MaxContact®

A continuously changing position on the bike is a part of cycling as much as pedaling. A slight change of the upper body position or the raising or lowering of the pelvis changes the contact points and prevents a one sided load. A commuter for example, might choose a very upright position for a good view in traffic but might choose a more aggressive forward bad wheather position when riding in rain or up a steep hill. An accomplished mountain biker is characterized by an active riding style as the sitting position is adapted to the terrain and the center of mass moves forwards or backwards depending on how steep the terrain is.

What does this mean with reference to the SQlab MaxContact® concept?

The physical law for calculating pressure is:

Pressure = Force/ Area

 

Calculating pressure at the saddle:

Saddle load = Body weight / Sitting Area

 

More safety and comfort while dynamic sitting

The area of the saddle nose should be as large as possible but as narrow as necessary. So, how can a saddle nose be narrow enough to not interfere with pedaling, yet provide maximum contact surface in order to provide relief of pressure when the upper body is shifted forward?

The SQlab MaxContact® concept has a saddle nose which is both lowered and also very flat. Thanks to this simple trick the nose provides a larger contact surface area than conventional saddles for those cases when you have to shift your upper body forward creating increased pressure.

The pelvis

When sitting normally, the sitbones support the body‘s weight and have the capability to withstand high pressure. This should also be the case when riding a bicycle. With an athletic riding position, the perineal area of men and the lower positioned pubic bone arch of women on the saddle.

The well branched out network of nerves and blood vessels of the perineal area reaches from the anus via the genitals to the upper pubic bone arch. On the sides it reaches past the pubic bones. 

These are capable of carrying a small weight – but a pressure reduction is essential. An even pressure reduction in the perineal area and the pubic bones is achieved through the lowered nose of our SQlab step saddle concept.

The sitting position

When sitting, the sitbones (areas marked in green) serve the purpose of supporting the body’s weight, hence they can endure a high load and pressure. They should also be utilised in this way when riding a bike.

 

In a dynamic riding position the contact point moves from the tip of the sitbones, forwards along the pubic arch to the pubic bone and the central perineal area is used for resting on for both genders. Women however, typically have a lower pubic arch which can result in higher pressure from the saddle nose when riding in a dynamic riding position. The surface area the riders weight is resting on is especially critical in a very dynamic and forward riding position and in such a case the riders weight should not only be supported in the centre but also on the pubic bone.

 

The sitbone and pubic bones both come together from their widest points in a “V” shape. This means the more dynamic the riding position, the narrower the saddle is allowed to, and should be.

Already in 2002 we developed a simple equation which uses the distance of the sitbone tips in dependence of the riding positing to calculate the perfect saddle width. This method has meanwhile been established globally. The method may be interpreted slightly differently from different saddle manufacturers and many leave the adjustment equation away all together, but our basic concept is used in all of these measuring methods.

 

The flexibility of the spine has much less influence on the positioning of the pelvis as often assumed. Spine and pelvis should remain in a natural position relative to each other and not be forced into a certain position, even if the body is very flexible.

 

Especially with the SQlab step saddle it is no longer necessary to tilt the pelvis backwards as the typical pressure zone of the perineal area and pelvis arch no longer pose a problem due to the lowered position of the saddle nose. The energy which is often required to hold the pelvis upright while the upper body taks a dynamic and forward position is no longer required with the SQlab step saddle and can instead be used for pedalling and propelling the bike forward. In addition, there is substantially less load on the spinal discs.