1. Are ISM saddles just made for men? Aren’t a woman’s sit bones wider than a man’s?
ISM Saddles are not gender specific. Men and women both are enjoying the pleasure of a comfortable ride with all of ISM saddles.
The big difference between male and female riders is the width of the sit bone and that width is influenced by child birth. ISM purchased two medical models of a male and female hip of an average person for use in their research. From the center of one side of the sit bone to the other side the width difference is 11 mm (.43 inches) which is equal to less than ¼ inch on each side. Additionally on both models the bones angle forward towards the center of the body as the rider rotates forward into the 60 degree riding position (the 60-degree position is the most common riding position). ISM has designed the Adamo saddles to follow the natural inward angle of the hips.
2. I’m concerned about the width of the nose, it looks too wide?
The Adamo Racing and Road saddles are approximately 70mm wide in the front, however, we have removed the front 2-4 inches of a traditional saddle. The nose is the source of many for discomfort, so ISM removed it.
Quite a few bike riders have a tendency to sit too far back on the Racing and Road saddle. The last 1.5-2 inches of the saddle is not supposed to be sat on. It is there for the rails and to make the saddle UCI legal.
3. I think the ISM saddles are too narrow for my sit bones. I have been measured and I have wider sit bones. My current saddle is 155 mm wide.
Although sitting on a pad to determine sit bone width is helpful it is not totally accurate. The sit bones are covered with fat and muscle and the thickness of that fat and muscle can influence the indentations left on the pad. ISM used two medical models of a male and female hip, of average persons, in their research. The hip of the male model measures 122 mm wide from the center of each sit bone and the hip of the female model measures 133 mm wide from the center of each sit bone. On both hip models the bones angle forward towards the center of the body as the rider rotates forward into the 60-degree riding position (the 60-degree position is the most common riding position). ISM has designed their saddles to follow the natural inward angle of the hips.
4. I’m sore after the first ride, why?
Most traditionally shaped saddles place much of the rider’s weight on the perineal area (soft tissue area) and not much pressure on the sit bones. The ISM saddles have eliminated the nose and cause the weight of the body to be supported by the sit bones. The human body has muscle covering the sit bones and in some people, those muscles need to be conditioned before total comfort is obtained. The conditioning period varies from one rider to the next but proper conditioning will be achieved. The muscle soreness is the same soreness you might get on your first few visits to the gym or your first day of yard work after a long winter.
5. What is difference between the Adamo Road and the Adamo Racing Saddle?
Both the ISM Adamo Road and Adamo saddles employ the same proven dimensions and design characteristics. The primary differences are the foam, gel and rails.
The Adamo Road saddle has more gel in the area of the sit bones continuing forward to the front of the saddle and a thicker foam base covering the entire saddle. Road bike riders spend most of their time in the 60 degree riding position (on the brake hoods) and were requesting more gel and padding in that area. The Adamo Racing saddle has ultra light foam and two get pads in the sit bone area and two additional pads on the front arms.
The inside edges of the front arms of the Adamo Road have had the foam trimmed away to create more of a trough in the relief area. Although the difference is minimal, the Adamo Road saddle did perform better during our blood flow testing in the 30-degree position. The Adamo Road saddle has re-mo rails, is approximately 135 mm wide and weighs about 320 grams. The Adamo Racing has titanium rails, is approximately 130 mm wide and weighs about 270 grams. Comfort levels on both saddles are good.
Both saddles place more pressure on the sit bones. The human body has muscle covering the sit bones and in some people, those muscles need to be conditioned a bit before total comfort is achieved. The conditioning period varies from one rider to the next.
6. How do I know when I have my saddle set up correctly?
Proper set up and installation are very important in achieving maximum comfort. The saddles are designed for the rider to place all of his/her weight on the sit bones. As with all nose less saddles, the ISM saddles place pressure on the sit bones. The sit bones are covered with muscle, which must be conditioned before you achieve maximum comfort. The amount of time for muscle conditioning varies amongst riders. The doctors have compared the muscle soreness to a weight workout and no damage is being done to the body. A PDF showing the set up and installation instructions and a diagram showing proper positioning can be viewed and printed from ISM’s website. The diagram reflects the set up for a male rider, however, female riders can also use the same set up. The saddles are not gender specific.
7. What if I feel pressure in the back of my legs?
With the Touring and Sport models the rider should not feel the front arms pressing on the backs of their legs. If they are feeling this, the saddle should be moved back, in small increments, until it is not bothersome. In addition, keep the saddle level. Pointing the front arms upward, may also result in pressure on the back of the legs.
If you feel like you are rocking on the seat, lower your saddle.
In addition, a rider sometimes may find more saddle comfort if they rotate (angle from side to side) the saddle a few degrees to the left or the right of the top tube. If the saddle is rotated, a rider might find the soft tissue area (perineal area) will fit into the opening (trough) between the two front arms.
ISM - Ideal Saddle Modification is the brainchild of Steve Toll, an avid cyclist and swimmer living in Tampa, Florida. In the winter of 1997, following a bike ride with his wife, Laura, Steve sketched out a design for a seat he thought would eliminate, or at least reduce, the discomfort most riders experience on a traditional bike saddle. By 1999, with some assistance from his family, the concept was patented. That’s a significant milestone for an industry that hasn’t seen a major saddle change in years.
Flash forward to today - through hard work and tenacity, Steve has not only created a state-of-the-art bike saddle, he is also being sought out by experts in the cycling industry who want the opportunity to test and ride the ISM™.
In 2009 alone, ISM has seen success with 77 Podium Finishes, 22 Ironman & 70.3 Wins, 10 International Dist Wins and 6 World Track GOLD Medals. For 2008, there were 11 Ironman wins, 2 Olympic silver medals, 1 World Duathlon Championship, 1 Lifetime Fitness Series overall win, and countless age group victories. Pros and amateurs alike are finding riding and competing comfortable again. Look for ISM saddles in the Professional Road Racing scene.
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