Seat7 – A bespoke bicycle saddle

Mervyn Bienek

April / April - 2019

Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach


Seat7 is a bicycle saddle that is ergonomically and aesthetically customized for the cyclist. For optimal ergonomics the seat bones of the cyclist are measured and the saddle geometry adapted to the respective driving style. Also customizable are the degree of hardness of the seat and the covering materials.

What is the Topic?

Mobility is facing a new ecological and logistical challenge. A very good answer is: cycling, but often the conversion to the bike fails due to various physical complaints. These are caused by a wrong posture and ergonomics of the products. I have dealt with the ergonomics of the bicycle saddle, because it is particularly crucial for a healthy and comfortable cycling. Finding and producing the right bike saddle is not easy, as the anatomy of the pelvic floor is very different from person to person. In many cases, only a made to measure saddle leads to an optimal cycling quality.

Why does it look like this?

Thanks to the classic production method used in cabinetry and the use of wood, looks Seat7 like a high-quality piece of furniture and differentiates itself from conventional bicycle saddles with a sleek design. Each saddle is individual and is produced as a unique piece. The basic form is strongly conditioned by the material and the production method of the form-bonding. The surfaces are simply curved and can be developed and used as a pattern for the plywood. The chosen shape allows the saddles to be produced quickly and with little pressure.

What is special?

Measuring: The pressure profile of the cyclist is raised by a pressure measuring film on a neutral bicycle saddle. This service is offered by some bike shops and bike fitters. In a further step, the measuring saddle is to be sent to the customer, with whom he can then collect his own data. Customization: The customer can individually determine the degree of hardness from hard to soft (10-60 Shore). The degree of hardness is ensured by form-fit cork and foam inserts. A harder wooden saddle is for athletic use and can only be driven with cycling pants. For the cover materials it can be chosen between veneer, leather and cork inserts. Generate: Based on the pressure profile and the customization, the shape of the saddle is generated and the production data is created. This allows for a parametric CAD model, which was developed as part of the diploma thesis.

What is new?

Seat 7 is the first custom made bicycle saddle made out of wood. Throughout Germany, there is one manufacturer for custom-made saddles. Seat 7 differentiates itself by the material, the design and the intended method of measuring. The generation of the individual data and the production process are semi-automated to allow high individuality with low-cost production. The added value of ergonomic optimization and customization addresses current customer needs in the mid- to high-price segment.