A Seat with a Split Personality

posted Feb 28, 2010, 5:55 PM by Donald Vescio   [ updated Sep 12, 2011, 8:11 AM ]

All cyclists have had the experience of ending a ride realizing that a garden brick would have been more comfortable than their state-of-the-art titanium-carbon-gel saddle.  Riding a bike in an aggressive time trial position only hastens the discomfort process; while new technologies and materials have been introduced to address the issue of saddle comfort, saddle design--for the most part--has remained remarkably unchanged over the past one hundred years.

John Cobb, aerodynamic guru to the pros and entrepreneur, decided to take a different perspective on bicycle saddle design.  Rather than designing a saddle in which the cyclist's body weight rests primarily on the soft tissue of the perineum, which is susceptible to pressure and abrasion, he developed a seat which enables the hard surface of the lower pelvis to support the body.  The result is a seat that has a uniquely "split" personality:

The name of the saddle is "Adamo," which is a derivative of the Latin "for pleasure."  The seat is specially designed for time trailists and triathletes who ride for extended periods of time on aerobars.  When riding, the cyclist actually sits on the two "prongs" of the saddle, thus supporting their body with the boney structure of the pelvic area:

There are two advantages to the Adamo design, one of which might not be so obvious.  The first is that the seat shifts the body's weight off of the perineum, help to avoid abrasion and bruising in this area.  The second, which is especially appropriate for cyclists who need to abide by the UCI rules on saddle set-back, is that the seat's truncated length enables a rider to adopt a much steeper effective seat angle than what is normally afforded by traditional saddles.

For more information regarding Adamo saddles, including installation and set-up instructions, visit: http://www.ismseat.com/