PRESS RELEASE

See Specialized's Wild 3D-Printed Saddle - Introducing Mirror Technology

With claims of improved comfort and performance, Specialized is taking a leap with a new variable density, 3D-printed polymer. Beginning in 2020, you too can own one of these with custom fits and more products on the horizon. Get all the details in the press release, below. - Turman

See Specialized's Wild 3D-Printed Saddle - Introducing Mirror Technology

We utilize our professional athletes to develop and test advanced pre-production products. Today, we’re lifting the curtain on this development process to tell you about an innovation that builds on more than 20 years of Body Geometry history - Mirror Technology. We’re 3D printing liquid polymer with a process called Digital Light Synthesis, and we believe this technology can replace foam in every cycling touchpoint. Mirror perfectly reflects a rider’s anatomy to improve performance, increase comfort, and reduce the chance of injury. Like carbon enables innovation unmatched by steel or alloy, Mirror will unlock incredible new benefits in touchpoints.

  • We are currently testing a Power Saddle with Mirror Technology with our professional riders on the road and mountain.
  • The 3D printed saddle upper utilizes a patent-pending structure that can infinitely vary the polymer’s density in a way foam cannot replicate.
  • The resulting structure is a lattice made up of 14,000 struts and 7,799 nodes, each of which can be individually tuned.
  • Mirror Technology is already scientifically validated to improve sit bone comfort for men and women, and we see great potential in the material to stabilize the pelvis as well as significantly damp vibration.
  • Our first product featuring Mirror Technology, a new Power Saddle, will be available in early 2020.

From Decueninck – Quick-Step and BORA-hansgrohe, to our Specialized Racing XCO riders, our professional athletes have been exposed to the new technology and will be helping validate its performance though the end of the season and over the winter. In fact, a Power Saddle with Mirror Technology has already been raced by Christopher Blevins during the World Cup at Val de Sol.

Our use of this DLS process creates a patent-pending lattice that would require literally thousands of different density foams in a single saddle to replicate. Working with Carbon, the Silicon Valley based company that pioneered Digital Light Synthesis, not only allows us to infinitely adjust the complex lattice structure, but new product development time is drastically reduced. We created over 70 designs in less than a year, going from concept to rideable sample in a single day. Light prints the lattice structure from liquid polymer, then a second chemical reaction occurs in a forced-circulation oven to strengthen and set the material’s final properties. The printed Mirror upper is then adhered to a carbon base and rails and is ready for test riding.

Our Body Geometry team has already validated Mirror’s ability to assure penile blood flow by reducing soft tissue pressure, as well as improved sit bone comfort in both men and women. As we continue to develop and validate Mirror, the Body Geometry team is looking into potential performance benefits like reduced vibration and increased pelvic stability.

Mirror’s incredible versatility, both in design and production, is allowing us to innovate beyond foam, and take Body Geometry into the future. We’ll be releasing a Power Saddle with Mirror in early 2020, and beyond we envision a future where every rider can have touchpoints custom printed based on their anatomy and riding style, truly creating their perfect reflection.

Learn more at www.specialized.com.

About Specialized

Specialized Bicycle Components was founded in 1974 by riders for riders. Based in Northern California, we focus on the rider’s need for functional and technically advanced products that provide a performance benefit.

Photos by Michal Cerveny

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