This is actually part of a larger NAHBS blog entry that I’ve been chipping away at for a few evenings here and there since the weekend that I decided to pull out and publish ahead of the other entry. Reason being, I just discovered that Selle An Atomica launched a crowd funding effort to support the development effort needed to see if they can bring their composite saddle concept to market. As you’ll see in this extract, we signed-on as a backer tonight; feeling pretty good about it too! We love to support US-based manufacturing businesses and, when they’re supporting one of our hobbies, all the better!
Crowd Funding Link: http://selleanatomica.com/pages/crowdfund
An Extract from the Upcoming Tandems at NAHBS 2015
As regular readers are aware, Miss Debbie switched over to the Selle An Atomica Titanico saddles a couple of years back for use on the road tandem and triplet and couldn’t be happier. We had a little bump in the road when we purchased a replacement saddle last year only to discover that SA had changed the seat rail design on their saddle frames. Thankfully we found a new old stock saddle with the original, longer rails and have since learned and confirmed at this near’s NAHBS show that they’ve once again tweaked the frame design to add-back some of the rail length that had been lost. Now, if they could just come up with a way of making their slotted saddle so that the cover didn’t stretch so darn fast.. or perhaps not at all. Low and behold, a composite saddle!
No, your eyes are not deceiving you. In the foreground is a composite saddle cover patterned after the Selle An Atomica leather saddle cover and bonded to a composite leaf spring foundation with a set of aluminum rails. The saddle just behind it uses the same composite cover attached to their standard steel frame. The composite covers were every bit as compliant as a properly tensioned leather cover, which was quite intriguing. Obviously, the steel frame doesn’t really take advantage of the weight saving properties of composites as a leather cover isn’t all that much heavier. However, if the composite leaf spring and aluminum rail element can be developed and made durable enough to meet consumer needs, that would be pretty cool. There are also some issues with regard to how the composite edges need to be finished to make sure they don’t chaff or cut the riders shorts or flesh in the event of a crash scenario; composites become quite nasty when the edges fray.
So, here’s some real-time additional info on a composite saddle project that Selle An Atomica is looking to develop. Selle just launched a Crowd Funding effort on 23 March whereby they hope to secure 150 backers at $199 a pop within the next 30 days. The $199 investment will net a backer a limited edition of the ultra lightweight saddle with leaf spring damping later this year. For an extra $100, backers can also snag a new leather saddle on top of the promise of the composite model, assuming the project succeeds. When we signed-on at 10:00pm tonight we were the 39th backer, so I’m thinking they’ll hit their goal in far less than 30 days.