Choosing a good bike saddle
Fans of active life who have switched from a classic bike to a mountain bike should take into account some nuances. In addition to the fact that the size of a bicycle can radically differ from the usual one, the fit and, accordingly, the function of the bicycle seat is different, no matter how strange it may sound.
How to find a bike saddle?
First of all, it’s worth remembering that a regular riding bike allows your back to be almost perpendicular to the ground. That is, on a classic two-wheeled horse you sit almost like on a chair. The seat of a mountain bike cannot be designed for your weight. Without deforming, it only holds a smaller portion of your pounds. The main load goes to the steering wheel and pedals.
What problems can start with the seat? In the event that you are tired of riding your bike for a long time and the bulk of your body rests on the seat, it will seem quite solid. As a result, many people have a desire to feel something softer like a sofa. However, a soft saddle will only become more comfortable for you for a while and will not solve the problem.
The seat is recommended to be installed large, if the fifth point is large. Otherwise, she will soon rub her legs in the crotch area. Girls usually have to listen to stories that after the bike some part of the body hurts. this indicates a wrong setting or choice.
Also, do not choose a saddle that is too soft, as it can miss a lot. An excellent option in this regard are seats with a groove along the saddle.
Bike saddle setup and design
By design, all seats are approximately the same. They are attached to the seat post with a metal frame. Let me remind you that the metal frame can be titanium, steel and chrome-molybdenum. Of course, titanium is better, but it costs a little more than the others. For cyclists whose weight is about a centner, I do not recommend a seat with a steel frame, as it may not withstand.
A leather seat is definitely better. After all, it is able to adapt to you, which will affect its comfort. However, this is for those whose weight does not exceed 80 kilograms. There is also some good news: today, quite comfortable plastic seats for mountain bikes are being made. The convenience of these seats is that there are clever shapes and gel inserts where necessary.
Each saddle has three adjustments, and saddle tuning is just as important as adjusting the bike’s front fork correctly. First, there is a longitudinal offset. closer or further from the steering wheel. Second, turn right and left. I think you can fasten it parallel to the bike. And thirdly, the desired angle of inclination. Pay attention to the choice of the height at which the seat will be mounted. Since in the case of an incorrectly selected height, you will not be able to properly distribute the load. As a result, the entire weight of your body will press on the saddle.
Bicycle seat: male and female
I would also like to answer a frequently asked question: what is the difference between women’s and men’s seats? Modern girls no longer have such large hips as before, so there is no need for a “female” saddle. However, there are such, they are slightly wider and shorter than ordinary seats.
The text was prepared by Roman Borisov. Published: May 28, 2020. Categories: Choice, Microrecords.
How to choose a bike saddle
When faced with the choice of how to choose a saddle for a bicycle, you will have a number of requirements for it, since the needs and capabilities of each person are different. Buying a bike is always a difficult and painful choice, and comfort plays the most important role. Comfort is influenced by many factors and components of the bike. In this article, we will consider such an important part of a bicycle as a saddle.
The desire of the young generation to lead a healthy lifestyle takes an important place not only in organizing free time and diet, but also in choosing a means of transportation. You can meet both a student and an office worker on a bicycle, and in the West such transport is not neglected even by officials. With the help of a two-wheeled friend, you can get to work without going through traffic jams, take a ride with friends in the park, or get the whole family out into nature. The main thing is that the bike is perfectly matched and riding on it does not cause discomfort.
While cycling, the pelvis is under a heavy load, so a comfortable saddle will allow you to painlessly travel long distances without complaining of pain and calluses.
Narrow and rigid bike saddle
So, how to choose a bike saddle. Fortunately, there is a large selection of different types of saddles and manufacturers (Selle Italia, Fizik. San Marco, Ritchey. Specialized), which make it possible to customize the saddle. The word “individual” here is explained by the fact that the anatomy of each person is individual and you need to choose a saddle based on the peculiarities of the structure of the pelvis and ischial bones, namely their width. Therefore, there are saddles that are soft, hard, and wide and narrow. Generally, narrow, stiff saddles are more suitable for highway and cross-country bikes, which in turn are lightweight.
