The Radical Infinity Saddle – The Answer for Going the Distance?

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Einstein was credited with saying something along the lines of, “if at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” When you first look at the Infinity saddle you may very well think that Vincent Marcel’s idea is absurd, but he’s right. There really haven’t been many major changes to saddle designs in their 200 year history. In his quest to find the perfect saddle, Vincent took a completely different approach to saddle design and basically inverted the standard seat. Drawing on his experience as a doctor chiropractor, he thought instead of using a convex shape where your sit bones rest on top, why not use a concave design so that your sit bones rest inside the cutout supported by the muscle instead of pressure on the bones.

Sounds crazy. Does it work?

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As any good tinkerer would do, Vincent started by simply carving a block of wood to try and get the basic shape. Next, he removed the padding and cut out sections of a standard saddle which eventually led to the first prototype after a number of hours designing and testing. Eventually the final prototype on the right was born with the basic shape of the Infinity saddle.

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After the prototyping phase, Vincent started working to get the saddles produced after an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign. In addition to figuring out the covered saddles, they produced two models both made completely in California, the Infinity Go and the Infinity Carbon/Kevlar. Both saddles have zero padding and instead rely on the flex of the saddle and the shape for comfort. The Infinity Go uses a straight nylon base while the Carbon  uses a nylon glass base which is a bit stiffer, while the carbon/kevlar will have removable covers so you can custom tune the looks or ride. The Go saddles use a carbon steel rail while the carbon saddles have the option for full carbon rails.

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There was also this injection molded padded Infinity Revolution on hand which will have a bit less padding for production. So how do they ride? I have to admit they are much more comfortable than you would expect. One thing to keep in mind is that they seem like a one position saddle meaning you can’t move around on the seat like you do on a regular seat. Because of that it seems that set up is critical and will take some adjusting to get the position just right. Currently there is only one width, but Vincent said there will be different widths available in the future which should provide more options. I would either gravitate to a different width or the padded saddle for my liking. It may be crazy, but it seems like the Infinity seat could be onto something.

EPSON MFP image

Through testing at Cyclologic in Scottsdale, AZ, the saddle’s pressure mapping showed reduced pressure and friction heat compared to other well known saddles. According to Vincent, the tester was so impressed that he wanted to do more testing of the saddle in Germany.

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As for weight, the Infinity Go weighed in at 192g, the Infinity carbon with carbon rails was 173g, and the carbon with steel rails was 246g – which is likely due to the additional cover compared to the Go. Currently the saddles measure 290mm x 160mm. For more information, check out their site.

Comments

Dave - 02/04/14 - 12:12pm

What about blood flow? When I say blood flow I mean penile flow for males. Your pressure map is a great example of how your saddle can be more comfortable over other saddles but as an avid rider, my main concern is blood flow.

John - 02/04/14 - 12:23pm

Not sure I like the results of that pressure map. I’d rather have the pressure on my sit bones than between them.

dorkdisk - 02/04/14 - 12:26pm

What was the purpose of the wood mockup?

GT - 02/04/14 - 12:30pm

The pressure map of the “popular” saddle shows pressure concentrated on the ischial tuberosities (sitbones), which, over time, cornify and are unaffected by lack of blood flow. This is actually where you want pressure concentrated on a saddle.

The pressure map of the Infinity saddle shows pressure right down the middle, on the perineum (exactly where you don’t want pressure), which leads to loss of blood flow to the soft tissue areas between your legs.

Yes, the Infinity leads to less concentrated pressure points, but it transfers said pressure to the wrong places.

shanny - 02/04/14 - 12:36pm

On wet and/or muddy rides, imagine where all the crud and wetness shooting straight up from your rear tire is going to collect. Yikes. I stick to a closed design, thanks. Kudos for pursuing your dream though.

Michael - 02/04/14 - 12:48pm

I wonder how this saddle compares to the TITANICO or the IMPERIAL. Granted this INFINITY saddle would be much much lighter, for those weight weenies.

JJ - 02/04/14 - 12:54pm

I agree with GT. I want the pressure to be on my sit bone and not in the middle.

brider - 02/04/14 - 1:04pm

I watched the video, and after seeing his horrid tri-bike set-up, his knee-out pedaling, I was even more skeptical. Then I saw that the purpose of the saddle is to move the load onto soft tissue… Say WHAT?

He’s a chiropractor. Take that for what you will. This saddle may be comfortable for the typical 10-miler, but I don’t see it as any kind of solution for enthusiast riders.

Chader - 02/04/14 - 1:31pm

GT is exactly right. Pressure may relate closely to “comfort”, but the greater issue in saddle safety is blood flow.

The Infinity saddle sure seems like it puts pressure in all the regions that would cause flow restrictions and possibly discomfort in the central soft tissue. This has long term trouble written all over it.

I’d love to see comprehensive testing with both areas researched (pressure & blood flow).

Seraph - 02/04/14 - 1:37pm

Dude must have seen my super secret prototype Fizik saddle that I made a couple years ago. http://ep1.pinkbike.org/p4pb6275481/p4pb6275481.jpg

OldDoc - 02/04/14 - 1:41pm

really!!? He was SOOOO impressed that he wanted to test it (wait for it) IN GERMANY!?
I’m sold. Only the best testing is done in Germany.
I’ll take 7 please.

BMW - 02/04/14 - 1:45pm

Is there a shocker option? When’s that prototype drop? Do these come with a free bottle of lube?

erock - 02/04/14 - 2:32pm

You guys are all experts! Maybe this guy did some actual studies with quantifiable data…

Duude - 02/04/14 - 2:34pm

I would think that giant wooden disk between your legs on the all carbon fiber model would be uncomfortable and not very light weight.

