A Thing or Two from Interbike 2016

Bike/Saddle fit

  1. Everyone has a natural bias, i.e. we tend to lean a little to one side when sitting, even when our body is symmetrical. This has been the case for every imprint we’ve seen. Utilizing the asymmetry captured in the foam will aggravate/create issues when there isn’t one.
  2. Asymmetry, if present, is significantly more likely to be leg-length. Based on anecdotal evidence, 20 years’ worth of client analysis resulted in just 6 cyclists being observed to have pelvic abnormalities. Resolving leg-length differences included (a) adding a shim to the bottom of the relevant foot and (b) physical therapy before getting onto the bike.
  3. The pelvis needs to be as stable and horizontal as possible while cycling since any movement of the pelvis impacts the kinetic chain (knees, ankles, feet). A flatter saddle (side-to-side) will help keep the pelvis in a horizontal position when we aren’t sitting perfectly along its axis lengthwise. On the other hand, a saddle that’s more curved (side-to-side) can cause the pelvis to tilt to one side when we aren’t perfectly aligned.

Capturing sitting posture on foam

  1. Sitting on the foam captures a single, static position. When cycling, our legs move, and many of us also move forward and backwards on the saddle. The foam imprint doesn’t capture the continuous range of positions we may be in at various times of a ride, nor does it capture necessary changes to the saddle shape to better support the body while pedaling. We need to extrapolate, with additional inputs from the cyclist (e.g. via the movement fore/aft parameter), from that single static sitting position to accommodate various postures and positions. This is achieved via software.
  2. It is difficult to get people to simply sit upright on the foam. Initially the single page instruction sheet simply said, ‘Sit upright on the foam’. We now have instructions filling the entire page and it includes pictures. In order for the process to be sufficiently user-friendly, we (humans) need to do the minimum possible, and let everything else be handled by software.
  3. Anything that’s manually shaped by us, especially when we are untrained, will not look as good as that shaped by machines. If we use the foam imprint as is, we’ll end up with a saddle that looks ugly. And absolutely no one will put an ugly saddle on their bike.

Time needed to get a saddle made

Can you adjust a particular dimension, say saddle length?




We create comfortable, performance saddles based on your anatomy and inputs, at meld3d.com.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Meld Solutions

Meld Solutions

We create comfortable, performance saddles based on your anatomy and inputs, at meld3d.com.

More from Medium

All About Auto-Coding: The Simple and Ingenious Feature Making Blood Glucose Testing Easy

How to make instant coffee even better

Remind me using Reminders!!!

2: Total Body Strength with Sam