Outdoor sports are becoming more popular as society recognizes the importance of health and wellness. Thus, there is an accelerated increase in the demand for bicycles. Anyone interested in cycling can explore many models on the market. However, most people cannot afford specialized products, like road or mountain bikes. For this reason, people are drawn to hybrid bikes, which combine the best of both technologies.
Falling into this consumer group, I have used hybrid bikes for many years. Often, I want to take long bike rides but am unable due to an uncomfortable saddle that causes discomfort. The industry standard is a general-purpose saddle (conventional saddle), and finding an affordable replacement is difficult. The construction of general-purpose saddles are poorly fabricated. For example, they contain flat and raised backs, which pushes the body forward. This movement creates pressure on the perineum, which may negatively affect posture. Therefore, if you want something more comfortable or specific, you have to spend hundreds of dollars at a specialty store.
To address this issue, I researched scholarly articles about the effects of a cutaway saddles on seat-related comfort and symptoms during cycling. The difference between general purpose and cutaway saddles is that the latter has cut-outs, which relieves stress on soft tissues in delicate areas. For example, a study conducted by Keytel and Noakes has shown that the cutaway saddle can significantly reduce symptoms during daily cycling compared with the general-purpose saddle. Moreover, my research has shown that general-purpose saddles could lead to health issues such as sterility, impotence, and perhaps even testicular cancer. Considering this, similar concepts of cutaway saddles have yet to hit the market, and those that have sold are small operations with low market saturation.
The purpose of my project "CATORI" is to develop a new ergonomic cutaway bike saddle to reduce cycling injuries. The target audience is diverse and focuses on the everyday rider to bike enthusiasts. Secondary audiences are health-conscious individuals and those seeking to minimize injuries. My proposed shape design would take the pressure off the perineum and distribute pressure broadly, which would reduce harm to the pelvic and groin areas. In doing, this should help posture as well. All in all, cyclists could ride longer without fear of causing harm to their body.