A pair of all-new PRO Bike Gear MSN and MSU off-road saddles add two more supportive, shortened MTB shapes for aggressive enduro and performance-oriented bikers. They also reveal a new descriptive saddle naming convention that Pro is working on to make it easier for consumers and bike shops to choose the right saddle for every rider, fit, riding discipline and budget…
PRO MSN Universal Saddles for Enduro and MSU E-Bikes
These two new relatively lightweight and affordable saddles complete the current MTB Pro lineup by adding a couple more road-adapted short options to the Stealth Offroad. Ideal for riders looking for wide comfort and support in a saddle that won’t snag a pair of baggy shorts, and with taller, padded toe sidewalls that allow you to comfortably handle the bike when you get out of the saddle.
Choose the MSN for all-mountain riding or the MSU with slightly more rear support for eMTB rides.
First, the new Pro MSN and MSU saddles are designed to introduce a new three-letter naming convention that adds clarity to the description compared to their old school names like Stealth Offroad, Volture, Griffon and Turnix, for example. (Do you remember what is unique about each of them?)
First letter M means mountain bike. Second letter WITH means short length. And the third letter is the position of the rider. H is neutral for all-round riding where you don’t lean too far forward and can still comfortably pedal uphill while seated, though maybe slide forward a bit more – designed for enduro, all mountain and technical trail riding. U designed for upright riding with a higher handlebar position: a saddle more suitable for e-bikes where the rider will spend more time in the same position pedaling uphill, on flats and over hilly terrain. Pro suggests there may also be a future A for aggressive cycling positions or F to lean the bike forward more.
In addition, there is a two-digit classification describing the saddle base, guide design, and padding. This is the first 1 seems to signal a lightweight carbon-reinforced nylon shell. And second 3 seems to be for mid-range stainless steel tubular rails and regular polyurethane spacer. We’ll have to wait for more saddles to adopt the new naming convention for more clarification.
“All PRO saddles have a 30-day money-back guarantee, and like all PRO products, new PRO saddles come with a limited lifetime warranty; based on a 10 year expected life.“
PRO MSN 1.3 Enduro Mountain Bike Saddle
The mountain bike tech MSN is now available in this 1.3 level spec for $150/€120, with tubular steel rails, a carbon-reinforced baseplate, and a durable black-on-black PU finish. It comes in two widths: 142mm at a claimed weight of 255g or 152mm at a weight of 275g. It features a full length pressure relief channel and a center cutout with a plastic insert designed to drain dirt and water.
Saddle PRO MSU 1.3 eMTB
The MSU for eMTB also has the same level 1.3 specification for the same price of 150 / 120 euros. It features identical tubular steel rails, carbon-reinforced body construction, and a durable polyurethane coating. It also comes in two widths: 142mm for a claimed weight of 272g, or 152mm for a claimed weight of 285g.
It has a pressure relief channel that runs from the tip of its nose to a notch in the middle section, again with a plastic insert designed to drain water. It has thicker padding at the back and a slightly taller tail that can be pushed down as bikers tend to spend more time sitting and spinning to get the most out of pedal assist.
Overview of the first trips
Previewing late last month on Shimano’s newest and truly innovative AutoShift and FreeShift equipped e-mountain bikes, I spent a couple of long days sitting comfortably on top of the new PRO MSU eMTB saddle without having to shift on my own – either switching the bike or moving around in the saddle.
At first glance, the PRO graphics at the top of the cover are more subdued than the studio photos suggested, and once I got completely smudged, they almost completely blended in. Cleaning and drying the saddle, and the graphics peeked back slightly. yet again.
And while the drainage port seemed to do well in keeping water from pooling in the cutout (actual problem with my closed Stealth Offroad), it was not suitable for my mud riding and needed proper cleaning.
Riding very rough, rocky terrain, the MSU 1.3 did a good job of being soft enough to be comfortable without ever feeling soft. At a claimed 272g for my 142mm wide saddle, that’s nearly 1/3 heavier than my Stealth Offroad, which I ride on gravel, light trail bikes, and a cargo ebike. But the MSU’s thicker rear padding offers a much more comfortable tail to bounce off of when climbing a seated bike and just stay put longer.
The Pro MSU 1.3 is a fairly modest saddle with solid but solid padding. And its best feature of the e-bike saddle is that it disappeared under me as I rode. I only spent a few days riding it on an eMTB, but now I plan to trade it in for a more comfortable ride on my e-cargo at home.