Bicycle padded saddle
For hybrids and city bikes, wide and soft ones are used, since comfort during a long ride is more important here.
Bicycle Saddle Designs
The seat design is extremely simple:
- Frame (steel, chrome molybdenum, titanium wire, carbon fiber, aluminum alloy, magnesium, etc.). Titanium and carbon frames are both expensive and suitable for low weight riders. These frames are used on sport saddles. The frame itself is made in the shape of the letter “V” and is attached to the base of the saddle in three places. There are frames equipped with springs, which provide a little shock absorption and wiggle while riding.
- The basis is high-strength plastic. It can be either solid or with a slot in the middle, which provides additional ride comfort and good ventilation.
- Softening Pad. Used to reduce the stiffness of the saddle. They can be with paralon or a gel insert inside. A gel bike saddle has a significant impact on comfort especially on long rides.
- Outer cover. the material from which the saddle is covered externally. Can be covered with leather, leatherette, various synthetic fabrics or even carbon fiber. The best and most comfortable coating is, of course, leather, as this material makes you quickly get used to it. However, it has a high cost. Faux leather and synthetic fabrics wear out quickly enough and are slippery, which affects the appearance of the saddle and have a low price.
Bike saddle frame
Comfort bike saddle with shock absorber
Bicycle saddle with ventilation slot
It should be noted that the first time you ride a new saddle you will feel inconvenience and discomfort in any case and regardless of its design and material from which the bike saddle is made.
Leather saddle with Kevlar inserts
Particular attention should be paid to the quality of the saddle. It should be smooth and highly wear resistant, as it tends to wear off over time due to friction. There are saddles with Kevlar inserts (they say “Kevlar”, they look like a suede fabric), which help to maintain their original appearance in various unpleasant situations, for example, unsuccessfully leaning against or falling.
Saddle led by Tioga Spuder
There are also saddles that meet the demands of the worst cyclists. These include Tioga Spuder. The saddle has a high quality, an excellent level of comfort despite the fact that the surface of the saddle is plastic, as well as a lot of ventilated holes, excellent springiness and brings only positive emotions while riding. The only thing that saddens is the price of such a saddle, which is 90-100.
Choosing a bike saddle, everyone is faced with the problem of correctly installing it and adjusting the incline, which ultimately affects your bike landing.
Adjusting the bike saddle and setting the saddle height correctly
To adjust and adjust the position of the bike saddle, you must:
- Insert the saddle frame into the seatpost clamps, which in turn will slide into the seat tube of the bike frame. Seatposts come in a variety of styles. single bolt, double bolt and eccentric;
The height of the saddle cannot exceed the mark on the seatpost
Bicycle saddle clips
Cycling and men’s health (prostatitis)
In recent years, more and more questions have been raised about the male health problems of cyclists that can arise from an incorrectly fitted saddle, mainly in narrow, hard saddles. The stiff saddle presses on the soft tissues of the pelvis and ischial bones during the ride.
It is worth mentioning that the female pelvis is on average a few centimeters wider than the male.
In the picture below, the arrows indicate those mats that are in contact with the saddle and bear the greatest load on the rider’s weight (about 75% of the weight), therefore these parts of the saddle are an important factor when choosing a saddle and the correct selection of the saddle width plays a decisive role.
In addition, the saddle compresses the arteries of the genital organs and blood vessels, as a result of which blood flow decreases and the cyclist feels a certain numbness in the perineum or genitals. This can lead to various sexual disorders and a number of diseases. To avoid this discomfort, it is advisable to ride a bicycle in special cycling clothing (cycling shorts, pants) that have a “diaper” that reduces the pressure of the saddle on the pelvic bones and provides comfort. Also recommends standing up from the saddle for a while to resume normal circulation.
