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Road Saddles

Specialized Phenom Expert Saddle with MIMIC

If you start with the Phenom saddle concept as a versatile model developed for all-terrain use, and add MIMIC innovation, you have a great all around saddle for women who ride road, cross, mountain, gravel and adventure. While perhaps not the platform for the aggressive posture of road racing like the Power saddle, the Phenom may be the ideal overall platform for the MIMIC system, meeting the needs of a larger pool of riders. So, what is MIMIC? While a very technical and interesting development story, the essence is that the Body Geometry team at Specialized wanted to understand why a true cutout channel did not relieve soft tissue pressure and/or discomfort to the extent originally believed. A more focused approach informed by crucial rider feedback and testing indicated that comfortable support that did not increase pressure was the proper direction. The result was a design and material combination to make numbness and pain disappear with a system that mimics the body’s response to different types of pressure to create equilibrium within soft tissue. New saddle features and relief shapes were integrated with new and existing platforms as the team applied innovative MIMIC technology, which uses a multi-layer system and various foam materials to maintain equilibrium and minimize swelling in soft tissue.

Which brings us back to the specifics of the Phenom Expert Saddle with MIMIC. At first glance one can see that the open cutout of the standard Phenom design appears gone. Actually it is still there in the shell itself. The full length relief channel is there, but the key central soft tissue zone (essentially where the shell cutout is), is filled in and has smoother transitions all around, with a somewhat stepped transition forward towards the nose. The MIMIC materials applied in various configurations based on location and need, and visually Specialized is highlighting the zone in silver. At the rear of the saddle firmer foam and the shell provide sit bone support- lifting the bone structure to reduce pressure on arteries, nerves and soft tissue. The MIMIC zone starts in the shell cutout, with soft memory foam that delivers anatomical support to prevent soft tissue swelling. Moving out towards the nose, soft foam eliminates pressure. The overall effect is proper blood flow, with less harsh pressure points, and supportive equilibrium.

Of course, this system is also tied in with the saddle width concept used by Body Geometry, which ideally finds the general saddle width and shape that hits the sitbone widths of the rider. MIMIC is unlikely to be effective if a rider chooses say a 143mm saddle and actually needs a 155mm version. Specialized dealers have the means to assist you with this rather personal assessment, but when you are shopping online it can be more challenging. Understanding saddle widths, models, and shapes that have been better for you in the past can be very helpful in this regard. A saddle that is too narrow means the sitbones aren't being supported, and likely brings soft tissue into conflict over a larger area, while stressing the sitbones and pelvic floor. A saddle that is too wide can force the legs outward from the pelvis, impacting pressure, pedaling alignment and again, increasing certain pressure zones.

The Phenom Expert comes in three widths 143mm, 155mm and 168mm. It features a carbon-reinforced shell with flexible Adaptive Edge technology that adapts to your body for a custom fit and combines with the MIMIC system to bring you all day comfort and support even on rough terrain. The overall padding level is a moderate thickness, or in Specialized terms, a Level 2. The shell is carried by hollow round titanium rails, and the Phenom Expert Saddle with MIMIC is compatible with the SWAT saddle-mounted accessory system. Ideal for road, gravel, mountain, and cyclocross use, the Phenom is one of the most versatile saddle models made, with many cyclists having it on every bike that encourages at most a semi-aggressive riding posture. If you have struggled with soft tissue discomfort and pain, the MIMIC system may very well offer significant relief. With so much variability in body type and human anatomy, no product can claim to be perfect for everyone, and a huge amount of time riding a bike of any kind involves direct saddle pressure. Finding the greatest level of comfort and performance in a saddle that mitigates the most possible tissue and structural discomfort is the goal of most cyclists. A Specialized Body Geometry saddle with MIMIC may just well be the right choice for you.

Features

  • Durable and performance minded saddle equipped for all-terrain use and long hours on the bike
  • Optimized for the needs of women, properly sized MIMIC-equipped saddles can provide relief
  • Innovative MIMIC technology uses multilayered materials to maintain equilibrium and minimize swelling in soft tissue
  • Patented Body Geometry design is lab-tested to ensure blood flow to sensitive arteries
  • Level 2 padding: Medium density foam for bike feel with additional cushioning
  • Tail shape features rounded edges and corners, for easy and no-snag movement
  • Lightweight, resilient and forgiving hollow 7x7mm round titanium rails
  • SWAT™-compatible mounts molded into the saddle base allow for sleek and integrated storage solutions
  • Width options: 143mm, 155mm, 168mm
  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 242 grams (actual, 143mm width), 250 grams (actual, 155mm), 252 grams (actual, 168mm)