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BioFloat bicycle seatpost lets the seat move with the rider

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November 26, 2012

The BioFloat seatpost is designed to let the seat move with the rider's pelvis

The BioFloat seatpost is designed to let the seat move with the rider's pelvis

For a great many people, one of the most unpleasant aspects of cycling is feeling every little bump in the road, transmitted through the seat and into their butt. Various companies have responded by offering suspension seatposts, such as the BodyFloat and the CF3 Pro Carbon. While those and others soak up some vibrations by flexing up and down, the prototype BioFloat seatpost takes things further – it functions as a shock absorber, but it also allows the seat to move around sort of like the head on a bobblehead doll, moving with the rider’s pelvis instead of pressing into it.

The BioFloat consists of a carbon fiber tube (the post), topped with a head that clamps onto the seat’s mounting rails – so far, just like a regular seatpost. The seat clamp, however, is cradled within a pair of flexible clamshell-style elastomer inserts, isolating it from the rest of the head. In this way, the seat sort of “floats” at the top of the seatpost.

While sufficiently stiff to hold things in place, the elastomers are still flexible enough to eliminate some of the road vibrations, while also letting the seat tilt fore, aft, left and right. This allows it to move in response from pressure applied by the rider’s butt, minimizing pressure points and friction.

BioFloat co-inventor Tom Petrie likens it to the float feature that has become standard with clipless pedals, in which the rider’s clipped-in foot still has some room to move around on the pedal, allowing for greater comfort and less chance of injury. In keeping with that analogy, in the same way that riders can adjust the amount of float in their pedals, BioFloat users could also adjust the amount of float in their seatpost by choosing between three included sets of elastomers of varying softness.

Test riders have apparently liked using the 245-gram BioFloat prototype – once they got used to it. Petrie told us, “It’s pretty universally ‘I noticed it a lot when I first started riding it. It was weird, but I ended up liking it. I definitely noticed that it smoothed out the ride. When is it available?’.”

That’s a good question, actually. Petrie, who also runs Colorado-based bike parts company Cantitoe Road, hopes to have it on the market soon after he finds a business partner to help finance commercial production. He’s aiming for a retail price of about US$200.

Via: BikeRadar

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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4 Comments

If the seat is going to move they should also make it bigger to spread your weight over a larger area. I have eighteen inches of 1by6 tied to my seat so that it rocks from side to side doesn't move forward or backward.

Slowburn
26th November, 2012 @ 05:14 pm PST

A lot of the problem of discomfiture isn't just down to the bumps on the road being transported to one's nether regions, but due to poor saddle design- as most plastic saddles are convex- like the shape of the buttocks.

Leather saddles are vastly more comfortable as when they are worn in they conform to the shape of the user.

Nonetheless, in conjunction with a comfy leather saddle this might well be useful- as long as it does move with you rather than out-of-synch like old fashioned spring saddles do.

bergamot69
27th November, 2012 @ 03:03 am PST

There's another version of this, the Evolve saddle (which looks as if the riding experience would be like a buxom girl passing through a roomful of bottom-pinching roués). It has a spreading skeleton of ribs that move with the cyclist.

Maelduin
29th November, 2012 @ 10:31 pm PST

Dumb idea. Totally unnecessary for people who ride regularly. This is a lot like the problem with most running shoes which are designed to absorb impact from heel striking, when the real issue is that runners should be taught to run differently to prevent heel strike. The end result is a lot of people running with poor form and no reduction in running injuries

Frank Drennan
1st December, 2012 @ 11:17 pm PST
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