Pressure measurement grips

Pressure measurements are carried out with an electronic pressure measuring foil/mat. We have been using pressure measurement 15 years in saddle development. 

Together with a manufacturer of pressure sensors, we were now able to further develop the system and make it flexible enough to be able to wrap the printing mat around the grip. Some of our premium dealer partners also use our pressure measuring system in the consumer consultation.

SQlab comfort grips
702 & 710

 

Base – round grip 

The extremely high pressure on the outside cause’s irritation of the ulnar nerve. The consequences are pressure pains and numbness on the little finger and ring finger. The pressure at the carpal tunnel exit is only about 30% of the maximum pressure, but it is very close to the red area.

Grip with a wing

The pressure on the outside is still in the green area. The pressure at the site of the carpal tunnel exit is approximately 80 % of the highest pressure. Complaints of the carpal tunnel and carpal tunnel exit, especially after prolonged use over several months or years, are possible.

SQlab 702

The pressure on the outside is clarified in green area. The pressure at the point of the carpal tunnel exit is less than 40 % of the maximum pressure on the outside of the hand. Both nerves are sufficiently relieved.

SQlab 710

The pressure on the outside is slightly higher than of the 702 but still in the green range. The pressure at the point of the carpal tunnel exit is only about 30% of the maximum pressure on the outside of the hand. Both nerves are sufficiently relieved.

Result

Overall, the pressure of the new 702 and 710 is distributed over a very large area. Accordingly, the maximum pressure is about 25 % lower than comparable ergonomic grips. At the point of the carpal tunnel exit the pressure at the 702 could be reduced to less than the half.

 



SQlab perfromance grips
711 & 7OX

 

Base - round lock Grip  

The small surface due to the circular shape, combined with a rubber layer that is only very thin as a result of the clamping leads to massive pressure peaks.

Round ergo Grip

The ergonomic, round grip cannot outwit physics, the pressure remains high and even extends in the direction of the carpal tunnel exit.

SQlab 711

The flat support surface and the added material on the outside reduce pressure to a completely new level with the MTB grips.

SQlab 7OX

With the 7OX, despite the continuous clamp sleeve and the harder rubber, the pressure is barely higher than with the 711.

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.