Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Getting A Seat That Fits — Do You Need A New Saddle?
How comfortable a seat feels has a lot to do with where your sit bones (those bones you feel when sitting on a curb or bench) rest on the seat. Ideally, those bones will rest on the saddle's padding. If you've been using a seat for a while you can usually see indentations formed by the bones, which allows gauging whether or not the seat is appropriate for your anatomy.
It's hard to predict which seat will be right for a given rider. Sometimes a wider seat solves pain and other times the narrow ones do the trick. It's all a matter of which seat suits your body shape. For starters, the wider your pelvic anatomy, typically the wider you want the seat to be.
Over the years, more amazing seats have been designed than probably any other bicycle component. And today, there's still a wide array of models to select from, some with fairly wild shapes. One feature shared by many of these seats is a cutaway in the saddle top designed to relieve pressure on sensitive tissues in the genital area. Our customers have found these saddle types to be particularly helpful for eliminating problems with numbness. There are also models that have softer sections in the center of the seat designed to work the same as the cutaway.
Another pressure-point eliminator is gel. Some seat makers use this in the sensitive areas to prevent pressure that causes pain and numbness.
Wear Cycling Clothing
When trying seats, be sure to do so wearing your cycling clothing because if you're wearing pants with seams in the crotch area, you'll feel the seams and won't be able to judge the seat comfort. Also, after putting on a new seat, it's best to re-check saddle height because the shape of the new one may be a little taller than the one you've been using. If a seat is too high or too low, you'll feel discomfort from the incorrect seat position and won't be able to feel whether the seat is an improvement or not. The easiest way to match seat height is to measure it before you remove your original seat. You'll then have the exact height to place the new seat and you won't have to experiment to find your optimum position.