How the saddle load is distributed
It also happens that the discomfort arises not from a rigid saddle, but precisely because of the incorrect adjustment of the position and inclination of the saddle. If you have had or will have similar cases, then you need to either adjust the saddle correctly or completely change the saddle to a new, wider and more comfortable one.
However, doctors have not yet come to a consensus on whether the stiffness of the saddle affects men’s health, so the question remains open and controversial. Remember that the high price of a saddle does not mean its convenience, you will have to select it by trial.
In order to correctly choose the required saddle width, you need to know the distance between the ischial bones. Remember, the saddle should not be too narrow or too wide.
Leather saddle cover
If you don’t want to buy a new saddle, the problem may be solved by purchasing a saddle cover. The cover is also matched to the size of the saddle. The cover will help to relieve pressure on the fifth point. The cover is installed by putting it on the saddle and pulled together from the back. a matter of several minutes. The result will be felt immediately.
Why do women need women’s saddles?
Yes, precisely then, why do men need men, why a tall cyclist needs a large frame, and a child needs extra wheels for a bicycle. Because so:
- more convenient and comfortable;
- more logical from the point of view of anatomy.
Placing the female pelvis on the saddle
In the female pelvis, the distance between the ischial tubercles is much greater than in the male: 132 mm for women versus 80-90 for gentlemen. Thus, it is much more comfortable to sit a man on a saddle 130 mm wide, while for a girl riding a bicycle with a man’s saddle will cause discomfort, up to painful sensations.
A classic women’s bicycle saddle is shorter and wider than a men’s saddle, but you shouldn’t buy the widest product and hope for a comfortable fit. When choosing a bicycle saddle for a woman, it is important to choose the right one, the perfect one, since many girls prefer to give up the bike altogether, citing the inconvenience.
An illiterate bicycle saddle for women is dangerous not only with physical discomfort, but also with possible health problems: many girls complain of numbness in the perineum during long riding. This is due to squeezing of blood vessels and nerve endings, which threatens to decrease sensitivity in the perineum.
Models of women’s saddles
Bicycle saddle manufacturers are increasingly incorporating a line of women’s saddlery into their product range with a consumer focus. Some people prefer to transform a male saddle into a female saddle with helium pads on the pelvic contact points. Sizes remain the key differences from men’s sizes, sometimes designers plunge into creativity and vary colors and patterns.
Finally, I would like to recall the words of the postman Pechkin from the cartoon “Prostokvashino”: “Why was I harmful? Because I didn’t have a bicycle. And now I’ll start getting better right away. “
How to choose a bike saddle without rubbing anywhere
“Why was I angry before? Because I didn’t have a bicycle, ”the well-known postman Pechkin shares his joy. However, having a bicycle does not always give its owner guaranteed joy. Because not only speed and smoothness are important, but also the softness of the landing: today we are talking about bicycle seats.
No matter how expensive and cool your bike is, basic ride comfort is always a decisive factor.
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your buttocks and perineum while cycling, the seat may not be the issue. Yes, it is generally accepted that in most such cases, buying another seat cushions the problem at once. However, people who have encountered it are simply unfamiliar with other methods of dealing with acute pain.
So, if your fifth point gives you anxiety after a short bike ride, then the problem most likely lies in:
- incorrect position of the saddle or seatpost;
- uncomfortable steering position;
- unsuccessful or incorrect design of the saddle itself;
- saddle made of poor quality material or badly worn out;
- improper fit of the rider. a banal reason, which cannot be ruled out;
- extra layer between the seat and your body.
How to adjust the saddle position
If pain occurs directly during the trip itself, then in most cases this problem can be dealt with by adjusting the position of the saddle, seatpost or handlebar. And if you are planning to deal with the painful once and for all, then the inspection of these nodes of your “steel horse” is the first thing to start with.
It may also happen that the trip causes you the most real pain, and not some vague “painful sensations” there. In this case, you should really consider buying a different saddle, but for now, try the following manipulations:
- adjust the angle of the seat,
- check if the side angle is conveniently adjusted,
- adjust the height of the seatpost,
- adjust the position of the steering wheel for height,
- adjust the position of the steering grips so that the fit is comfortable, without unnatural leaning forward or backward.
