PressCamp: Infinity Seat challenges convention

by Marc Basiliere 0 views12

Yes, we even rode it on trails

So crazy it might just work
So crazy it might just work

Designed by Dr. Vince Marcel, a California chiropractor and inventor, the Infinity Seat is a saddle design that turns convention on its head.  Rather than attempting to support the sit bones and spare the soft tissue, the Infinity Seat design actually moves the bulk of the rider’s weight to the meat of the buttocks and spares the sit bones.  Could this be a case of so crazy it might just work?

Cyclist at "race weight"
Cyclist at “race weight”

Drawing on his cycling and chiropractic experience, Dr. Marcel theorized that traditional saddles actually act to split the pelvis, squeezing the sacrum (the body’s spinal fluid pump).  When the sacrum is disturbed, so too is the flow of spinal fluid, which causes all manner of discomfort up and down the spine (notably tightness at the back of the neck).  By moving saddle pressure to the buttocks (which are arguably designed for supporting our seated weight), the Infinity Seat is designed to allow for more comfortable and longer-distance riding for everyone from novices through experts.

So crazy it might just work
So crazy it might just work

Launched via Kickstarter, the project exceeded its funding target by a factor of 7.5.  Patents have now been applied for and prototypes are rolling in on a weekly basis.  Production is taking place in Southern California and weights are impressive despite not-so-fancy materials.  Four models were shown at Winter PressCamp (details subject to change):

  • Infinity Go:  carbon steel rails with flexible nylon frame.  $70, 205g
  • Infinity Pro:  carbon steel rails, glass-nylon frame, and an interchangeable carbon fibre cover.  $195, 225g
  • Infinity Elite: carbon fibre rails, glass-nylon frame, and an interchangeable carbon fibre cover.  $225, 170g
  • Infinity Revolution: carbon steel rails and nylon frame with closed-cell cover.  Price and weight TBD
Feels... different.
Feels… erm,different.

While the carbon-clad Infinity Pro’s centre ‘tongue’ was a bit stiff and uncomfortably positioned on Infinity Seat’s stationary bike (remember, these are prototypes), much to everyone’s entertainment we decided to mount the more flexible Infinity Go to an Orbea Rallon for a couple of hours’ riding on the trails around Palos Verdes.  Unsurprisingly, the Infinity Seat immediately feels different from anything we’ve tried.  The sensation of suspended sit bones is an odd one and the deeply hammocked profile locks the hips into a single position, making saddle location and angle critical.

There's not much there, is there?
There’s not much there, is there?

As seen above, the sweet spot seems to sit further forward on the saddle than on most models, and we pushed the saddle back on the rails to find enough cockpit room.  Wearing padded shorts and baggies, it doesn’t take long for things to stop feeling odd and to settle in.  Though the company claims that “one size fits all,” it felt as though this rider’s bony parts were contracting the outside of the saddle somewhat, causing a bit of rocking with each pedal stroke: not uncomfortable, but not quite right either.  More time spent playing with the saddle’s position and angle could well move them into the wider part of the seat.

Butt bone connected to the leg bone; Dem bones, dem bones gonna ride around
Back bone connected to the butt bone;
Butt bone connected to the leg bone;
Dem bones, dem bones gonna ride around

Over two hours on the bike (including a 20-minute road sprint to catch a return flight), there was little desire to swap the Infinity out for the traditional saddle brought along just in case.  Thanks to the Go’s nylon construction, hard landings and trail lumpiness were not especially comfortable, a Revolution-style padded version would no doubt be a better option for off road use.  As with all saddles, finding the right shape and getting the details dialed will be key.  Though it’s too early to call the Infinity Saddle revolutionary, it is an interesting idea that – despite its alarming looks – truly seems to have potential.

infinitycycling.us

Comments (12)

  1. You can tell it comes from the land of perpetual drought!

  2. Developed by a chiropractor eh? No foundation in real science then.

  3. Like anything else in the bike industry, so why sholud this not work.

  4. Looks more like it was developed by a proctologist!

  5. “You can tell it comes from the land of perpetual drought!”

    Yup, that was my initial thought. Also wondered whether baggies would easily catch and get hung up when popping in & out of saddle on tech trails – esp. when wet & muddy.

  6. When they have finished with that one, perhaps they could invent an “arguably better” new wheel size? Maybe 29.5″ ??

    😉

    (i’m also pretty sure, that for about 99% of human existence, we have just sat on anything immediately to hand, rocks, branches, mammoths etc…..)

  7. I’m not sure I’d like to shift my weight back a bit on that as it looks like it could rip the crotch out of shorts or dig in behind the bollocks somewhat painfully.

  8. Not going to be popular with nude cyclists!

  9. Soon to be available with an ANT+ enabled rectal thermometer (and matching grommeted shorts). It’s all about marginal gains.

  10. Interesting maybe, I agree with the comment re Chiro. lacking science, but time and a few more tests may prove whether this is an evolutionary step or a dead end.

  11. I like the idea of it and would like to try one – the obvious concern for me is being able to move around on the saddle – critical for MTB and important for road to get over the nose.

  12. “limkilde said:On February 3, 2014

    Like anything else in the bike industry, so why sholud this not work.”

    Possibly true, but attention is drawn to the fact he is a chiropractor as if that lends weight to the argument. Rather than just saying “I’m a bloke with an idea”. And as Chiro is a load of snake oil bollocks he isn’t anything more than a bloke with an idea.

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