Heated saddle puts cyclists in the hot seat
If you're a winter cyclist, then you'll know how off-putting it can be to press your butt down onto an ice-cold saddle. Slovenian inventor Drago Beravs is out to remedy that situation, with his heated Sweet Saddle.
Plans actually call for the device to be offered in three versions: one that blows warm air onto the rider's derrière, one that provides a cooling effect by blowing non-heated ambient-temperature air, and one that can be switched between heating and cooling modes.
All three models will incorporate a fan that pushes air up trough an array of gaps in the polycarbonate saddle – the prototype in the photos looks like carbon fiber, but that's just a faux finish. The heated versions will also utilize a heating element.
Power is provided by a hard-wired 12-volt/9,800-mAh lithium-ion battery pack, which is carried in a separate Velcro-strap-mounted nylon frame bag. One charge of that battery should be good for a claimed 24 hours of run time in cooling mode, or two hours when blowing heated air. Buyers can choose between a rectangular bag that also accommodates an iPhone in a waterproof transparent compartment on top, or a triangular bag that attaches at the point where the frame's top tube and seat tube meet.
The saddle does not mount on a standard seatpost, so what is basically a "headless" seatpost is included, along with a saddle-rail mount that is fastened to its top. Weight figures sit at a claimed 600 grams (21 oz) for a saddle that includes a heating element, with the seatpost and mount tipping the scales at a combined 410 g (14.5 oz).
Should you be interested, the Sweet Saddle is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. Assuming it reaches production, a pledge of US$140 will get you a cooling-only saddle, $160 will get you a heating-only model, and $170 is required for a saddle that does both.