Performance Based Ergonomics
The ERGOWAVE® shape - developed in a research project and in collaboration with the University Hospital of Frankfurt and the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences. Government funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. For the first time, we were able to calculate the forces occurring deep within the structures of the body and the maximum load between the cyclist and the bike saddle. The final result is the new ERGOWAVE saddle shape for a more ergonomically agressive sitting position on the road and mountain bike, with the top marks among the maximum load in all tests.
The preliminary analysis
Dr. med. Stefan Staudte conducted a meta-analysis of the pressure tolerances of individual tissue types from existing studies from 1976 to 2012.
"...at about 15 N/cm² 95% of the maximum tissue tolerance for a medium-term (about 1 - 5h) pressure load is reached."
The research project
At the same time, we began a research project in 2013 together with the Institute for Materials Science at the University of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt and the Frankfurt University Clinic, and which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Research and Technology to develop biomechanical¬ergonomically optimized bicycle saddles using a virtual human model with in vivo properties. For the first time, we were able to calculate the forces occurring deep within the structures of the body.
The maximum load limits in the different fabric tolerances should be less than 15 N/cm². With regard to the ergonomics of bicycle saddles, this means that they must be optimised and adapted on the basis of biomechanics.
The testing stage
Extensive testing of the previously calculated designs and material combinations were applied as the third pillar of this development project. The SQlab SnaQe-test team, now consisting of nearly 100 international test riders, evaluated the most diverse prototypes in real situations.
In the final step, the remaining designs were checked in the SQlab and other testing areas with pressure and performance measurement systems.
The final result
The final result is the new ERGOWAVE® saddle shape for a more ergonomically agressive sitting position on the road and mountain bike, with the top marks in all tests. The elevated rear with a slightly rounded shape and the subsequent waveform, which merges into a second small elevated area, gives the pelvis plenty of hold on the backside of the saddle and optimally distributes the pressure all the way into the deep structures of the body. Together with the hollow area in the center, the lower lying saddle nose creates more space for the perineal area.