Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)
  • Specialized Mirror Saddle
  • Premier Icon oceanskipper
    Full Member

    OK so in my seemingly never ending quest for ultimate saddle comfort I have bought a Specialized Mirror saddle at an eye watering cost. Fortunately it has a 30 day ride satisfaction guarantee so watch this space to see if it’s worth the staggering price!!!

    Anyone else got one?

    Premier Icon oceanskipper
    Full Member

    Yep – that’s the fella.

    Premier Icon Tracey
    Full Member

    I’ve had the S Works Power Mimic 143 since March which came on my Turbo Levo. Not sure I would have paid for one on its own but it does take the already comfort of my Phenom up to another level. I was a bit sceptical on the shortness of the nose at first but can’t say I notice it when riding

    Premier Icon oceanskipper
    Full Member

    So I tried a Phenom Expert followed by a Power Pro Elaston. The Expert was OK but sore sit bones after about 15 miles. The Power Pro Elaston felt extremely comfortable to sit on (Specialized say you sit IN it rather than ON it and they’re right, it feels great) however, still slight sit bone discomfort after about 10 miles so I swapped it for the Mirror. Straight away the flex in the padding is very much a feature and I’m going to try it on a 30 mile ride tomorrow….

    Premier Icon gray
    Full Member

    How does the 30 day guarantee work? Do you get a refund if you don’t like it, or just credit against other saddles?

    Premier Icon p7eaven
    Free Member

    @oceanskipper

    sit-bone discomfort was my first experience with a Phenom (comp) but I persisted and it went after a month or so of regular use. I was coming back to cycling after a long time off. Phenom is now near ‘invisible’ inasmuch as I give it no thought (neither when riding, nor after).

    ymmv

    Premier Icon oceanskipper
    Full Member

    So I did a 40 mile road ride (on my HT bike but my cycling buddies are roadies so…). Anyway,  the  Mirror was pretty comfortable. But…

    It wasn’t as simple as “this is the best saddle I’ve used” unfortunately. I was wanting it to be fabulous and also not wanting it to be any better than say the Phenom or the Brooks C17 so that I could justify returning it for a refund. Trouble is that it was slightly better than the others but not night and day better. It was certainly great for 30 miles but then some discomfort started to creep in. It’s no where near ride ending discomfort, just needing to fidget on the saddle (which is the same with the C17 and to a greater extent the Phenom ). I  reckon a cafe stop half way round would have made a big difference but we didn’t stop today.

    So inconclusive at this point but as above it might need a few rides to get used to it and if that is the case, then perseverance with the Phenom might have been better, I did try the Phenom for nearly a month though but maybe it takes longer 🤷‍♂️. I’m going to keep on using it for a week or so and see if it gets any better.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Full Member

    I’m left wondering what you’ve previously used which has been comfortable for 30+ miles.

    Premier Icon oceanskipper
    Full Member

    I’m left wondering what you’ve previously used which has been comfortable for 30+ miles.

    well, the Brooks was probably the closest but when it says “all day comfort in any riding position” and costs £300 I’m expecting it to be comfortable all the time.

    Doing another 30 miler tomorrow so I’ll see how it goes… Maybe it’s just not sensible to do 30+ miles on a HT on tarmac and expect to be comfortable. 🤷‍♂️

    Premier Icon simondbarnes
    Free Member

    I often think people’s ideas of how comfortable something should be are unrealistic. You’re doing a physical activity, some degree of discomfort* at some point during a ride is surely expected? I don’t think I could sit on a sofa for several hours without having to move a bit occasionally so I don’t expect to be able to sit on a bicycle saddle all day and feel the same at the end of the day as I did at the start

    *I don’t mean pain, but when you’re using a muscle for several hours (and your glutes get a lot of use when pedalling) it’s never going to feel all fine and dandy IME.

    Premier Icon oceanskipper
    Full Member

    so I don’t expect to be able to sit on a bicycle saddle all day and feel the same at the end of the day as I did at the start

    I agree with all that. It’s really hard to tell what’s acceptable though and I’m beginning to think my own expectations are unrealistic perhaps. But some people do claim to have no discomfort at all (see above) so my quest is to be one of them! Not sure I’ve got anywhere left to go though if a £300 saddle doesn’t do it! Maybe I’ll go back to the Phenom as it’s 1/3 of the price …🤷‍♂️

    Premier Icon tonyd
    Free Member

    Doing another 30 miler tomorrow so I’ll see how it goes… Maybe it’s just not sensible to do 30+ miles on a HT on tarmac and expect to be comfortable.

    I think it’s entirely realistic to ride 30+ road miles on a hardtail and remain comfortable. I quite regularly do 50+ milers on a road bike with 25mm tyres at 80 psi and don’t get particularly uncomfortable. I recently replaced my 15 year old Fizik Aliante with a Spesh Power Expert which I found very comfortable.

