Saddles are a very personal product – so it’s difficult to suggest a ‘pleases all bums best’. However, with the rising popularity of unisex stubby saddles with a wide relief channel, several new perches have arrived on the scene and of them, the Pro Stealth has impressed us the most – closely followed by the Specialized Power if you’re after an alternative.
Here’s what we liked about the Pro Stealth saddle, earning the seat a place amongst the Editor’s Choice 2017 product picks…
Pro is a component and finishing kit subsidiary of Shimano and as such works with the Shimano-sponsored pro teams to develop products. According to Pro, the company teamed up with Giant-Alpecin to develop the Stealth saddle.
As you might expect, being developed alongside pro riders the Stealth is designed to cater for all-out aggressive performance. It’s designed both for road race and time trial use – with a focus on meeting the needs of both men and women who like to ride long and low in the drops.
Pro worked with Giant-Alpecin’s riders and Shimano’s own testing lab to analyse and test a wide variety of racing positions. As well as a wide cut-out, the Stealth has a shape which is wider at the nose. Pro says this allows the rider to use more of the front of the saddle and stay in the drops or on the TT bars for longer periods.
Pro says it has also positioned the saddle’s padding for sitbone comfort and to distribute pressure whether riding on the hoods, in the drops or on aero bars. It’s also incorporated reinforcing bridges into the one-piece carbon-reinforced base to help maintain saddle stiffness for good power transfer.
Pro claims a weight of 172g for the Stealth saddle in the carbon-railed version which retails for £174.99. Our test saddle was the titanium-railed version which, although claimed at 210g, weighed in at 207g on our scales.
It’s also incorporated mounts for its line-up of accessories. So you can mount a Pro action camera, race number mounts, a clip on mudguard or a CO2 canister on the saddle’s underside.
Depending on the width of your sitbones Pro offers two widths – 142mm and 152mm widths and with carbon or steel rails.
Riding the Pro Stealth on the road and the track, both male and female testers at Cycling Weekly got on well with the design. Ideal for those who like to get into one position and stay there, the relief channel did away with the soft tissue pain that can be associated with full-gas efforts.
Being a stubby, short saddle, it’s hard not to draw comparisons with the Specialized Power.
Saddle comfort is completely personal – and it’s not fair to say that one is greater than the other. However, both male and female testers at CW chose the Stealth over the Power – and we believe it’s a very good starting point for anyone looking for a bike seat which will reduce pressure and compression in an aggressive position.