Saddles, you think you’ve seen them all and then along comes the unique Essax Shark. Now, there are plenty of theories about saddle design, shape and width, but according to Jon Iriberri, a Spanish bike fitter, the unique shark fin design is said to evenly spread a cyclists weight onto the sit bones and reduce hip rotations, limb differences and inefficient pedalling techniques.
Some claims. This novel saddle design apparently eliminates such issues with the unique shark fin located at the rear of the saddle. The fin, the company claims, helps to correctly locate the sit bones onto the right part of the saddle. Along with aligning the sit bones, it's said to prevent side-to-side rocking when pedalling and better align the knees to help distribute pressure evenly, and comfortably, through to the sit bones.
The company says its testing, hundreds of real biomechanical studies during the development, found the fin isn’t perceptible to the cyclists when pedalling. It seems to be the case that if you can you feel the fin, you’re not sitting correctly on the saddle. Think of it as a guide then, as seems to be the case, to ensure you're sat properly on the saddle. Doesn’t seem so bonkers now does it?
Essax are based in Alicante, Spain and is a company with 25-years experience in the manufacturing of polyurethane foam. They’ve applied this know how to making saddles, and produce the saddles in their own factory. They produce a range of saddles of the more conventional type too, including the Adrenaline Tech, Tudons and Eon, but they're pushing the boundaries with this new design.
The saddle is currently with the UCI technical committee who will judge if it can be allowed in UCI races and events. It's also being race by UCI Professional Continental Team Pro, Caja Rural Seguros RGA.
The saddle weighs a claimed 210g and is constructed with 3mm deep foam. The fin is 40mm wide and high, and 100mm long, the saddle itself is 140mm wide at its widest points. We’ve no word on availability or pricing yet.
We’re an open-minded bunch here at road.cc, we prefer to hold judgment on new products until we’ve actually had the chance to try them out, but we do have to admit this does challenge everything we know about how a comfortable saddle should look. But there does appear to be valid science behind the design. We'll try and get one in for test.
More at www.essax.eu
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.