The shorter, wider, universal fit saddle has come on strong lately, with versions from various brands. Prologo’s Dimension lineup launched in 2017 as a “one design fits all” concept, offering a wider rear end and stubbier nose. The idea is that it ideally cushions most people in most situations. Then they launched enduro mountain bike versions, which we liked.
Now, they’ve taken the truncated nose concept and applied it to a traditional “T” shape, starting with their Scratch model…
The standard T-shaped saddle on the left has a 280mm length. Their Dimension saddles drop all the way to 245mm, and the new Scratch M5 comes in a similarly short 250mm. But, compared to the Dimension line, the M5 sweeps backward more like the T-shaped saddles, not the Dimension’s V-shape. So, the rider sits further back on the M5, more like they’re used to.
Related: Check out our complete Saddle Overview Series for an in-depth look at saddle shapes, sizes and features to see why they are the way they are.
Why use a shorter saddle nose?
Well, it’s not just about the shorter nose. The Scratch M5 uses their round profile, which suits a wide range of riders. They say it works equally well for men and women, too. It also has a 15mm longer rail extension, giving you a wider range of fore/aft adjustment.
The shorter nose simply eliminates extra material between your thighs that’s not entirely necessary. For some folks, it may also reduce a pressure point.
What about those foam segments?
The Scratch M5’s segmented foam is actually a performance feature. Designed in conjunction with Politecnico of Milano, they’re different densities throughout the saddle. This puts more or less support where it makes sense. Each segment has its own rebound and compression characteristics, too, which Prologo says helps move with and support your legs on both the up- and down-strokes.
Underneath that foam is a long-fiber carbon shell to provide a stiff structure. That keeps performance consistent and prevents sag overtime so the foam can do what it’s supposed to do.
The Scratch M5 comes in black and white, regular and Pas (cutout) versions, with your choice of Tirox (their special lightweight chromoly, $129) or Nack (kevlar-reinforced carbon fiber, $199) rails. Weights range from 129g to 189g. All are 250x140mm.
…and an updated, affordable gravel saddle
The Prologo Kappa range has been their budget-friendly performance models for a while. For 2020, the “Space” model with additional padding and full length channel is gone, replaced with these two all-purpose models. Technically, Prologo says they’re good for any type of rider on any type of bike, but they promote them as a gravel-friendly option. The Kappa comes in at 268-270g (with or without cutout, respectively) using their standard chromoly rails.