First Look: Specialized Women's Power Saddle with Mimic Technology

Nov 6, 2018
by Sarah Moore  


I'm a strong proponent of getting properly measured for a saddle, and trying multiple saddles until you find one that works for you. Saddle discomfort means you're not going to enjoy riding as much as you could, and in extreme cases, it can even lead women to quit riding. Specialized has over a dozen different saddles available in different widths and at various price points, so you might think that they have something for everyone already. However, they found that some women were still experiencing numbness and pressure on soft tissue while riding, so they set out to find a solution.

Their research found that saddles don’t currently account for the changes that occur in the density of female soft tissue when riding. The big difference between the Specialized Women's Power Saddle with Mimic and other saddles that the brand currently offers is the use of the new Mimic technology. Mimic accounts for the changes in the density of female soft tissue and adapts to them. The design of the new saddle mimics the body’s response to different types of pressure to create equilibrium within soft tissue.

Specialized started with Mimic in the Power saddle because it was their most popular shape and it works well for Road, Mountain, and even Triathlon. Specialized plans to offer Mimic technology in other saddle shapes by late summer of 2019.


Specialized Era 29

Original Power Saddle
New Women's Power Saddle with Mimic


Construction

The first thing you'll notice when you look at the Power saddle is that it has a shorter overall length than a traditional saddle. In the case of the Women's Power Saddle with Mimic, it's 24cm, while a more traditional saddle is around 27 to 28cm. It also differs from traditional saddles in the way the sides of the saddle transition from the front to back. Specialized says the unique transition offers more support for your pubic rami to rest on while riding.

When compared to the original version of the Power saddle, the shape has been tweaked, and the wings are tapered. This was to relieve the rubbing that some riders had previously experienced. But the big change was the incorporation of Mimic technology into the saddle. The word Mimic comes from Biomimicry, which is defined as "the design and production of materials, structures, and systems that are modeled on biological entities and processes." Specialized named the technology Mimic because it is designed to conform to your body in order to relieve pressure and to optimize for comfort.




Specialized worked with 23 female subjects during testing and development and gathered over 200 unique pressure maps before arriving at the final version. During the first stage of development, they realized that the traditional cutout found in many of today’s saddles, and the original Power saddle, wasn’t offering a satisfactory level of soft tissue support or comfort.

For the final design, they used a sensory science test called a “triangle test.” This test was designed to determine whether a subject can tell a difference between saddles and to quantify the comfort. They did this with an entirely new group of nine female subjects who had not been involved with the saddle’s development. They found that the Power with Mimic was statistically more comfortable than other saddles.

Specialized says that the all-new Women’s Power Saddle with Mimic technology makes numbness and pain disappear. It’s ergonomically designed and scientifically tested to reduce pressure and to provide the structural support needed for blood flow to key areas. The multi-layer cushioning system molded into the saddle prevents overly high pressure on soft tissue, so you're more comfortable.



Specialized athletes Kate Courtney and Annika Langvad did not ride this new saddle during the World Cup season, but Annika has been riding the previous generation of the Power saddle.


Annika Langvad


Set Up

Set up for the Power Saddle is key since the saddle is significantly shorter than a traditional saddle (by as much as 3cm). Specialized says that you should set the rear of the Power saddle in the same place as your current saddle to ensure that the rear-half is set in the same place as what you’re currently riding.

For saddle angle, aim to have the front-third level. If you were to measure from the tip to the saddle’s tail with a digital level, you’d get around one to two degrees nose-down.


Available Models

The Women's Power Saddle with Mimic comes in four models and price points. The Pro and Expert are also available in black.



