Just a week after Carbon unveiled an innovative 3D printed bike saddle made for American bicycle manufacturer Specialized, the digital manufacturing company has announced a new partnership with Italian cycling equipment producer fizik. The partnership, revealed today at Eurobike 2019, will see Carbon leverage its Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) technology to produce a new bike saddle range called Adaptive.
The innovative 3D printed bike saddle range is designed to provide cyclists with stability and comfort, through superior power transfer, shock absorption and padding. The seat, which integrates a complex internal structure made possible by DLS 3D printing, overcomes many of the existing challenges in saddle production, which were tied to working with foam materials.
As part of the partnership, fizik is preparing to develop and release a range of saddles that integrate 3D printed padding made from Carbon’s EPU 41 material (the same material used for Specialized’s S-Works Power Saddle) as well as engineered zonal cushioning, which imparts excellent support and power transfer properties. Similar to Specialized’s product, fizik’s 3D printed saddle is informed by extensive pressure mapping data (over nine-years worth) collected from some of the world’s top cyclists.
“We’re proud to partner with fizik to unlock their unique product vision to push the limits of saddle design,” said Erika Berg, Head of Application Development at Carbon. “fizik used the Carbon Lattice Engine to match optimized response profiles based on rider feedback and create a digitally tuned lattice geometry for the Adaptive—enabling differentiation based on their unique product vision and design.”
A saddle just for you
Not only will the Adaptive saddle be 3D printed using Carbon’s DLS platform, but fizik also plans to offer its clients customization opportunities for the product. Down the line, the company plans to collect pressure-mapping data in store from individual customers to create fully personalized saddles. According to the company, the 3D printed saddle is the “first step into personal and athlete-data-driven design and engineering.”
The first Adaptive saddles to become available will be based on fizik’s Versus Evo 00 platform, a carbon fiber performance racing saddle that already delivers good power transfer and a lightweight structure. The design of the existing saddle also prioritizes comfort and includes a full channel design for soft tissue pressure release.
Luca Mathia Bertoncello, fizik Brand Director, displayed excitement about the new partnership with Carbon. “Digital Light Synthesis unlocks a new era in saddle design and manufacturing, driven by athlete data and agile manufacturing processes,” he said. “It means we can fully release our creativity—transforming not just what we make, but how we make it, bringing a whole new way of thinking to cycling saddles. Our aim is to provide riders with bespoke performance products tailored to their individual biodynamic data.”
The Adaptive saddle was born out of fizik’s Concepts initiative, which is described as a “cross-disciplinary collaboration of leading industry and experts” that aims to innovate in the segment of cycling equipment. The saddle is not yet commercially available.