How to choose the right bike saddle

Soft and hard

The wide assortment somehow narrows on closer inspection. Different manufacturers offer almost the same options: unimaginably delicate plastic, rubber “cushions” covered with leatherette, synthetics or leather, narrow almost flat saddles with grooves, cutouts or bulges, retro seats and even almost armchairs with backs. At this stage, you should remember why you take the saddle: the riding style determines the choice.

Fifth point anatomy

So, before going for a new saddle, let’s pay attention to the part of the body that is in direct contact with it. Surprisingly, we are all so different, in the structure of the skeleton are similar. Bones overgrow with flesh, but only the volume of the body depends on its amount, and we still sit leaning on the pelvic bones, called the ischial tubercles. The soft tissues seem to move apart, respectively, the area of ​​pressure on them decreases. It makes no difference whether we are sitting in a chair or in the saddle of a bicycle that is correctly selected according to individual characteristics.

The distance between the pelvic bones in people is different, and it does not depend on the volume of the hips. Even for the owners of an impressive backside, this distance may be small, but for a lean person, on the contrary. It is this parameter that influences the choice of the saddle in the first place. You don’t need a wide “couch” if you fit in 140 cm, you don’t need narrow sports (also called “racing”) saddles if the pelvic bones do not find support. You can measure the distance between them either in the classical way, sitting in a container with sand (the seat print will be heterogeneous, and the distance between the deepest dents is the desired parameter), or with the help of special tools or even fingers. the bones can be felt, and measurements are a matter of technology.

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The wrong choice of saddle threatens many troubles for both men and women. True, men tend to think about this more often and more biasedly: disagreements with our health will appear earlier and more unpleasantly. The narrow saddle takes the weight of the cyclist leaning on it with the soft tissues of the perineum. Accordingly, the blood vessels are pinched, the blood supply is disrupted. Exactly the same thing happens if you get a soft, very soft saddle. The filler is forced through the bones and it presses against the soft tissue next to the bones. Too wide a saddle already allows owners of a wide pelvis to feel more comfortable, but “extra volume”, that is, protruding edges, can erase the thighs and perineum into the blood when pedaling.

The best choice would be a saddle with a “landing pad” wider than the distance between the pelvic bones by 3-5 cm, a narrow nose and a relatively sharp transition from the wide part to the narrow.

The female and male anatomy in the medical atlas is very different, but when choosing a saddle, the differences are almost smoothed out. As a rule, the pelvis of women is wider than that of men, so the distance between the ischial tubercles is greater. Accordingly, very narrow saddles are not suitable for women, and “for lady” models are always a few centimeters wider. However, the structure is individual, and if a lady feels great in a man’s saddle, she should not be stopped by the floor marking. The most common female mistake is choosing a saddle according to your size. Remember: there is no relationship between the size of the trousers and the size of the saddle, so fitting is the most important thing.

Design

Noteworthy are the grooves and slots in the center of the saddles, and unusual cutouts. As a rule, these tricks of designers and constructors have one goal: to provide air access to the human body and to reduce pressure on strategically important places. When choosing a saddle for a bicycle with a groove or slot in the center, it is worth remembering that this is always a risk: the edges of the holes can also create zones of increased pressure on soft tissues. Much safer in this regard would be small holes, like lace holes in sneakers. However, if the relief saddle does not cause discomfort, then it copes with its tasks.

The women’s and men’s saddles, with the exception of the size in width, are not much different. The only thing that can be remembered is that the nose of a woman’s saddle is traditionally shorter than a man’s. This was originally done to make the rider’s skirt look aesthetically pleasing when pedaling. Today, rare women ride in skirts, so there is no need for a short nose, but the traditions have remained. For a man, a women’s saddle can push the edge on the most important places, so length is a conscious requirement for men’s saddles.

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If cycling is your focus, then the spring-loaded saddles at the back are worth a look. These are probably remembered from childhood: spring-loaded seats were installed on almost all bicycles. Today it is the priority of touring and city bikes: comfort is more important than weight. The springs provide cushioning on our interesting roads, preventing the saddle from bruising on the soft spot. For sports riding, spring shock absorbers are harmful.

