you don't sit exactly centrally.
No comfier or lighter than many entry-level saddles at half or even a third of the price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's easy to get on with for a couple of hours, and a good choice for gravel bikes thanks to vibe-soaking solidity, but for pure road it's unremarkable verging on unimpressive.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tough build and good cover.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
High weight and conservative design are disappointing for the price.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's easy to find similar performance for a lot less; unless gel really works for you, £99 is uncompetitive.
Did you enjoy using the product? It was fine.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your overall score
This saddle is well made, good looking and probably a bigger asset on gravel or fully off-road than it is on tarmac. If it was £30 I'd happily give it a 7, but as just shy of £100 the value is poor. It's decent but overpriced, hence the 5.
About the tester
I usually ride: GT GTR Series 3 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mountain biking