What is SaddleSpur?
7 years ago, John Downing, the founder of SaddleSpur and a life long cyclist was inspired to redesign a bike seat that was not only more comfortable than the generic bike seat but actually improved the overall efficiency and potential performance of cycling, both professionally and for recreational cyclists.
Because John is an avid cyclist, he understood the bio-mechanics and science of cycling, therefore was able to pinpoint the exact problem areas that needed to be addressed and improved.
All power-generating engines require a stable base for achieving optimal performance and output. For instance, all car engines are securely fastened to the frame, and aircraft engines are securely fastened within the nacelles on the wings. For cycling, this is known as the “coccyx connection” and the same applies for optimizing the performance in the art of cycling.
Cycling involves five touchpoints: your two hands, your two feet and your bottom. The hands and feet are fixed to the handlebar and pedals; however your bottom does not have any sort of support and comfort; it isn’t fixed to the saddle in any way that provides stability to the cyclists’ body mass. And the bottom / pelvic cradle is where the vast majority of a cyclists’ power is generated and as a lot of energy is already being used up just trying to provide stability, This lack of support reduces the cyclists’ overall performance. To have the lower spine, coccyx, securely fixed provides a stable base for the body, creating a more comfortable, balanced and potentially performance enhancing cycling experience.
This unique and patented design of SaddleSpur has the potential of revolutionised cycling by helping to anchor the rider, giving them a surface to push against enabling more power to transfer to the pedals.
The Creation Process
John came to Round Peg with an initial prototype design that needed further development. With our proven track record of successfully assisting clients in similar situations, we found ourselves to be compatible partners.
The creative process was very iterative, starting with sketches then basic 3D models, CADCAM renders and finally 3D prints. During this development phase several approaches were identified and investigated, including structural foam moulding, GRP fabrication, injection moulding, DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) and carbon fibre fabrication. Each had their own characteristics and benefits, but in the end, the high-end appeal of carbon fibre made it the obvious choice.
The saddle component was designed for using carbon fibre which was hand laid into the moulds. The rails have also been re-designed using carbon fibre. This keeps the saddle very lightweight, at a target weight of approximately 260 grams; using the strength and durability to optimum effect. Next year we will replace the carbon fibre with bio-fibre, retaining the strength and durability features in a more eco-sustainable way. The prototypes also included a gel padding which covers the length of the Spur, thus providing more support, comfort and protection for the coccyx.
The prototypes have undergone a serious testing regime – by a wide variety of cyclists ranging from Sunday morning club cyclists, semi-professional triathletes, and lots of pleasure-seeking cyclists. Their reactions have been very positive, ranging from “Wow, those hills certainly seem easier to climb”; “I am going further and faster without expending more energy”, and “it seems more relaxing than using my old saddle”
John says of Round Peg “I have found Round Peg to be a very good partner to work with during these years – a good solid engineering firm, enthusiastic, agile, pragmatic, responsive with an extensive network of engineering capacity, knowledge and experience, and the right partner for making a dream design into a commercial reality.”
And SaddleSpur has now progressed to the marketing and manufacturing and production stage of its’ commercial activities – and is looking for subscribers for its’ initial promotion on Kickstarter – see:
Another success story for Round Peg!