Saddle models that differ in cost often seem to be identical. Excess weight in monetary terms is added by materials, mainly the saddle frame. Aluminum and titanium are lighter and more expensive, steel is heavy, but costs a minimum. If weight is not an issue, steel will suit everyone. Titanium frames, despite their apparent strength, for some reason often break under the solid weight of a rider with a backpack, for example. Most likely, economical economics is to blame for this: there may not be too much titanium in a titanium alloy.

Most saddle mounts are universal: the saddle frame fits into the seatpost mount. If your bike has a unique or rare one, ask in advance for suitable saddles. Remember that proper seat installation and adjustment can eliminate the need to purchase a new one. And, of course, do not forget about the odometer: you can only understand if the saddle is comfortable after the number 100 km on its screen.

Materials (edit)

If we take an ordinary saddle in our hands, we will see a frame made of metal (steel, aluminum alloy, titanium), to which the plastic base of the saddle is attached. This whole structure is covered with artificial leather or other synthetic material, more expensive models are covered with natural leather. The volume is created by a filler, mainly polyurethane, whipped into a foam. Such saddles are perceptibly punched by fingers and immediately return to their original state. The thicker the filler layer, the thicker and softer the saddle, which we have already decided to ignore. Saddles with no padding or thin synthetic padding are stiff and flat, and most find them uncomfortable for long rides and cycling trips. But for sports this is an excellent choice: you don’t have to put all your weight on the saddle.

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Not only the price depends on the material the saddle is covered with. Synthetics do not allow sweat to wick away, so clothes will be damp, especially in hot weather. The cyclist sweats with any riding style, and you shouldn’t think that unhurried rides will leave your trousers dry. Humidity leads to chafing, diaper rash, colds, and just to unpleasant sensations. Genuine leather absorbs moisture, allows air to pass through, but if there is an artificial filler under it, it does not help, although the degree of “moisture” is still less than that of a person sitting on an artificial material. For lovers of active riding, a bicycle uniform has been created, in particular, cycling shorts “with a diaper”. Moisture-wicking padding keeps you comfortable in any saddle.

Completely leather saddles are a completely different matter. They do not have a plastic base and filler, the skin itself performs the bearing function. Natural material perfectly wicks away sweat, allows air to pass through, so riding in such a saddle is comfortable in any clothes. In addition, well-crafted leather adjusts to the wearer’s heel as it stays in the saddle, repeating all the bumps and dimples. Accordingly, no extra pressure on the soft tissues occurs. True, such a saddle must be “spread”, that is, to drive a hundred kilometers in it. It is an ideal travel option, a great solution for city trips. The disadvantages of leather saddles include heavy weight, high cost, and the need for careful maintenance. However, it all pays off in comfort and durability: Truly high-quality leather saddles survive on more than one bike.

How to choose a bike saddle

Anyone who tried to get on a bicycle when they were no longer children felt that this time “adventures in one place” began to take real shape. Many, because of discomfort and pain, refuse to ride altogether, and those who are not afraid try to endure and roll out. Sometimes this does not help and the pain becomes a companion. Then there is nothing left but to choose a bike saddle that is more suitable for your specific fifth point.

Hindsight

There is a difference, and you will very soon feel it in the place that predicts trouble. A good saddle is an expensive saddle, made of high-quality materials, which meets the human anatomy, or rather, one specific part of the body. Of course, some manufacturers or sellers overcharge unnecessarily, and a saddle covered with rubber with the inscription “GEL” cannot be expensive. But you have to pay for natural materials with money, otherwise you have to pay with your own backside.

How to choose a saddle for a bike?

A suitable saddle for a bicycle will not bother you for a long ride, but on the contrary, it will become even more comfortable over time, because it will sag a little and take the shape of the ischial bones. The scheme works on the principle of leather shoes, which eventually take the shape of a foot and become like a glove, and therefore the most comfortable.