S-WORKS
• Patented Body Geometry design is lab-tested to ensure blood flow to sensitive arteries.
• Mimic technology uses multilayered materials to maintain equilibrium and minimize swelling in soft tissue.
• FACT carbon fiber shell is flex-tuned for support and ride compliance.
• Oversized FACT carbon rails.
• Level II padding: Medium density foam for bike feel with additional cushioning.
• SWAT-compatible mounts molded into the saddle base allow for integrated storage solutions.
• Available in 143mm & 155mm

Price: $325 USD



PRO

• Patented Body Geometry design is lab-tested to ensure blood flow to sensitive arteries.
• Mimic technology uses multilayered materials to maintain equilibrium and minimize swelling in soft tissue.
• FACT carbon fiber shell is flex-tuned for support and ride compliance.
• Hollow titanium rails.
• Level II padding: Medium density foam for bike feel with additional cushioning.
• SWAT-compatible mounts molded into the saddle base allow for integrated storage solutions.
• Available in 143mm & 155mm

Price: $250 USD




EXPERT

• Patented Body Geometry design is lab-tested to ensure blood flow to sensitive arteries.
• Mimic technology uses multilayered materials to maintain equilibrium and minimize swelling in soft tissue.
• Hollow titanium rails.
• Level II padding: Medium density foam for bike feel with additional cushioning.
• SWAT-compatible mounts molded into the saddle base allow for integrated storage solutions.
• Available in 143mm, 155mm & 168mm

Price: $175 USD




COMP

• Patented Body Geometry design is lab-tested to ensure blood flow to sensitive arteries.
• Mimic technology uses multilayered materials to maintain equilibrium and minimize swelling in soft tissue.
• Hollow Cr-Mo rails.
• Level II padding: Medium density foam for bike feel with additional cushioning.
• SWAT-compatible mounts molded into the saddle base allow for integrated storage solutions.
• Available in 143mm, 155mm & 168mm

Price: $145 USD


While Specialized said that the initial feedback is that this saddle works well for men, testing is still ongoing and the target audience for this new Specialized Women's Power Saddle with Mimic is women who experience discomfort related to their saddle while riding. The Power saddle was originally designed for female riders with help from pro roadie Evelyn Stevens. Interestingly, once it was available to the public, Specialized found that the shape worked well for male and female riders, so the same could still happen with this version.

Specialized has sent me the Expert-level saddle in my preferred 168mm width to test and while my initial impression is positive, stay tuned for my review


MENTIONS: @iamspecialized


Must Read This Week

51 Comments

  • + 49
 I'll just show myself out now without even saying the joke.
  • + 4
 @Xc2dh1:

World: "Ooooh, that's pretty bad."

America: "Here, hold my beer."
  • + 18
 “They did this with an entirely new group of nine female subjects who had not been involved with the saddle’s development. They found that the Power with Mimic was statistically more comfortable than other saddles.”

N=9 and statistical significance goes together like “down” and “country”
  • - 13
flag blackthorne (Nov 6, 2018 at 19:09) (Below Threshold)
 It’s been proven that there is no difference in male vs female sit bone structure. Gender specific saddles are a complete marketing ploy.
  • + 9
 @blackthorne: interesting you say that. The back half of the saddle, where the sitbones are supported is no different from a standard Power saddle. The difference is in the nose and where the cutout formerly was.
  • + 8
 @blackthorne: there is a difference in soft tissue and the subpubic notch though, which results in women having slightly different pressure issues than men.
  • + 1
 *subpubic angle
  • + 7
 The perspective of that photo is hurting my eyes. It looks like someone got wonky with photoshop and shrunk the whole seatpost, enlarged the rear wheel and ovalized the chainring.
  • + 1
 It isn't that bad really. Focal length is 25mm, 50mm or so would be standard on film or full frame body so this is a bit wide angle. The chainring is from Rotor, so probably oval indeed.
  • + 7
 been riding older power saddles on all my mtbs for a while. I find that the short nose gives me more room to move around on the bike when standing, especially when the post is up. they're also super comfortable!
  • + 4
 I couldnt ride on normal Power, because I was "to fixed" in position.
But I love Power Arc, best saddle I ever had... and my prime work is bike fitting. Smile
  • + 2
 @cebe: every rear is different. No way you can make a seat that fits everyone.
Imagine we had only on size of shoes in only one width. Some people would be OK with that, most would not.

The challenge developing products like a seat is that you try to "fit it better to the anatomy" of a body on a bike.
So if someone's anatomy is different or just has a different body position on the bike from the person who was used to develop the product it will not provide the desired effect or might even cause more issues.

