Why you should consider changing your bicycle saddle.
The BiSaddle® was initially designed primarily to function as a saddle for long distance road or exercise bike riders, but can and has been used successfully for all sorts of riding. The latest BiSaddle® construction uses thicker outer elastomer or foam surface materials which are more comfortable.
The saddle is designed to support riders only on the bottom of their pelvic girdle and not put pressure on any soft tissue (perineum). The saddle consists of two individually adjustable surfaces that have two points of adjustment each (front and back, thus lots of adjustability). These surfaces are contoured to fit the curvature of the bottom bones of the pelvic girdle (Ischiopubic rami and Ischial Tuberosities to be exact.). These surfaces are mounted on a frame that allows the surfaces to be positioned to allow for both separation and angular variations.
This design addresses erectile dysfunction in men by allowing for up to 3/4 inch of separation of the surfaces in the front, which is where the dorsal artery passes under the pubic symphasis (bottom of the V) and into the genitals. By only supporting riders on the bones at the bottom of the pelvic girdle it also eliminates pressure on the perineum. The perineum is where the prostate is for men and where all of women's genitalia resides.
The design also eliminates the pressure that the standard saddle horn puts on nerves, arteries & veins that run along the sides of the ischiopubic rami (legs of the V).
The adjustability of the surfaces was initially thought to allow riders to position the surfaces directly underneath their unique pelvic architecture. Subsequent experience has shown that positioning of the surfaces must also take into account individual variations in where nerves, veins and arteries exist.
The latest version of the BiSaddle® includes optional height shims for the surfaces to accomodate potential pelvic variations.
The top of the surfaces of the elastomer BiSaddle® is a cast visco-elastic elastomer which is a composite polymer that is best described as deformable but non-compressible. This gives it shock absorption capabilities that are better than other substances.
Since this is a cast elastomer, unlike the gel in other saddles, it doesn't migrate over time.
Visco-elastic elastomer is also used used for inner sole applications for shoes, as saddle pads for horses, and in prosthetic padding.
The new outer material is a "visco-elastic foam" as compared to the "visco-elastic elastomer" on our regular BiSaddle. The foam surfaces are both lighter and provides more deformation under a constant stress than the elastomer ones and the raised lip in back is also lower. A few riders may actually find they wrap around the (legs of the V) rami bones too much, but we are offering the new foam surfaces because some customers have asked for a lighter saddle and/or smaller raised lip in the back.
While many of our test riders really like the foam surfaces, a few describe the elastomer as more “springy” than the foam. The foam surfaces are being hand crafted by stacking 5, 6 or 7 layers of different softness foam, shaping that block to our surface design contours, then applying a 1/32” outer foam layer and finally putting on our 4-way stretch covering. Because making them is so labor intensive, the foam surfaces are more expensive than the elastomer surfaces.
With our elastomer BiSaddle®, the 4-way stretch coverings are optional, but they are required with the foam hand crafted surfaces.
Visco-elastic foam is also used for inner sole applications for shoes.
This saddle is designed to support the rider exclusively on the bottom bones of the pelvis and the associated muscle mass. The bone segments are the ischiopubic rami that form the V shape starting at the pubic symphysis (pubic bone) and ending with the Ischial Tuberosities (sit bones). The muscle mass referred to is the dense muscle mass near the Ischial Tuberosities.
If you sit perfectly vertical in a chair, you would normally be balanced on the point at which the ischiopubic rami becomes the Ischial Tuberosities (sit bones). If you slouch back in a chair, you are probably entirely on your Ischial Tuberosities. But neither of these positions is how you normally ride a bicycle. If you are on some mountain or exercise bicycles, you can be mostly upright. If you ride other bicycles you are probably leaning forward more onto the ischiopubic rami.
The ischiopubic rami for adults of either sex is about 3 1/2 inches long. On the outside of these bone segments are attached some of your leg muscles. On the inside of these bone segments is the perineum area that contain the female genitalia, male prostate, anus, etc. There are significant arteries, veins and nerves in this area that can be affected by pressure and compression.
women's ischiopubic rami are thinner and smaller than men's, but for
both there is a small ridge along the length of the rami where there
are minimal blood vessels, nerves and muscle attachment. These, along
with the Ischial Tuberosities, are the areas that the the Bycycle Inc. saddle
This means that the support surfaces can be positioned under each rider's unique ischiopubic rami and Ischial Tuberosities.
There are two 5/8-inch long slots in the front of the mounting bracket that provide the pivot positions for the front of the surfaces (generally toward the outside for male and toward the inside for female). From these pivot positions, the riding surfaces can be individually rotated and fixed at angles to each other within a range of about 50 degrees.
From the outermost slot pivot positions the angle between the surfaces can be set from approximately 20 to 75 degrees. From the innermost slot pivot positions the angle between the surfaces can be set from approximately 35 to 90 degrees. The combination of variations provided by the slots in the front and rotational adjustment in the back provides riders with a wide spectrum of settings from which to find the position that is most comfortable for them and their riding style.
This saddle offers surface materials that are designed to provide maximum comfort while not allowing the rider to sink into the material such that they would put pressure on the pudendal and other arteries, veins and nerves that run alongside the inner parts of the ischiopubic rami. The new foam surface material may be too soft for some riders and wrap around the ischiopubic rami bones and cause compression, which shouldn't happen using the elastomer covered surfaces.
The Dorsal artery, vein and nerves that service the male genitalia come from the perineum area (the area between the ischiopubic rami) and go underneath the pubic symphysis (pubic bone). These blood vessels and nerves can be painfully compressed between the pubic bone and the horn of a standard saddle.
The Bycycle, Inc. saddle is designed to have pivot alternatives for the surfaces that provide a maximum 3/4-inch space between the surfaces for these blood vessels and nerves.