A saddle suited to riders who want to slide forwards during hard efforts and still find comfort when backing off. The cut out proved comfortable and width options were welcome - though the curvaceous profile won't be for everyone.
Room to move around
Good sized cut out
Plenty of width options
Downward slope won't suit all
The Specialized Oura is a saddle that's favoured by riders who like to have space to move around on the bike. If you find yourself perching on the end during flat-out efforts then rolling backwards when relaxing - and want a perch to suit both needs - it's a good call.
The goal is to offer optimal power transfer sought by racers - allowing them to smash out the watts both on the flat and on an incline.
Ease and comfort of movement is made possible by the use of a narrow nose, ticker gel inserts at the rear, and curved profile - with upward contours at the rear, a slight dip in the centre before a light wave and downward swoop at the nose.
At the centre, Specialized has provided a Body Geometry cut-out that's ergonomically designed to relive pressure. Being a slightly hypermobile time triallist turned road racer, I tend to rotate forwards, and if the cut-out isn't right I'll know all about it - but I've had no issues having used this perch for over a year's worth of training and competition. Saddle compatibility is quite personal - but if it's helpful, I've also got on well with ISM split nose designs, the Sella Italia SLR Flow and Pro Stealth.
At the back, lightweight padding sits in a butterfly shape. There's three width choices - 143mm, 155mm and 168mm. I opted for the latter following a very informative bike fit with former British Cycling physio, Phil Burt (philburtinnovation.co.uk).
Since I typically rotate forwards, I had never taken saddle width very seriously. However, the Specialized measurement tool showed my sit bones at 169mm wide.
A pressure map of my former choice (152mm Pro Stealth, left), vs a 168mm Oura (right) showed that on a wider saddle my pelvis stayed straighter, reducing the tilt which has sent me to my friendly Osteopath on many occasions and evening up my knee angle from 38/44º to a healthier 34/38º.
So far, so good. Unfortunately - whilst I've used the Oura for over a year, and it's clearly up there on my list, it's not been perfect in every way (I'm still searching for that saddle soulmate). The Oura's sloping nose tends to push me further down the saddle than I'd like, which means at times I've set it up in a position that looks almost like a slight upward tilt. I'd love to see a version of this saddle with a flatter profile, though perhaps that might skew its attributes elsewhere.
Aside from shape and comfort - at the expert level, costing £100, you're getting a stiff carbon-reinforced shell, with hollow titanium rails.
The cover is a tough and water resistant Micromatrix fabric. I'm not ashamed to say I've crashed whilst riding this saddle three times (twice not my fault at all, once completely my fault) - and it's still in great condition aside from a very small tear at the rear.
My 168mm model tipped the scales at 277g - the narrower 143mm has a claimed weight of 236g and the 155mm of 265g. This isn't particularly lightweight - a Selle Italia SLR Lady Flow Saddle comes 185g for £117.99 and the Pro Stealth with alloy rails weighs in at 210g for £129.99. However, in my opinion comfort and efficient power transfer are worth much more to a rider than saving a few grams - so if this shape works for you, then it's worth investing!
Cycling Weekly's Tech Editor Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining the two with a career in cycling journalism.
When not typing or testing, Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Favourite bikes include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6.
BikeExchange interested in Tom Dumoulin for 2023 'if he wants to carry on with GC ambitions'
Dumoulin will be free at the end of 2022, when his contract with Jumbo-Visma runs out
By Ryan Dabbs •
Joss Lowden is finally about to turn full-time pro aged 34, but for women cyclists it's rarely that simple
A move to Andorra is on the cards, as well as some family planning before Paris 2024
By Jonny Long •
Watch Danny MacAskill's gravity-defying skills in new video with an important message
The pro trials cyclist completed a challenge that had never been done before, ahead of Cop26
By Ryan Dabbs •