The shape depends on the riding style

There are different shapes of bike saddles. The difference depends on the riding style as well as the bike itself:

  • If you ride mostly around town on a city bike or cruiser, at a relaxed pace, then the seat, which is often called a “sofa”, is for you. It is wide and comfortable for a leisurely ride with a straight back position. In addition to the size, it also differs in the amount of filler of the seat itself. It can be gel, silicone and other materials like foam for a soft fit. Also, the “sofa” can optionally have springs, which is great for driving on rough terrain and maximally softens the unevenness of the road.
  • If you have a mountain bike, the saddle, bindings and seatpost must be strong enough to withstand the up and down load. The saddle itself should be soft, but not a “sofa” as for a city one. Some cyclists put on a road bike saddle for the sake of lightness, but in this way they sacrifice a soft landing.
  • If your iron horse is not iron at all, but aluminum, and perhaps even a carbon road bike, then it is desirable that the saddle is like a glove for you. Long high-speed runs on highways require control, discipline, and strategy, and distraction from the friction, pain, and irritation of the saddle is time and loss of control. There are different options for racing bike saddles, but most of the difference lies in price, weight, width and the option of a cutout that allows for normal blood circulation in the genitals of men during long rides.

Bicycle saddle for men and women

The main difference between a male and female seat is the difference in the physiology of the ischial bones. At the same time, the difference in the distance between the bones of a woman and a man is not so noticeable. it fluctuates around 9%, but the angle of the location of these bones is different.

Due to the natural function of a woman. to give birth to a child, her ischial bones are located more parallel to each other, that is, the angle between them is less than that of men. Therefore, when tilting, a woman on a narrower saddle will feel the discomfort of rubbing even in a bicycle diaper, and all because when tilting, the bones no longer rest and the woman rides on the skin. While the man continues to push his ischial bones into the saddle even in an incline.

The picture shows how anatomically female and male ischial bones huddle on bicycle saddles of different widths.

That is why many manufacturers make separate series for HIM

Note for men: while driving, it is better to get up from the seat from time to time so that the nerves and arteries that are pinched have the opportunity to rest and get saturated with oxygen.

Choosing a bike saddle shouldn’t scare you. Here’s how to do it painlessly and simply!

Finding the perfect saddle is like finding your life partner: the process is lengthy and offers many choices. Of course, some lucky ones find their seat right away, but it happens that the search for “the one” lasts for years.

It is important to feel the saddle not only by touch with your hands, read the composition and find out the weight. It is much more important to ride a bike with a seat that you plan to ride in the future. Here you can test a saddle on a rented bike, or on your own.

There is a misconception about large, padded bicycle seats that never rubs anything. This is not true! Due to their softness, the ischial bones do not have a fulcrum and sink deep into the saddle. This leads to the fact that all the pressure is transferred to the softer points of our “Madame Sit”. And if the first 20 minutes you ride in awe of the softness, then after half an hour on such a seat you will feel all the inconveniences.

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Every cyclist is an individual and his fifth point too. This is why saddles are available in different lengths, widths and levels of stiffness. Therefore, as we already wrote, there are differences in sensitivity, riding style and duration, cycling fit and so on. It is necessary to first find specific answers to these questions for the clearest understanding of what exactly you are looking for.

The saddle should match your anatomy so that the nose of the seat does not press, the sides do not chafe the legs and it is not too narrow. If the seat presses on tender fate, then in the future you will want to change the saddle. It is better that the ischial bones rest against the saddle, otherwise the soft places will be squeezed and the first to start rubbing.

Measure the distance between the ischial bones

A saddle, like shoes, is a very individual thing, so you should not rush to choose. It is better, if possible, to test different options, understand which one is needed, and in the end choose the one from which you will not get off later and will be rearranged on all other bicycles.

The choice of a seat for a bicycle is a whole epic for a cyclist who rides actively and at the same time wants to feel comfort and confidence that, having skated a day, he will not suffer from the pain of chafing.

The saddle is individual, intimate and very important. Understanding this, we will help you find the most convenient and comfortable seat on the street. Degtyarevskaya, 51B or st. Prince Zaton, 11

Useful features of bike saddles

Selle San Marco Aspide Carbon FX Triathlon Saddle

And in the end. beautiful design! Pay attention to this too. collect beautiful bicycles.

Choosing a bike seat is a little more difficult than some people think. This is an important part of your bike. Comfort, convenience and operational possibilities, strength, reliability, weight, beauty. this detail contains many qualities.

The saddle is an important part of the bike because it is with it that your seat contacts. Many articles, posts and opinions have been written on how to choose the right saddle, but in the end they all agree on the same thing: the choice is purely individual, determined by anatomy and can only be done by trying a particular saddle for several trips for a total of several hundred km But besides this conclusion, do not forget about the driving style.

