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Ultimate upgrade: Berk Composites Motika saddle/seatpost combo

Sam Challis
1 Dec 2017

The Motika is built to grace the lightest bikes… just don’t expect a particularly comfortable ride

To hear Berk Composites’ founder Jure Berk tell it, his path into specialist carbon fibre components manufacture was inevitable even from a very young age.

‘My mum is a chemistry professor so I was familiar with that side of science way before I started it at school,’ he says.

‘My friends and I used to make rockets in our spare time – they worked on the propulsion systems while I made the rocket body from carbon fibre.

‘But we stopped that because it got quite dangerous, and as I was racing in the junior ranks for the Slovenian Pro-Continental team Radenska at the time, it was natural to turn my hand to making components for my bike.’

What started as the occasional super-light bottle cage quickly became more serious as Berk’s creations garnered interest on the popular WeightWeenies forum.

Since then Berk has completed a degree in mechanical engineering, started his seemingly predestined business and designed a carbon frame, which isn’t bad considering he isn’t yet 27.

Of his creations, the Motika saddle/seatpost combo remains the most enduring.

‘I just had this thing for saddle/post combos,’ says Berk. ‘They make a bike look so clean, save some decent weight and I knew I could go lighter than what was out there at the time, so I went ahead and made one.’

Bespoke

It isn’t as simple as Berk makes it sound. Every Motika is bespoke, made in a special jig that caters for a number of saddle shapes and joint angles.

‘First we make the saddle shell in the shape the customer wants from 3k weave carbon and the post from unidirectional fibres. Then they’re bonded in position.

‘This is where the customer needs to be sure about the fit because there can’t be any adjustment. We talk a lot with the customer and ideally get hold of their favoured saddle and post to copy the angles.’

Then things get tricky: the joint must be strengthened. This is the area where Berk claims to stand apart from rivals.

‘Although we use M40J carbon, much like companies doing similar work to us, we have a special method to reinforce the joint of the Motika.

‘You can’t form it in a vacuum bag as the saddle shell is only 12g and would get crushed, so we have worked out our own way.

‘I guess that’s our secret. Some companies have tried to copy the Motika but they couldn’t succeed at the same weight.’

Berk isn’t giving away any more about his methods, but however he does it there’s no dispute about the success of the design from a weight perspective.

The Motika weighs just 165g, which is less than half the weight of most other seatpost and saddle combos.

Despite this being at the very lowest end of what is possible weight-wise, Berk claims the Motika is robust enough to use as you would a normal saddle and post. You might not want to, though.

‘Weight weenies concerned with getting bikes below 5kg are the main group that buy the Motika,’ he says.

‘As you don’t get any suspension from saddle rails, road impacts travel straight up into the shell.’

Best not forget your chamois cream if you plan to take the Motika out on an all-dayer, then.

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