Bike seats are arguably one of the biggest problems with riding a bike. They hammer your groin, they often go unused when you’re pedaling hard, and they just don’t offer a lot of leverage. Hence, an inventor has decided that the best way to solve the problem is to just get rid of the seat altogether.
Strap In, Pedal Off
David Schwartz first decided this was necessary when he noticed Tour de France cyclists bobbing up and down on their bikes. That’s not a good use of your body’s overall energy. Consider pushing something when you have nothing to brace against, versus how effective it is when you’ve got something bracing you. So Schwartz got rid of the seat and replaced with an arcing cage you hang from.
Yes, We Said A Cage
This isn’t necessarily a new idea, as hardcore cyclists will be well aware of. Getting rid of the seat entirely is a common engineering problem. What’s interesting is that the brace position allows you ten percent more efficiency in pedaling. That’s not insubstantial, when you think about it, especially if you’ve got a long, hilly climb to get to where you’re going. But there are a few engineering problems that need to be tackled, first.
Aerodynamics And Comfort
First, there’s the question of what you lose aerodynamically compared to what you gain in pedal efficiency; we’re pretty sure building an arcing cage over your bike will increase wind resistance, if only a little bit.
Two, there’s the question of what’s comfortable to hang from for long periods of time; even Schwartz is still working on finding the right harness for long term use. And we suppose that you might also feel a wee bit dorky pedaling around on this thing, but let’s face it, if you’re this committed to bike efficiency, being cool went out the window a long time ago.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.