Necessity is the Mother of Invention
Founder Dr. Vince Marcel is a chiropractor, inventor and life-long cycling enthusiast. Whether training for a triathlon, or on a weekend ride with his family, he continues to look for new ways to make the ride more comfortable and more enjoyable. In 2012, a training injury “gave him the time” to work on his new invention: an extraordinarily comfortable bicycle seat. Years in the making, Infinity Seat has now allowed thousands of cyclists around the world to Focus on the Ride™, and is quietly revolutionizing our earlier conception of the bicycle seat.
RIDE TO LIVE
Hello. I’m Dr. Vincent Marcel, founder of the Infinity Bike Seat. My wife Diane and I have been riding our whole lives. Although I’ve owned many bikes in my lifetime, my most memorable one was a 1970 red Schwinn Sting Ray. I recently found out Diane had a purple one when she was a kid too!
She grew up on the East Coast, and I on the West Coast. 25 years ago she moved to California for warmer weather, and we met at Cleveland Chiropractic college in Los Angeles while i was in clinic. We went on our first date Sept. 10, 1995, and soon married on the beach in Manhattan Beach, CA. We have 2 beautiful children, Vincent and Tyler.
On and off over the last 20 years I have been competing in triathlons. While training for the Full Vineman, my saddle sores kept getting worse. No matter which padded shorts, creamers, fit experts, or bike seats I tried, the pain was still there. Moderated perhaps—but at the end of the ride, always bad.
My friends that rode professionally said, “it’s just part of the game. You have to ride more. Get blisters, build callouses, and desensitize the tissue.” As a doctor and a clinical nutritionist, I knew this was NOT the right way.
On one of the 100 mile training rides, I was run off the road, and herniated 3 discs in my neck. During recovery and boo-hooing over not being able to race, Diane said: “Now that you aren’t training, I guess you have time to design that bike seat!” My next excuse was something like, “but it will cost like $30,000-$50,000 just to get started.” Her comeback was, “Yea, but then you’ll have the perfect seat and be able to focus on the ride, and not the pain.”
I had nothing. What do you say when someone you love believes in you so much?
You say, “Ok, lets do this.”
I started with plaster molds, and soon moved to carving seats out of wood, which was really slow. Then I moved to clay. This medium was awesome because I was able to sculpt with my hands exactly what was in my head.
Throughout the year, I learned about licensing, CADD, patents, R&D, materials engineering, prototyping, production, and manufacturing. Wow, it was a lot. But back when I was studying to get my Doctorate I was taking 28-32 units each semester for 4 years. So I think that primed me for this intense level of learning.
After making several functioning prototypes, and feeling quite confident in the design after receiving results from our beta testing, I knew I needed some third party confirmation before going forward with a production mold. I remembered a company I had met at the Interbike show who was doing pressure thermograph testing. After testing a more traditionally-shaped seat against ours, they said, “This is legit.”
High fives all around the room. What a joyful moment THAT was!
After looking at a couple of funding options, we decided to do a Kickstarter promotion, and asked for $25,000. We got $188,000! (Which, at the time, put us in the Kickstarter Top 2%)
With production already underway during the campaign, we had materials issues, tooling issues, and production issues which pushed delivery back over a year. During the delay we learned a lot about how to make great bike seats, and how to run this exciting new business.
As this journey continues to unfold, we’ve been blessed to work with many talented folks. As we join together, we share our passion for cycling, and our desire to help. The creation of the Infinity Bike Seat represents our higher calling to give something back—a top-quality product that relieves pain, and that riders will enjoy for generation to come.
Please join us. Sign up for our newsletter, or follow us on Facebook. Always remember: Focus on the Ride.
Yours in health,
Dr. Vince Marcel