About Unified Sport & MANTA

MANTA for your ride

MANTA for your health

MANTA’s designer is cycle obsessive.

Rarely bothering with a car, avid cyclist, sculptor and varied construction engineer (project manager/builder), Jon sees the bicycle is a sublimely fun, and supremely efficient machine for human transport. A perfect tool to provide viable, clean, safe cities. This was motivation enough to seek a genuine seating solution. The MANTA saddle was designed to revolutionize all our riding experiences.

Time to be part of a revolution.

Why choose MANTA?

In stark contrast to bicycle efficiency, bike seating has been much the same since its inception. Not supportive enough, not supporting in the right places.  Large traditional saddles are too restrictive.

Pain is the body’s way of saying something isn’t right. It affects endurance and enjoyment, especially over distance, you think you get used to it, as you go numb. Eventually soft parts become hardened.

The MANTA is designed to suit all riders from 10 years-on (and from 2-ish, soon), it is found to be therapeutic, via increased blood-flow* (research results coming).

Time to enjoy a new sensation.

*The MANTA is unique, in increasing groin blood-flow during cycling.

The MANTA Saddle is developed, tested and manufactured, assembled and shipped from Scotland, worldwide, using parts and materials sourced within Scotland and the UK.

The genesis of the MANTA Saddle came after riding around Skye in the late 1990’s, often cycling to meet the works transport, which was only 7 miles but very potholed and hilly. Inspiration to tackle the design problem itself occurred following a damp, but spectacular job with a team building footpaths up the Cuillin hills.” (Enjoying his job with a view, Jon was also busily contracting fibromyalgia) “I eventually had enforced ‘time off’ …as it turns out the design challenge required a great deal of trials and research, before an almost accidental discovery came out the ether while using ‘yet another’ promising prototype. This moment inspired years of meticulous development, this was due to the complexity of forms required to perfect the necessary articulation, required to follow a human form when pedalling.”

“I had long been aware how saddle pain impacts on endurance – the legs are good for more miles, the backside isn’t. My history as a sculptor, and from work in diverse engineering arenas, plus the unexpected ‘opportunity of spare time’, I felt I would seek a better way to support the human body on a bike (and help not get bored).

Existing “comfort saddles” were compromised. They lacked the neccesary function, and form, movement was restricted by width, adding to chaffing, and the support area was little better than on traditional seats. A priority wasn’t for a temporary perception of comfort, but an absence of what creates the pain – not quite the same thing. The problem needed turning round to provide maximum support with no loss of performance.

Varied mock ups of what I thought might work, eventually led to a line of prototypes that began to show promise. There was a breakthrough. I initially contacted BBC Tomorrows World, who happened to have an innovation programme coming up, but I was advised not to go public until a patent was at least applied for – several years were spent organising patents and talking to NESTA about prototype market trials, at great cost – so we headed into product development, for manufacture. This was primarily in-house, but with vast assistance from friends, riders and the likes of DuPont, then Velo saddle makers in Taiwan, and back to work with Protomould in Fife to make the final tooling for the 1st production run. This took about 8 years.

What kept me fully motivated, along with a ride like a flying sofa, is the increasing evidence about the damage conventional nosed saddles cause to blood vessels and soft tissues. They’re simply unsuitable for supporting the human anatomy. Just wrong. We’ve changed all that.” – Jon Catling, the designer

“I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species… the Condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. Humans came in with a rather less impressive showing, about a third of the way down the list. But then someone at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency for a man on a bicycle – a man on a bicycle blew the Condor away” – Steve Jobs

They all go over here, bye!

Every MANTA saddle begins its travels crossing over to the mainland ¡Buen viaje!

Unified Sport – made up of:
Manta Design Ltd Reg. 04399997
Manta Design Scotland Ltd Reg. SC0355993
5-6 Herebost
Dunvegan
Isle of Skye
Western Isles, IV55 8GZ
Scotland

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