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It wasn’t long ago that 3D printing had only just become the common practice for prototyping parts. Even just five years ago, many companies were toying with their first 3D printers, toying with ideas and getting a handle of how the actual parts would look like, once they were actually manufactured.
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Now, just a few years later, 3D-printed parts are being used on pro bikes at the WorldTour — remember Team Sky using 3D-printed titanium handlebars during stage 1 of the 2017 Tour de France? — and even on consumer bikes now that 3D printing has become a viable option for production and scale.
In this episode of the VeloNews tech podcast, tech editor Dan Cavallari talks with product manager Garrett Getter from Specialized to get the lowdown on the new S-Works Power saddle with Mirror technology. It’s not the first 3D-printed saddle to hit the market — Fizik launched its Antares Antares Versus Evo Adaptive 00 saddle earlier in 2020 — but it lends a new comfort and support angle to Specialized’s already popular Power saddle lineup. Between these two saddles, it’s clear that saddle designers are looking for new ways to create a comfortable and stable perch without the bulk or other drawbacks of foam.
The idea behind the 3D-printed saddle is using the precision of the process to create different densities in different locations throughout the top of the seat. Higher densities offer more support, while lower densities provide comfort where it’s needed. How does 3D printing offer such precision tailoring? Listen to the episode to find out.
As always, if you have questions about this episode of the VeloNews Tech Podcast, or if you have suggestions for topics you’d like us to cover on a future episode, you can reach out to tech editor Dan Cavallari via email, Instagram, or Twitter.