Multiple factors affect saddle comfort. These include
We only consider a situation to be medical in nature after diagnosis by a medical expert. Irregularities seen in, say, pressure mapping of saddles while riding will not be considered by us. Consultation with folks with the appropriate medical knowledge and expertise is strongly recommended.
For valid medical cases, please contact us before you proceed with an order. Failure to do so will result in handling of the case at our discretion.
We'll work with you and iterate the design a number of times. If no further progress is possible, we'll provide a refund. The exceptions are medical cases: please contact us before you proceed with an order, and equipment incompatibility: please ensure your bike allows for proper installation and adjustment (fore/aft/tilt) of the saddle.
The most comfortable saddle is one that flexes and moves with the body while pedaling, and distributes pressure evenly throughout. Padding is necessary to compensate for the lack of shell fit and flexibility. The carbon shell of a Meld saddle is made based on the rider's anatomy, and has the appropriate level of flexibility for the rider's weight. As such, thicker padding is not needed.
Pain in the sitbone region can be due to insufficient time spent on the saddle, or excessive pressure on the sitbones.
For a cyclist relatively new to the sport, or someone who cycles infrequently (i.e. a casual cyclist), it can be an issue of simply getting used to cycling more.
In the case of excessive pressure on the sitbones, Meld saddles mitigate the issue in three ways, all of which deal with pressure distribution:
a) Fit: by modeling based on the anatomy's geometry, a Meld saddle increases the area of contact thereby reducing pressure at any one location.
b) Postures: by supporting multiple sitting postures (upright on sitbones, forward on sitbones and rami, aggressive on rami), our weight can be placed on different parts of our anatomy at different times.
c) Flexibility: a Meld shell flexes while pedaling maintaining a large contact patch throughout the pedaling motion hence distributing pressure well.
We define saddle sores to be breaks in the skin caused by abrasion/chafing, and is accompanied by pain especially when pedaling. The pain is first felt in the middle of a ride. For other cases, medical advice should be sought (but not from us).
Chafing has various causes, and everything between and including the skin and saddle should be looked at. For instance, if we have the best saddle and shorts, but decide to put barb wire in our shorts, we cannot conclude that either the saddle or shorts is at fault.
We collected thoughts and experiences in our article here. In summary, increasing the area of contact with the saddle thereby reducing pressure, checking that the chamois is clean and limiting or mitigating crystallized sweat build up, varying positions/postures during rides, can all help reduce the occurrence of sores.
Since we can reuse the existing geometry, there is no need to go the imprint capturing process again. As such, just let us know which geometry you are reusing (via your username), we'll create a new project that corresponds to the next saddle, and provide a coupon that lowers the price by US$35.
We started with relying on physical shaping of the foam to construct the saddle model. This included adopting the same posture as we would on the bike. But, it became clear to us very quickly that a) it is very easy to make mistakes and get it wrong (we only get one shot per foam), and b) it is impossible to capture the continuous range of postures and positions we adopt throughout a ride via physical shaping.
We then went the other direction: we decided on as little physical input as possible, and instead push almost all the effort needed to create the saddle model into software. This allows us to re-shape the model as many times as necessary digitally, while minimizing user effort in the physical world. This gives us the greatest flexibility, while significantly lowering the number of user error occurrences.
Even though sitting upright in the middle of the foam seems a trivial task, it still requires effort and explanation, as indicated by the length of the instructions.
We provide an estimate of the time needed to manufacture your saddle (after imprint scanning and model submission) on the payment page. This time depends on the current size of the queue, and Meld's effective production rate.
Everyone can sign up for a free account. A dummy anatomy imprint is included with this free account, and can be used to generate a saddle model. This allows you to alter any of the parameters and observe their effect on the shape.
Note that the saddle model is not fixed upon payment. You can and should regenerate the model when your imprint has been received by us, scanned, and uploaded. The submitted model should correspond to your anatomy, not the dummy imprint used earlier.
Immediately after signing up we will create a new project which will show up on your dashboard. The next step will also be displayed there. If you decide to proceed, we'll send you your imprint kit after we receive payment.
Also, a notification email will be sent whenever the project status changes. We'll be happy to answer any queries at 'info at meld3d.com'.
