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review

Specialized S-Works Romin EVO

9
£255.00

VERDICT:

9
10
Comfortable race saddle that supports the rider well in a long, low riding position
Stiff
Light
Supportive shape
Stiffness could be an issue for some
Weight: 
131g

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.

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The Specialized S-Works Romin EVO saddle is brilliant for riders with a low, aero riding position. This, the top-end model, shaves weight and also gives the stiffest pedalling platform of the range. The finish is very clean too – it's an easy saddle to recommend.

I'll start by saying the Specialized Romin is a design that works for me. I have bought (and still own) one of the lower models, and while I get to test some of the latest and greatest (and lightest) road saddles, my humble Romin – with its metal rails and various scuffs – is the perch I return to for all-day comfort and easy aero positioning.

What you're getting from the Romin is a relatively long saddle, with a central cutout Specialized says helps maintain blood flow. This channel is narrower than found on their own stubbier saddles, such as the S-Works Power Mirror. 

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The shape flows down from the rear and falls away at the nose. The idea is the saddle supports you when you're in an aero tuck, with your torso nice and low. My personal experience is that it does this very well. When racing, the saddle helps me to stay planted as I chew the bars, trying desperately to avoid getting dropped.

2021 Specialized S-Works Romin EVO saddle - rear.jpg

On more relaxed rides, my road bike position still puts me down low at the front. This is where I'm most comfortable, so for my road riding, the Romin is perfect.

2021 Specialized S-Works Romin EVO saddle - back.jpg

That's not to say it's ideal for everything, though. My cyclocross bike, for example, is much more upright to better balance the handling and relieve my lower back when slogging through muddy fields. The Romin doesn't work for me here – I tend to favour a flatter saddle – so if your position isn't always low at the front, this might not work for you.

This S-Works version is the lightest model, and achieves this with a carbon base and carbon 7x9mm rails – be aware you do need a seatpost that's compatible. You also need to consider that this is a very firm saddle.

2021 Specialized S-Works Romin EVO saddle - underside.jpg

Over rough roads, it could be too firm for some. Comfort is the number one thing you should be looking for in a saddle, and the one place I wouldn't recommend saving weight for the sake of it. If it suits you better, go for the slightly heavier gel version with Ti rails.

2021 Specialized S-Works Romin EVO saddle - underside rear.jpg

Personally, a solid platform for power transfer proves the most comfortable. Combine that with a shape I get on with and the central cutout I've always favoured and for me, this is an incredibly comfortable saddle.

Value

£255 will make your bike a bit lighter, if not as light as your wallet. The Romin EVO Expert Gel version is £105, so represents a significant saving if you like the shape but prefer a slightly softer saddle.

The Fizik Antares Versus EVO R3 Adaptive Saddle at £249.99 is another interesting option with its 3D printed structure, but it is hard to compare saddles – my advice would be to avoid buying online, head to your local bike shop and ask about test saddles or schemes.

The Specialized S-Works Romin EVO saddle is a high-performance perch I find exceptionally comfortable. It's well made and supports me perfectly in my long, low and racy riding position – just as it's designed to do.

Verdict

Comfortable race saddle that supports the rider well in a long, low riding position

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Specialized S-Works Romin EVO

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: "Keep it low and aero without sacrificing comfort. The carbon-railed, ultra lightweight S-Works Romin EVO is a high-performance road saddle that's contoured to put you in a position for optimal power transfer and comfort as you put pressure on your competition. The Body Geometry channel is designed to maximize blood flow, while the saddle allows you to maintain comfort easily, even while in a competitive, more aerodynamic position. And when you add in a FACT carbon fibre shell, our medium density Level Two padding, and oversized carbon rails, you have a saddle that's ready for anything."

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

Specialized says:

Patented Body Geometry design is lab-tested to assure blood flow to sensitive arteries.

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

Ultra-light, strong, and oversized FACT carbon rails.

Level 2 padding: Medium density foam for bike feel with additional cushioning.

Size 143mm / Weight 134g

Size 155mm / Weight 137g

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:
 
10/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
9/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
10/10
Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

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

Supportive, lightweight and very firm. I found it performs brilliantly.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The support it gives in a long and low position is brilliant.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing really.

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

It's on par with other top-end saddles. The Fizik Antares Versus Evo R3 Adaptive Saddle is £249.99, for instance, the Selle Italia Novus Boost Evo Kit Carbonio Superflow is £259.90 and the Ere Genus CC-T ProRoad Saddle is £299.

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

This carbon version boasts the firmest platform and lightest design or the Romin line. It supports the rider well in a long and low position, and the quality is very good. There's little not to like.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 24  Height: 177cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.

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