A bicycle saddle wherein the height drops, as the cyclist slows down, making it possible to come to the ground with both feet. The SOFIETS should prevent accidents during mounting, dismounting, and at low speeds.
Older cyclists have a higher risk of injury from falling with the bike than younger people. From the age of 55 years doubled the risk of injury and this risk further increases with increasing age up to eight times higher. In single-vehicle accidents is proportion of older riders 65 years and older of injury is even higher (40%). Some of these accidents occurs during mounting, dismounting and during cycling at low speed. In such situations is to maintain balance on the bike much harder than during cycling race speed.
Research of Roessingh Research and Development has shown that it is important that older people can come with both feet on the ground as they cycle at low speed or when mounting and dismounting. Also, older people have difficulty to start cycling. They swing a lot and it takes long for them to get a stable speed. In addition, a low step is necessary so that the leg can be easily and quickly brought to the other side of the bicycle. Factors which affect balance where tested using computer models, examined by Vera Bulsink, PhD student at the University of Twente. They studied the value of the inherent stability of the bicycle. The phenomenon that a bike does not immediately fall over if you give him a turn at speed. With the aid of the computer model she was able to demonstrate that it is simple to make adjustments to the frame and the wheels to ensure that the bicycle is already stable at lower speeds. Design agency Indes combined knowledge of both institutes, which resulted in the design of the SOFIETS.
The bike has a modified form of the frame. The two smaller 24-inch wheels that are close together lead to a short and low frame. The angle of the stem is steeper than usual. These adjustments result in a bike that is more balanced and easier to steer at low speeds than a regular bike. And stably and easily deflected at higher speeds. Further, the seat height is automatically adjusted to the bicycle situation. It is possible to get both feet on the ground when it comes to a standstill and at low speeds (low saddle). And to cycle comfortably with straight knees at higher speeds (High saddle height). The saddle is lifted automatically when the rider sits on the saddle and put force on the pedals. When using the brakes and at bicycle speeds less than 8 km / h, automatically drops the seat back down. The bike is equipped with short pedals and a low frame entry. As a result, it is easy to get on and off during between the frame by placing the foot to the other side. A smooth driving start-help give support to start making it possible to easily get on speed with at low saddle position with knees bent. The motor supports the rider to a comfortable rate speed of 18 km / h.