PRO MSN Enduro & MSU eMTB Off-Road Saddles Reclassify Performance – First Rides

PRO MSU 1.3 eMTB off-road ebike saddle review

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A couple of all-new off-road PRO Bike Gear MSN & MSU saddles add two more supportive short-fit MTB shapes for aggressive enduro and performance-oriented ebikers. They also reveal a new saddle descriptive naming convention that Pro has been working on to make it easier for consumers and bike shops to help pick the right saddle for each rider, fit, riding discipline, and budget…

PRO MSN enduro & MSU all-mountain ebike saddles

PRO MSU 1.3 eMTB off-road ebike saddle review, riding
w. Shimano, photo by Dan Milner

These two new relatively lightweight & affordable saddles expand on Pro’s modern MTB line-up, adding a couple more short-fit options to the Stealth Offroad adapted from the road. Ideal for riders looking for wide comfort & supportive performance in a saddle that won’t hook a pair of baggy shorts, and with taller, padded sides to the nose that allow you to comfortably control the bike when you get out of the saddle.

Pick the MSN for all-around all-mountain riding, or the MSU with a bit more rear support for eMTB rides.

tech details

PRO MSN & MSU 1.3 enduro & eMTB off-road saddles

First off, Pro’s new MSN & MSU saddles are meant to usher in a new 3-letter naming convention that adds more descriptive clarity vs. their old school names like Stealth Offroad, Volture, Griffon & Turnix for example. (Do you remember what’s unique about each of those?)

the first letter M means mountain bike specific. The second letter s means short length. And the third letter is the rider position. No is neutral for all-around riding where you aren’t leaned over too forward and can still comfortably pedal uphill while seated, albeit maybe slide forward a bit more – intended for enduro, all-mountain, and technical trail riding. U is for upright riding with a higher bar: saddle position, more appropriate for ebikes where the rider will spend more time seated in the same position while pedaling uphill, on the flats, and over rolling terrain. Pro suggests there may also be a future A for aggressive positions on the bike or F for more forward-leaning bike fits.

PRO MSU 1.3 eMTB off-road ebike saddle review, underside steel rails

On top of that is a 2-number classification that will describe the saddle’s base, rail & padding construction. That first 1 seems to signal a lightweight carbon-reinforced nylon shell. And the second 3 seems to be for the mid-spec tubular stainless steel rails and conventional polyurethane padding. We’ll have to wait for more saddles to adopt the new naming convention for more clarification.

All PRO Saddles feature a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee and like all PRO products the new PRO saddles carry a limited lifetime warranty; based on a 10-year expected lifetime.

PRO MSN 1.3 enduro mountain bike saddle

PRO MSN 1-3 enduro MTB off-road saddle
PRO MSN 1.3

The technical mountain biking MSN is available now in this one 1.3 level spec for $150 / 120€, with tubular steel rails, a carbon-reinforced base, and a durable black-on-black polyurethane cover. It comes in two widths – 142mm at a claimed 255g or 152mm at 275g. It features a full-length pressure relief channel, plus a central cutout with a plastic insert designed to allow mud & water to drain through.

PRO MSU 1.3 eMTB saddle

PRO MSU 1-3 eMTB off-road ebike saddle
PRO MSU 1.3

The eMTB-specific MSU also comes in the same 1.3 level spec, for the same $150 / 120€ pricetag. It shares identical tubular steel rails, carbon-reinforced shell construction, and tough polyurethane cover. It also comes in two widths – 142mm at a claimed 272g or 152mm at 285g.

It features a pressure-relief channel that is carried from the tip of its nose to the mid-section cutout, again with a plastic insert designed to allow water to drain. It has thicker padding at the rear and a slightly higher tail to push against as ebikers tend to spend more time seated and spinning to get the most out of their pedal assist.

First Rides Review

PRO MSU 1-3 eMTB off-road ebike saddle review, riding
photo by Dan Milner

Previewed at the end of last month on parent Shimano’s latest and truly innovative AutoShift & FreeShift equipped e-mountainbikes, I spent a couple of long days comfortably perched on top of the new PRO MSU eMTB saddle, not needing to shift myself – either shifting the bike or shifting around on the saddle.

PRO MSU 1-3 eMTB off-road ebike saddle review, clean top

At first look, the PRO graphics across the top of its cover are more low-key than the studio photos suggested, and once I got muddy at all they almost completely blended in. Cleaning & drying the saddle and the graphics did subtly peek back out again, though.

PRO MSU 1-3 eMTB off-road ebike saddle review, muddy top

And while the drainage port seemed to do well keeping water from pooling in the cutout (an actual issue with my closed Stealth Offroad), it was no match for my riding in the mud and needed a proper clean out.

PRO MSU 1-3 eMTB off-road ebike saddle review, riding
photo by Dan Milner

Riding over a lot of really rough, rocky terrain, the MSU 1.3 did a good job of being just soft enough to be comfortable, while never feeling squishy. At a claimed 272g for my 142mm wide saddle, it’s almost 1/3 heavier than my Stealth Offroad – which I ride on gravel, light trail bikes, and a cargo ebike. But the thicker rear padding of the MSU offers a much more comfortable tail to push against for seated ebike climbing, and just longer periods of time staying seated.

PRO MSU 1-3 eMTB off-road ebike saddle review, on a boat

The Pro MSU 1.3 is a pretty unassuming saddle with generous-looking, but firm padding. And its best trait as an ebike saddle is that it disappeared under me as I rode. I’ve only spent a few days riding it on eMTBs, but I plan now to swap one in for a more comfortable ride on my e-cargo setup back at home.

Next-gen Shimano eMTB ebikes transformed with AutoShift FreeShift automatic shifting, powered by LinkGlide, EP-801 & 11sp XT Di2, photo by Dan Milner, Santa Cruz Bullit CC
photo by Dan Milner

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