Jumping The Shark
I keep this saddle hidden in the fit area, it tends to elicit a strong reaction from most folks I show it too, due to its unique shape.
The primary reason I bought this saddle, is to me it is one of the finest examples in the bicycle world of identifying a problem, creating a shortcut to a solution for that problem without fully acknowledging or identifying the root cause of the problem, in short, Bad data in, Bad data out.
So why the Shark? the problem the Shark was made to address is pelvic instability, with a fin on the saddle it forces the pelvis to be aligned correctly on the saddle and neatly solves the issue of pelvic stability thus improving performance. The makers of this saddle didn’t spare expense on their creation using the highest quality materials, top grain leather cover, Titanium saddle rails, handmade in Spain, the craftsmanship is excellent.
Pelvic stability on a bicycle is one of the foundations of comfort, It also creates a platform for the effective production of power and aerodynamics, there are many causes of pelvic instability , some are related to equipment, like getting incorrect frame size or a saddle shape that doesn’t support the pelvic structure appropriately others may be related to asymmetries in the body , bone shape differences , muscle imbalances , wear and tear from age or injuries , in many cases there are multiple contributing factors added together to affect how a body fits on a bicycle.
Each human body is unique , no two pelvic structures are the same this means each bicycle fit will need to be customized to the riders body if done correctly, it is true that some people fall within certain averages that allow them to get lucky and ride a bicycle comfortably without any real modification, for many others that is not the case and being unaware that the discomfort they experience on the bicycle can be addressed in most cases with a bit of customization in the fit to their bodies, they often ride a few times and decide cycling is not for them and into the garage the bike goes.
There are lots of bicycle products on the market that are selling solutions to fit issues, when looking at those products , the questions you have to ask is what are the underlying causes of the issue , are you making the appropriate correction or accommodation for those causes , what is the potential for damage if you get it wrong (there are fit solutions that if used needlessly or incorrectly can do real damage).
In the Fittings we offer , we try to identify the causes of the fitting issues that the client is having , then depending on the level of Fitting we are doing , we work toward a solution that is customized for the needs of the individual , based on the data gathered from observational movement , body function testing , saddle & insole pressure analysis and motion capture . Each human Body is unique and the more accurate data we have in the fit process, the better the opportunity for a successful outcome that makes cycling a great experience, it’s not quick or easy however it is effective.
So back to the Shark saddle is there a case where I might consider prescribing this saddle? the answer is I can think of one scenario where it might be appropriate and that is in the case of a traumatic brain injury or nerve damage situation , where the client has lost the ability to know how to center themselves on the saddle and the positioning has to be retrained , it would definitely be a very unique case where I would consider this intervention.