ISM saddles are wide by design. The width isn't a flaw or an oversight but instead the width is the primary design component that provides the safety and comfort of all the ISM saddles.
Our studies of the human hip confirmed the sit bones are the starting point for anyone sitting on any surface. When a human sits on a chair, a couch, the ground or any other object the first section of the human skeleton that makes contact with the sitting surface are the isichial tuberosities (sit bones). As the human relax's and gravity enters the equation the load is spread out across the muscles of the buttocks and the bones and muscles of the upper legs. All of these sections of the body work together to support the body and provide a comfortable sitting position. When a bike rider sits on a traditionally shaped bike seat there are three points of contact between the rider and the seat; the two isichial tuberosities (sit bones) and the soft tissue area know as the perineal area. The perineal area is a section of the body that was not designed to be sat upon. It is an area void skeletal structure to support the weight of the human body. The area is home to the pudendal nerve and the pudendal artery. The pudendal nerve acts as an early warning system to alert the rider to potential problems in the area.
This warning is numbness. The pudendal artery carries blood to the penis of the human male and to the clitoris of the human female. Numbness indicates blood flow is being restricted and the continued restriction can result in temporary and/or permanent damage to the artery. Studies have shown a rider can place between 50 - 80 percent of their body weight on their perineal area. The main areas of the hip designed for contact and support of a human while sitting are the isichial tuberosities and the pubic rami bones. The pubic rami are attached to the anterior of the isichial tuberosities and travel inward and upward from the isichial tuberosities and form the pubic arch. The area of the body between the pubic rami is the perineal area and is not designed for extended and excessive pressure from outside sources. A traditionally shaped bike seat places extreme amounts of pressure to the perineal area and subsequently puts the riders health in jeopardy. Unfortunately, some riders (because of physiological differences in their bodies) don't experience numbness while riding and are not aware of the possible damage being done to their bodies. Blood flow studies by urologists who have specialized in these issues have not found any rider who does not have a loss of blood flow while riding a traditionally shaped bike seat. Many of the test subjects felt no numbness at all from their saddles. The length and narrow with of the nose of a traditional saddle are the sole reason why a traditionally shaped saddle is bad for you.
Pressure mapping is one of the initial measurements of a good saddle but proper and complete testing includes blood gasses /blood flow testing. If your current saddle manufacturer doesn't show you blood flow results they are either embarrassed by those results or just don't care enough about the rider to find out. ISM cares and sets the bar for proper and safe saddle designs. Don't be fooled by imitations.
You can't create the future by clinging to the past. Manufacturers continue to try to evolve the traditional saddle shape into something that it can't be. ISM has broken the mould of traditional saddle design and manufactured the first truly safe and comfortable bicycling saddle designed by humans for humans.
Pressure testing was useful in the foundation of the ISM saddle development. In the end we have embraced the most recent medical data which shows traditional saddle design can negatively impact the function of the body. Our saddles position the rider on the bone structures of the body which Mother Nature intended for the human to sit upon.
Transitional Phase - by Elite Custom Singapore
Like changing any other fit related component on the bike, there will be a 'break-in' phase, where in, your body starts to get accustomed to the new position.
We find that most riders who have been using traditional saddles for a long time, need a period of 2-3 weeks to get used to this new position, or 'muscle-memory'.
While most riders will find huge and immediate relief in numbness, the new position actually puts the rider's weight on their seat bones, which could make them feel a little sore on the two seat bones after long rides.
This is absolutely normal, and rest assured, this soreness would soon go away once the rider is accustomed to it..
While rare, some riders may also find the ISM nose a little too wide, and find themselves rubbing either side of the saddle. This is mainly occurs because they are used to a traditional nosed saddle which was too narrow to support the public rami bones. This lack of support alters their cycling stroke and results in poor knee tracking, which is why the ISM width is necessary.
What we have found useful in helping clients transition from a traditional saddle to an ISM, is utilizing a (metal) washing machine hose clamp to clamp the saddle rails together, to narrow this width temporarily.
They can then start to loosen it up as they get used to the wider front end of the ISM. This transition period takes an average of 2-3 weeks.