Specialized has today launched an all-new Power saddle which has been created using its new Mirror Technology. This technology uses a process called Digital Light Synthesis to 3D-print from a liquid polymer.
Specialized has teamed up with Carbon, a company that uses its own CLIP (Continuous Liquid Interface Production) technology, to harness light and oxygen to 3D print objects from a pool of resin, eliminating the layer-by-layer approach.
Light is used to print the lattice structure before a second chemical reaction occurs in a forced-circulation oven, strengthening and setting the material's final properties. This structure replaces the saddle's traditional foam and is affixed to the carbon base.
Mirror Technology comprises a patent-pending lattice structure that is made up of 14,000 struts and 7,799 nodes, each of which can be tuned individually, enabling Specialized to infinity vary the polymer's density. According to Specialized, it would take thousands of different density foams in a single saddle to replicate.
The saddle has been tested by riders from Bora-Hansgrohe, Deceuninck-Quickstep, and has been raced by Christopher Blevins during the Val di Sole UCI MTB World Cup. Specialized's Body Geometry team have validated Mirror Technology's ability to reduce soft tissue pressure, assure penile blood flow and improve sit bone comfort for both men and women.
The new technology can also speed up research and development, as well as manufacturing time. In a year, Specialized has created over 70 designs for this saddle with new concepts being rideable within a day.
The Morgan Hill-based firm has high expectations for the technology; it's already testing the technology for improvements in vibration damping as well as pelvic stability, and it envisages a future where riders can have custom printed touchpoints based on individual preferences.
The saddle will be available to buy early 2020, with pricing yet to be announced.