MichalLudwiczak / Depositphotos.com
In our today’s business, every millimeter is very important, and even a slight deviation from the ideal angle in terms of landing can lead to the fact that Saturday’s ride will turn into torture, the consequences of which will remind of themselves over the next two or three days. Play around with the saddle, seatpost and handlebar settings. Be patient: try different options and ride a little to compare their ride comfort.
There is another important point that must be taken into account: while riding, not all of your body weight falls entirely on the seat, and if it did, it would definitely hurt the cyclist. In a good way, the saddle should take only part of the load when moving, then your weight is evenly distributed between the groin and seat areas, arms and handlebars.
When you are lucky enough to determine the cherished position of the seat, at which riding will finally begin to bring joy, stop there and do not change any more tilt angles in any case.
For fidelity, you can even mark the position you are looking for with a permanent marker, duct tape, or file to perpetuate it in the history of the victory over pain. If for some reason the seat has to be removed or moved, you will no longer suffer with it for a long time.
It’s all the fault of the clothes
If you are used to wearing loose-fitting clothing, or if your heel is comparable to those for which Kim Kardashian or Nicki Minaj became famous, then riding can be painful for you. The fact is that folds of fabric or skin, in contact with the seat, begin to rub when moving, which will inevitably lead to abrasions, and those. to pain in intimate places.
For this reason, lycra cycling shorts are so comfortable: they fit tightly and reduce friction between your body and the bike, just as the designers intended. The material that is used in the production tightly presses all the bodily “excess”, turning them into a smooth and fairly even area of contact with the bicycle saddle. So, if you are one of those who ride in loose-fitting clothes, try riding in special Lycra shorts. the difference will be noticeable.
What are the requirements for a bicycle saddle
Overall, we need a fairly firm, yet slightly springy bike seat. It should not resemble a granite boulder, which obviously will not bring comfort to your bike ride. On the other hand, it should not be comfortable, like a grandfather’s chair, presented to him in honor of the next anniversary, because we remember: soft tends to rub.
However, if a saddle with similar parameters has already been found, and the pain is still not replaced by the joy of landscapes flashing past, then it is time to tackle the fine tuning of the seatpost and the height of the handlebars. Either the problem was lurking in the design, or as an execution of the tormentor seat.
Most bicycle seats are pear-shaped. At the same time, the smoothness of the transition line from the front, narrowest, part of the saddle to its “stern” will affect ride comfort, while the volume of the buttocks as a whole does not play a decisive role in choosing the size you need. Simply put, if your hips are wide, then it is not at all necessary that the saddle in the back of it should be wider.
What really matters is the distance between the edges of the curved ramus of the ischium (the body rests on them when we sit). The points at which our skeleton touches the saddle determine the comfort of the fit: if the seat is too wide or narrow for your bones, then in the end it will result in abrasions and pain.
So how wide should a bicycle seat be??
Let’s start with the fact that each saddle has “cheeks”. protruding semicircles on its rear, wide part. Very often, the seat is designed in such a way that these protrusions are slightly raised up: when you sit down, your ischial bones should fall exactly on the extreme points of the elevations, under which the layer of lining is hidden. it gives a feeling of comfort. By the way, many bicycles may not have elevations on the “cheeks” in the wide part: it all depends on the design.
If everything is more or less clear with the measurements of the seat, then what about the sit bones? We answer: this is also not a problem. Take a large (about five liters) Zip bag and fill it with flour so that the mass is distributed in an even layer about 4–5 centimeters thick inside the bag. Place the bag on the surface of a table or chair and sit on top (if you are naked, the results will be more accurate, so take it seriously).
Now, carefully climb out of our experimental package. The wells that you see now are the prints made by your ischial bones. We needed to measure the distance between them. Take a ruler again and measure the distance between the centers of the holes, as well as between their outer edges.
Now let’s find out what the data obtained this way means.
