The inspiration: Engineers and product designers lead some trends; demand from athletes has driven this one. When ISM launched the Adamo Race and Road saddles, they were marketed as women’s-specific but enjoy a broader appeal today. After steadily ascending the annual gear count at Ironman Hawaii, ISM finally took the top spot in 2013. Many other saddle manufacturers have followed suit, broadening the options for every triathlete looking for a little relief.
In practice: The biggest brands have embraced the split-nose saddle style and are introducing more athletes to it. Specialized’s Sitero Pro saddle uses two firm foam tongs to support the rider via the sit bones while creating a pressure-free space for the soft tissues. If you’re looking for a narrow tri saddle, this isn’t it, but it can be the solution to comfort in the aero position for many riders. The saddle has an integrated rear bottle carrier tucked tightly under the saddle as an added benefit. Many pros use zip ties to carry a bottle in this location, and this is a cleaner solution.