3D-printed thermoplastic polymer construction; carbon rails
Incredibly comfortable; super lightweight
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When I tested Cadex’s Boost saddle a few months ago, I touted it as one of the most comfortable saddles I had tested recently. I certainly stand by that, but now that I’ve been using Specialized’s Power saddle with Mirror Technology, I can firmly state I have found the most comfortable saddle I’ve tested. The Power saddle with Mirror blows everything out of the water.
- Cadex Boost Saddle review
- Fizik Antares Versus Evo 00 Adaptive saddle review
- Tech Podcast: What’s the story with 3D-printed saddles?
It sounds ridiculous to admit this, but the first time I sat on this saddle and started pedaling, I actually said — out loud, to no one in particular — “Wow!” Yes, this saddle made a cheesy infomercial out of me. But the Power saddle with Mirror technology earns the accolades, especially on long rides that require a bit of a softer touch on your softer tissues.
You can listen to the Tech Podcast episode with Specialized product manager Garrett Getter to learn all about why 3D-printed saddles exist in the first place. And you can read a bit more about the Power Saddle with Mirror Technology here to get a sense of what makes it unique.
But the gist of it is, the 3D printing process allows Specialized to tailor densities and support areas based on its data from countless pressure-mapping sessions to create a perch that’s light and supportive — minus the drawbacks of the more standard foam materials used in most saddles. Specialized uses a 3D-printed liquid polymer and promises a saddle that supports where you need it and cushions softly everywhere else, and otherwise keeps pressure off tissues you don’t want to experience pressure.
Riding the Power Saddle with Mirror Technology
Man, this thing sure is cushy. I got only a few rides on the Power Saddle with Mirror Technology before my colleague Ben Delaney absconded with it. He tested it on a Canyon Ultimate, which has a split seatpost that also works to help cushion the rider. Ben found the saddle to be a bit too cushy in combination with the Ultimate’s seatpost, leading to something of a bouncy feel.
But on the two bikes on which I tested the saddle — a Trek Emonda SLR 9 eTap, and a second bike I can’t talk about just yet — the Power Saddle with Mirror Technology was a revelation. It’s the most comfortable saddle I’ve ever used on a road bike, hands down.
It’s important to note that the Emonda features a seat cap design, which does add some compliance to the rear of the bike. The other top-secret bike on which I tested the saddle only features a 27.2mm seatpost to offer compliance. On the former, I did get a bit of extra bounce, but I didn’t find it bothersome. On the latter, the Power saddle was ideal, adding all the cushion I needed to a bike with an ultra-stiff rear end.
Notably, scooting forward on the saddle didn’t come with the typical discomfort of perching on this part of the seat. The 3D-printed lattice system seems to accommodate the extra weight here, so you can scoot forward for an aggressive aero or descending position without too much worry.
Power Saddle with Mirror technology: verdict
So what’s the catch? Why not give the Power saddle with Mirror technology five stars? Look at that price tag and you’ll know exactly where that final star went. Look, this is definitely a comfortable saddle, and I wouldn’t even hesitate to call it the most comfortable saddle I’ve tested in the nearly six years I’ve been writing for VeloNews.
But no one should ever have to pay this much for a saddle.
Granted, the price is on par with other 3D-printed saddles on the market like Fizik’s Antares Adaptive saddle, but just because everyone else is charging an arm and a leg doesn’t make it right.
So while the Power Saddle with Mirror Technology is indeed a comfort revelation, it would be even more of a dominant force in bicycle technology if most riders could afford to add it to their rides.