A premium saddle at an equally premium price. Lightweight and supremely comfortable, the question of its value will be a very individual matter. If the Romin shape already works for you, this will be the most comfortable saddle you could sit on – for me it improved seated performance as well as reducing fatigue on long rides. It's a shame the price is sky high, but hopefully the tech will soon trickle down, as has happened in Specialized's Power range of saddles.
The most comfortable saddle I’ve ever used
Keeps you planted for seated efforts
Reduces road vibrations and fatigue
Can’t comment on longevity
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Specialized might be best known for its bikes but the Californian brand also has a strong presence in pretty much all of the main product lines you could think of. There's Specialized bib shorts and clothing, multi-tools, tyres, shoes and helmets – plus much else besides.
But most relevant for us today is the brand's saddle division – an area which, since the launch of the iconic 'Power' saddle, it's fair to say Specialized ranks amongst the market leaders for the best bike saddles.
Specialized S-Works Romin Evo with Mirror: construction
The saddle uses pretty much the same foundation as the S-Works Romin Evo saddle, which doesn't include the mirror technology – the same oversized carbon rails and carbon base are there underneath.
The shape of the Romin Evo is long-nosed, suited to riders who like to move around on the bike, sitting on the nose during efforts and placing their weight back on the climbs.
It’s when you get to the top of the saddle that everything becomes very different. Here we have the varying density 'Mirror' struts and nodes that create different stiffness areas depending on the amount of support or pliability required. In total there are 22,200 struts and 10,700 nodes.
The saddle also includes screw holes for attaching SWAT compatible storage solutions which Specialized offer.
Specialized S-Works Romin Evo with Mirror: the ride
Fitting was easy, as I’ve been using the regular Specialized Romin saddle on every road bike I’ve ridden since about 2015. I went for the 143mm version, the same as what I’ve been riding, and it came in at 192g compared to the claimed 190g – not a significant difference.
Straight away, the saddle was noticeably different to the regular alloy railed and non-S-Works carbon versions of this saddle that I’m used to riding. The biggest difference between this saddle with Mirror and the regular Romin is that rather than feeling like you are sitting on the saddle, you feel like you are sitting in the saddle.
It’s quite a different sensation, but one I got used to very quickly, and I really enjoyed the experience of feeling more planted and 'at one' with the bike. Cornering, efforts, and just cruising felt more connected and comfortable.
There are several benefits of this. First, the saddle itself feels a lot gripper, so during high intensity efforts there is no sensation of moving around on the saddle. Another one is that when you start pushing harder and engaging the glutes more, sometimes the non-Mirror Romin saddles would result in more pressure on my glutes – but the Mirror tech seems adapt to accommodate the changing shape of your seating area due to glute engagement.
Finally, the big one, this saddle is supremely comfortable! Quite often when riding, especially on Herefordshire roads/pothole dodging competition tracks, I find that I need to get out of the saddle to give myself some relief from pressure on the sit bones.
With this model, so far I haven’t felt the need to get out of the saddle for comfort reasons at all. Potholes and bad road surfaces also feel buffered as the saddle absorbs a lot of the vibrations. The different density of the Mirror padding also means that the pressure feels a lot more evenly distributed across the seating area. Sometimes on the regular Romin, I find that my sit bones start to get a build-up of fatigue.
I was worried about keeping the saddle clean, but so far I have found that hosing into the saddle directly gets any filth or dirt out of there without issue. An Ass Saver or one of the best bike fenders / mudguards will also eliminate the chance or dirt getting into the padding.
I will say that, as I know the Romin Evo shape and platform already works for me, this will have played a large part in me finding this saddle so comfortable. As with anything that is contact point related, choosing a bike saddle that's right for you can be tricky, as a lot of it depends on what fits you.
Different widths are available for different sizes, and the way that this saddle distributes pressure makes it more accommodating for different shaped rears than other saddles I’ve tried. Also, if you go into a Specialized dealer, they will be able to measure your sitbones to ensure you select a saddle that will offer enough support.
Specialized S-Works Romin Evo with Mirror: value and conclusion
There’s no other way around it, this saddle is expensive! The regular S-Works Romin is $325 / £225 compared to the Mirror's $450 / £390 - the regular S-Works Romin is also a touch lighter. Fizik is another big saddle manufacturer doing 3D printed saddles and they are on average slightly lighter and more affordable.
Both the Fizik R1 Argo and the Antares Adaptive saddles come in at $299 / £299, but the top of the range 00 Adaptive saddles are a rather pricier at $399 / £399 and 40g lighter. However, personally for me, I’ve never gotten on with the Antares or Argo, so a 3D printed Romin is ideal for me.
What this comes down to is essentially asking what you value and how much you value it.
Is this saddle insanely expensive? Yes. Is it the most comfortable saddle I’ve used, regardless of the shorts I’m wearing? Yes. Is long term comfort worth a hefty price and will this be better for you than a non-Mirror Romin Evo? I can’t say.
For me, I have been contemplating this saddle since it was released, as during periods of when I've been putting in lots of longer rides I would end up getting pressure point saddle sores when using the Romin Evo. I can already feel this Mirror version is a lot more comfortable – and given that saddle sores have affected my training and racing as a result – I’d argue it’s worth the price, personally.
Contact points are worth investing in. Given the cost of bike fits, well-padded shorts, custom insoles, and other fit/comfort aspects where contact points are concerned, this saddle may well be worth the money. Not only is it comfortable, but it also feels more planted for seated efforts and doesn’t transmit road vibrations. Both of these offer tangible performance gains, especially as a ride or race goes on and fatigue builds.
I would say that if the Specialized Romin Evo saddle platform works for you, you ride a lot, and you value comfort, then this is the perfect bike saddle and you will be happy with it. If the shape of saddle isn’t for you, then it is worth considering other options.
Alternatively, if the price is too much, there is the option of waiting for a non S-Works Romin Evo Mirror to come out, as has happened with the Power Pro Mirror saddle. It will be heavier, maybe a little less comfy due to lack of carbon elements, but likely around $100 / £100 cheaper. If you’re willing to wait.
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