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review

ISM PS 2.0 saddle

8
£185.00

VERDICT:

8
10
An extremely comfortable saddle that helps you stay in a low race position – though not light and maybe not the best looking
Very comfortable
Easier to hold aggressive race positions
Looks a bit strange
Bulkier and heavier than rivals
Weight: 
282g

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The ISM PS 2.0 Saddle is characterised by its split-nose design that alleviates pressure from your perineal area, allowing you to maintain an aggressive race position. Although I don't think it's very aesthetically pleasing, its excellent comfort more than makes up for its 'interesting' looks.

After a new saddle? Then check out our best road bike saddles buyer's guide, which has our top seating choices from just £25 to well over £300.

When it comes to choosing a saddle for your cycling adventures, comfort should always take precedence over aesthetics. The ISM PS 2.0 Saddle in its white colourway is a prime example of a saddle that may not win any beauty contests, but it more than makes up for it with exceptional comfort. And if white just isn't for you, it's also available in a more traditional and less shouty black.

2023 ISM PS 2.0 saddle - rear.jpg

The PS 2.0's distinctive split-nose design and generous padding alleviate pressure on your more sensitive areas, ensuring a more enjoyable riding experience, which is especially true during long rides.

2023 ISM PS 2.0 saddle - underside rear.jpg

ISM isn't the only brand with relief channels to relieve perineal pressure, Bontrager's Aeolus Pro Saddle that Rebecca recently reviewed also has a cut-out and may look slightly better.

2023 ISM PS 2.0 saddle - rear.jpg

While the ISM PS 2.0 Saddle may not boast the most visually appealing design, it's essential to consider its comfort compared with other saddles at similar prices – and I think the ISM PS 2.0 really shines here. For me it stands out as one of the most comfortable options available, with its thoughtful design catering to the needs of riders seeking relief from discomfort and numbness.

2023 ISM PS 2.0 saddle - nose.jpg

In terms of aesthetics, beauty is of course subjective. But while the ISM PS 2.0 Saddle may not have a sleek and stylish appearance, and I'm not sure its underside has the neatest finishing quality, its design won't distract from your overall cycling experience. 

2023 ISM PS 2.0 saddle - underside nose.jpg

The ISM PS 2.0 not only has a bulkier look than some of its competitors but at 282g it's also around 100g heavier than many of them, so if you are a weight weenie or trying to build a super-light climbing machine, it's probably not going to be high on your list.

2023 ISM PS 2.0 saddle - side.jpg

But if time trials and triathlon are more your thing – events where aerodynamics trump low weight – then it's a different matter. I used this saddle for this year's Welsh National Time Trial championships where I finished second, and I found it so much more comfortable than my standard road saddle. And for triathlons the saddle also features a rear transition hook for mounting it in the transition area.

2023 ISM PS 2.0 saddle - rear detail.jpg

Value

With a price tag of £185, the ISM PS 2.0 is far from cheap, but as you can pay over £300 for a saddle, it's not at the top end of the market. While there are certainly much more affordable options available, it's important to remember that investing in a high-quality saddle can greatly enhance your riding experience. And in this regard, I think the ISM PS 2.0 Saddle delivers decent value thanks to its exceptional comfort and durability.

The Pro Stealth Curved Team Saddle is my usual choice of saddle on the road, and is priced closely to this ISM, but with its carbon rails and sleek design it comes in 114g lighter. Steve appreciated its padding and comfort and thought it worked well whether you were riding in a tucked position or on the tops.

Also coming in at a similar price to the ISM is the Fizik Vento Argo R1, a shorty saddle that Mat reckoned was well suited for riding in an aggressive position.

Conclusion

If you prioritise comfort above all else and are willing to overlook aesthetics, the ISM PS 2.0 Saddle is an excellent choice. While it may not win any design awards, it more than compensates with its impressive comfort. The ISM PS 2.0 stands out as one of the most comfortable options available around its price, providing relief from numbness during long rides, and I think it's a worthy investment that could well enhance your cycling experience.

Verdict

An extremely comfortable saddle that helps you stay in a low race position – though not light and maybe not the best looking

road.cc test report

Make and model: ISM PS 2.0 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 PS 2.0 is the updated version of the popular ISM 'Road' saddle. It features 30-series foam and gel padding, and is ideal for triathlon, time trial, and road bikes. Similar to the other PS series saddles, the PS2.0 features a slight upward slope at the rear – providing superb hip support when your body is rotated forward in the aero position, or an aggressive road riding position. This tends to be preferred by athletes that don't move around on the seat excessively while riding. They are a top choice for triathletes and time trialists who ride in the aerobars, or for flat courses in which the athlete likes to 'settle in' to one position and go. Like all ISM saddles, the PS2.0 is nose-less and designed to remove pressure from soft tissue, ensuring maximum blood flow, no genital numbness, and a healthier, more enjoyable ride."

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

Length: 245mm

Width: 130mm

Padding: 30-series Foam and Gel

Rails: Chromoly

Colors: Black, white

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

It'll get dirty very fast in this white colourway – but the saddle is also available in a more conservative black, which won't show the dirt as easily.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
4/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
10/10
Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

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

Extremely comfortable in aggressive race positions and on longer rides.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

How easy it is to get comfortable – never found myself moving round on the saddle to get myself comfortable.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Comfortable, yes, but I just couldn't get used to its looks!

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

It's far from cheap but its price is in line with similar quality saddles from the main manufacturers, such as the Pro and Fizik saddles mentioned.

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

The saddle is very comfortable especially when using it to race on a time trial bike. I found it hard to get used to the looks of it, and I think it looks rather ghastly, and white wouldn't be my first choice of colour. The thickness of the saddle adds some weight too, so it's not ideal if you're trying to build a super-lightweight race machine.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 22  Height: 185cm  Weight: 69kg

I usually ride: Dolan Rebus  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Semi pro

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, Always love some off-road with some mates.

Add new comment

6 comments

Avatar
I love my bike | 11 months ago
0 likes

Specialized Sitero(plus) has a similar design philosophy, weighs less, is without rust-prone staples & costs £100 less!

 

Avatar
Nikolai | 11 months ago
1 like

"Although I don't think it's very aesthetically pleasing, its excellent comfort more than makes up for its 'interesting' looks."

Yes, it looks like a big white vagina.

Avatar
TheBillder | 11 months ago
1 like

Are these saddles (there have been many similar in the range over the years) any good for less aggressive, more endurance style positions? I'm not comfortable at the moment and wondering for the gazillionth time if there's a magic saddle out there for me.

Avatar
Fluffed replied to TheBillder | 11 months ago
1 like

Have one from ages ago, and.. not really,  it only make sense for Tri types imo. The Spesh Power or Pro Stealth maybe worth a look though, I've found both of those work sitting on the nose, and more at the back, as they have a bit of a kick upwards at the rear.

Avatar
cyclisto replied to TheBillder | 11 months ago
0 likes

I found very good results for private parts compression with hard Specialized saddles that as Fluffes says you may sit in the kicked up rear part. I have been riding a Romin 143mm but you have to remember to keep sitting in the kicked up rear part

Avatar
TheBillder replied to cyclisto | 11 months ago
1 like

Thanks both. My current problem is abrasion of the skin below the sit bones. Chamois cream helps but is not really a cure. It's odd: I had years of riding without ever needing cream and now I can be in agony after 40 miles. It takes a few days to heal, as well. Doesn't matter which shorts or which bike I ride.

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