Is a $325 Bike Saddle Really Worth the Money?

The Specialized Power Pro with Mirror Saddle claims to be the future of seats. We wanted to find out for sure.

specialized bike with power pro mirror saddle
Specialized

Growing up, my parents rarely splurged on fancy things. Even today, despite being comfortably retired, their living room is filled with chairs and tables found discarded in ditches and dumps, which they repaired and have used for decades. Frugality isn’t just an idea to them, it was an ethos. My mom’s favorite adage, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without,” was burned into my frontal cortex from a young age.

So, naturally, I was skeptical of the new Power Pro with Mirror Saddle before I even sat on it.

With a price tag on par with some entry-level bikes, there are many things I’d rather spend that money on. Sure, it sounded very cool — a 3D-printed soft mesh that was durable enough for a variety of riding. Replacing foam with a liquid polymer in a complex honeycomb matrix of 14,000 struts? The nerd in me was curious.

As luck would have it, Specialized sent me a prototype of the new version in late February to test and review. Opening the box, I remember thinking, “This had better be game changing, or I’m going to write one hell of an article.” Since then, I’ve put about 1,000 miles on it, between my indoor trainer, trusty gravel steed, and full suspension whip. The saddle is wildly comfortable... but is it worth $325? Let’s discuss.

s works power with mirror saddle
Specialized

First impressions of the S-Works Power Pro with Mirror Saddle:

The Mirror saddle is soft to the touch, with just a finger of pressure. This has the potential to be good or bad — soft spots in the wrong areas can cause chaffing, quickly. Still winter in Wyoming, my first ride was on an indoor trainer, doing an hour-long Zwift workout. After a quick install, I hopped on the bike and couldn’t help but smile. Sure enough, the Mirror felt different than any other saddle I’ve tested.

The first, elementary test for any new saddle is to see if you notice it after an hour of hard riding. A good saddle should just fade into the background, not distracting you from the ride. If that sounds subjective, it’s because it is. Saddles are inherently subjective — there's no way to quantify comfort for everyone.

After my first session, the result was clear. The Mirror moved with me, making the entire ride more comfortable, one pedal stroke after another. Within a minute or two, I found it natural to move around on the saddle, stand up, and return to a comfortable position, easily. After a week of riding I had no hot spots, no wear and tear issues, no awkward break-in period. The Mirror is ready to go out of the box.

man carrying specialized bike with power pro mirror saddle
Specialized

The pros and cons of a $325 bike saddle:

Let me address the elephant in the room: cost. Cycling isn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination, and components like the Mirror take it to another level. While some high-end bikes retail north of five figures, most cyclists operate at an entry-to-intermediate budget. For these people, this price tag is a non-starter. A $35 expense is double or almost triple the price of some other key options.

However, premium components occasionally do make a big difference in the riding experience. For instance, I remember the first time I tried electronic shifting and promised myself I would never go back. The Mirror is marketed as the future of comfort... and as much as I wanted to prove this wrong, I just couldn’t. The Mirror is like sitting on your favorite, broken-in couch while you workout.

There is a minor weight penalty to pay. The Mirror is 33 grams heavier than the S-Works Power saddle, but still lighter than most. The larger downside of the open-style design is a more involved process to clean. Rain, dirt and grime bury themselves and require a strong hose to fully wash out. Overall, however, these are minor issues compared to the value the saddle offers.

man riding specialized bike with power pro mirror saddle
Specialized

Specialized Power Pro with Mirror Saddle: The Verdict

After two-plus months of riding the Mirror, my answer to the question of “Is it really worth it?” is still up in the air. If you already have a bike seat you like a lot, I'd say you should save your money. Sure, the Mirror is probably better, but only marginally. I would suggest spending the money on other upgrades that might improve your ride more.

However, if you’re struggling to find a comfortable seat or are already in need of a replacement — and if you're not immediately put off by the price — the 3D-printed Mirror is definitely worth consideration.

Specialized Power Pro with Mirror
specialized.com
$325.00

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