It’s rare that a saddle raises eyebrows in quite the same way as the Shark saddle from Spanish brand Essax. The central fin might promote a few sniggers from the less mature corners of the peloton, but Essax are making some pretty bold claims about the benefits of this new biomechanical perch.
Designed by Jon Iriberri, a bike fitter who has worked with a number of Spanish professional teams, the new Essax shark and its trademark fin is designed to achieve even distribution of weight between a rider’s sit bones, and prevent rocking and rotation when pedalling.
“So many of us sit twisted on our saddles, I’ve heard of people going through ten different saddles and still not being satisfied with their seating position,” says Iriberri, speaking to BikeBiz. “The Shark helps align the knees better, assisting the cyclist in evenly distributing the pressure through both sit bones. There are also benefits for alleviating pressure on the lower back and neck.”
However the Shark isn’t the only saddle that Essax are making some bold claims about. All Essax saddles feature the company’s AF-Net technology which promises to improve performance and reduce fatigue.
In three laboratory tests over the course of a week, Spanish professional Raul Alarcon rode for 15 minutes at 200W, 300W, and 400W on both an Essax Adrenaline R saddle and a Fizik Arione while his heart rate was monitored to test pedaling efficiency.
On average, Alarcon’s heart rate was 2.5% lower at a given power while using the Essax saddle compared to the Fizik, with greater gains in efficiency at higher power outputs. In simple terms, Alarcon was having to put in less work for the same power output on the Essax saddle.
These numbers are sure to raise eyebrows almost as much as the Shark’s rear fin, and we’ll be sure to put them to the test in a full review once we get hold of the Essax saddles. Stay tuned!
Stock is due to arrive in the UK in January, with prices for the Shark saddle ranging between £59.99-£139.99 and £57.99-£189.99 for the Adrenaline R depending on your choice of rail. There are also two other road saddles, as well as models for triathlon and mountain biking.
Head over to UK distributors NRG4 Cycling for a look at the full range.