New Seat

The QuattroVelo got a new seat.
Quest and Strada, too.
Me? Too…
While visiting velomobiel.nl to take a look at the QuattroVelo (yes, this is the first new VM design I'm really fitting into) I already noticed the new seat. As I'm tall enough to fit the designed proportions it fit me perfectly and I threatened Allert to rip it out of the QuattroVelo and take it home with me. "It won't fit", he said but asked Theo to get the latest experiment from the storage area: A definitely better shaped seat, designed like its brother, but for Strada and Quest. Theo wanted to put it into his Quest for testing the design…

Wanted. He'll have to get Allert to make a new one for him (soon, I suppose – he's really missing something).

The new seat has a bit different proportions; the seat itself is shorter but its designed to support your back all the way down; this way it doesn't exert pressure of the nerves when your legs are stretched and you're sitting in a less upright position. I tried correcting some of the shortcomings of the old seat by sticking parts cut off from an old camping mat in places where I needed support but they changed shapes every few hundred km to they were not really working well in the long run. And the seat won't get shorter as you can't cut its edge off, no matter what you do which is getting worse over time (after a few hours) and can lead to severe problems with the ligaments of the peroneus muscle (don't ask me how I found out) (if the outside of your ankles are hurting after some time on a recumbent try finding out if their nerves (the nervus ischiadicus and later on the nervus pprineus communis) have been squeezed further up).

Putting the seat into my Strada proved to be a bit difficult; the bike received some improvements to that were in the way of the new seat when we tried to flip it up but some adjustments to its placement removed that obstacle. As I expected I needed to move the cranks forward to adapt to the new position.

The first test ride was extremely promising: No more pressure on the ischiadicus, no trace of what will later become a severe back pain if I don't watch out to the way I'm sitting. The shorter seat is leaving my legs completely free and still keeps me from sliding into the belly of my Strada. The back is even better; I never had the feeling that the seat wanted to keep me in one place unless I taped additional support structures onto it. The new shape is supporting me even when I have to ride uphill, pressing myself into it.

There is one disadvantage: It's not an "one size fits them all" and the current model has been shaped for Dutch giants (call it size XL). I was probably lucky (large torso with short legs at 1,92m) but the seat I got has been designed for Theo. Or someone taller than him. To be able to roll it out to the general public there have to be models for L, M and maybe S, too. And as it does not fit the Quest XS there will be a demand for a shorter model, too. I was making jokes about using human backs as shapes for the design of appropriate seats (get a naked rider, the current Quest seat and some memory foam, put the rider on a table with his legs angling down and use this model for the shape of an appropriately sized seat — are there any volunteers out there?).

My competition tried to solve that problem by trying to adapt an Evo Ks seat to her Quest XS with an inordinate price tag on it (getting it to fit the XS would cost at least 8 hours of working time of a specialist for all the necessary modifications); the new seat is definitely much cheaper (don't ask me for the price; I expect velomobiel.nl to do their calculations as soon as they decide to put it on their list of spare parts) as it is a drop-in replacement.