Since debuting the FR-1 Bike Saddle at Bespoked Handmade Bike Show in October 2022, we've made numerous refinements to the design. In this article we've outlined the changes we've made and the reasoning behind each alteration:
1. Slimmer nose and rounder base
One thing that came up in beta testing with the first batch of prototypes, was that the saddle nose was a little too wide, leading to a risk legs rubbing whilst pedalling. We slimmed the nose to combat this and also adjusted the profile to be more gradually rounded. One additional benefit of the refined mould has been a weight reduction from 320g to 300g.
Images: The original version (left) compared with the new rounder and slimmer version (right)
2. Refined rails
Rather than 3D printing, we're now using a combination of stamping, bending and welding to make titanium parts. We've also refined the angle of the bars to make it easier for users to find the right seat position.
Image: The updated rail angle allows for a wider range of saddle positions
3. Refined production methods
To improve the consistency of processes like gluing and welding, we've created custom jigs, which has helped with quality control and to reduce manufacturing lead times.
4. Raw titanium finish
In the early versions of the FR-1 we bead-blasted the titanium. We thought this looked great, but in the end we reverted to a more raw looking polished finish, which we think showcases the metal better.
Left / right: Bead blasted / Polished
5. New cork mixes
The first batch of FR-1 Bike Saddles are made using a firm grade of cork, but some softer density cork options are currently undergoing beta testing... read more.
Left to right: Fine grain, Large grain, Upcycled EVA
The FR-1 Bike Saddle is available to purchase here.