This saddle with backrest promises to improve pedalling efficiency
SaddleSpur is shaking up the market with its groundbreaking saddle-back design that could mark a turning point in the industry, as the brand claims it improves comfort and pedalling efficiency. The saddle weighs 310 grams, is 130mm wide, is on sale now for around €143 and will start shipping at the end of the month.
Saddle revolution plants first seed: SaddleSpur promises to improve cycling performance
Manufacturers have subjected bikes to a great deal of evolution over the last few years. The changes have settled in over time and it is easy to find noticeable differences between a current model and one from a few seasons ago. However, some parts resisted this revolutionary wave and retained their original design and functionality.
Saddles belong to this group of pieces that have been able to remain -almost- unchanged at the same time as many of their neighbours have been subject to debate and renewal. Despite living within the wheel of incessant novelties, the saddle had remained, in essence, without undergoing major changes.
SaddleSpur comes to market ready to lay the foundation stone for what they intend to be the next big evolution: the saddle with a backrest. While other manufacturers have explored this idea in the past, this is the first time the design has been presented as a performance enhancement.
The British brand claims that its invention can spearhead a change that will bring greater comfort and increased pedalling efficiency, which will also increase performance.
The saddle has a simple design at the base. The rider sits on a polyurethane cushioned piece that meets many of the usual standards: flat profile, short nose, pressure reducing channel and 7x7 aluminium rails. In addition, SaddleSpur is only available in 130mm width, 236mm length and is unisex, so both men and women share the same model.
The saddle weighs 310 grams on the scales. The figure is still far from the lightest weights on the market, although the British refuse to compete in this area, preferring to put the inherent improvements they believe this system represents ahead of the competition.
The interest of the design revolves around the 15 centimetre backrest that supports the pelvis. The brand claims that it achieves a high level of comfort and that, in addition, this additional support point gives the rider more power in each pedal stroke because it helps him to use his body more efficiently.
The British firm proudly shows the results of research carried out by Anglia Ruskin University - specifically, the Cambridge Centre for Sport & Exercise Sciences - which supports part of the brand's thesis. The study analysed the performance of 16 people in a time trial, which they completed first with a conventional saddle and repeated with SaddleSpur.
The results showed that riders had indeed ridden faster with the SaddleSpur. However, the researchers concluded that they did not have enough evidence to attribute the 14-second gain to the saddle, nor could they rule out that it was due to other factors.
Even so, they stressed that it "could have enormous potential for the cycling community through reduced riding discomfort and potentially improved efficiency when climbing steep slopes".
Thus, the debate on whether SaddleSpur is really an improvement is still open. More tests will be needed before a reliable conclusion can be drawn, which will be key to determining the success of this invention.
The brand, which expects to deliver the first saddles at the end of this month, could break through if its arguments convince users and manufacturers. However, it is still too early to tell.