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I found a karting seat that is made from carbon-fiber here:

On that page, it claims:

To Improve Performance: The Ribtect seat helps the chassis and driver to work better. Keeping the kart rolling free and providing a better launch out of the turns. Connecting more of the kart to the driver for a better feel of the chassis. Lowering the fatigue level of the driver, allowing for better concentration and improved consistency and lower lap times.

To Prevent Rib Injury: The Ribtect Seat is designed to reduce the amount of rib injuries to karters. Thus, keeping more people involved and happy with the great sport of karting.

I'm wondering if these claims are significant? Does such a seat provide a significant benefit to rib protection as compared to using a good vest like this one? Does such a seat provide any significant performance benefit (e.g. more than 0.25% faster) in outdoor karting such as at Sonoma raceway for a driver near the top of the field in Senior Rotax?

I spoke with another dealer that does not sell these carbon fiber seats and they indicated that on the performance side the Original Equipment Manufacturer's (OEM's) seat that came with the kart should give the best performance since it was designed for the kart chassis specifically and that regarding rib protection, using a good rib cage (such as the one they sell) is much more effective that the benefit any seat can provide.

  • I notice that the quoted claim is that it prevents rib injury, but not that it does it any better (or worse) than any other method--so the claim you're asking us to examine isn't quite the same as the claim made. – Flimzy May 18 '14 at 16:41
  • Off the top of my head, anything that reduces weight should improve performance just because there isn't as much weight that the engine needs to move. Assuming the seat weighs less than the one it replaces there should be a performance improvement, it's just a question of how much. – rjzii May 18 '14 at 21:22

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