- The distance between the centers of the holes (ischial bones) should be approximately equal to the distance between the elevations of the “cheeks” on the bicycle seat.
- The distance between the outer edges of the holes is a parameter that matters when choosing a certain type of seat, for example Brooks: their design provides for the presence of steel frame crossbars. Therefore, if you do not want to crawl bones over the pieces of iron, remember the rule: such a seat should be about two centimeters wider than the distance between the outer edges of your prints on the bag. We emphasize: our goal is to seat our ischial bones on the “cheeks” of the seat, and so that there is some free space for maneuvers. random shifts and natural movements along the saddle while riding.
- It is worth mentioning the distance between the inner edges of the holes. the prints of the ischial bones. If you decide to get a seat with a notch-cutout in the middle, then the protrusions of the bone should not fall into this notch when you are riding, otherwise you are guaranteed pain. To avoid this trouble, the distance between the inner edges of the ischial bones must be approximately 20 millimeters more. Thus, if the length of the saddle cutout is 60 millimeters, then the inner distance should be 80 millimeters.
florin1961 / Depositphotos.com
For those who find the idea of flour too time consuming, we offer a simpler option. Sit down with your palms under your buttocks so that you can feel your sit bones (feels like elbows). Use your index fingers to mark the places on the chair where the bones seem to be pressing the most. Then, without lifting your fingertips from the chair, stand up and have someone fix the marked points with a pencil or pieces of duct tape.
Great, we have the necessary parameters. The distance between the outer edges of the ischial bones can be measured in the same way. In this case, the fingertips should be located just outside the points where the bones exert the most pressure on the surface of the stool. Perhaps, having obtained this data empirically, you will be surprised that the seat on which you ride is too wide or, conversely, too narrow. If so, the seat really needs to be changed.
How to choose the right bike saddle
After such detailed instructions, it is difficult to advise any one, universal seat option, which is clearly better than others. Why? The answer is simple: all people are different, even for one person the length of the arms and legs may differ, which means that if it is convenient for me, then it is not at all a fact that it will be for you. Nevertheless, some of the seats are very well designed and made. over, they are renowned for their quality. If you are no longer able to endure suffering, and our advice did not help, then you can try one of them, while choosing, remembering to start from the parameters of your body.
Touring bike seats
Landing when riding a cruiser or city bike is usually straight, the trip itself does not last too long. Therefore, a seat equipped with a shock absorber will be just right. Wide and short, with soft lining and springs, it is able to give the rider the comfort and pleasure of walking around the city.
Road bike seats
Engaging in cross-country races or covering substantial distances on the highway? You need a “work” saddle that is long, narrow, and with minimal (or no) padding. During the trip, only part of your weight falls on the ischial bones, and a tense posture and special shorts completely exclude the presence of folds of clothing in the legs and perineum (as we have already found out, improperly selected clothing can lead to painful abrasions). Just recently joined the country club? In this case, we recommend you a saddle with a little extra “crumb” so that the body gradually gets used to the specifics of many hours of riding.
Mountain bike seats
On mountain paths, where most of the time you have to ride standing on the pedals, lean back and hang over the bike frame in the most unusual positions, you will not be able to appreciate the comfort of the saddle: the extreme is in charge. That’s why you just want a compact, streamlined saddle, and the smaller the better. This will allow you not to beat him on every steep descent and sharp turn. Of course, such a seat should be as strong as possible and made of reliable material.
Touring bike seats
Long distance riding on a bike means that the seat is durable (preferably genuine leather) and won’t restrict your movement. a cross between a mountain bike and road bike saddle. For these purposes, a model with a narrow front part, soft inserts in the area of contact with the ischial bones and sufficient length to be able to lean back a little is suitable for you.
Women’s bike seats
This is a separate song altogether: beautiful ladies have wider hips, while the bodies themselves are smaller. Therefore, the design of the seat must first of all adapt the bike ride to these anatomical features. That’s, in fact, all.
