The Most Comfortable Bicycle Seat

News & Reviews

From the Houston Chronicle By Ken Hoffman
In my delirium over finishing the MS150 charity bike ride last month, I forgot to mention my secret weapon: a new high-tech bicycle seat that promised – and delivered – comfortable passage for one specific body part. I’m talking out of my rear end here. The bike seat is crafted by RideOut Technologies in Idaho. Rideout makes them in all sizes, for people of all sizes. I got one for people with normal-size butts. I ride my bike a lot, but mostly to real-life destinations, like Dairy Queen. I pedal to Austin once a year, and that’s enough. I’m not one of those freakishly skinny bikers who, frankly, look like they’re about to fall over. Rideout bike seats feature infused carbon fiber, “crossbow supports” and molded “Anatomy Fit” ergonomic baseplates. I have no idea what any of that means. I just know I wasn’t walking like a rodeo cowboy after the MS150.

Flathead BeaconBuilding A Better Bike Seat

Justin Franz • Oct, 2 2014


After huge gains, RideOut Technologies relocates its business to Lincoln County

Any biker can attest to the fact that bike seats are often uncomfortable. It’s something that rugged off-road warriors and weekend wannabes can agree on. Which is probably why Jeri Rutherford of RideOut Technologies in Libby has sold her patented bike seats around the world. “Bike seats don’t discriminate,” Rutherford said. “They make people around the world miserable.” Today, RideOut has three different types of bike seats on the market. What sets the seats aparts is that they have a carbon-fiber leaf spring suspension under the seat that is easier on a biker’s backside. It’s also made from a much lighter material. Rutherford, who is a native of Eugene, Oregon and later lived in Boise, Idaho, first realized the need for a better bike seat 11 years ago when the lifelong biker was embarking on yet another long trip. After a day or two she just couldn’t sit on the seat any longer, but she knew the fix. “I could see the bike seat I really wanted,” she said. “I wanted a bike seat that could be flexible and move with my body.” So Rutherford did what any frustrated biker would do: She hired a welder and started making seats, more than 50 prototypes in all over nearly five years.

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In the late 2000s she finally got a seat that she liked and let a few friends borrow them. She knew she was on to something when they stopped returning them. She then spent the $20,000 to get the seat patented and embarked on a two-year journey trying to find out if someone could build them in the United States. Unfortunately, the costs to make it domestically would push the price tag up. Then, while attending a trade show in Las Vegas, she made a contact with someone from Taiwan who liked the idea and agreed to make the seats for less overseas. In 2010, RideOut Technologies was born.

Most of RideOut’s seats cost upwards of $80 or $90, but Rutherford said that little bit of extra cost is worth the quality of the product. The bike seat uses infused carbon fiber in the base plate that allows the seat to absorb more of the impact from bumps in the road. The seats themselves are covered in Kevlar side panels that can withstand more abuse and the rear part of the seat has 3M fabrics sewn into it so it is more visible. The seat is also lighter than traditional bike seats. All of those amenities have earned the bike seat accolades from professional bikers to police departments and doctors. In recent years, the company has also expanded its product line, including an item called FireFly Bike Grips. The ergonomic bike handles look like just about any other bike handle except they include working signal indicator lights. Rutherford said she designed the product after there were 22 bike-car collisions in Boise in 2013, half of which involved children. She said the product not only helps drivers see where bikers are going, but they also seem to help children be more aware of where they biking, in part because they like using the lights. RideOut has also made an Urban Touring Bag that connects to the seat and lights up. Again, Rutherford said safety was the primary motivator in developing the product. Earlier this year, Rutherford married a man from the Lincoln County area and the couple decided to relocate to the Libby area. She recently opened a small facility with three employees, her included. While most of the seats are assembled overseas, some are pieced together in Libby and she thinks the business will expand with the introduction of a new mountain bike seat. As for the biking in her new home, she said Lincoln County is an undiscovered biker’s paradise. “I’m wondering why I didn’t move here years ago,” Rutherford said of the biking and recreational opportunities. Rutherford said it took a decade to get her company to where it is today, but she’s excited about how far it’s come and its future. She said her business is more than just a hobby turned career; it’s a calling. “Every time you’re on a bike you’re not driving a car,” she said. “We’re saving the world one butt at a time.” jfranz@flatheadbeacon.com


Geared UP, March 2012 ADVENTURE CYCLIST MAGAZINE By Mike Deme, Editor, Adventure Cyclist editor@adventurecycling.org AdventureCyclistThroughout the entire existence of the bicycle, inventors have been trying to devise a comfortable platform on which to sit when operating one of the many varieties of the upright machines. It seems a central focus has been the elimination of the nose of the saddle. It doesn’t take much imagination to realize that a saddle without a nose might crack the comfort code but there’s a problem – the nose isn’t as useless as to be cast aside cavalierly. Quite the contrary, the nose provides a steering and stabilizing device that can be quite useful to the skilled rider. Some might argue differently, but I’ll defend the saddle nose as something to hang on to. In the interest of our readers, I’ve tried many alternative saddles since 1994. The verdict on each one has varied from acceptable to downright laughable. The RideOut Carbon Comfort approaches the problem of discomfort differently, and, finally I’m sold on a non-standard saddle.

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Much of the reason is because the Carbon Comfort actually has a nose. It may be reduced in size and less prominent than on a standard saddle, but it’s there. Significantly, though, the reduced size does eliminate much of the numbness caused by standard-length saddle noses. But’s that not the only reason the Carbon Comfort is so effective. Equally important are the dimensions of the saddle. At 6.75 inches long and 8.75 inches wide, the platform provides excellent area on which your weight can be spread, alleviating pressure on the perineal nerve, which is often the cause of discomfort and numbness (and some say sexual dysfunction) when riding. In addition each side of the Carbon Comfort is raised allowing even less pressure on the perineal nerve while allowing air flow, which also adds a degree of comfort on long rides. Admittedly, it took a bit of getting used to, but after a week or so of using the Carbon Comfort, I’ve decided to leave it on my touring bike. At 13.4 ounces (380 grams), and with the Kevlar reinforced cover, the Carbon Comfort offers an excellent option for those who might like to try something a bit different to sit on when riding a standard upright bike.

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