ISM PN 3.0
Can a split nose lead to a comfy backside?
Although ISM have changed the design for the new PN 3.0, the brand’s signature twin-tip front end remains. ISM describe the PN 3.0 as a ‘noseless’ saddle, but that’s not strictly true. It does have a nose but it’s split in two and splayed apart in order to prop you up on your sit bones, rather than on the blood vessel-filled soft tissue of your perineum. PN stands for ‘Performance Narrow’ and, although there are narrower saddles in the PN range, the PN 3.0 stays narrower for longer before curving out to 120mm. The other PN saddles may be narrower overall but they spread out more sharply, giving you less clearance for your thighs.
ISM’s website says this 258g, stainless steel-railed saddle will ‘disappear under you’, and there’s some truth in that statement but, like the ‘noseless’ description and ‘narrow’ designation, it’s not entirely accurate. It disappears in as much as there’s a lot less of the PN 3.0 in contact with you than there is with a conventional saddle. But you’re still perching on something and your weight’s resting on two small bony spots instead of spread along one large fleshy one.
Does it make for a comfier saddle? Not immediately. The PN 3.0’s not uncomfortable, and there’s no escaping the initial weird feeling. But the longer you spend on it – especially on the aerobars – the sooner you’ll see the benefits. RB upgradebikes.co.uk