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review

Specialized S-Works Romin Evo Mirror saddle

8
£390.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Probably one of the most comfortable race saddles on the market – it'll cost you, though
Impressive comfort
Excellent quality
Very supportive
Choice of widths
Eye-watering cost
Oval rails won't work with every seatpost
Weight: 
189g

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With its S-Works Romin Evo Mirror, Specialized has applied its Mirror Technology and taken an already very comfortable saddle and turned it into something special. The 3D-printed design reduces pressure and increases blood flow. But while the upper might not bring tears to your eyes, the price might.

You can get lightweight and high-performance saddles for less, so if your budget doesn't stretch to £390, check out others in our guide to the best road bike saddles

Liam reviewed the standard Romin Evo back in 2021 and was very impressed by its supportive shape, stiff carcass and very light weight.

While that saddle still remains in Specialized's line-up, if you want the next level of comfort then it comes in this Mirror model.

Mirror Technology, as Specialized calls it, uses a liquid polymer which is 3D-printed into a mesh network that allows Specialized to fine tune the honeycomb structure's density in a way it says is impossible with traditional padding like foam.

Apparently, there are 22,200 struts and 10,700 nodes per saddle, which are all individually tuned.

2022 Specialized S-Works Romin Evo Mirror - top.jpg

What Specialized has created is a cushion-like saddle that works very well indeed.

As with any saddle review, when it comes to comfort it's entirely subjective – what I find comfortable might, to you, feel like sitting on a bed of nails, or what is uncomfortable for me might make you feel like you're floating on a cushion of air.

I like quite a firm saddle, and this is exactly what the Romin Evo Mirror is. Regardless of all those gaps in the material, there is little in the way of sag, or even compression.

The saddle settles a little when you sit on it, but that is it. I found that it allowed a small amount of movement and cushioning when riding on roads with a rough surface, but not enough that I ever felt like I was bouncing along.

2022 Specialized S-Works Romin Evo Mirror - rear.jpg

That bit of give also means the saddle remains firm enough to not cancel out feedback from the bike itself, so you are never going to feel isolated from what is going on.

The full carbon fibre base helps on the stiffness front and there is certainly no unwanted flex, even when smashing the power down from a seated position.

2022 Specialized S-Works Romin Evo Mirror - underside.jpg

The shape is designed for a low-slung, performance riding position, with padding kept to a minimum at the front end, which helps avoid numbness when spending long periods in the drops. I found that the design spread my weight very evenly and avoided any hot spots, even on very long, steady state rides where I was seated for a long time.

It's not a lengthy saddle by any stretch, but it's got a bit more 'nose' than a shorty style, and this does enable you to move around a touch for switching between climbing and working hard on the flat.

Two widths are available, 143mm and 155m.

2022 Specialized S-Works Romin Evo Mirror - underside rear.jpg

The build quality is excellent. It's very well finished throughout and stays looking clean and scuff free for many a mile. Mud and road spray does get inside the mesh pattern easily, but I found it easy to clean post ride.

The rails are full carbon fibre which keeps the weight down to a lowish 189g (although the standard Romin Evo is just 131g), and they have an oval shape of 7 x 9mm, so larger than the 7mm diameter of standard round rails. It'll be worth checking that your seatpost will accept them before purchasing.

2022 Specialized S-Works Romin Evo Mirror - underside nose.jpg

At a cool £390 the Romin Evo Mirror is the second most expensive saddle we have ever tested – the Selle Italia SP-01 Boost Teckno Superflow takes the top spot at £439.99 (reviewed by Simon back in 2020), but the majority of this is down to the technology of creating the 3D-printed section. The standard foam S-Works Romin Evo is £255, for comparison.

Fizik has embraced 3D printing too, though, and its Antares Versus Evo 00 Adaptive is a similar design and shape to the S-Works. It's a similar price, too, costing £399.99, with the range starting at £299.99 for the R1 model.

Selle Italia has also joined the 3D printed saddle marketplace with its carbon-railed SLR Boost 3D Kit Carbonio Superflow, and that's even more expensive at £412.75.

Conclusion

I don't think there is any doubt that 3D printed saddles are expensive at the moment, and the Mirror reflects that. What you are getting for your money, though, is a very comfortable saddle, probably more comfortable than any standard construction saddle I have ever tried. The shape is great, and I just love the way that the honeycomb design supported me so well.

Verdict

Probably one of the most comfortable race saddles on the market – it'll cost you, though

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: Specialized S-Works Romin Evo Mirror saddle

Size tested: 143mm

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?

Specialized says, "Our pro-favorite S-Works Romin EVO with Mirror saddle is designed to deliver exceptional comfort and ensure blood flow to soft tissue when riding in a low, aero position. By replacing foam with our Mirror technology, we've also reduced sit bone pressure up to 26%. We developed Mirror technology by 3D printing from a liquid polymer to perfectly reflect your anatomy. This revolutionary process creates a complex honeycomb structure that allows us to infinitely tune the material's density in a way impossible with foam.

The Body Geometry ergonomic supportive cut-out is designed to maximize blood flow, while the unique saddle shape allows you to maintain comfort, even in a competitive, aerodynamic position. Our very first concave FACT carbon fiber shell enabled us to create our thickest Mirror pad ever with 22,200 struts and 10,700 nodes, while oversized carbon rails create a saddle that's ready for anything.

The carbon-railed, lightweight S-Works Romin EVO with Mirror is a high-performance saddle that's designed to put you in a position for optimal power transfer and comfort as you put pressure on your competition."

It's a high performance saddle with superior comfort to most.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Specialized lists:

Patented Body Geometry design is lab-tested to ensure improved comfort and blood flow to sensitive arteries.

Mirror technology pad features 22,200 struts and 10,700 nodes, all individually tuned.

Concave FACT carbon fiber shell is flex-tuned for support and ride compliance.

Ultra-light oversized FACT carbon rails.

SWAT™-compatible mounts molded into the saddle base allow for sleek and integrated storage solutions.

NOTE: Oversized 7x9mm carbon rails are not compatible with seatposts equipped with side-load clamp mechanisms for 7mm round rails.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
10/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It's designed for performance riding and allows that, but with the comfort not afforded by many others of a similar design.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Soooooo comfortable.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The carbon rails won't work with every seatpost clamp design.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's pricey, but not overly so compared with other 3D printed saddles currently on the market.

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

Amazing comfort from the 3D printed section, an excellent shape, and the overall finishing quality is very high indeed. It's an excellent saddle, but that price is going to be a stumbling block for many.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 44  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!

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