What are the materials
Now let’s take a quick look at the materials that are used to make the padding in bike seats. The main purpose of the pad is to provide a comfortable seating position on the sit bones. The peculiarity of the types of material from which the lining is usually made is that under the pressure of the weight they behave differently.
Gel pads conform to your body shape for maximum comfort. For this reason, most of those who are used to riding for pleasure prefer saddles with gel inserts. The disadvantage is that, unlike foam inserts, they are compressed much faster, and this inevitably leads to a drop in the level of comfort.
Foam pads. They are malleable, willingly miss out and just as quickly return to their original form. As we already know, riders appreciate them for the best comfort compared to their gel counterparts: they crumple under the influence of weight and they are less compressed. Accordingly, for cyclists weighing more than 90 kilograms, a saddle with a foam rubber pad will be ideal, since it will crumple much longer. The same feature should be considered for long-distance travel enthusiasts.
You can also use a special pad for the bike, which fits like a cover. The problem may not be revealed immediately: despite the softness and comfort, the lining material is not distributed over the entire surface as evenly as in the factory lining of the original seat, so it can “walk” around the area with relative freedom, whether you like it or not. Lovers of unhurried walks will not be a problem, but for those who like to kick up, it will be easy. Therefore, we would advise the latter to take a closer look at special cycling shorts or cycling amps, which can be a much more profitable investment.
Most bicycle seats are designed to protect the rider’s perineum, because a large number of nerve endings and blood vessels are concentrated in this area. As a result, saddles are available with less mid-padding to reduce pressure on the groin area and provide extra ventilation and comfort during extended rides.
As we have already said, the structure of the body is different for everyone: some find salvation in buying a seat with a longitudinal cut, others choose models with a minimum number of recesses. Of course, in general, bikes with designs that reduce crotch pressure while riding are suitable for almost all riders, both men and women, but this is still a matter of personal choice.
Yes, the seats can be upholstered with genuine leather. it is durable and stylish, but, alas, it is affordable. Many fans of riding, no matter what type of bike other than mountain bike, agree on: proven by more than one generation of cyclists and durable classic leather seats are an excellent choice (mountain bike lovers lean towards modern options, sometimes with a powerful lining that can partially smooth uneven track).
What is the secret of the wild popularity of the classic leather seat? The answer is: in its design. The saddle cover material is made from a piece of polished leather, pre-stretched on a special metal frame. It’s like your favorite sneakers purchased a couple of years ago: everything is just as good, remember all the twists and turns of fate and never go out of style. super comfortable and homely.
At the same time, the leather seat retains all the technological advantages of its modern counterparts: the shape is the same, but covered with leather that does not go out of fashion. a sign of success and practicality. Here you will find a longitudinal cut, which provides stable ventilation, and pleasant sensations from the naturalness of the material. One drawback: requires proper care, like expensive shoes.
Bottom Line: Do You Need a New Bicycle Seat?
In this matter, we decided to trust the opinion of the bike blog Bike Snob:
We can draw conclusions: there is always some discomfort during landing. This is normal. One way or another, simple manipulations and careful tuning help in most cases known to the world. And the bike brothers willingly share their experience on many forums devoted to this topic. Level up! So let’s summarize:
- Try adjusting your seat position, seatpost height and steering column height.
- Make sure the seat fits your body.
- Check if your seat is serviceable: is it ripped, frayed, or retained its shape? After all, we already firmly know: we cannot afford to save on ourselves.
If I still haven’t mentioned something important, let’s discuss it in the comments. Take care of yourself, do not save on health and read Lifehacker!
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 it doesn’t 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 butt point.
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 quantity, and we still sit leaning on the pelvic bones, called the ischial tubercles. Soft tissues 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.
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 manifest themselves earlier and more unpleasantly. The narrow saddle takes the weight of the cyclist leaning on it with the soft tissues of the perineum. Accordingly, blood vessels are pinched, 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” 3-5 cm wider than the distance between the pelvic bones, 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 to choose a saddle according to its 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.
