Specialized Power Arc Pro saddle review

For riders intrigued by Power saddle, but who prefer rounded cross-section

Saddles
Specialized Power Arc Pro Saddle

Designed to provide comfort for both men and women, the Power Arc comes in three spec levels, two widths, and several colors.

What is it

Building on Specialized‘s popular Power saddle line, the Power Arc Pro shape differs from the original with a rounded, more peaked cross-section. Still present are the large cutout and short overall length.

Pros
  • Great option for riders who didn’t get along with original Power saddle
  • Offered in 143mm and 155mm widths, and black and red colors
  • Compatible with SWAT storage
Cons
  • No one saddle is perfect for everyone
  • Shorter length limits positions for those who like to move around
Mtbr’s Take

A while back I reviewed Specialized’s original Power Pro saddle and liked it quite a bit. But eventually it came off my bike because the flat overall shape, and its sharply defined edges, began to rub me the wrong way. Enter the Power Arc Pro. It addressed what became an issue for me by rounding the overall shape of the original. Still present are the large central cutout and its short overall length. But its new domed shape allows my thighs to glide over it without any chafing.

Specialized Power Arc Pro Saddle

Specialized’s Power Arc builds on the popular Power saddle, adding a rounded cross-section to suit more riders.

The Power Arc is offered in several versions. The S-Works Power Arc has carbon fiber rails and will set you back a whopping $300. The Pro version, reviewed here, has hollow titanium rails, a carbon fiber shell, and Specialized’s Level 2 medium density foam padding for $200. I rode the narrower 143mm width, but a 155mm option is also available. Black saddles never go out of fashion, but if you like to buck tradition, Specialized gives you the option of a red Power Arc as well.

If you’re looking to save a few bucks (who isn’t?) the Power Arc Expert is $130, offered in the same two widths, three colors, and with a plastic shell in lieu of the carbon. It retains the titanium rails and Level 2 padding.

Specialized Power Arc Pro Saddle

The large cutout, short overall length, and wide rear section are carried over from the original Power saddle. Note the rounded arc of the rear section.

All three models feature a shell with a pair of threaded inserts at the rear of the saddle. These are mounts for SWAT storage options that include Specialized Road and Mountain Bandits. They bolt on and carry an inner tube, tire lever, CO2 cartridge, and inflator.

Like on the original Power saddle, the Power Arc is designed to be ridden slightly nose down. I used the saddle on a gravel bike as well as my mountain bike. I found that I rode it a bit more leveled out. This kept me from sliding off the front but didn’t produce any uncomfortable pressure on the nose.

Specialized Power Arc Pro Saddle

SWAT storage mounts can be found on the underside of the carbon fiber shell.

The cover of the black Power Arc Pro has perforations at the rear and a satin finish that keeps you from sliding around without being stuck in place. As with the original Power saddle, I really appreciate the large cutout. For most of my cycling career, I never rode a cutout saddle, but once I made the switch it’s hard to go back.

I’m happy to see Specialized build out the Power line of saddles. The new rounded profile of the Arc is a very welcome addition for this rider. While no single saddle will work for every cyclist, the Power Arc shows how small changes can have a big impact on saddle comfort.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5 Flamin' Chili Peppers
Price: $200
More Info: www.specialized.com


About the author: Nick Legan

Nick Legan is happiest with some grease under his nails and a long dirt climb ahead. As a former WorldTour team mechanic, Legan plied his trade at all the Grand Tours, Spring Classics, World Championships and even the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In recent years, gravel and ultra-distance racing has a firm grip on Legan’s attention, but his love of mountain biking and long road rides hasn’t diminished. Originally a Hoosier, Legan settled in Boulder, Colorado, 14 years ago after finishing his time at Indiana University studying French and journalism. He served as the technical editor at VeloNews for two years and now contributes to Adventure Cyclist, Mtbr and RoadBikeReview. To follow along on Legan’s cycling adventures, find him on Instagram at @nlegan and be sure to check out his new book Gravel Cycling: The Complete Guide to Gravel Racing and Adventure Bikepacking.


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  • Randy Witte says:

    Nick, Randy from the ‘ville here. Thanks for the review. Been thinking of having Tim get one of these for me. I too ALMOST liked the original Power, but after 25 or so miles the edges dug into me. The new shape may be just the ticket.

  • meh says:

    seems pretty close to the phenom right? in between the power and phenom, or something

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