MissedThePoint - 02/04/14 - 2:35pm

Someone ask Herman Miller to make an Aeron-based bike seat. :D

Steven - 02/04/14 - 2:40pm

” they seem like a one position saddle meaning you can’t move around on the seat like you do on a regular seat”

No thanks.

Ben Schwartz - 02/04/14 - 2:53pm

This would probably only work if you have relatively low flexibility through your lower back and hamstrings. The degree of rise from the middle to the nose assumes that you don’t roll forward much onto your inferior pubic ramus. For riders with high flexibility, this is where a large portion of your weight is placed. Thus requiring a much flatter transition from the middle of the saddle to the nose, in order to avoid compression and reduced blood flow. I’m also concerned about the, um, center protrusion. But it takes all kinds. If this works for you, enjoy!

Greg @ dsw - 02/04/14 - 3:05pm

@ missedthepoint, uh, that’s kind of already happened. Remember saddleco’s flow saddle? A pic is here:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3103/2744447202_22fa11e73b.jpg

Mindless - 02/04/14 - 3:16pm

WTF is this thing?

JoeNomad - 02/04/14 - 3:16pm

Reminds me of Steve Martin’s The Jerk, but in this instance you dont get crossed eyes.

ve - 02/04/14 - 4:17pm

You won’t have anyone to talk to on a recumbent because you will be constantly passing everyone. At least this one you can keep pace with another roadie and compare saddle pains.

Devin - 02/04/14 - 4:22pm

Wow, it’s like the anti-SelleSMP. Yeah, make your sit bones feel better at the expense of your tiny tubes that require surgery to repair. This is a terrible idea even for casual riders- nobody should be increasing soft tissue pressure intentionally, unless you’re a sadist with a thing for numb, unresponsive crotch bits.

Ben Schwartz - 02/04/14 - 4:37pm

This would probably only work if you have relatively low flexibility through your lower back and hamstrings. The degree of rise from the middle to the nose assumes that you don’t roll forward much onto your inferior pubic ramus. For riders with high flexibility, this is where a large portion of your weight is placed. Thus requiring a much flatter transition from the middle of the saddle to the nose, in order to avoid compression and reduced blood flow, as others have mentioned. I’m also concerned about the, um, center protrusion. But it takes all kinds. If this works for you, enjoy!

Peter - 02/04/14 - 4:45pm

Looking very closely at the not-super-high resolution image of the pressure maps, something jumped out at me: the Infinity puts measurably MORE pressure on the pubic bone than does the “standard” saddle. The mean pressure on the pubic bone is 30 millibars on the standard saddle and 72 millibars on the Infinity. In other words more than double the average pressure on the pubic bone.

No.
Thanks.

satisFACTORYrider - 02/04/14 - 4:50pm

here! here! down with unresponsive crotch bits!

Andy - 02/04/14 - 5:15pm

Why did he leave the dugouts open like that? It seems like it would make much more sense if the were filled in with soft foam or something and would allow you to move around, not to mention protect your balls from road debris

Topmounter - 02/04/14 - 6:52pm

Is this saddle designed to cause problems that only a chiropractor can fix?

mudrock - 02/04/14 - 7:52pm

All the knuckleheads that are panning this seat no nothing. Zach called the seat very comfortable but that doesn’t seem to matter to anyone. I wonder how often Tyler reads these depressing comments and wonders if he should just fold the whole site?

Morpheous - 02/04/14 - 8:03pm

Sorry, but this is not a good idea. That middle tang will directly damage soft perineal tissues. Miss.

Toss my Salad - 02/04/14 - 8:03pm

Do I want sphincter pressure from my saddle?

NO THANK YOU!

Peet - 02/04/14 - 8:12pm

as an added benefit, pull your shorts aside and take a dump, esp. when on the attack!

Psi Squared - 02/04/14 - 10:47pm

Actually, Zach didn’t say that the saddle was “very comfortable.” He said, “I have to admit they are much more comfortable than you would expect.” That could mean a lot of things. I’d like to hear how long Zach used the saddle. It’s also possible that Zach has an iron butt and can get along with many different saddles.

Joshua Murdock - 02/04/14 - 11:55pm

Mmmmmm… pressure on my ass and junk and no pressure on the skeletal structure that is supposed to carry the weight of my body. Sign me up!

Tim - 02/05/14 - 4:24am

I like how the later versions are like a heart, or USSR gas mask face, that you plant your ass on.

Terry - 02/05/14 - 7:48am

Just say no – anything that makes a bike look like shit doesn’t deserve to be put on it. Like saddle bags and mudguards – no, no, NO!!

ME me Me - 02/05/14 - 9:01am

Carbon Rails on that Carbon seat…. wow if the rails break, as sometimes happens, nothing stops it from poking holes [filled with carbon splinters] next to your other holes…

simonn - 02/05/14 - 9:09am

@ Seraph – I hope that saddle was sanded down nicely it looks painful seeing all the jagged parts, just out of curiosity how does it preform and do you feel any pressure?

Lobanos - 02/05/14 - 11:01am

Just spend the money and buy a SMP Saddle and be done with it. Test them, you ll find the one that fits your ass and riding style. This thing is just scary and way too wide for any sort of “sport” ridin’

Peter - 02/11/14 - 10:31am

I have a big time problems with blood flow (in crotch area) and I have been using ISM saddles in my road and mountain bike for a year now. Very happy with those, much better than normal ones. How does this compare to those? I would like to see that!!

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