Specialized boasted on the launch of the Mimic that ‘your vagina will thank you’ and, from where I’m sitting it was absolutely right. A great combination of aesthetics, durability, price and, above all, comfort.
Editor’s Choice 2020
Specialized has been pushing saddle technology for decades now with its Body Geometry research, and its range of Mimic saddles aims to break new ground in women’s saddle comfort. Different density foam has been used to work with the body’s natural response to pressure. And instead of a cut-out along the centre, Specialized has developed a channel filled with memory foam, providing support and preventing pinching. Three widths are available, and while it’s radical approach might not suit everyone, the frank explanation behind its design is refreshing.
Specialized broke the mould in all senses when it brought out the Power Mimic range back in 2018. A launch campaign that openly talked about labia pressure and highlighted the sad truth that saddle discomfort can, and has, caused women to stop riding altogether. It wasn’t afraid to try something new in its approach to the Mimic saddle range. Designed to mimic (hence the name) the female body’s response to pressure, the most noticeable feature is the variation in padding across key contact points.
It’s a visually striking saddle, with a wide, tapered, winged rear deck covered in medium density foam padding, offering comfortable yet firm support. With three sizes at 143mm, 155mm and 168mm there’s a great choice on offer to match any width of sit bones. The wings give a good level of flexibility and, although more angular than others on test, they never got in the way when riding and moving around on the trails due to their sloping design.
It’s at the front of the saddle that things get interesting. Specialized has moved away from using a cut-out channel to alleviate pressure, discovering through its research that labial tissue can actually poke through a cut out and cause additional swelling. Instead the central channel in the structure of the saddle is filled with memory foam to give an almost hammock-like effect. The truncated nose is coated in a different memory foam. If you tend to shift forward for tougher ascents, the change in padding density is noticeable and provides a great mix of comfort without compromising support. The slight dip in design and length of the nose means there’s no chance of getting your shorts caught when descending either.
Design details include very subtle dotted perforations that give additional grip on wetter days, some silver fabric and subtle branding that combines to make an attractive saddle. With SWAT compatible mounts, it also offers a practical advantage, allowing you to mount spares under your seat.