Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

TECH NEWS

The SaddleSpur with a patented backrest redefines cycling comfort, performance and efficiency, claims its creators

It’s claimed the ‘spur’ at the rear of this intriguing saddle should support the pelvis to improve pedalling efficiency, and it could soon be yours for £125 if you pre-order

A British company is claiming its novel new bike seat design, dubbed SaddleSpur, could be "the next evolution in bike saddles". With the founders claiming that the SaddleSpur could redefine comfort, performance and efficiency, a study by Anglia Ruskin University has also found merit in the design, and we're told the first shipment of SaddleSpur saddles will begin towards the end of this month. 

The very base of the SaddleSpur saddle seems normal; it's a flat profile, short-nosed design with a pressure relief channel and flexible base. There is only one 130mm width available, the shape should suit both men and women, and the saddle comes with aluminium rails.

> Best road bike saddles 2024 — here are the top bike seat picks for every budget

The full creation tips the scales at a claimed 310g, which is not particularly light. But it's clear this saddle is not going for the lightweight market, and it's at the rear that things get interesting...

Saddlespur saddle side view

Its main selling point is rather obviously the spur, prodding out at the back so prominently. While this isn't the first time we've seen bike seats with backrests of some sort (Raleigh Chopper, anyone?) such designs were presumably aesthetic without any claims of improved cycling performance attached. 

The SaddleSpur's 'spur' should further support your pelvis when pedalling and thus make you more efficient, claim the people behind SaddleSpur. How it would work with say, cyclocross mounts, or even just adjusting your position on steep descents is up for debate. Nevertheless, SaddleSpur claims its creation provides "a platform to enable you to focus your energy on an enhanced cycling experience".

The saddle has also been subject to some scientific study. Scientists from the Cambridge Centre for Sport & Exercise Sciences of Anglia Ruskin University tested the saddle's performance on 16 participants completing two 10-mile time trials, comparing time, comfort, cadence and other metrics with a standard saddle vs a second 10-mile TT with the SaddleSpur. 

saddlespur on bike

According to SaddleSpur's website, the Anglia Ruskin researchers said that the saddle is “a unique invention that has the potential to reshape the cycling industry”. Though, from what we can see in the full study, the researchers concluded that while results were "promising" and participants were on average 14 seconds quicker in the second trial, they were unable to conclude if this was down to the benefits of the SaddleSpur, course familiarity or a number of factors. "Overall, these findings do show that the [SaddleSpur] could have a huge potential for the cycling community through the reduced discomfort of riding and the potentially enhanced efficiency when riding up steep inclines," said the conclusion. 

The study also noted that SaddleSpur's design is not exactly novel, referring to the legendary Raleigh Chopper saddle that somewhat resembles that of the SaddleSpur.

"These though were not for any performance or physiological gain,
rather they serve as statements of the era and provided the rider with a seat that
mimicked the cruiser motorcycles of the USA. This notwithstanding, the application of a spur to the rear of a saddle to gain a performance/physiological edge is innovative, and to date untried," the researchers continued to say. 

The full study is set to be published in the Journal of Sports Sciences*, with the date of publication yet to be confirmed. You can already see it here

SaddleSpur saddle rear view

SaddleSpur's website indicates that the saddle is available for pre-orders, priced at £125, and founder John Downing told road.cc that shipping will begin in approximately late November 2023. 

Let us know what you think in the comments. Is this saddle really going to reshape cycling? 

* The original article, and SaddleSpur's website, stated that the study would be published in the 'Journal of Sporting Medicine' in November 2023 - however Anglia Ruskin University has now confirmed that the abstract is set to be published in the 'Journal of Sports Sciences', and the date of publication is TBC. 

Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops. 

Add new comment

29 comments

Avatar
harrybav | 2 months ago
0 likes

Full page ad in the Cycling Uk Dec mag. Pretty sure this'll turn out to be part of some Anglia Ruskin uni media course studying advertising. Good luck to them.

Avatar
Demonix | 3 months ago
0 likes

Looks like would give you a very different kind of saddle sore! 😱

Avatar
Demonix | 3 months ago
1 like

Available now from Lovehoney, free bottle of "saddle lube" for extra comfort 🙄🤪

Avatar
Pittsfieldman | 3 months ago
1 like

This should come with a pair of crotchless bike shorts.

Avatar
Daveyraveygravey | 3 months ago
0 likes

I don't believe they are serious?  And as someone who had a pilonidal (sp?) sinus years ago from a pair of touring shorts which happened to have a seam down the middle, I think this saddle would guarantee you one...

Avatar
marmotte27 | 3 months ago
0 likes

I'll wait for the double blind study.

Avatar
Dicklexic | 3 months ago
3 likes

Surely this saddle was invented by someone that doesn't actually know how to ride a bike properly!?

