Specialized talks about women cycling discomfort, by actually talking about it

Specialized is making uncomfortable realities relatable with new video campaign.
Women's Power Saddle with MIMIC

Amsterdam - Januari 2019 - Saddle pressure makes riding bikes a real pain—literally. But the all-new Women’s Power Saddle with MIMIC technology makes numbness and pain disappear. This design mimics the body’s response to different types of pressure to create equilibrium within soft tissue.

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Making Uncomfortable Subjects Comfortable Again

While society says it's an uncomfortable subject to talk about, many women experience saddle pain and numbness on their labia when riding. This has let to real consequences. While some women will ride less, others quit riding altogether and even a few women seek surgical intervention. This is not okay says Specialized. They made it their mission to make this a subject that could be talked about, not only that. They have also found a solution with the all-new Women’s Power Saddle with MIMIC technology. Having studied decades of body geometry knowledge and methodology, this revolutionary saddle has been ergonomically designed and scientifically tested to provide structural and anatomical support, while also reducing pressure on “sensitive areas”. No more suffering in silence or no more suffering at all. Society's discomfort with hearing or talking about pain and numbness on the vagina (more accurately, the labia), can't no longer be a reason for women to be uncomfortable on their bikes.

The Uncomfortable Subjects

How it works

This saddle puts women first. True to all Body Geometry products, this saddle has been ergonomically designed and scientifically tested to reduce pressure and to provide the structural support needed for blood flow to key areas. The multi-layer cushioning system molded into the saddle, meanwhile, prevents overly high pressure on soft tissue, so women can do longer rides and more comfortable rides.

Exploded View of Power Saddle with MIMIC

The Road To Comfort

Where there’s a will, Dr. Andy Pruitt and his team have found a way. And to get to this design, they built on the foundation of Body Geometry: Identify a problem, solve it through design, and validate it with science.

1. Identify the Problem

To solve this “suffer in silence” problem, the team first had to find women from all cycling disciplines that were willing to talk about it. They created a core group of over 20 women, including Alison Tetrick, and split them into data collection and saddle prototype tester groups. And throughout the development phase, this group provided rider insight and testing data of the highest order. Using a mix of traditional and non-traditional data collection methods, like heat mapping, modelling, anatomical markers, and good ol' fashioned rider feedback, Andy’s team was ready to move to the next phase—prototyping.

2. Interpret the Findings

One of the most surprising things the team found concerned the cutout. While traditional heat mapping identified pressure on the nose and rear of the saddle, non-traditional testing with anatomical markers showed that, for some women, soft tissue was actually swelling through the cutout. The solution wasn’t filling in the cutout, though. Instead, it required a foam that provided support without adding a pressure of its own. And with that, MIMIC was born.

3. Provide the Solution

Need a saddle truly designed for women? You have to test, test, test. In fact, this saddle is one of the most tested in our history. Rapid prototyping gave Andy and his team instant feedback on how different foam densities and placements affected the ride. And by matching the tissue density between the saddle and the body—“mimicking” soft tissue—the saddle stands alone in combining the firm support that the sit bones want with the density-matched firmness your body needs.

About Specialized

Specialized was founded in 1974 by Mike Sinyard, a cycling enthusiast. When quality tires weren't around, they strove to make the best. When people wanted to ride cruises in the dirt, they made the first productions of mountain bikes. When roadies wanted to go faster, they doubled-down on carbon and built their own wind tunnel. When they saw that kids were struggling to focus in school they started the Specialized Foundation to help them through cycling.

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