When it comes to contact points, Specialized’s big thing is Body Geometry. The idea is to use science to measure things and design products to suit. In the case of saddles, Specialized’s boffins have decided that blood flow through the arteries that pass between your sit bones is something worth maintaining.
They do, after all, supply the family jewels, and while we’re not aware of any proven link between reduced blood flow and permanent damage to something important, not starving your bits of blood does seem like a rather smart idea. The BG design is all about reducing pressure. Clearly that’s what all the other saddle designers are trying to do too, although as far as we know, Specialized are the only ones to have proved that theirs work.
Unlike some of Specialized’s other BG saddles, the Henge doesn’t have a hole straight through the middle of it. Instead there’s a channel moulded into the shell to accommodate a similarly shaped channel on top that runs almost the full length of the seat. The effect is essentially the same as if there was a hole, but without the risk of mud and spray shooting up through the seat and making a mess of your nethers.
The Henge’s padding is squarely in the middle of the firmness range. The shape is distinctive, with cut-off corners to ease moving on and off matched with a wide, flat nose that proves an effective climbing perch. The synthetic cover features abrasion-resistant patches, while hollow chromoly rails strike a weight/cost balance. It all works very well – the Henge is instantly comfortable, and stays that way as the miles build. It’s reasonably priced too, although there’s also a lighter, costlier alternative model.
This review first appeared on BikeRadar here.