Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Specialized Henge saddle review

Posted by Matt | April 28, 2010 | 11 comments so far

Specialized Henge 2010 saddle
Specialized have earned themselves quite a reputation over the years for their Body Geometry philosophy to bikes and components. This is expressed most clearly in their wide range of mountain and road saddles which come in lots of different sizes and price points.

The Specialized Henge is no exception. For a long time I’ve been using the Max Flite Gel Flow saddle from Selle Italia on my Inbred hardtail which was passed on to me by a disappointed Tony who just couldn’t get on with it. Personally, it was OK for me and I quite liked the pressure relieving cut-out in the middle.

What I didn’t like was the ‘floating’ back end of the saddle. Normally, everything was fine and it often felt like you were being nicely cushioned but occassionally it would be coming up as I was moving down and that was uncomfortable! When Dave turned up with the base model Specialized Henge test saddle from Cycleworks I was quite happy to give it a go.

This particular one was the 143mm wide version. For those who don’t know, the idea of any saddle is to support the bones you sit on rather than your backside as a whole. Get this right and you’ll find most saddles will suit you quite well. Unfortunately you can’t tell how far these sit bones are apart just by looking so things can be a bit hit and miss.

As a Body Geometry centre, Cycleworks have a nifty little slab that you sit on to determine which width best suits you. I’ve always found 143mm to be ideal but Dave seems to need a wider saddle and didn’t find the Henge to his liking. Hence it was passed to me for a trial.

So what can I say about it? First off, it’s available in black only in the UK which was a disappointment to me as the idea of a white version for my Inbred would have resulted in an instant sale. Instead, the black is rather drab looking if you ask me.

The test saddle itself was a two tone red and white effort which clashed horribly with the pink detailing on the bike and the red started to rub off over time, leaving dye on my backside and across the white parts of the saddle too. Again, pink and white would have sealed the deal…

That’s not so say Specialized haven’t put any effort into the styling though. The underside features neat little allen key styled rivets and a polycarbonate shell printed with the contour lines presumably of the upper surface of the saddle. There’s also a neat, tiny Specialized logo near the nose.

On the top, the nose itself is slightly broader than the norm but retains a smooth bulbous drop. There’s a – pretty much de-rigeur – pressure relieving groove along the middle and some faux kevlar scuff guards on the rear edge. Overall the shape looks just right for getting on and off the back of the saddle without snagging your baggies (shorts or otherwise) as there’s no pronounced V-shape which has often been seen on Specialized saddles in the past.

As for riding, well putting it on my hardtail immediately showed just how uncomfortable that Selle Royal saddle had been! In fact I was amazed at how nice it felt as this is the first time I’ve tried a Body Geometry saddle, despite a good few other riders swearing by them. Well, now I’m an evangelist too as this was truly comfortable.

Specialized Henge saddle from behind

I’ve been very reluctant to return the saddle if truth be told and have managed to put at least a couple of hundred miles on it while I’ve had it. It’s not caused me any problems at all on long XC rides and technical terrain alike, so with the caveat that different people suit different saddles I’d say this is well worth trying out, especially if your local bike shop makes test saddles available.

There’s also a Ti-railed Henge SL version available which drops weight over the standard Henge that I tried – 228g versus 281g for the 143mm width. This promises an even smoother ride with those Ti rails (the standard is chromoly). Prices work out at £55 RRP for the standard Henge and £85 for the SL version.

Would I buy one? Yes I think I would. Although the saddle is a bit synthetic looking and rather boring in black it does offer a lot of comfort – comfort I hadn’t realised I was missing until trying this. Unfortunately the white seems to be as rare as hen’s teeth which is quite a disappointment.

My advice is try before you buy but if you’re like me you’ll be very happy. As I said, saddles can be very subjective but this one seems a winner.

Filed under Components, Reviews in April 2010


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 11 comments on ‘Specialized Henge saddle review’

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  1. JamesH says:

    How does it compare to the on one inbred saddle?

  2. Dave says:

    I’m not sure Matt has ever ridden the Inbred saddle James so that might be a difficult comparison until Specialized get their 155 size in. Apparently they forgot to tick the order box for that size on the initial run!!

    For me, while I found the Inbred saddle initially comfortable, the BG range seem to work better for me. The BG saddles seem to support the pelvis at the two main contact points but the Inbred almost seems to cause the pelvis to spread, so my legs feel like they are bing pushed apart. Very subtle though but on a longer ride quite noticable.

  3. Matt says:

    As Dave says James, I don’t think I’ve ever tried the Inbred saddle so can’t make a direct comparison.

    As for wider styles, Specialized seem to list on the 130 and 143 sizes on their website, but maybe they’re working on it!

    If they sort out white availability I’m a shoe-in.

  4. D'AndyC says:

    And you call me Dandy! You’re a bigger tart than I am, Matt.

  5. Dave says:

    Alas I got the bad news that there will be no Henge 155 in the UK. I was then offered the Romin, aimed at roadies really, ironically for Matt in WHITE!


  6. Matt says:

    Did someone say white? Oooh!

    Looking at the Romin it looks as though it could be a contender – I like the cut out and it’s 50g lighter as a result.

    So I might speak to Cycleworks about that. My only worry would be is it less hard-wearing being a road oriented saddle? But then those roadies put a lot of miles on their kit.

  7. Dave says:

    They have a demo saddle in 143 as well Matt!

  8. There will be a Henge 155 very soon, and a white version as well.

    Glad you guys like this saddle.

    Piet van der Velde

    Specialized Product manager

    Saddles, Components, Grips & Tapes

  9. Jamie reed says:

    I had the stock wolfrace rocket v saddle on my giant trance which was never overly comfortable but ok on shorter rides. An 85 mile epic later tho and I was in serious pain, for several days! I test rode a Henge on a 45 miler and despite it’s razorblade look it was unreal. Total comfort and support. I’m now a convert. Surprisingly I was fitted with a large143mm seat too and I’m only a 5′ 7″ 11 stone guy. Its all about the sit bones!

  10. stephen says:

    I bought one of these for my marin rocky springs went out up pitch hill and forgot i had a new saddle on ,its” the dogs whats it “best thing since what ever just buy it!!!!!!

  11. Related: Ride report: Sunday 17 April - Santa Cruz-ing - Rides - Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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