Of all the complaints that cyclists have about cycling, butt pain/numbness has got to be the biggest. While it's become very common to see bike saddles with a cut-out section in the middle, that's more for relieving pressure specifically on the crotch area (you know what I'm talking about). California chiropractor and triathlete Vincent Marcel, however, has extended that cut-out to include almost the entire inside of the saddle. The result, his Infinity Seat, is said to be very easy on the bum indeed.
The problem with conventional saddles, according to Dr. Marcel, is that the rider's weight is concentrated on the "sit bones" and pubic bones of their pelvis. This places a lot of pressure on the tissue between those bones and the saddle, causing discomfort.
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Some people will tell you that the solution is to add more padding to the saddle, although others maintain that additional padding actually makes the problem worse, as the padding ends up squishing up between the sit bones and into the rider's nether regions.
The idea behind the Infinity Seat is that the sit bones and pubic bones are suspended in mid-air, with the fleshier sides of the buttocks absorbing the rider's weight over a wider area. In tests performed at the Cyclologic bicycle testing lab in Arizona, pressure mapping of the Infinity Seat as compared to some popular conventional saddles did apparently show a marked decrease in pressure points and friction temperature when using the Infinity.
As a side benefit of its design, the saddle is also light, weighing in at 205 grams (7.2 oz).
Plans call for a production version of the Infinity Seat to feature a nylon glass base and either a synthetic or genuine leather covering, along with carbon steel alloy (chromoly) rails. It should retail for US$195, although backers on Marcel's current Kickstarter campaign can get one for a pledge of $125 – when and if it's ready to go. Given that the funding goal has already been almost doubled, however, production does seem likely.
More information is available in the pitch video below ... and if you think that the Infinity Seat makes a bit of a visual statement, you should check out the Manta.