Bicycle and bike gear maker Specialized is bringing 3D printing to two wheels.
The company recently launched sales of its S-Works Power with Mirror saddle to the general public, made with multiple layers of 3D printed polymer rather than foam.
Developed with 3D printing company Carbon, the Power with Mirror can improve comfort by distributing "sit-bone pressure over a much larger area," Specialized said.
But not too large. The 3D saddle comes in widths that should fit each individual better, rather than a one-size-fits-all saddle.
That follows two basic truths that bicyclists — and I include myself in here — know: Finding the right saddle for your own seat is an art; and bigger isn't always better, because bigger saddles often just mean more places for saddle sores.
Specialized isn't the only company bringing new materials and technology to the cycling world.
Berd LLC's PolyLight spokes, made with ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene, boast they can reduce the weight of wheels by up to 200 grams, while also reducing road shock and improving overall comfort.
The St. Louis Park, Minn., company is one of 10 technology startups recently picked to share in $255,000 worth of Launch Minnesota Innovation Grants.
Are lightweight spokes and a 3D printed bike saddle expensive? Sure they are. But before you roll your eyes at bicyclists like me, exactly how much money did you spend on the golf course last year? And, yes, please include the cost of the golf balls you lost in a water hazard.