The Manta bicycle seat - umm... wow
First of all, let's just say it: this is the most bizarre-looking bicycle saddle of all time. Feel free to disagree, but c'mon, just look at the thing - it's like the bike is sporting a leaf rake, or perhaps even a rib cage. Like most funny-looking bike seats, however, the Manta promises to rectify one of the most common of cyclists' complaints... the all-too-familiar "numb bum."
Instead of a traditional rigid saddle form, the Manta features a series of elements that tilt from side to side along a central axle, allowing them to move up and down with your legs. The idea behind this design is that it will keep the pressure off the rider's perineum, in particular the pudendal arteries, prostate and associated nerves. It is also claimed to provide three to four times the support area of conventional saddles, thus distributing your weight more evenly and minimizing peak pressure points. As a nice side benefit, it offers better butt ventilation, too.
It's interesting to note that the Manta does have a slightly raised spine running down the center, which seems to be at odds with the "love channel" on many traditional saddles - a cut-out area that (supposedly) keeps the rider's crotch from pressing against the seat. One would assume this is something they've taken into account.
The Manta saddle is available in configurations that emphasize light weight (9 elements) or extra support (13 elements). The second version is currently only available on back order, but the light version can be purchased for GBP77.96 (US$112.80) through the company's website.
UPDATE: Nov. 24/11
United Sport, the company that makes what was formerly known as the Manta, has informed us that the product has now been rebranded as the new-and-improved Evolve Saddle.
About the Author
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
The idea behind this design is that it will keep the pressure off the rider's perineum, in particular the pudendal arteries, prostate and associated nerves.<
Well then why not use a softer version for car seats?
Show a picture with somebody setting on it!
It is like a sitting on a rake!
At first it seemed like a thing to scratch inside an itchy bum hole....
Or a variation on the insertable object for fun ????? or medical ?????
HMm I think I will stick to having real human beings for that.
But as a REAL bike seat - it\'s actually a very very good idea..
Will it pick up UHF?
\"Rectify\" seems an unfortunate choice of words...
\"the Manta promises to rectify one of the most common of cyclists' complaints\"
At the very least, no one will steal your bicycle!
I think they were originally going to call it the rectum-master 9000.
Let me guess, it was invented by... freddy Kruger!
Show a picture with somebody setting on it!
Pics of the seat being sat on at the manufacturers\' website. (link in the article above)
I don\'t know. Maybe it\'s just me but doesn\'t the thing look like it\'s mounted on backwards? As a side note, my brother could ride a bike backwards so maybe it\'s for trick riding?
Will, the tink
These guys now operate under Unified Sport and the design is now a much more comfortable 9 lever based design, not 13!
How about wheelchairs or handcycles?
After a couple of years and manufacturer/distributor issues, the Manta Saddle is sold directly from their website http://mantasaddle.co.uk/ for £83.50 + £15.00 shipping
I have myself a Manta, the 9 piece version as opposed to the 13 of the earlier design, and it's fantastically comfy. I get questions about it all the time as I roll around. Friends call it an anti-theft device because it surely confuses potential bike thieves!
I am a Private Technology Consultant that does unbiased reviewing of new products that appears on a variety of sites as well as advising people what, where, and how to set-up new home audio/visual elements in their homes and workplaces. I would be most interested in testing one of these products as I am a victim of a lower large-cell sacral tumor which essentially made me devoid of part of my pelvis and all of my tailbone. If something like this were to make it possible for me to once again ride a bicycle with some/any degree of relief, I would shout it's virtues to the heavens of Olympus and back. If possible, please send me one and I will provide everyone with the truth beyond the legend. If it helps me, it will become a must for every rider, disabled or not.
£98.50 including (presumably domestic) delivery - adding international shipping would doubtless add a breathtakingly ludicrous extra amount... no thanks, that's nearly half what my entire bicycle cost, including the very expensive rechargeable high-intensity LED lamp. No, I'll stick to my uncomfortable conventional saddle!
Incidentally, all the anatomical references in the article are to males. What about the ladies, who I understand are the ones that really have trouble with long-distance rides?
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