June 3, 2020

Carbon® and Specialized® Produce Digitally Printed Lattice Bike Saddle

Using a finely tuned elastomeric lattice structure that overcomes limits of foam, the S-Works Power Saddle with Mirror Technology, crafted with the Carbon DLS process, improves performance, protection, and comfort for cyclists.

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020: Today, Specialized® announced commercial availability of the first digitally printed bike saddle, the S-Works Power Saddle with Mirror technology. Designed to improve rider comfort and performance, the new saddle, crafted using Carbon materials and complex lattice geometries, absorbs impact and improves stability, which can reduce the chance of injury for the rider.

“Carbon and Specialized share a mission to challenge the acceptable, create the extraordinary, and ultimately make products that enable people to push the limits of what’s possible,” said Dr. Joseph DeSimone, Co-Founder of Carbon. “Our partnership with Specialized represents not only a breakthrough in bike saddle technology, but also our companies’ shared commitment to drive meaningful change by making products that improve human health and well-being.”

For cyclists at all levels, one of the most important aspects of the riding experience is the saddle. From its shape to its padding level, the bike saddle can be the difference between a bad ride or a great ride. The challenge lies in creating a saddle to maximize rider performance by providing comfort and stability. With this in mind, Carbon and Specialized have taken saddle innovation to the next level with the S-Works Power Saddle with Mirror technology.

“Specialized has a long history of improving the rider experience. We created our first Body Geometry saddle over 20 years ago to address serious issues impacting cyclists. Together with Carbon, we are challenging the norms of the cycling world, from design to production time, to create technology that will allow riders to improve performance, increase comfort, and reduce the chance of injury,” said Garrett Getter, Specialized Product Manager of Saddles. “With Mirror technology, we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible.”

In the past, bike saddle designers and manufacturers have faced persistent challenges to mitigate the pressure and discomfort cyclists at all levels often experience, which can lead to injuries and health issues, including neuralgia (nerve pain), numbness, and urinary problems. Carbon Digital Light Synthesis™ (Carbon DLS™) process made it possible to develop a lattice design that enables the saddle to rebound quickly, giving riders the experience of having a ‘suspension’ for their sit bones. The saddle not only disperses pressure in ways that are impossible with foam, but also significantly improves breathability. Ultimately, our innovation is designed to result in less pain and fewer injuries for riders, leading to better health and performance.

S-Works Power Saddle with Mirror technology.

The S-Works Power Saddle with Mirror technology is the third production application in sporting goods, after adidas and Riddell, that Carbon has validated for its L1 Production Solution. Designed for high-volume production of 3D-printed parts, the L1 Production Solution includes a large format printer, offering the largest build area available with Carbon technology. Beyond the printer, the L1 Production Solution also offers validated cleaning and curing tools that, together, provide a launchpad for a new breed of digitally designed and manufactured products. Like the adidas FutureCraft 4D midsole and Riddell’s SpeedFlex Precision-Fit Diamond helmet, the S-Works Power Saddle with Mirror technology improves performance and protection with an elastomeric lattice created with Carbon’s software design tools and produced with the Carbon DLS process using Carbon’s innovative Elastomeric Polyurethane (EPU) material.

Equally impressive as the technology itself, Carbon DLS is helping to bring Mirror technology to market at record speed. Together, Carbon and Specialized were able to reduce the overall development process from the typical 18-24 month timeline to just 10 months, while still creating and testing over 70 designs in this short timeframe. The use of Carbon technology reduced the overall design process from 6 to 2 months, with design iteration, which typically takes 2-3 weeks, taking only 1 day with Carbon. Broadly, the Carbon DLS process provides product teams with powerful capabilities to achieve vastly accelerated design and development timelines, enabling better products to go to market much faster than with other design and manufacturing approaches.

The new S-Works Power Saddle with Mirror technology is now available for purchase at www.specialized.com/us/en/power-saddle-mirror.