ISM Adamo Road Saddle $184.95
The perfect position.
In 1999, the UCI delivered new bicycle restrictions that reduced the allowable amount of saddle setback. In the process, it forced racers into a nether world of sitting on the tips of their saddles. The change was under the guise of keeping the bikes and riders safe, but the reality is that a soft tissue injury is very likely because standard racing saddles aren't designed to provide proper support when you are in a fast, aero, and legal position. The ISM Adamo Road Saddle is made expressly for the purpose of supporting your weight without compromising blood flow when your primary concern is reducing your frontal area.
It's no secret that a forward position on your time trial bike will reduce your frontal area. Essentially, the further you rotate forward over the bottom bracket, the less area that you'll present to the wind as your head and chest become smaller factors in your personal drag equation. However, an aggressive aerodynamic position necessarily compromises comfort in favor of speed. So, the Adamo Saddle provides more comfort and support when you're in a fast forward position. This way, when every second counts, your comfort will become one less thing to disrupt the rhythm of your race. ISM designed the Adamo Road to be just over the UCI saddle minimum length of 240mm. With it perched atop your saddle rails in a legal 5cm behind-the-bottom-bracket position, the wings of the Adamo saddle (that provide support for your sit bones) will be 7-9cm farther forward than your current racing saddle.
The forward width is just one of the visible ways that the Adamo saddle is different. The nose of the saddle is actually split into two forward projections, like a fork. The cutout between the forked tips takes away the pressure on your perineal artery. Tests on the ISM saddles have shown them to have little effect on normal blood flow to the genital area (less than 5% loss). Of the other saddles tested, some were shown to affect the blood flow up to 95%. For those who aren't great with numbers, that's a really big difference. Basically, if you're looking for an aggressive aero position, without compromising the function of various body parts, it's clear that ISM saddles are a significant improvement over traditional saddle designs.
The Adamo has lightweight chromoly steel rails and measures 245 x 135mm. The rails have a 75mm flat section to facilitate a great range of fore and aft adjustment. And for triathletes, there's a handy transition hook on the back of the shell to rack your bike quickly and easily.
The ISM Adamo Road Saddle is available in one size and in the colors Black and White.
Reviews & Community
Good idea deserves better construction
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Suffering from perineum pain, I looked for a saddle that might help and ended up with Adamo Road after not being able to get a Specialized Romin Evo and several fittings to solve the problem. After a few more rounds of testing and fitting with the Adamo, I slowly started increasing time on short rides to adapt and eventually got to 75min. It was better than the other saddles, but I was still stuck with short uncomfortable rides. It often felt like perching my sits bones over a cue ball and the discomfort was pervasive for nearly the whole ride.
After fussing with it and many small adjustments, I decided to get a Retul fit to see if that might help. The fitter determined that the saddle had bent and lists to the right. He explained that my seatpost tightens by turning one bolt on one side which can cause uneven force on the rails and twist the saddle. The carbon fiber seatpost comes standard with my 2012 Specialized Roubaix SL3 Pro frame. I am over 6' and just over 200lbs. I ride 2K miles of city streets and urban park paths annually. I was surprised and disappointed that this premium saddle had bent so easily despite suffering no impacts.
It worked much better than Specialized Avatar and Romin Evo, but I still had to ice places that shouldn't need icing after 75min rides. Maybe the seatpost contributed to twisting the saddle, but the design is common. The notch in the saddle may weaken its structural integrity.
With this saddle, plan on taking a few weeks to build back up to your old durations and distances because your body will need to adapt. Plan on adjusting your position and fit as there is a narrower zone on which you can comfortably sit. Small adjustments in angle and rotation can make a big difference. It might solve your problems but you might have to try many adjustments to get it right. (The Podium model allows a broader range of seating positions. I'm now working with it and getting better results, but the fitting made a big difference.)
it took me about 15 minutes to warm up to the seat, but since then I feel like a million bucks. I previously had a selle smp evo seat, but being a 210 lbs athletic college guy with a big muscular caboose...I needed a different seat. The ism adamo road was the correct choice for me.