Send us an email at 'info at meld3d.com' and we'll do our best to accommodate any necessary changes. If we cannot meet the request we'll provide a refund. The exception is medical cases: please contact us before you place an order.
If you are getting errors, check that you are giving the Amazon popup widget permission for Meld to retrieve your shipping address. Also, since the popup widget stores cookies locally in your browser, verify that it has the permissions to do so. You can open a private browser window that can help with cookie-related problems. As always, you can send us an email with a description of the error you are seeing and we'll do our best to help.
Overseas shipping is a bit more involved and costly. Please send us an email at info (at) meld3d.com to discuss further.
We create each saddle project after we have received your imprint and digitally scanned it. Each project is associated with a different imprint, hence multiple projects will be created if you provided multiple imprints.
You can update the model any number of times. Once you have finished making any changes, click the submit button, and we'll begin making your saddle.
The status of your project, as shown on your dashboard, changes to "digitally processed".
There is a 'walkthrough' button at the top of the inputs. This covers the main parameters one at a time, translating your experience on the saddle to the corresponding option. There are more in-depth explanations at meld3d.com/saddle_parameters, with the associated section linked to from the dashboard.
In general, the various options available with each parameter do not cause discomfort, with the exception of the channel/cutout and wing clipping options. For instance, if the saddle rear isn't sloped upwards thereby resulting in you slipping backwards while pedaling, you can tilt the saddle nose downwards to compensate.
The 3d model is directly used to create the carbon fiber saddle shell. On this seat the padding and cover are glued on. The padding will reduce the channel width (if present) somewhat, otherwise the saddle will be the same as the model.
No. The dummy anatomy geometry is made available so that a saddle shape can be generated. This allows us to alter each parameter and observe its effect on the generated saddle shape before committing and proceeding with payment. Shapes generated using the dummy geometry are not the final ones customized to each of us.
After the actual imprint is received, scanned and uploaded, the corresponding saddle shape needs to be regenerated and is likely to be different even with the same parameters. At this time changes to all parameters are still possible, say a different 2d outline might make the new shape more aesthetically pleasing. It is only after the 'Submit' button is clicked that the model and parameters are finalized.
A list of available saddle outlines, and an elaboration of each outline, can be found here. If there is a particular outline you are interested in, feel free to send us an email and we'll consider it!
No. As far as possible, we've separated the comfort impacting geometry of the saddle from its outline. Our algorithms altering the saddle geometry to bring about comfort work the same way regardless of the saddle outline.
We recommend that you rely primarily on your past experience to determine if a channel or cutout is required. For instance, if you used to experience numbness or pain on your last saddle, at least a channel should be added.
For cyclists new to the sport without prior saddle experience, we provide a tool that analyzes the imprint to determine if a channel/cutout is required. This is pre-beta, and is very much dependent on the completeness of anatomy geometry captured. More information can be found here.
Saddle nose tapering can be adjusted via the 'movement fore/aft' parameter.
The minimal setting for that parameter, however, is not recommended. Unlike most saddles, the Meld saddle is meant to be sat on in the tapering region. This increases the contact area between body and saddle, reducing pressure and thus improving comfort. In this position, the saddle is shaped to minimize interference with the inner thigh while pedaling.
The recommended sitting postures and locations can be found in our installation guide here.
If you have a parameter in mind just let us know via email. Note that since we started making saddles, the number of parameters have been whittled down either due to insignificance of effect or user confusion during design.
Try hosting the image on social media. Ensure that the URL ends with the name of the graphics file (e.g. ending in .png or .jpg). When using the URL in a browser, only the image should be loaded. In the case of online services such as Dropbox, the image may be surrounded by a service-specific window, which will cause the image retrieval to fail. Email info at meld3d.com if you still have issues.
Unfortunately Meld does not do this. The general idea is that since you probably already belong to a team/club, your team/club will probably have a website from which you can obtain the logo link. Your team/club probably also would have had someone design its logo, so you can ask him/her to make any alterations you want.
Rail selection is done during payment in the payment page. It doesn't show up on the dashboard.
Unfortunately Meld does not provide any installation and fitting services. We do provide installation guidelines, which can be found here.
Yes it's here. A link to the guidelines is also included with the shipping email notification.
All the code that combines the digitized anatomy imprint and your input parameters are written in the Bay Area California, and runs in data centers in Oregon. All suppliers are based in the US.