This doesn't mean the product isn't good, it just means it doesn't fit you.
No one would go and complain about size 9 shoes being bad shoes because they are size 11...

That said, for most riders there is one important part between body and seat that can change everything: Chamois.
Wear the wrong chamois or the wrong size bib and the best seat will do nothing for you.
Bibs if not sized correctly can apply more pressure in areas where you don't want it than sitting on a straight wooden plank would.
A bib with too short suspenders can give you a literally a wedgie that can cause the same health issues a bad seat can...
  • + 1
 I hate i have no saddle nose to grab with the legs Frown

Otherwise cozy. Ride it on the track
  • + 2
 @cebe: Arc has way more shape. As a fitter...i get way better success with the arc.
  • + 6
 Both my wife and I appreciate the Specialized Body Geometry products that have improved our level of comfort over more than a decade: saddles, gloves, bibs, all top quality and worth the dosh.
  • + 5
 I'm gonna be honest here... I know the Mimic is a "ladies" saddle but I've sat on one and I gotta say it's actually quite comfortable. And I find the regular Power saddle to be one of the least comfortable seats ever designed.
  • + 4
 From what I’ve been told the power saddle was originally a women’s saddle as well. Point being, what’s comfy for you is comfy for you regardless of marketing
  • + 7
 imagine saddles had the same kind of names tires do...
  • + 5
 Like Body-Geometry Butcher and Slaughter?
  • + 6
 Wild gripp'r? Sounds like a ladies saddle thought up by Trump himself.
  • + 5
 Schwalbe names? like Rearend-Ron?
  • + 6
 "200 pressure maps" you mean butt scans
  • + 4
 The saddle was "statistically more comfortable" in the "sensory science test called the 'triangle test'".

Missing- photo of person in white lab coat holding clipboard.
  • + 5
 When one's saddle isn't 'bio-mimicking' enough, Specialized comes through to save everyone's ass.
  • + 5
 Did you just assume my gender? Is it 2013? How dare you call this a women’s saddle?
Outraged!!
  • + 1
 Just a guy here to say I'v tried a bunch of different saddles for my bikes. Most of them are like taking a long drawn out kick to the taint from a donkey. i Would love a saddle with this much attention payed to its production. O and of course keep the shred alive ladies!!
  • + 1
 Specialized makes a great range of saddles. I ride a power saddle on my hardtail since I tend to move around a lot when riding singletrack on it. A quality saddle of any brand is worth it.
  • + 0
 im no female but the price is mega. Desity of female soft tissue...what does that mean. i have a 50 quid seat for my soft tissue gonads. Is is ergonomics going to the extreme. if it works then well done but it's at a cost.
  • + 2
 Looks like just another Blazing Saddle to me. At a bargain price!
  • + 1
 Trump tariff and new tooling! Plus new Specialized Sprinter Vans and Facilities!
  • + 2
 $145 for the COMP version? Uh, no.
  • + 2
 I don't get what's the name of this technology
  • + 1
 Mimic is short for Biomimicry.
  • + 0
 Cant they just call it a saddle instead of woman's saddle. That way my fat ass won't feel like a fat ass for using it.
  • + 1
 why do i have to buy a girls saddle to have a good comfortable seat..?
  • + 0
 It appears they're just "mimicking" corporate marketing with more catch words.
  • + 1
 300$ my bike cost...
  • + 4
 Then you got a great deal buddy. Bikes are expensive so they figured if we'd pay 10 grand for a bike we'll pay 300 for a good saddle too. Imagine your junk and ass not getting numb after riding for a while. That's worth the 300 bucks (if it works)
  • + 2
 @SupraKZ: this one doesn't sworks
  • + 1
 Seriously both of my bikes were less that the price of the s-works saddle. Doesn't mean they are both good bikes.
  • - 1
 Once a manufacturer starts using Scientific terms to market their product, run! Capital B, S!
  • - 1
 How long until knock-offs are available on Aliexpress?
  • - 1
 Ribbed for... oh never mind, I’ll see you “below threshold”
  • - 3
 Power snatch?
Below threshold threads are hidden

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