It was back in 2013 that California chiropractor and triathlete Vincent Marcel took to Kickstarter, to finance production of his bizarre-looking but supposedly very comfortable Infinity Seat bicycle saddle. Well, it's become a commercially-available product since then, and guess what? It works!
The Infinity Seat has actually been available for some time now, although the E2 model was just released this year. Designed in response to user requests, it's 1.25 inches (32 mm) shorter than the standard version. Among other things, this allows road racers to more easily drop down onto the top tube when going downhill, maximizing their aerodynamics.
In general, though, the idea behind the Infinity Seat is that the rider's 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. This is claimed to greatly reduce butt pain, along with genital numbness. In fact, in tests performed 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.
Because there's not much to it, the seat is also quite light. The E2 tips the scales at 245 grams, and features a flexible polymer body, steel alloy rails, and neoprene closed-cell padding that's hand-wrapped in Italian leather.
Given that the roads are still covered with snow and ice where I live, I tested the E2 by putting it on my road bike, then riding on a set of rollers. Perhaps more so than with other saddles, it's very important that you get the angle, seatpost height and other factors just right. To that end, "Dr. Vince" actually offers to guide buyers through the setup process via a Skype chat. Given that most customers probably won't bother with that, though, I decided that I should also just follow the provided instructions.
Upon first trying it out, I noticed that one really sits in the Infinity Seat, not on it. And it doesn't feel like you're sitting in nothing – your butt is still pressing down on an immovable object, so you are aware of the edges of the saddle. After several rides, though, I have to say that the thing really is comfortable. Because it isn't easy to stand up while doing so, roller-riding does tend to lead to a lot of rear-end and "down there" discomfort, but that wasn't a problem with the E2.
One thing that should be noted, however, is that the Infinity Seat isn't ideal for mountain bikers. Because it's a bit wider than a regular saddle, along with the fact that it sort of kicks up at the rear, all-terrain riders would likely have some difficulty sliding off the back to transfer their weight rearward on steep descents.
And yeah, it does look kinda weird. Depending on the buyer, that could either be a selling point or a detractor.
The Infinity Seat E2 is available via the company website (linked below), and is priced at US$297. Buyers can also go for the more general-use $297 E1X, or the fancier $397 E3.
Product page: Infinity Seat
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