The inability to repostion bodyweight whilst negotioating bends and hills would be a huge disadvantage. Even on the road bike I am constantly making small adjustments to my body position to alter balance and weight distribution. Maybe in a few very limited scenarios on a TT bike with a totally flat featureless course you could argue for this saddle, but otherwise, errrm nope!

Avatar
OldRidgeback | 3 months ago
6 likes

If I combine one of these with a set of L-shaped cranks, I'll be looking at real world performance gains of 25%. 

Avatar
ubercurmudgeon | 3 months ago
4 likes

Looks goofy, but at least it isn't ten times the typical price of a normal version of the same thing, loaded up with pointless tech, or tenuously connected to the latest fad (AI or crypto.) That makes it better than 80% of the dross that passes for "inventions" these days.

Avatar
Miller | 3 months ago
3 likes

Couple of points:
- why is it that these shonky 'novel' cycling products are always pictured on an absolutely atrocious bike? The one pictured looks straight out of the 90s. It makes you think the designers know nothing about cycling.
- speaking of the 90s, or even earlier, there was a brief vogue for tail fin saddles in late 80s pro cycling. Thierry Marie won the 1986 Tour prologue using one. They were either banned or disappeared due to being stupendously ugly. Point being, nothing new in cycling.

Avatar
blinddrew replied to Miller | 3 months ago
1 like

If I remember rightly they were banned in 1989 as Laurent Fignon had planned to ride one in the final time trial but it wasn't allowed. He was particularly miffed that Lemond's new handlebars were.

Avatar
HoarseMann | 3 months ago
5 likes

More crackrest than backrest, I would say. 

Avatar
IanGlasgow | 3 months ago
18 likes

They're offering a free light with pre-orders.

Avatar
ktache | 3 months ago
9 likes

Trying not to go for a double entendre, but how do you get your leg over?

Avatar
OldRidgeback replied to ktache | 3 months ago
3 likes

Ask a grown up  1

Avatar
Sriracha | 3 months ago
5 likes

Props to Suvi for playing a straight bat on a sticky wicket. The photographer however, they had an impossible task.

Avatar
Destroyer666 | 3 months ago
2 likes

Based on the direction the saddle is attached to the seatpost on the promo-pics that's not a dildo sticking up but some sort of a crotch block..!? I mean... this is whole thing is just one big wtf!

Avatar
Sriracha replied to Destroyer666 | 3 months ago
0 likes

I see what you mean now, the neck of a seatpost generally curves towards the back of the saddle, in which case, yikes!

Avatar
SimoninSpalding | 3 months ago
8 likes

I want one, I think it will work perfectly with my L shaped cranks

Avatar
AidanR | 3 months ago
6 likes

I certainly wouldn't want to use it with a dropper post

Avatar
Sriracha replied to AidanR | 3 months ago
8 likes

Why, would you not want a proper chopper dropper?

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Sriracha | 3 months ago
6 likes
Sriracha wrote:

Why, would you not want a proper chopper dropper?

In case it's a flopper

Avatar
pockstone | 3 months ago
0 likes

Edit: Too late....always read the full article prior to commenting.

Avatar
brooksby replied to pockstone | 3 months ago
1 like
pockstone wrote:

Edit: Too late....always read the full article prior to commenting.

Did you make a Raleigh Chopper joke?  That was my first thought, the moment I saw the first picture.

Avatar
Sriracha | 3 months ago
2 likes

A very organic design. Does it come in leather?

Avatar
Patrick9-32 | 3 months ago
6 likes

*Checks calendar* - Surprisingly it's not april 1st. 

In all seriousness, if they wanted their product taken seriously making it look exactly like a seat mounted dildo was probably not a great shout. Is there a reason given that the back rest part doesn't widen out to give more support and also look less like a cock?

Also, why not just ride a recumbent? If you are uncomfortable on a conventional bike and not riding in sanctioned UCI events where this wouldn't be allowed why not be much more comfortable and much faster on a highracer? 

Avatar
Shermo replied to Patrick9-32 | 3 months ago
3 likes

I also had to check the date, then check it wasn't an advert from Temu.

I'm pretty certain Mac in Always Sunny in Philadelphia already patented this seat design.

I know saddles are a very personal thing but I'm quite happy since switching to Selle SMP saddles, not sure this offers me anything I need.

Avatar
marmotte27 replied to Shermo | 3 months ago
1 like

"an advert from Temu."
Wow, do you see the same shite as me in the ohso annoying pop-up ads ?

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Patrick9-32 | 3 months ago
1 like

Good advice.  However people seem to have some peculiar prejudices and I think some riders would prefer to be seen on a dildo than a recumbent...

(Also while you can find ones which climb hills well I think there are some biomechanics which mean it's not quite the same as really going for it out of the saddle.  And wheelies become a bit of an extreme sport).

Latest Comments