RTI Sports develops bicycle saddle with E-TPU from BASF
The research team of Ergon, a brand of the Koblenz-based German company RTI Sports, has developed the new bicycle saddle ST Core Ultra, which features TwinShell technology with an ergonomic core made of the expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (E-TPU) Infinergy from BASF.
According to the company, this design principle combines optimum pressure distribution and active motion support. Two shells function in isolation from each other in a sandwich construction, held in a floating arrangement by an elastomer damper made of E-TPU. The lower, supporting shell performs a load-bearing function while the upper, flexible seat shell supports the padding. This design principle not only increases comfort but also allows for a new form of pedalling ergonomics, says the manufacturer. As a result of isolating the seat shell from the supporting shell, the saddle follows the natural pedalling movements in all directions. This has the advantage of systematically combining optimised pressure distribution across the sit bones, efficient pedalling ergonomics, good vibration damping, and active back protection.
The ergonomic core of the bicycle saddle is made of Infinergy E-TPU, which is said to set new standards in relation to damping and suspension due to thousands of light and highly elastic foam particles. The high elasticity optimises the damping of pressure in the seat area. As soon as the pressure impulse has passed, the foam springs back into its old shape. The material retains this property even under continuous load. The core thus ensures a direct damping response and high resilience, as well as high durability at low material weight. The E-TPU foam has already been used successfully by leading manufacturers in the safety and running shoe sectors.
Franc Arnold, Ergon founder and chief executive, said: “The idea of a design principle using TwinShell technology and an ergonomic core has been around for a while, but we were never able to find a suitable material on the market to implement this project. Now, Infinergy from BASF has exceeded our expectations. I am absolutely certain that Ergon will cause a stir in the bicycle industry with its ST Core Ultra.”
The saddle will be presented for the first time at the Eurobike 2017 exhibition from 30 August to 2 September 2017 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, at the RTI Sports stand 102 in hall B4. The ST Core Ultra will be available in Europe and the USA from February 2018.