An uncomfortable bike saddle sucks. What might start as mild discomfort can turn into some serious issues and completely ruin a day on the bike. When Specialized designed the all-new Specialized Power Saddle with MIMIC technology – which is specifically made for riders who have a vagina – they used research to address the issues these riders often have with their bike saddles.
In the course of their research, Specialized found what women the world over already know: that current saddles with cutouts don’t address changes in the density of female soft tissue and often leave riders numb or with painful swelling or tingling. These riders also were found to experience edema in their genitals that weren’t supported by the cutout of many saddles. Their soft tissue would actually swell more into these cutouts leading to extreme discomfort as a result! Did you know that MANY professional bike riders have had surgery on their genitals due to the discomfort and scar tissue that has built up over the years of training and riding on old, outdated saddles? Yeah, that’s a real thing!
To address these issues, Specialized developed their new MIMIC (short for biomimicry) technology. Biomimicry is the design and production of materials, structures, and systems that are modeled on biological entities and processes. In short, MIMIC is designed to conform to your body to relieve pressure and to optimize comfort. No more “getting used to” the discomfort or adapting to your saddle. This saddle adapts to you. There is a recessed area that takes heavy pressure off of the rider’s soft tissue but also a foam insert that will still provide support, reducing the possibility of the rider experiencing edema.
As Dr. Andy Pruitt puts it, MIMIC technology uses four different “newfangled foams” to create equilibrium within soft tissue while riding. That’s right, they had a doctor with more than 40 years of cycling medicine and ergonomics experience design the new Power saddle. In a lab. With Science.
But it’s not just a bunch of guys in a lab testing saddles for women. Specialized started with a focus group of 23 women, got their feedback, then did pressure-mapping of 200 additional women. They tested their prototype on another group of women. After thousands of data points, Specialized can confidently say the new Power Saddle with MIMIC relieves pressure and is statistically more comfortable than other women’s saddles.
Specialized began their women’s saddle remodel with the Power saddle because it’s one of the most popular out there. Since all riders aren’t created equal, the Power Saddle with MIMIC is available in three widths. If you don’t know what width saddle you ride, you can stop into any ERIK’S location to have your sit bones measured. (If you didn’t know you should get your butt measured for your saddle, read this blog to learn why it is so important.)
We received the following feedback from a customer who was struggling with even wanting to get on her bike due to an uncomfortable saddle –
“I needed a new saddle because the one I had was really starting to hurt, putting pressure in the wrong spots and just overall SUPER uncomfortable. I know that most of your pressure is supposed to be on the “sit bones” but all of my pressure was on my vagina. At first, I thought that’s the way it was supposed to be and I just wasn’t used to it yet but after one 7 mile ride no part of me wanted to get back on the bike. Also, the other seat was very hard and it felt like there was no give. The Mimic feels like there is a little more padding on the entire seat.”
“The biggest improvement was I was able to relax on the seat and enjoy the ride. I don’t know if it’s true but because I was able to relax, my whole position on the bike changed. I was able to improve my speed and continue for a longer period of time.”
“I had no idea the health implications of riding on a seat that doesn’t fit you. Just for that reason alone, I would highly recommend everyone going in and getting fitted for the correct saddle size. Also, for me, biking is not only a workout but a physical activity that is really fun and easy to enjoy by yourself or with others. I don’t want to interrupt my ride or anyone else’s because my saddle is so uncomfortable.”
Specialized recognizes that women shouldn’t have to adapt to their saddles, but rather that their saddles should adapt to them. And with their new MIMIC technology, they’ve accomplished just that. The new Specialized Women’s Power with MIMIC is available at select ERIK’S locations, or shop now at shoperiks.com.