If you’ve even taken the challenge, you know that riding an electric bike is a completely different animal compared to a traditional pedal bike. First off, you’re hitting speeds up to 25 mph (depending upon the bike) and the initial off-the-line throttle boost isn’t too kind on some of your most important body parts. Finally, someone came to their senses – probably after a series of painful rides to work – and designed a comfortable e-bike seat. Introducing the eZone e-Bike Saddle from Selle Royal and Designworks – a BMW subsidiary group that specializes in engineering e-mobile products for the company’s Lifestyle brand.
Intelligent Design Features
With a mission focused on improving e-bike safety, comfort, and riding performance, Selle Royal is releasing its innovative e-bike saddle to market this October (2017). Without too much in the way of competition, Selle Royal and Dreamworks are penetrating a wide open market with a host of electric bike manufacturers eager to integrate the eZone Saddle onto their ride. Their timing could not have gotten any better – especially since BMW just finished engineering their all-new BMW Active Hybrid e-bike.
Like all things designed by the BMW Group, the engineers took their time perfecting the perfect e-bike saddle seat. After a full year of extensive e-bike riding research and coming up with the “Comfort Atlas” litmus test, Selle Royal decided to raise the back portion of the seat ever so slightly while creating a shorter nose. The end result: easier mounting and much-improved comfort levels.
“The big discovery of our research conducted with Designworks is that the characteristics of e-bikes are in many ways distinctly different to those of non-electric bikes,” Marketing manager Lara Cunico said in a recent BMW press release. “This lets us re-think our product in its entirety. We pushed the realms of expertise in the industry to develop a completely new type of saddle, different from any other product on the market. eZone is the outcome of an amazing project… and this is just the beginning.”
e-Bike Saddle Technology
The technology behind Selle Royal’s eZone saddle is rather impressive. Using Zonal Design elements, Designworks was able to drastically reduce the compression force during the e-bikes initial acceleration. Whether it’s shutting abruptly into high gear or suddenly braking to avoid a collision, “slipping off a flat saddle designed for traditional bikes is the leading cause of e-bikes accidents,” according to the company.
By raising the back portion of the eZone saddle, designing a shorter nose, adding a pair of wings for steering, and integrating a fiberglass handle for ease of maneuverability, the electric bike riding experience got a complete makeover. As an ex-employee of Polaris Electric Bikes, one of the chief complaints about e-bikes from avid riders: long distances hurt their butt especially if the terrain was challenging. Selle Royal and Designworks padded the eZone with a tridimensional gel structure – reducing pressure peaks by up to 40%.
Here is a breakdown of eZone’s features:
– a three-dimensional gel structure (3D Skingel) that reduces pressure peaks by up to 40%, guaranteeing comfort for the rider;
– three zones fitted with flexible tabs, in specific shapes and dimensions, which provide increased stability and safety when accelerating (Acceleration control);
– a specifically studied design to prevent retraction of the riding position and to help anyone who gets on a bike (eFit design);
– a fiberglass grip integrated into the support (eGrip) to facilitate moving the bike by hand in a simple and practical way and improving its maneuverability.
Improved Comfort on eBikes
The bottom line: you just can’t use traditional “flat” bike seats on e-bikes and expect a smooth ride. Working alongside Designworks for the second time (they also help build the all-new BMW Active Hybrid e-Bike) has proven to be a worthwhile venture. With an impressive performance package that includes 250W of battery power, 90 Nm of torque, and a capacity of 504 Wh, the BMW Group timed their brand new eZone saddle seat perfectly.
The Selle Royal saddle will be available for purchase this October.
Designworks, A BMW Group Company
Designworks is a BMW Group company and a creative consultancy that’s been driving innovation for more than forty years. Acquired by BMW Group in 1995, Designworks enables its parent company as well as internationally-renowned clients outside the automotive industry to grow their businesses through design and creative consulting services. With studios in Los Angeles, Munich and Shanghai and with clients including BMW, MINI, Rolls Royce, HP, Microsoft, Corsair, Coca-Cola, Embraer, Neil Pryde, Siemens Trains and Singapore Airlines, Designworks is deeply immersed in a broad cross-section of industries.
Selle Royal has been a world-leading bicycle saddle brand for over 50 years. Its history is one of innovation built on research, technology, and advanced design. Selle Royal exports to more than 70 countries worldwide and is the choice of many prestigious bicycle manufacturers. Its saddles have won numerous design awards and are today the subject of scientific research in the bio-engineering laboratories of major European universities.