An incredibly comfortable and supportive saddle that combines three of Specialized’s best saddle innovations: the Power shape, Mimic foam, and Elaston technology
- - The Power saddle shape is perfect for almost any ride position
- - The short, truncated nose relieves pressure on the vulva
- - The wide back end provides the best support for sit bones
- - Elaston technology feels incredibly comfortable to sit on and springs back after use for longevity
- - Mimic foam perfectly imitates the density of soft tissues, helping to support the undercarriage without crushing delicate parts
- - Mimic gradually moulds into shape for long-lasting and personalised support
- - Titanium rails and FACT carbon shell help to damp vibrations
- - Requires an investment (but it's worth every penny)
- - Slightly heavier than competitors with less comfort technology built-in
It’s been almost three years since Specialized rolled out its Power saddle with Mimic technology — designed specifically to gently cushion the soft tissues of the vulva — in a bid to improve its already popular Power model.
For those of us with a vulva, getting a saddle right can be a painstaking exercise in trial and error but thankfully saddle technology has come a long way over the past few years. Many of us have felt drawn to the truncated shape of the Specialized Power, with its stubby nose, wide flanks and proportionally large cut-out, which has proven popular with all genders despite being originally marketed towards women cyclists.
The US brand doesn't shy away from experimenting with new saddle technologies in an effort to provide more comfort, and earlier this year, Specialized released an updated version of the Power Pro saddle, which not only featured Mimic, but also its similarly successful Elaston technology.
With two comfort features built into this already exceedingly comfortable saddle, is the new Specialized Power Pro Elaston with Mimic the best women’s road bike saddle? Read on to find out what we think of ours.
Design and aesthetics
Very much resembling its ancestor, the Power Pro Elaston With Mimic saddle features Specialized’s Body Geometry design that consists of a stubby nose up front and a wide back-end to support the sit bones. The central cut-out, proportionally large in relation to the size of the overall saddle, is filled with the Mimic technology that also graces the front end. Besides being squishy, Mimic is recognisable by its shimmery silver-on-black patterning.
Meanwhile on each of the flanks you can see the more subtle appearance of Specialized’s Elaston technology, which it describes as “1,000 miniature pillows”. Looking closely at the surface, it’s possible to spot the mottled texture beneath, signifying the small beads expanded into the foam that makes up its construction. Compared to Mimic, Elaston is a lot more firm, although it has a lot of give. Mimic, on the other hand, feels very soft and is easily compressed with a thumb.
Covering it all is the brand’s Super Stretch material that it claims is capable of prolonging comfort by preventing friction. To the touch, it feels slightly tacky, which explains its ability to maintain grip and stop you from sliding around.
Underneath, the Mimic foam is visible inside the cut-out, coloured bright green. Holding it all together down here is the Specialized’s Fact carbon-fibre shell, designed to provide compliant support while keeping the weight down, and further to that the whole thing rests on hollow titanium rails. Speaking of weight, the Power Pro Elaston with Mimic tips our scales at 239g, putting it in line with the Fabric Line-S Elite Flat Saddle, and 140g lighter than the ISM PM 2.0 Saddle.
The saddle base also features integrated SWAT mounts, allowing you to connect a number of the brand's accessories, should you wish to.
During the testing period, I tried the saddle with several of the best women's cycling shorts I have to hand, to see how well it works with a variety of chamois types. While I had no problems with any of them, I definitely recommend a less bulky chamois for all-day riding on this saddle, such as the one found in Velocio's Ultralight Bib Shorts.
Riding atop the Power Pro Elaston with Mimic, and pretty much everything promised is delivered. I’m already an avid user of the original Power saddle, as well as the version with Mimic, so adding Elaston into the mix is just begging for a five-star rating.
First off, as someone with a vulva who experiences pain when riding on unisex saddles with a longer nose, I really appreciate the truncated nose on the Power. It enables me to ride in almost any position — I’ve used it atop road bikes and touring bikes — without feeling pain or pressure on my labia and soft tissues. Adding the Mimic foam to this area, as well as the central cut-out makes this even more dreamy. The softness of the Mimic foam perfectly cradles those delicate parts in a way that doesn’t crush or rub, and allows me to cycle for hours without discomfort.
Why fill the cut-out with foam as well? I know that when using the original Power saddle for hours at a time, I would occasionally feel the edge of the cut-out pressing against my nether regions in a way that wasn’t painful, but noticeable. Having the central Mimic section actually softens those edges while maintaining the pressure relief the cut-out is intended to provide.
Meanwhile, the wide flanks — I tested the size 155mm — perfectly support my sit bones without creating any undue pressure at the rear.
Resting your weight on your sit bones on the rear end of a saddle, however, does require a little extra padding in the middle just to keep your undercarriage adequately supported. There is a danger though, of having too much support in the way of thick foam cushioning that can end up cutting off your circulation. It’s a delicate balance and Specialized gets it just right with Elaston, which covers the rear half of the saddle. It feels a lot softer than the PU cover of the original Power saddle, and the expanded beads beneath the surface work their magic by softening and supporting your weight, then springing back into shape after use.
It’s true that over time, foam cushioning can become worn down, but having pedalled countless miles atop this saddle, I can confidently say it still feels good as new, while the Mimic section at the front has moulded into shape.
What results is a saddle that I am happy to come back to again and again.
The Specialized Power Pro Elaston with Mimic is an incredibly comfortable and supportive women’s saddle that feels just as comfortable in an aggressive ride position as it does while relaxed and more upright. It is built to last, and has so far given me three months of almost daily use, with countless all-day rides and who-knows-how-many miles covered.
As an advocate for women’s cycling I am forever recommending the Specialized Power with Mimic saddle to people who ask, and now I will be adding the word ‘Elaston’ to that recommendation.
Tech Specs: Specialized Power Pro Elaston with Mimic
- Price: £200 / $275 / AU$400 / €260
- Weight: 239g
- Sizes: 143mm, 155mm* (*tested)
- Rails: Titanium
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