A new saddle with a radical noseless design has been launched in the UK. The ECD Seat is said to reduce pressure on the sensitive perineum area and shift the rider’s weight back onto their sit bones.
Distributors ECD (Ergonomic Comfort Design) claim this gives cyclists "the enjoyment and health benefits of a longer ride without paying the price of discomfort or risk to their health".
The saddle was designed by Thomas White, former head of industrial design at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and has been available in the US for some time.
Jonathan Wallach, one of the founders of ECD, said: “My son wanted to support the British Heart Foundation by cycling in last year’s London-to-Brighton. I decided to ride with him, so a few months before the 55-mile race, started training. The pain almost stopped me from doing the ride, and this got me looking for alternatives. I discovered the noseless seat design on the West Coast (USA), and was able to finish both the training and the race itself with no further discomfort.”
The design has received backing from medical experts, with Dr JRW Harris, consultant in genito-urinary medicine at St Mary’s Hospital, London, saying: "Each year I see a number of people who have suffered from prolonged riding on conventional seats, causing them discomfort and sometimes leading to health problems. What I like about this seat is that it has been ergonomically designed to enable the cyclist to sit more naturally. This is a breakthrough in comfort design for cyclists."
We've yet to try out one of these saddles, but we're not sure how easy it will be to control a bike, especially a mountain bike, without a saddle nose to push against in the corners and perch on during the climbs. What do you think? Have your say in the comments box below.
The ECD Seat is available in two designs: vinyl cover and foam padding (£39.99) or Lycra cover and gel padding (£49.99). They can be bought online at www.ecdsports.com.