IF YOU HAVE NEVER STOPPED TO THINK ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO PROTECT YOURSELF WHEN CYCLING,THEN THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Hualian is the brand that first introduced the market to the ELASTIC CYCLING PAD designed for maximum comfort on the saddle. The elasticity enables the pad to perfectly follow and adapt to the legs in motion during every pedal stroke. In today’s cycling world, Hualian® now represents the pinnacle of innovation and scientific research for improved comfort. Hualian® is also the brand that first introduced science into cycling pad design, by conducting research in conjunction with the University of Padua and testing performed on amateur and professional cyclists around the world. As a result of this research, Hualian® cycling pads respect specific anthropometric parameters and use exclusive materials that are skin compatible.
PROTECT YOURSELF FOR PREVENTION PROTECT YOURSELF FOR BETTER PERFORMANCE
Of the three points of rider-bicycle interface – HANDS, FEET AND PERINEAL/ ISCHIAL AREA-the latter is definitely the one that suffers most from problems associated with compression and friction of the anatomy in this area. The perineal area is bordered by the pubic symphysis at the front, the coccyx below and by the two ischial tuberosities on either side. It could be thought of as a rhombus that contains the external genital organs. The two bones detectable beneath the gluteal muscles are the ischial tuberosities.
SO WHICH PROBLEMS DO CYCLISTS EXPERIENCE IN THE PERINEAL AREA?
THESE PROBLEMS CAN AFFECT NERVES AND CIRCULATION. Nerve problems arise because as the thigh goes back during the pedalling action, the pudendal nerve is stretched; if not properly protected this can lead to numbness in the lower limbs and genitals. Circulatory problems arise because the weight of the body moving on the saddle can cause arterial insufficiency. This impedes the flow of blood, and therefore oxygen, throughout the entire perineal area and to the genitals, possibly resulting in dysfunction and inflammation. However, we have seen how nerve compression and the phenomenon of reduced blood flow depend on the rider’s position as well as, on the type of saddle and cycling pad used. For example, an upright position reduces the blood flow more than an extended position. So modifying the shape of the saddle, (e.g. perforated in the centre), and using special cycling pads can help maintain adequate blood flow to the genitals while cycling.
IF A CYCLING PAD IS TO PERFORM PROPERLY, IT SHOULD FULFILL THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS
Data obtained in our laboratories confirms how even small alterations to the saddle position translate into improved symmetry in the down stroke, improved cycling output and reduced oxygen consumption at a constant wattage. Kinematic analysis has highlighted how the saddle position influences the movements of the athlete’s pelvis, shoulder rotation and swing of the trunk and arms; these movements reduce the efficiency of the athlete’s actions and increasing oxygen consumption at the same speed. By using the same saddle, it was shown that an adequate cycling pad which provides adequate support in areas anatomically more susceptible to pressure and friction encourages a stable posture on the saddle and enables improved performance. The potential advantages of a high-performance saddle risk being reduced or invalidated unless there is good support between the saddle and the body capable of ensuring adequate reduction of the pressure in sensitive perineal areas, susceptible to mechanical injuries.
FEATURE OF CYCLING
Cycling is definitely a healthy sport and provides numerous well recognised muscular, cardiovascular, metabolic and respiratory benefits. However if it is practised intensively, it may bring about a series of complications that need to be closely studied and handled with care. One of these issues is the POSITION ON THE SADDLE: this needs to be carefully calculated based on the athlete’s anthropometric features by using biomechanical tests and not just simple unscientific calculation. An incorrect position on the saddle may eventually cause spinal and joint pain and can also lead to a decline in sporting performance. No matter which type of saddle you have chosen, it is always essential to use a high-quality cycling pad. Our body uses this pad to “communicate” with the saddle. An unsuitable or poor quality pad significantly affects the level of comfort during cycling and will thereby also affect the level of performance, as has been widely proven. Most importantly, the pad should offer excellent protection, be suited to the type of bike being ridden (road, MTB or city bike) and to the type of rider (male or female) and also be appropriate for the distance the rider wishes to cover. It is fundamental that the pad fabrics do not contain any potentially toxic elements BECAUSE they could pass from the fabric to the SKIN.