We’ve seen a number of wild saddle concepts in our days, but this SaddleSpur might take the cake. Its secret lies in the “coccyx connection“. By extending a unique ‘Spur’ up from the rear of the otherwise normal saddle design, SaddleSpur promises more rider comfort and efficiency by reducing lower back pain and “bum ache” by giving you something to push up against.
SaddleSpur unique ergonomic saddle design with rear support
Developed by John Downing to make riding a road bike more comfortable, this SaddleSpur saddle is the realization of almost a decade of development to make cycling “better”. Downing has patent applications dating back to 2016 describing various iterations on this same concept.
“You love riding. We love riding. But we don’t love it when riding hurts. Lower-back pain, saddle sore, bum ache – whatever you call it, it slows you down and sucks the joy out of cycling. That’s why we created SaddleSpur.“
How does it work?
With a ‘spur’ extending up from the rear of the saddle, the rider does not have to pull on the bars and strain their shoulders and lower back to push down into the pedals. An extension of the 7mm round aluminum rails from the conventional front half of the saddle transfers forces to the seatpost clamp, taking strain out of your lower back.
“The unique spur design helps anchor the rider and gives them a surface to push against, enabling more power to transfer to the pedals. At the same time, the expanded surface area of the spur removes pressure and friction from the sitting bones.“
Generally bicycle saddle innovations fall into a few basic categories to improve the user experience. Ultra-lightweight construction satisfies weight weenie cravings. Or alternative ergonomic designs eliminate pressure points with conventional or radical cutouts, pressure-mapped fitting. Or dialed-in sizing at home, or even unique noseless designs. And more recently, customized shaping takes advantage of 3D-printing for a bespoke fit. Maybe the most out-of-the-box ergonomic solution we’d seen had been the Essax Shark saddle, that stuck a fin in your butt crack to make sure you were evenly balanced on the seat.
SaddleSpur has been making the rounds for quite a while. As Downing has tried to bring his ergonomic saddle concept to market with the goal of improving rider comfort & efficiency. It last showed up on Kickstarter in a failed 2022 crowdfunding campaign for a carbon fiber version.
One big hurdle to SaddleSpur’s adoption is the fact that it will seriously limit the rider’s ability to shift their weigh back over the rear wheel. Either to simply change weight balance of respond to a panic stop. Downing admits that a new “riding experience does involve a change in body dynamics. In an [sic] situation where the instinct is to shift backwards on the saddle, with SaddleSpur the instinct shifts to transfer the force through the arms – to arrest the body from projecting forward“.
That sounds a bit scary to me.
Downing describes the SaddleSpur as a flat profile, short-fit style saddle, suitable for men and women. A narrow 130mm wide x 236mm long, with a claimed weight of 310g. The polyurethane padded saddle features a snub nose, a generous pressure relief cutout, and a “flexible base” for comfort.
The ‘sturdy’ padded rear Spur is relatively narrow. But is said to be shaped to comfortably cup the coccyx for comfortable power transfer.
SaddleSpur – Pricing & Availability
Downing’s SaddleSpur is available consumer-direct now as a pre-order for £125 including VAT and shipping in the UK (~$150 or 140€). No official statement on exactly when those saddles will ship. But word is that some pre-orders are expected to be filled before the end of this year.
Are you brave enough to give it a try? Let us know in the comments!
Want to know even more about saddles? How they are made, how they differ, and how to pick the right one for you? We wrote a 5-part series on Everything You Need To Know About Saddles. Check it out here.