Each style has its own saddles that take into account its characteristics and it makes sense to choose from them, taking into account the anatomy. Straight narrow. for road races, wide “sofas” for walking in the park. and the whole range of intermediate options. You can read about this in almost every article with general information about saddles. If you are interested in this question, I recommend a good overview of bike saddle types (it also says a lot about saddle geometry). We will not dwell on this now, but move on to the anatomical aspect declared in the title.

An article on the website twentysix.ru reveals this topic in great detail (although it is very reminiscent of an advertisement for BodyGeometry saddles), so we will give it below.

Research conducted by urologist Dr. Frank Sommer at the University of Hamburg in Germany has shown that the pressure exerted by a regular bicycle saddle on a person’s body reduces blood flow to the lower extremities, and the numbers were astounding. In addition, after a few minutes of pedaling on a normal saddle, the athlete’s blood flow to the penis was reduced to 18% of the initial values ​​with which he sat on the bike! At the same time, when using the Specialized BG saddle, the inflow was 82% of the initial.

Naturally, when less blood is supplied to the organs, problems begin. numbness, discomfort appears and, as a result, health deteriorates and efficiency decreases.

The saddle should not only protect you from the seatpost. it should fit anatomically for you.

Previously, the saddle width was chosen without an individual approach, based on general data and statistics. But we are all different, and we need to take this into account! Even two people with the same waist size and weight are likely to have different spacing between the pelvic bones. The choice of saddle width is not based on muscle volume. for example, sprinters may not fit a narrow saddle despite the large muscle volume.

How many points do we rely on when cycling? Many people think that it is five, but in fact there should be six. And when the fifth and sixth points are our ischial tubercles of the pelvis (protrusions on the pelvic bones), then the pressure on them will be less than if we were sitting on one fifth point, the perineum.

The saddle should be chosen based on the width of the ischial tubercles of the pelvis on which we are sitting. Let’s call them the ischial bones.

The idea is to sit not on soft tissue, but on the ischial bones, so as not to press down on nerve endings and blood vessels. And if you have them wide apart, and you use a narrow saddle, the bones just hang in the air, and you sit on a soft cloth. This is contraindicated! In addition, the ischial bones should not be in contact with the edges of the saddle, but with the support points so that the pressure is distributed correctly and evenly.

Of course, women’s saddles are different from men’s. our bodies are very different in the pelvic area. Specialized specialists investigated the distribution of the rider’s weight on the saddle during pedaling and, especially for the weaker sex, developed a special shape of saddles, the composition of the filler and the type of slots for optimal support of the female pelvis and weight distribution over the saddle while riding.

It’s also worth noting that all BG saddles have a fairly large, flat seating surface. The ischial bones are designed to properly support the body, better distribute blood circulation and support your own weight. Therefore, we place most of the burden on them. The flat surface will properly support your pelvis without impairing blood flow. At the same time, all the tunnels and holes in the BG saddles reduce the pressure on soft tissue, even if you tilt or move your pelvis forward in an aggressive (low) seating position. All of these subtleties significantly improve safety, productivity and comfort.

The comfort of cycling largely depends on the design of the bicycle seat (saddle), which affects the load on the cyclist’s pelvic bones. The fatigue of the rider, the presence of residual pain, and the feeling of discomfort when driving depend on its ergonomics and material of manufacture. The comfort of long journeys on a bicycle is influenced not only by the correct choice of a saddle for a bicycle, but by the setting of its height and the correct choice of the angle of inclination.

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Seat cover

In order not to rub the skin until reddening, it is better not to ride a bike with a cheap seat, wearing only swimming trunks or thin shorts, pants made of synthetic fabric. You can protect yourself by putting on a saddle cover that will take on friction as you move.

If you like your favorite lightweight plastic saddle, you can upgrade it with a leather case. In this case, the new accessory will soften the slippery rough surface.

how to choose the right bike saddle

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The quality of the bike’s handling depends largely on how well it meets the requirements of the place of contact between the rider and the bike itself. It is important to pay serious attention to the choice of grips, pedals and seating. Today we will talk about choosing the best saddle option.

