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More than any other component of a bicycle, what saddle you use is a deeply personal choice—and one of the most consequential. If you can’t ride comfortably, you can’t perform at your best or enjoy your ride. It’s as simple as that. For a lucky few, nearly any saddle seems to be a perfect match. But for the majority of us, finding the right seat is a lifelong struggle. If you’re resigned to spending your days on a saddle that just doesn’t quite fit right, don’t give up until you try one from ISM.
You’ve probably seen an ISM saddle before. The Florida brand’s name stands for “Innovative Saddle Maker.” Its splitnose designs are indeed quite innovative and eye-catching, and its users seem universally devout in their praise. The brand makes products for all disciplines, from road and time trialing to track. But with the PN 3.0C, ISM has taken everything it has learned over the years and put it into one saddle that is meant for all disciplines.
The PN 3.0C is an ultralight version of the PN 3.0 and is made by hand entirely out of carbon. As a result, it tips the scales at an impressive 129 grams. Categorized as a Performance Narrow saddle, it has a 120mm width at the rear and measures 255mm long.
Like other ISM saddles, the PN 3.0C does away with a nose, which is often the source of saddle discomfort. To remove blood flow-restricting pressure from the soft perineal area, ISM saddles instead have your hips support most of your weight. And with the nose-less design, these saddles allow the hips to rotate farther forward, letting you crank out additional watts more comfortably. Plus, with your hips rotated forward, you can get into a more aerodynamic position with a flatter back, letting you ride even faster. And despite the carbon version’s “nude” design—no foam or gel—it provides a comfortable fit in a lightweight design.
Like many ultra-lightweight components, the PN 3.0C is going to cost you a pretty penny. The privilege of riding on this 129-gram saddle comes with a $400 price tag. If that’s a little bit out of your range, ISM makes a non-carbon version with stainless steel alloy rails, the PN 3.0, for $240.
Like other ISM saddles, the PN 3.0C requires a slightly different positioning on the seat post to maintain your preferred riding position. Just pay attention to ISM’s instructions and you’ll end up with a dialed-in fit that will have you happily rolling along.
$400; 129g; ismseat.com