This product has been selected to feature in road.cc recommends. That means it's not just scored well, but we think it stands out as special. Go to road.cc recommends
At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.What the road.cc scores mean
Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
The ISM PR 1.0 saddle is an unusual shape with its split nose and a wide rear platform, but don't let that put you off. It's very comfortable under the sit bones and reduces pressure on the soft tissue in the perineal area. It's a good quality saddle designed for both racers and recreational cyclists, offering great support.
A saddle is a very personal thing and comfort is subjective. Therefore, what I find comfortable isn't necessarily going to be comfortable for you. That said, the ISM PR 1.0 has characteristics that will appeal to racers and recreational cyclists.
When I first started cycling, I struggled with finding a saddle that was comfortable, particularly on long rides. The first saddle I properly invested in was the ISM Adamo Road saddle, and I went on to fit it to my track, road, and time trial bikes.
I have also used and liked the ISM Adamo Racing saddle, which has the same dimensions as the ISM PR 1.0 here – 245mm long and 130mm wide.
The PR in the name stands for Performance Recreation, and ISM says it's as comfortable on hybrid bikes as on race bikes. I used this on my race bike and have found it comfortable for long endurance rides as well as when I'm racing.
The split nose design creates two separate sections to support the sit bones independently, reducing pressure on the soft tissue in the perineal area and ensuring maximal blood flow. This could be a good saddle if you experience discomfort or numbness in these regions while riding.
The design is one that works well for me, and I find it offers good pressure relief. I didn't experience any numbness with this saddle. I also found that my weight was distributed evenly across the saddle, and there weren't any pressure points.
ISM recommends you build up the distance slowly when changing to this saddle, simply because it's so different to most. I didn't have a problem with this as I have used this style of saddle before, but do remember that when I first switched to this style I experienced some tenderness to the pubic rami bones. This isn't uncommon and not anything to worry about; it is simply because you sit on this saddle differently, shifting pressure from soft tissue to those pubic rami bones.
Due to ISM eliminating the nose area (so as to avoid soft tissue), the front end must be placed significantly further back than the nose of a traditional saddle. They also recommended you set the height slightly lower than normally to maintain the same body position
The ISM PR 1.0 saddle is by no means light at 327g on the road.cc scales of truth, and the steel rails don't help there – though the satin finish looks good and the quality seems high. Personally, I wouldn't choose a saddle just on its weight, and feel that the comfort here more than makes up for it's extra heft.
ISM's PR saddles feature more padding than its pure performance options, but that doesn't mean this is soft; I don't like overly soft saddles, and found this on the firmer side of soft. It's a good balance of cushioning and support.
It's difficult to say whether a saddle is good value or not because again, it comes down to whether you find it comfortable or not. When you've found something that works for you, it's far easier to justify the price.
There are lighter saddles out there, such as the 174g Specialized S-Works Power with Mimic Women's saddle, but it comes at a price – in this case, £255. Whilst Tass found it comfortable in some respects, she didn't find it game-changing.
The £189.99 Selle Italia's SLR Boost Lady Superflow saddle is another lightweight option, and was found to provide excellent support and comfort if a firmer saddle is your thing.
A cheaper alternative is the Liv Alacra SL saddle for £69.99 which features trickle-down technology from Liv's premium version, the £129.99 SLR. I'm not entirely sure saddles are a great place for trickle-down, but hey...
I've always liked the split-nose design of ISM's saddles and the PR 1.0 was no exception. It's on the heavier side for a saddle, but the quality is high and it provides great support and comfort.
Great saddle for keen riders and racers, offering excellent support and comfort
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: ISM PR 1.0 saddle
Size tested: Length: 245mm * Width: 130mm
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?
ISM says: "The ISM PR 1.0 road bike saddle will change your expectations of comfort. This ISM Performance Recreation saddle is as comfortable on a hybrid bike as it is a full-blown race machine. Therefore, this padded bike seat is commonly used for hybrid, triathlon and road bikes.
"The ISM PR 1.0 features 50-series foam padding, more padding that other ISM performance saddles, making it the perfect comfy bike seat for cyclists who want a softer ride - whether you ride in padded cycling shorts or regular everyday clothing. The ISM PR 1.0 saddle has more padding than the PR 2.0, but slightly less than the PR 3.0.
"Like all ISM saddles, the ISM PR 1.0 saddle is nose-less and designed to remove pressure from soft tissue, ensuring maximum blood flow and no genital numbness. Whether you're looking for a commuter saddle or a triathlon saddle, you'll experience a healthier, more enjoyable ride with the ISM PR 1.0."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Category: Performance Recreation
Padding: 50-series foam
Rails: Satin Steel
On the heavier side for a saddle.
This is obviously subjective, but the split-nose design works well for me.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I found this just as comfortable on long rides (3-4 hours) as while racing short crits.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The split nose and 'noseless' design relieved pressure well... and yes, I know that sounds totally contradictory.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There are more expensive lightweight options such as the Specialized S-Works Power with Mimic Women's saddle, which is £255 and weighs 174g, and Selle Italia's SLR Boost Lady Superflow saddle for £189.99.
A cheaper alternative is the Liv Alacra SL saddle for around £60.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
I found this saddle very comfortable and supportive, and I didn't experience any numbness when riding. It's on the heavier side, but other than that it's impressive.
About the tester
I usually ride: specialised tarmac sl6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Emily is our track and road racing specialist, having represented Great Britain at the World and European Track Championships. With a National Title up her sleeve, Emily has just completed her Master’s in Sports Psychology at Loughborough University where she raced for Elite Development Team, Loughborough Lightning.
Emily is our go-to for all things training and when not riding or racing bikes, you can find her online shopping or booking flights…the rest of the office is now considering painting their nails to see if that’s the secret to going fast…