Hands-on Gear Review

Specialized Romin Review

Specialized Romin
Price:  $200 List
Pros:  Good Power Transfer, Versatile, Durable
Cons:  Poor Vibration Dampening
Bottom line:  javascript:doSave();
Editors' Rating:   
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Dimensions:  L270mm, W143mm
Weight:  232g
Target Use (mountain, road, etc.):  Road, Cyclocross, Mountain
Manufacturer:   Specialized

Our Verdict

As of 2017, the Romin is Discontinued
If you like a stiff, firm saddle with minimal padding, the Romin may be for you. It is an excellent choice for road racing, but equally suited to cyclocross and mountain bike use. A slight rise in the rear gives something to push against during seated climbing efforts, and a long, wide nose provides a comfortable position when down in the drops. We like the full anatomical cut out, and felt the pressure relief was noticeable. Multiple sizes and versions in all price ranges are available.

The Romin can be purchased directly from Specialized but is otherwise hard to find online. The Fizik Antares which scored similarly in our tests is more widely available at online retailers.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Curtis Smith

Last Updated:
Saturday
April 27, 2013

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Comfort


We found the Specialized Romin to be a comfortable road racing saddle. Padding is minimal, and the shell is stiff. It is true to advertised width at 143mm, and has a long, wide nose for hard efforts in the drops. The full anatomical cut out eliminates pressure on sensitive areas. With a slight rise in the rear, it's shape is similar to the Fizik Aliante, but with a longer nose. Our only complaint was vibration transmission. Vibration from rough roads was far more noticeable on the Specialized Romin than any other saddle in our test group, likely due to the stiff shell and extremely minimal padding.

Performance


The Specialized Romin is a high performance saddle. A stiff shell and minimal padding provides excellent power transfer. The slight rise in the rear cradles the sit bones and provides something to push against while climbing. A wide, long nose provides good support when down in the drops. The slight drop nose does a good job of staying out of the way while climbing out of the saddle.

Versatility


We liked the Romin for road, cyclocross, and mountain biking. An aggressive shape and stiff shell are attributes for racing use, but limit its use for relaxed recreational riding and commuting. While strong enough for touring, it is not shaped for riding in an upright position.

Durability


The Specialized Romin is well built, it utilizes the same cover material as our Editors' Choice Winner the Specialized Phenom Expert. The steel rails and plastic carbon reinforced shell held up to all the abuse we could dish out. It does lack rear scuff guards, making it prone to abrasion on the corners, but otherwise should hold up well for any type of use.

Weight


With steel rails, the Romin still tips the scales at an impressive 232g, 16g lighter than the Specialized Phenom that is equipped with titanium rails. The low weight comes at a cost, with minimal padding and no scuff guards.

Best Application


Best suited to road racing, the Romin also works well for cyclocross and mountain bike use. Due to the thin padding and stiff shell, vibration dampening is not as good as other saddles we tested. However, if you are looking for an affordable racing saddle with excellent power transfer and a competitive weight, look no further.

Value


The Romin is a great value for a competitive racing saddle. Most saddles in this weight range cost considerably more. Buy the steel rail model, and if you fall in love, you can always upgrade to one of the even lighter carbon railed versions for your race bike.

Check out the Specialized site for a complete breakdown of saddles
  • Most available in 3 different widths depending on preference: 143mm, 155mm and 165mm
  • Several models for different seating preferences

Curtis Smith

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Most recent review: April 27, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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