    Would agree that perhaps you are being a little unrealistic with your expectations. Comfort is subjective so perhaps those above who don’t feel pain just have a higher tolerance than you.

    How long have you been riding, and what kind of distances? I only ask as it takes a while to condition yourself for longer rides, is it possible that you just need more time in the saddle?

    Premier Icon dc1988
    Free Member

    Different people have different pain/discomfort thresholds so the person saying they don’t get discomfort might be someone who doesn’t think too much about it. I don’t get too fussy over saddles but do much more so about grips.

    Premier Icon oceanskipper
    Full Member

    How long have you been riding, and what kind of distances?

    I’ve been riding for about 2 years and for the last 18 months I  have been doing a 30+ road ride every Sunday with the odd longer one (50-60) thrown in very occasionally and then on the tracks (disused railway line type stuff)  I do 10 miles a few times a week with a 10-20 miler most Saturdays.

    My road buddies are all fit triathletes (they did the Fred Whitton and they do Ironman etc) and I only join them for a social ride on a Sunday because my friend invited me along when I was just starting to ride regularly and it kind of stuck! I don’t do any running etc because of my knee hence I have an ebike.

    One of the tri club guys says he has got 3 saddles on the go at the moment trying to get comfortable and my friend says she gets a sore arse all the time and  just puts up with it – it’s worth noting that both these people have had a professional bike fit done by the person recommended by the club, I haven’t had a bike fit but I’m going to. That said I’m pretty sure I’m not that far out having done the standard stuff from a few YouTube videos.

    Initially I had chafing discomfort and sit bone discomfort but I have all but eliminated the chafing with different shorts so it’s just sit bone discomfort I’m attempting to minimise. It’s not a low pain threshold per se (my dentist reckoned it was quite high!) it’s just fairly uncomfortable; stopping for 5 mins alleviates it enough to continue or I just have to stand up and sort of sit side saddle and free wheel for a bit every few minutes towards the end of a long ride. I don’t see the others doing this though.

    The best saddle I have tried so far is the Brooks C17 but it wore a patch in my brand new Rapha shorts (the edge is rough – they sent me a new one and it’s the same, I have sanded it but I don’t want to risk wrecking another pair of expensive shorts!) so I started to look for another saddle which is where I am now.

    Premier Icon simondbarnes
    Free Member

    because of my knee hence I have an ebike.

    The tendency when on an e-bike is to stay seated constantly. When on a non-assisted bike I can pretty much guarantee this never happens (pulling away from junctions etc). Maybe this is one of the issues?

    Premier Icon Futureboy77
    Free Member

    OP, I’m maybe mistaken but did you not post pics of the wear or your shorts whilst using a C17?
    If so, (and I didn’t comment at the time) was the wear not all on one side and quite far back on your shorts/pad? I’d be more inclined to go for a bike fit session before chopping and changing saddles.

    Entirely subjective but I did 60 predominantly off-road miles on a C17 yesterday without discomfort, but I do shift myself around on the saddle as I would with any other.

    Premier Icon dc1988
    Free Member

    I would suggest trying quite a few different saddles, they really don’t need to be expensive ones as you need to find a general shape that suits you. I would ask the people you ride with if they have something in their spare parts drawer they would lend you for a few weeks.

    I found that the Fizik Aliante was very comfy but only if I stayed in an upright position, as soon as I went in the drops on my road bike I would get discomfort. I’m now on a Pro Griffon that is slightly worse in an upright position but much better in the drops. My saddle isn’t perfect but it’s a good enough compromise

    Premier Icon oceanskipper
    Full Member

    Yes a bike fit is on the cards. The pics of the wear on my shorts was slightly misleading as the one sided wear was due to the saddle being rougher on that side, it was quite far back as it was literally the back edge of the saddle that was rough, the top surface was fine.

    Anyway, I moved the saddle back a few mm last night (my initial setup was to clamp the rail bang in the middle as a starting point)  and sat on it without padded shorts on. I found that there is a sweet spot where you definitely feel like you are in the saddle rather than on it and I went out today concentrating on trying to keep my sit bones in that spot. Big improvement, no major discomfort on a 35 mile ride. It was quite hilly so more time spent out of the saddle than usual but definitely more comfortable. I did decide though that I should try lowering the bars slightly by moving  some spacers from under the stem to above it as I felt too upright sitting in the sweet spot.

    Time for a bike fit I think…..

    Premier Icon stumpy01
    Full Member

    You haven’t mentioned tilt angle of the saddle as far as I can see.
    Have you played about with that at all? It can have a large effect on comfort, even with a small tweak.

