A carefully thought out saddle which might well be the answer for women who like to move around on the bike between efforts, and find cut-outs cause them problems. Personally, I loved the shape, but not the Mimic tech - and would favour the same perch with a traditional pressure relief channel
Great shape for changing efforts
Plenty of width options
Mimic tech won't suit all
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The 'beyond gender' message that Specialized delivered when it discontinued its women's bike models has seen a continuation, of sorts, into the saddle collection.
The brand has chosen to put an end to production of some of its popular women's saddle shapes, replacing them with the men's - now unisex - versions. There is however a subtle difference - the new models with a female focus come with 'Mimic' tech.
Mimic is short for ‘Biomimicry’, and represents a design ethos centred around twinning with ‘biological entities’ - in this case, female soft tissue. The Mimic was first introduced to the Women's Power saddle, and received mixed reviews.
The new Romin Evo Mimic women's saddle is available in three widths - 143, 155 and 168mm. I tested the widest option, and the 'Pro' carbon rail creation comes in at £158.
Like the now discontinued Oura it replaces, the Romin Evo is a long nosed saddle, designed for riders who like to move around between efforts, balancing on the nose when pushing the pedals hard and shifting back a bit for more relaxed moments. It's a perch we see regularly on bikes belonging to riders on the brand's UCI pro sponsored teams.
The two saddles are alike in many ways. One of the notable differences is that the Oura featured a greater curve, with a downward swoop towards the tip of the saddle. Having used the Oura for over a year, I was quite a fan of the overall package - but this slight downward tilt was always its greatest flaw for me, and I frequently struggled to get the set up just right.
The Romin Evo is flatter - and personally I found that to be a huge advantage.
The rear of the saddle is wide, again receiving a big thumbs up; with sit bones measuring in at 169mm it's not always easy to find a high end perch that's truly suited.
However, the biggest deciding factor in any saddle for me is the cut out - and Specialized has removed this, replacing it with Mimic. This method has been well received among women who find they "fall into" a cut out, and I'll cheer for the technology alongside them because discomfort as a result of this (colloquial term: #flapmash (opens in new tab)) can become pretty serious, with some riders resorting to labiaplasty surgery.
This has never been a problem for me. Instead, my nemesis is a saddle with a firm centre. The Mimic tech does offer a great deal of relief - the centre is recessed and padded, so I wasn't in pain and I wouldn't have any qualms over using it again for shorter rides, but I did experience more pressure than I would when riding with empty air in the centre of the saddle.
The perfect saddle for you really is dependant on your downstairs floorplan. Whilst I love the shape of the Romin Evo, Mimic tech - despite being revolutionary for many female riders - is not for me.
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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.
Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor.
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.
Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.
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