Selection depending on material

Female saddle

When choosing a bicycle saddle for girls, it is important to know that the pelvic bones of many women are wider than those of men. On average, the distance between the ischial bones is 132 mm for women and 90 mm for men. A men’s saddle is not suitable for all ladies.

A girl cannot ride a bike with a narrow seat for a long time, it can cause discomfort, up to a feeling of pain.

Manufacturers of bicycle saddles, taking into account the peculiarities of the female constitution, are expanding their range with special ladies’ pieces. The classic women’s bike seat is wider than men’s and has a shorter nose to make it easier for ladies to ride in a skirt.

Designers decorate women’s cycling accessories with designs and give them vibrant colors.

Types and models of women’s saddles

Cycling experts divide all women’s saddles into two types. racing and sport-touring models. Racing models are suitable for professional athletes or those cyclists whose riding is on the verge of walking and cycling. And tourist models are the type of saddle suitable for most women, in whose life the bicycle takes the place of a hobby, public transport or out-of-town walks with family and loved ones.

TIP! All experts point out that choosing the ideal bike saddle should be based on individual feelings and preferences.

How To Choose A Road Bike Saddle

TIP! The saddle on the bike is not always comfortable. That is why this part is often purchased additionally, and enough time is devoted to its selection.

How-To Measure Your Sit Bones Width for Bike Saddle at Home

Women’s bike saddles: what’s the difference??

Are women’s saddles different from men’s? Or is it an original marketing ploy that allows companies to get additional profit from scratch. Starting a conversation about the differences between women’s saddles, you should understand the features of the female anatomy. The peculiarity of the female pelvis is its greater width compared to the male, which implies the need for a wider saddle for comfortable riding. Of course, a narrow pelvis is not uncommon among women, but even a narrow female pelvis has a special structure and location of bones, which requires a special saddle.

TIP! To determine the distance between the ischial bones, experts advise using the “curb method”, which allows you to identify the pivot points, which are the initial data when choosing a saddle.

Considerations for choosing the right saddle for your cyclist

You should choose according to the same scheme as for men. Experts recommend paying maximum attention to the following details:

  • Hardness level. As with any metric, the stiffness for a women’s bicycle saddle is individually selected. Of course, a beginner cyclist, and even more so a woman, will find a soft saddle more comfortable. But such a saddle is only suitable for short-term trips, since in the process of riding long distances, the soft model causes scuffs, discomfort and pain. A hard saddle can be comfortable even for women, but only in the case of a perfect match.

TIP! To quickly change the stiffness of the saddle, special covers and pads are used, as well as rear shock absorbers, which help to soften the ride of the bike.

  • Saddle shape. The classic saddle shape for women is a saddle wide at the rear with a short nose. It is this form that is recognized as the most comfortable for riding the weaker sex.
  • Seat material. The saddle can be either leather or plastic. If the first material has long been familiar to cyclists for its capriciousness and the need for careful care, the second is much more practical and reliable. But the more important material characteristics when choosing a saddle for a woman are adaptability and elasticity. And in this regard, among the plastic models, you can often find convenient options, because modern synthetics are practically no different from natural and expensive materials.
  • Seat filling. It is the filler that becomes one of the defining moments in the process of choosing the ideal model. The two most common fillings. foam or gel. are often used in conjunction with women’s saddles: soft foam and gel inserts for maximum ride comfort.

Equally important during riding is determining the height of the saddle and the level of its inclination. Traditionally, the saddle is positioned strictly horizontally, but most athletes are guided by their feelings while riding. Often women prefer to tilt the saddle forward a little to relieve stress and pressure on the soft tissues of the pelvis. The height of the saddle, again, should be adjusted individually so that the foot reaches the pedal in the lower position, but not to the ground. The selection of the height does not take place at once, but empirically: sorting out the heights of the saddle and “rolling” each height for half an hour. Correct fit on the bike will provide you with even breathing, with such a ride, the chest remains free, which will allow you to be more relaxed on the road and enjoy the ride as much as possible.

Many ordinary people perceive the very concept of a “female saddle” in two ways: on the one hand, they do not have any striking differences from male models, and on the other hand, some of the models proposed by manufacturers are quite convenient and comfortable for women. In any case, it is up to the cyclist to decide whether to ride a special women’s or one that is more suitable, but marked as men’s.