The Specialized Power Expert saddle provides reliable comfort and support even on all-day rides. Available in a range of widths to accommodate different sit bones, and with a cutout to relieve pressure, it's one you really can ride for hours without any issues.
- Pros: Comfortable even over longer distances, relatively light, stands up well to use, range of widths
- Cons: None
First of all, as I said in my review of this saddle's sibling, the Power Arc Expert: saddle comfort is a personal issue and what suits one person might not be ideal for another. Again, I can only comment on what it's like to ride this with male anatomy.
I tested the two very similar Body Geometry saddles at the same time. As I said in the Power Arc Expert review (apologies for some repetition – there's a lot of crossover here), the two saddles are subtly different and are intended for different styles of riding but also have a lot in common, so you might want to read both reviews before making a choice.
While the Power Arc Expert is intended for people who like to be able to move around in their seat while riding, this Power Expert saddle is for people who like to stay in one optimal position. At the risk of repeating myself, you might want to ask yourself how you ride, and whether being able to move back and forth in the saddle matters to you – do you like being able to shift back and forth to engage different muscles, for example, or to drop down onto aerobars?
The difference in shape that facilitates these different riding patterns is subtle, but definitely alters how the saddles feel. Having tried both, I can say that the two models work as advertised thanks to squarer, blunter edges and surfaces on this model and more rounded edges and surfaces on the Arc.
Short in the nose
Like the Power Arc, the Power Expert is shorter in the nose than a lot of other saddles, with an obvious cutout to reduce pressure, and it has the same moderate level of padding ("Level 2", says Specialized), and again, while it's possible to ride without cycling shorts, I wouldn't want to go too far without a chamois to soak up some of the pressure.
Both models are intended to provide long-distance comfort, and I took both out for rides of over 200km without feeling any discomfort. As with the Power Arc, I had no sign of pressure sores and no "gentleman's tingle" even after spending all day on the go. On really long rides, I became aware of slightly more pressure on the perineum when I spent long periods in more aggressive, dropped riding positions. But I suspect every saddle is going to experience this to some extent, and the short nose on this one seemed to make the issue far less pronounced than on typical saddles.
Perhaps this was more noticeable to me because I was testing both models at the same time, but when sitting down on the Power Expert there is a definite sense of falling naturally into the correct riding position. I never found myself shuffling around to find the right posture – the saddle guided me into it through its design. It's actually a really pleasing sensation, and suggests someone at Specialized really knows their business.
It was also nice to see just how well this saddle stood up to use. At the time of writing, I've put in many many hours on this saddle in all sorts of weather and it's still looking basically like new. It's great to see such durability.
Overall, I would absolutely choose this saddle for a bike on which I planned to put in some serious miles if I were looking to stay in one optimal riding position. It could be just the job if you've had a bike fit that recommends a particular position that's going to maximise your power output, for example.
It costs the same as the Power Arc, so the same applies here re value: £105 isn't pocket change, but it's less than a lot of other saddles out there of a similar style, such as the Selle San Marco Shortfit Racing, though that is lighter. Again, for me, the Specialized was more comfortable when I tried both back-to-back.
A comfortable saddle that helps you stay in your best riding position
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Specialized Power Expert Saddle
Size tested: 143mm
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Specialized says: "The Power Expert saddle features a stiff, carbon-reinforced shell with durable titanium rails to keep the weight down. Its Body Geometry design, meanwhile, caters to both men and women and helps to deliver superior performance in all seating positions - especially aggressive ones. Proven through blood flow testing and pressure mapping, and featuring our medium-grade Level Two PU padding, the extra wide and elongated Body Geometry channel and proper sit bone support provides all-day comfort."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Specialized lists these features:
Patented Body Geometry design is lab-tested for both men and women to assure blood flow to sensitive arteries.
Stiff, carbon-reinforced shell for longevity and all-day riding efficiency.
Lightweight and supportive PU padding for comfort and support on longer rides.
Lightweight, durable, and hollow titanium rails.
Tough, lightweight, and water-resistant cover.
Level 2 padding: Medium density foam for bike feel with additional cushioning.
SWAT™-compatible mounts moulded into the saddle base allow for sleek and integrated storage solutions.
Size 143mm / Weight 233g
Size 155mm / Weight 235g
Size 168mm / Weight 238g
I've put some serious distance onto this saddle, right through winter, and it still looks basically new. There are no hints of squeaks or creaks. It's an impressive bit of construction.
I've ridden this on both short and long journeys and it's always kept me comfortable and solidly in place.
The saddle is holding up really well even after a lot of riding.
It's not bad, but not the lightest either. But if you're looking to save grams at whatever cost, you're probably less interested in long-distance comfort anyway. Given that this trade-off between weight and comfort is almost inevitable, a few grams for more comfort is worthwhile, I'd say, unless you're doing out-and-out racing.
The saddle helps you slip easily into the right position every time and holds you there comfortably. Moving from sitting to standing and back again is also easy.
There are plenty of cheaper saddles out there, but then it's probably worth paying a little for comfort. And you can certainly pay a great deal more than this for a performance saddle.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The saddle is intended for comfortable all-day riding, and it works really well for this.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The reassuring feel of falling into the exact right position every time I sat down.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's what I'd expect for a well-built performance saddle.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The saddle is well-built and delivers all-day comfort. It's very easy to recommend if the shape suits your style of riding.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Synapse My best bike is: Whyte Wessex One
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking, audax and long-distance riding
A research psychologist by day, Ian spends quite a lot of time on bikes, particularly commuting between Bristol and Bath or doing audax rides. For years he was an ultradistance runner, but this came to an end when he realised getting back onto a bicycle offered the chance to race over much more preposterous distances. In recent years he has ridden in the Transcontinental Race, the TransWales and the North Cape 4000. He has even finished first in some of these.