GREG COMBS: Moon Saddle Offers the Most Comfort
Over the summer my close friend Reginald "Reggie" Miller and I would partake in our weekly ritual of consuming the "World's Greatest Hot Dog" at Dog Nation in Aberdeen.
As we consumed our delicious "little-dog" sausages, topics of discussion would range from fly fishing, world travels, horses, and everything and anything about bicycling.
On one day, we talked at length about bicycle seats. The bicycle seat design has changed very little since the original design around 1863. This was during the evolution of the bicycle when it was named the velocipede, also known as the bone shaker. With the exception for the addition of high tech foams and gels layered beneath the leather to soften impact, and new materials designed to lighten the seat, the bone shaker seat design still remains the standard design for the cycling enthusiast.
Unfortunately, many individuals discontinue cycling or do not increase bicycle use because of various discomforts related to the traditional bicycle saddle. Since bike seat discomfort is a major issue, there have been many examples of radical bicycle seat designs throughout the years. Some manufacturers are now designing saddles that do away with the nose of the saddle to eliminate the pressure caused by it. For the recreational and commuter cyclists who sit more upright on their sit bones the noseless saddle may be the right saddle for them to use.
Upon return from a fly fishing trip in Montana, Reggie gave me two noseless saddles called the "Moon Saddle" that were given to him from a representative of the company. The saddles looked very odd, but I had to try one just to see how it would feel. The Moon Saddle design is to provide support primarily under the sit bone regions and avoid any pressure on the central perineal region. By design, the saddle is meant to be used for a more upright position. As I began my ride on the Moon Saddle, I felt the need to raise my handlebars up farther for stability. Once I raised my handlebars, I realized the Moon Saddle Company was onto something.
After my ride, I began researching information about noseless saddles. In fact, I found information about a noseless saddle study that was conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The NIOSH study published an article that suggests a noseless saddle design may significantly decrease the risk of compression-related injuries. The NIOSH study was focused on a Long Beach Bicycle Patrol to determine if complaints of numbness and pain from the bicycle patrolmen were related to their bicycle seats. One hundred twenty-one officers participated in the study over a six- month period. The results from the study reported that using a noseless saddle reduced numbness and pain and the patrolmen were continuing to use the noseless saddles.
Well, since Reggie gave me two Moon Saddles, I am going to keep one and drop the other off at Rainbow Cycles as a "demo" model for anyone to try. For more information about the Moon Saddle, please visit: www.Moon SaddleCycling.com.
Greg Combs is a cyclist and coach for more than 30 years and is considered an expert in bicycling fit and rider positioning. He is also the Director of the Sport Management Program at Methodist University in Fayetteville. For more information browse: www.velosmart.com, or e-mail him at email@example.com
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