ISM PN 3.0

Can a split nose lead to a comfy back­side?

220 Triathlon Magazine - - KIT ZONE -

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

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