The Rival is Specialized’s do-it-all MTB saddle, loaded with all its Body Geometry medical science.
It’s a lot more rounded and smooth profiled than the BG2, which meant every rider who tried it felt perfectly at home. Also, while our ‘143’ (the width in mm) sample was a little beamy for some, a narrower 130mm version is also available. The slotted ‘tuned flex’ shell and central channel have also been proven to maintain personal blood flow, even on marathon length rides. The slightly drooped nose and upswept tail provide good positional stability on climbs, rathen sliding off the back, and both ends are rounded enough not to snag shorts when moving about in the saddle. The padding is also extended out over the rear of the shell for welcome protection when you’re hanging off the back on steep descents. Kevlar scuff panels keep the back end protected as well, and the embossed synthetic upholstery is impressively durable. There’s good fore and aft movement along the hollow cromo rails, although weight is higher than racers might expect from a £50 saddle.