The major touchpoints in cycling are, of course, your hands, feet, and butt. If you experience discomfort with any of these three areas, your performance on a ride will definitely be impacted.
In the long run, if you experience discomfort while riding, it can lead to pain in your knees, back, or neck. But let’s start with the one touchpoint many cyclists complain about, your butt.
3D Innovation in Bicycling Saddles
Bicycle saddles are meant to place you in the best position to reach the handlebars and to pedal so you have good hip rotation and flex in your knees. Comfort, well, that’s a secondary thought.
According to an article over at road.cc about a new company called Posedia, though, which uses 3D printing to make custom-built bicycle saddles, cyclists can now have the comfort and performance they so desire.
The “Smiling Butt Kit” is No Laughing Matter
If you decide to take the plunge and try out Posedia’s 3D bike saddle, then head over to its Smil(E)shop and input your details. You’ll be asked the following:
- Type of bike you ride
- Annual Mileage
- Ride length in hours
- Riding style (pictures from which to choose)
- Color of Saddle
Once you have filled in that information, you upload it into the company’s web configurator, then the second part begins. Posedia supplies a link to its…wait for it…their “Smiling Butt Kit.”
This kit measures the width of a rider’s sit bones by including a foam pad on which you sit to take an imprint. But this isn’t a joke, details are all important. You have to take a well-lighted photo. If it isn’t legible, Posedia may ask you to go back through the imprint process again.
Once complete, Posedia collects all this data uploaded by you and adds 10 other parameters to the web configurator. From there, the company’s algorithm produces a 3D model of the saddle.
Materials and Weight of Posedia’s 3D Bike Saddle
Some cyclists may be turned off by the fact that Posedia’s 3D saddle uses no traditional materials. Usually, saddles are made of leather, faux leather, or plastic, such as the saddles made by Brooks, Fizik, and others.
None of those materials are present in a Posedia saddle. Its saddles are assembled from all manmade materials.
The company starts its process with a patent-pending lattice constructed from thermoplastic polyurethane. These materials allow Posedia to dial in stiffness and sit zones to conform to a cyclist’s exact needs.
Weight, Dimensions, and Price of Posedia’s 3D Bike Saddle
The materials Posedia uses to assemble its 3D bike saddles are premium. As a result, the company can produce a super light saddle that weighs between 170 and 210 grams.
Other details about the saddle, which Posedia calls the “Joyseat,” are the rails and shell of the saddle that are made from carbon fiber.
Once complete, the saddle will be 262 mm long and between 136mm to 162mm wide. But these measurements can be modified, once again, to adapt to the individual who has ordered the saddle.
And what can you expect to pay for such a unique item? 390 pounds, 438 euros, or 483 dollars, so not a cheap investment by any means.
Cycling can be, without a doubt, an expensive sport in which to partake. Costs for gear in addition to what you initially invest in a bike can substantially dent one’s wallet.
That said, maybe your assured comfort, safety, and enjoyment of the sport we all love are all worth it to have that prolonged enjoyment and performance increase over time. But spring will be here in another month, give or take, so if you plan to order, Posedia states it takes 8 weeks from the initial purchase to receive the saddle.