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Comfortable Seating for Underwater Workouts

machinedesign_v01_logoSherri Carmody | Machine Design
April 1st, 2004

Think those spinning classes at the health club are tough? Try them at deep-ocean depths.

That’s how divers at the Experimental Diving Unit (EDU) Section of Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) simulate the stress of working far beneath the surface. Rebreather-trained divers in full gear must first pedal for 5 min on the bottom of a hyperbaric diving chamber, rest for 5 min, then repeat the sequence over varying spans.

Underwater Pod

A diver fully submerged and in full gear, rides the Spongy Wonder bike with corrosion-resistant, high-strength stainless bike seat at Defence Research and Development Canada’s Toronto test facility.

Key to a comfortable ride on the underwater exercise bikes is a dual-platform, closed-cell foam seat. Unlike conventional bike seats, it puts no pressure on the rider’s urological system. The seat, developed by Spongy Wonder Inc., Riverview, NB, Canada (, also eliminates damaging pressures to the tailbone and rectal area that have been linked to the development of prostate cancer.

Robert MacLean, diving-systems technician for EDU, says the original mild-steel seat frames worked well on land but didn’t stand up under water. The frames fell apart after two dive series and began to corrode. This threatened to contaminate the water and foul expensive equipment being tested in the chamber.

The solution was a frame made from Type 304 SH (strain-hardened) stainless. EDU’s McLean says seats made with the material have been in continuous service for eight months with no sign of corrosion or seat pad damage, to simulated depths of 81 msw (meters seawater).The strain-hardened 304 stainless steel comes from Carpenter Technology, Reading, Pa. ( It boosts ultimate tensile strength (UTS) 30%, to 135 kpsi, versus 104 to 108 kpsi for standard Type 304 stainless. Its polished finish doesn’t corrode and resists scratches, marring, chipping, and discoloring.

The frame fabrication starts with a pneumatic machine that cuts stainless-steel bar to length. Five bends later the ends are welded together and ground smooth. The frame then mounts in a jig for the final bend. Additional sanding and grinding take place before the frame undergoes a two-stage polishing process, using a tumbling buffer.

Seat inventor Jeff Dixon worked with Carpenter metallurgist Bob Mohr to find the right steel for the frame. Another Carpenter alloy called A-286 will probably be the alloy of choice once Spongy Wonder retools its equipment for the material’s higher UTS of 169 kpsi.

– Jean M. Hoffman

Más testimonios felices de los ciclistas que usan sillines para bicicletas SW

En mi consulta de medicina interna he visto con bastante frecuencia heridas provocadas por sillines de bicicleta y me alegró descubrir el sillín Spongy Wonder. Inmediatamente compré uno para mi bicicleta y me produjo gran satisfacción comprobar lo cómodo que es y, a la vez, me permite seguir teniendo un buen control de la bicicleta. El mío lo tengo desde hace un año ¡y aún no he tenido que cambiarle las almohadillas! si montas en bicicleta, seas mayor o joven, hombre o mujer, necesitas uno de estos sillines.

Dr. Philip Alexander, MD
College Station (Texas, EE. UU.)

El sillín Spongy Wonder es magnífico y el mejor de los sillines que he probado de los que no son puntiagudos y que no afectan el perineo. He visitado el sitio web para pedir otro para mi bicicleta estática.

Seth Manoach MD
Profesor Adjunto de la Cátedra de Medicina de Urgencias
Presidente del Comité de RCP del Programa de Respuesta Rápida
Brooklyn (Nueva York, EE. UU.)

Doy charlas a nivel nacional sobre pacientes con dolor y quiero mostrar en mis charlas una foto de su sillín de bicicleta. Solicito su permiso para hacerlo.

Hope K. Haefner, M.D.
Director del Centro de Enfermedades Vulvares de la Universidad de Michigan
Dept. Obstetricia y Ginecología

Vista isométrica del sillín Spongy Wonder MK10 de acero inoxidable.

Vista isométrica del sillín Spongy Wonder MK10 de acero inoxidable.

Albert Einstein anda en bicicleta

Albert Einstein anda en bicicleta

El asiento de bicicleta pregunto esponjosa es crítico en las pruebas de submarino

El asiento de bicicleta pregunto esponjosa es crítico en las pruebas de submarino

Spongy Wonder Inc. es el fabricante de los únicos sillines modulares y sin nariz del mundo. Estos dos sillines sin nariz de diseño ergonómico y anatómicamente correcto eliminan el daño urológico y neurológico que producen los sillines de bicicleta convencionales y "modificados" y además son “totalmente personalizables” y ajustables.