New seat is revolutionary
IT'S a sensitive subject for every man who rides a bike. But a Suffolk inventor has now come up with a revolutionary bicycle seat to help cure crotch-ache, numb bums and saddle sores.
It took John Kenney seven years to produce his innovative design for a bike saddle and the finished product has won acclaim from cyclists across the country.
The Rido saddle is designed to spread the weight more evenly over the seat, instead of focussing it directly on the crotch. It has proved a particularly big hit with men recovering from prostrate and bladder cancer, but is designed for cyclists of all ages.
Mr Kenney, 44, of Orford, said: "I always thought cycling was rather uncomfortable and about seven years ago I sat down and did some sketches of a seat that I thought would look more comfortable. There didn't seem to be any other seats on the market that spread the weight onto the cheeks of your backside, except huge granny saddles which you simply wouldn't want to put on your mountain bike.
"Most other seats consist of a solid core with lots of padding around the outside and when that padding is compressed you are sitting on the solid core. The Rido is different because it has no core."
Mr Kenney began to experiment by making MDF sculptures of the seat before looking into the way it could be manufactured in large numbers. He said: "It took about three years to get the technology right so that it could be made. Eventually we found a company in the Far East who would make them for us."
Things really took off when the seats were featured in an issue of Cycling Weekly in March and Mr Kenney, who used to work for a London-based design agency, has been inundated with offers ever since. He said: "The nicest thing about it has been the reaction from other people. I've had many men ring me up who thought they wouldn't be able to cycle long distances again after having surgery for bladder cancer and so on. They've been amazed by the distances they've been able to travel with no pain at all. I'm hoping that my next big step will be to get some kind of medical accreditation for it."
Monday August 9th, 2004