Bespoke for comfort and performance in a sitting position

Posted on , by Bruno DUVAL
Tailor masde armchair

According to Larousse, custom-made is a “clothing made according to the measures taken on the person itself.” The same is true of Wikipedia.
If the second part of this definition is just the first is far too restrictive. Indeed, beyond the garment there are many products made to measure.
In this article, we propose to list some custom-made items and to indicate the benefits in terms of comfort and performance.

1- The bespoke bike

Made to measure bike
Made to measure saddle seat

While a city bike is mostly mono-size bikes intended for globetrotters or competitors come in several sizes for users measuring about 1.45 to 2.10 m. For atypical morphologies or to stick as closely as possible to the morphology of an athlete it is possible to make a bike entirely tailor-made (length and height of the frame, length of cranks, angle of the seat tube, height and shape of the hanger, etc.).
Among the benefits we cite most often:

  • improved athletic performance
  • a comfortable posture in the long term

The improvement in performance is related to the ability to unfold the leg when the pedal is in a low position without the knee rising too high when the pedal is in the opposite position, so as not to interfere with venous return and recovery. Regarding the angle of the saddle tube it will be different for the cyclotourist who will have to be able to put his foot on the ground (and be backed away from the pedal axis) and for the cyclosportive who will want to be more vertical of the axis of the pedal to use his weight to press the pedals.
The construction of a custom bike also makes it possible to lighten the bike by replacing adjustable components with fixed components.
The length of the frame and the shape of the handlebars should reduce the muscle tension that can cause pain and maintain the natural S-shape of the spine.

2- The bespoke wheelchair

Made to measure wheelchair seat

Arms with an armchair play a leg-like role for a bicycle. The bespoke chair will, for reasons similar to custom-made bikes, improve the user’s performance and comfort.
In the case of tennis or basketball the user’s inertia centre will be moved almost vertically so that the one can rotate quickly and provide a minimum of effort. In the case of the athletic chair, on the other hand, the aim will be to stabilize the steering; the reduction of handrails will increase the speed (as when selecting a small gable on the cassette of a bike) and the user will sit between the wheels to be able to “box” the handrails.
In everyday life, the custom-made chair that sticks to the user will reduce the clutter to facilitate doorways and travel in general. The smallest footprint and the weight of the chair, thanks to the replacement of adjustable components with fixed components, makes it easier to lift the chair to put it in a car.
A bespoke seat also allows the pressure to be well distributed at the seat to reduce the risk of bedsores and to maintain the natural curvature of the spine.

3- The custom chair or chair

One size chair, too small for a tall user
One size chair, too small for a tall user

Most indoor chairs come in one size. As a result, the seat of a sofa is often too low for a person over 1.60m and too deep for a person under 1.80m.
The benefits expected by a custom-made chair compared to a “single-size” chair are, for example
: improved comfort by reducing seat pressure (optimized surface and adapted height), and reducing the risk of swerving for people at risk of a comfortable postur
e for the back (optimized depth and height of the lumbar support adapted) improveme
nt of the venous return (no pressure point at the level of the poplity , optimized pressure distribution)

4- Custom orthotics or prostheses

Made to measure prosthetic
Made to measure prosthetic

The main expected benefits are those mentioned above: pe
rformance: for example, custom sports prostheses that allow handisport athletes to achieve performance close to those of the able-bodied, thanks to lightweight materials whose resilience allows to store and restore energy with a very high effi
ciency: the pressures of a custom orthotic are distributed over a larger surface allowing better blood circulation.