    Premier Icon oceanskipper
    Full Member

    I have tried tilt angle adjustment and I did find that about 2-3 degrees nose up seemed to suit me as I always felt I was wanting to shuffle back with it level but I’m back to dead level atm again as a starting point on the Mirror. All the people I’ve asked though say level is what they recommend. My guess is if you don’t get any numbness with a bit of nose up then it’s OK…. Most top end saddles do seem to make a thing about less pressure at the front in their design and the Specialized Power, with its shorter nose, supports this so I’m inclined to leave any further tilt adjustment as a last option until I’ve done a good few rides with it level.

    I have, as I mentioned above, moved the headset spacers so the handlebars now sit about 3/4 of an inch lower. I haven’t ridden with this setup yet but will do so next week and see how it feels. One more thing is my wheels for off road use are tubeless and wider, so run at 29ish psi instead of 38. Obv that will make a difference too, which makes it even harder to compare saddles as 2/3 of my rides are on these wheels.

    Premier Icon v7fmp
    Free Member

    interesting stuff.

    I looked at the £250 saddle in a shop yesterday and thought ‘no way’, but then i am struggling with comfort on my daily commute… so maybe its worth a second look.

    I have ridden phenoms for years, but on mountain bikes, where i assume the more upright position and being in and out of the saddle lots hasn’t highlighted any discomfort, whereas on the road bike, it puts plenty of pressure on my gooch, which has led to various issues.

    i didnt realise there was a 30 day return on saddles, so might make an investment.

    Premier Icon p7eaven
    Free Member

    Maybe it’s just not sensible to do 30+ miles on a HT on tarmac and expect to be comfortable

    It could be some to do with your fore- aft balance on the bike? I really don’t like riding my mountain bike far on the road because it does put more pressure on my bumbones, and I really notice a difference riding my (road) touring bike because (my) weight is then more evenly distributed/unweighted between the hands and the seat and the feet.

    I seem to ‘perch’ more than sit hard on the road bike. Did 50 miles tarmac recently on the rigid MTB (with Phenom) and it though wasn’t painful per se I did feel stiff all over the next day and didn’t feel like cycling far. Sit-bone area felt it.

    By contrast I was off cycling for a good year or so – then recently (over-)did a 70 mile day on the touring bike (Brooks Team Pro Special saddle) but the final 2 miles had keep stopping/trying to walk!

    This was not because of any saddle-soreness, but because legs were cramping so much I couldn’t pedal any longer without getting the ‘lie on the floor screaming’ cramps. I suspect DOMS also at play. Hilarious, was off and pushing the last mile with gait (and occasional anguished wail) like Quasimodo. Yet in contrast to the hardtail, after a sleep I could sit on the touring bike again the next day and keep going.

    To describe the difference I feel on a road bike vs a hardtail (especially over distance) -it just feels as if I’m not ‘planted’ so hard on the seat when on the road bike.

    Unsurprising, as a road bike is designed to be comfortable over long distances.

    Premier Icon oceanskipper
    Full Member

    Maybe it is exactly what you say p7eaven, on a road bike shifting your grip on the drop bars will allow your sit bones some movement,  I guess.. Is your touring bike a drop handlebar bike? Mrs OS is going to “love” my newest excuse for getting a second bike 😂😂😂😂.

    No one has ever (until now that is) said to me that an upright MTB riding position is not as comfortable as a road bike on longer rides. I think I always assumed it was just about aerodynamics and watts which I’m not interested in….. I don’t fancy drop bars either if I can avoid it. I’m not a racer at all.

    Maybe I do need to try a road bike, might try and hire one….

    Premier Icon p7eaven
    Free Member

    . Is your touring bike a drop handlebar bike?

    I’ve tried it with a flat bar + bar-ends and some randonneur/drops. I rarely spent much time actually down in the drops so have lived with the flat bars which are preferable for light offroad paths and towing trailer. The bar end grip position sit almost like when on the brake-hoods yet slightly less stretched out than with drops.

    I just had a butchers at the two bikes side by side (never measured the old tourer geo) and rough eyeballing says a good 25mm lower stack and considerably more reach. Bottom bracket about 15mm lower also.

    I used online tool to compare a similar aged touring bike to mine against the Longitude (my MTB) to give a visual idea (although my roadctourer is a 22” you get the idea):

    Premier Icon oceanskipper
    Full Member

    That’s interesting, I’m slowly accepting the inevitable truth that I’m probably never going to be as comfortable as a roadie on this bike  even with a £300 saddle. I’m also thinking that a £100 saddle is going to be just as good as any….hmm food for thought. Shame as I love the look of the Mirror… Still, I’ve got a couple of weeks to make absolutely sure. I reckon I’m going to sand the back edge of the Brooks and stick with that… Maybe… 🤷‍♂️

Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)

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