Essax Shark Saddle

Would your participants run away in horror, if they saw these on your Indoor Cycles?

I was perusing a cycling website when I came across an article about this innovative ESSAX Shark bicycle saddle:

Essax is a brand of bicycle saddles located in the province of Alicante (Spain). Our company has over 25 years experience in the manufacturing of technical products in polyurethane foam and leather, which assures our knowledge and experience.

Above all, we are cyclists who manufacture for cyclist, which means that we make from our passion our work. Therefore we know from first hand what users needs and what the requirements of the sector are.

What is the fin for?

This is the key to this whole Bike Fitters ensemble. Its position indicates the rider how to place his sit bones so that they are well supported in the seat. It interacts with the user giving information how to be seated on the saddle. In the hundreds of biomechanical studies for the development of this product, the result of them told us that the vast majority of riders had sensory perception being well positioned on their saddle as where reality showed they were rotated or only supported one of the two Ischia

So the purpose of the fin is to locate you and your sit bones correctly, fore/aft on the saddle. This, Essax is saying, is super critical on multiple levels; comfort over time, pedal force imbalances, hip stability and overall power development.  That sounded really familiar...

Back in May of 2013 I wrote; It could be your saddle

There are multiple factors that affect how you produce power and what ultimately gets displayed by the console. A few months ago I wouldn”™t have believed you, if you tried to convince me that (beyond the level of comfort you feel) a bike”™s saddle design could add or subtract to the power I could create.

I believe it now.

Back in March I had a professional bike fitting on my new VeloVie with none other than the Bike Fit Guru Chris Balser. I figured that I had a few dollars left because of the incredible deal I got and, with one kid graduating for college this Friday, why the heck not?

I was a bit naive about what all was entailed in a 2 hour fitting. I thought Chris would be super focused on getting my seat height exactly right, maybe futz with the tilt of the handlebars. Stuff like that. Nope. For close to an hour we tried out different saddles, 11 in total. That”™s right, Chris had me ride on a trainer, trying 11 different saddles, to find the perfect saddle that (his words) your ass can find easily. Here”™s what we finally decided on… a Fizik Kurve.

As a sidenote - I have two years/~6500 miles on my Fizik Kurve Chameleon Saddle and absolutely love it. Chris was exactly right to choose it for me > Everytime I sit on it my butt finds exactly where it belongs.

Can you effectively cue proper saddle position?

Short answer IMO is you can try, but my personal feelings are that most Indoor Cycle saddles are too big (FreeMotion being the exception) and too soft, to be really "findable" for most people's derrieres. That doesn't mean you shouldn't make the suggestion to move around and see if you're in the best position.

Just don't cue this once, early in the class and then forget about it. Give everyone time to settle into their positions and then ask everyone to reacquaint themselves with the saddle. If you've taught for any length of time (and you're paying attention to small details) you have seen how many of your riders visually appear to relax at some point in class. For me, I notice it during the first welcomed recovery I give them > typically following the first "Best Effort" interval they've completed.

Like everything else you do as an Instructor, you should be experimenting on yourself and then decide what & when makes the most sense.

Did you find this of value [wlm_firstname]?


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