Soft and hard
The wide assortment somehow narrows on closer inspection. Different manufacturers offer almost the same options: incredibly 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.
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 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.
Not only the price depends on the material the saddle is covered with. Synthetics do not wick away perspiration, which will keep your clothes wet, especially in hot weather. A cyclist sweats with any riding style, and do not think that leisurely rides will leave your trousers dry. Humidity leads to abrasions, 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 travel 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: true quality leather saddles survive on more than one bike.
Noteworthy are the grooves and slots in the center of the saddles, unusual cutouts. As a rule, these tricks of designers and constructors have one goal: to provide air access to the human body and 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 are 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 saddle, with the exception of the 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.
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 sport riding, spring shock absorbers are harmful.
Saddle models that differ in price 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 economy 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 understand if the saddle is comfortable only after the number 100 km on its screen.
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 for natural materials you have to pay with money, otherwise you have to pay with your own backside.
How to choose a saddle for a bike?
A bicycle saddle is an element on which your comfort directly depends. Therefore, special attention should be paid to its selection. An uncomfortable saddle can cause discomfort and injury.
But how do you choose the right bike saddle? In our article, we will consider the main options, their features, and provide advice on the selection. We recommend that you carefully study the prepared material!
But first, let’s make a small digression. If this is your first time riding a bike, you will definitely get the whole range of unpleasant sensations from the saddle. It would seem that you have already performed the correct setup, found the perfect seat, but still there are inconveniences. Why is that?
You just need to adapt to the seat. The gluteal muscles are experiencing a completely new type of stress that they have never experienced before. Naturally, the pain begins with habit.
Therefore, you have to “roll in”. It takes about seven rides to get used to the saddle. After the tenth ride, most people feel no discomfort when using the seat.
Additionally, pain appears during a long trip. It all depends on the level of your physical fitness. An amateur is able to drive about 60 km without pain in the buttocks. Professionals can easily cover the distance up to 100-120 km.
Therefore, it is recommended to take breaks during the trip. After 50-70 km, stop and get off the bike. Give the muscles of the buttocks a little rest, you can drink some water and go online from your smartphone. After rest, you can return to the bike and hit the road again.
Important! The distance between breaks depends on your level of fitness. Beginners can rest after 20-30 km, amateurs. after 70, professionals can choose a gap of 100-150 km. Focus on your feelings, by the discomfort in the area of the gluteal muscles, you will understand when it is time to stop for a break.
What are bike saddles??
What is a bicycle saddle? The classification can be performed according to various parameters:
- Material type. leather or plastic.
- Construction. sports or tourist. Also on sale you can find walking options.
- With or without spout.
- Hole classification.
- According to the degree of hardness.
- Justified, etc.
Major manufacturers have spawned a huge number of bike saddle options. Therefore, it is difficult to create a unified classification system. Often, when choosing a seat, you have to consider several parameters at once.
Let’s go through the main indicators together and understand the intricacies of choosing a bicycle saddle.
There are no general guidelines for width. This parameter directly depends on your anatomical features. It is necessary to determine the distance between the ischial bones in order to make the right choice.
A saddle that is too narrow does not allow the bones to rest against it. The legs are actually in the air. The saddle can also pinch the inguinal arteries, resulting in impaired circulation.
The selection is carried out individually. Ideal. when the ischial bones rest against the seat, and the legs do not rub against it during the trip. It is important that the main body weight falls on the bones, and not on soft tissues.
Previously, all harnesses were made of genuine leather. Its main advantage is that the material adapts to the natural anatomical shapes of the pelvis. But this fact is also a disadvantage of the leather saddle.
It takes some time for the seat to adjust. Owners may experience some discomfort after purchase. But when the skin spreads and adjusts to the shape of the pelvis, you can enjoy exceptional comfort.
Plastic saddles are fairly common in the market. They are standard on most bicycles. The reason for the popularity is the low price and ease of manufacture. But in terms of convenience, plastic models are much inferior to leather ones.
Balanced solution. skin substitutes. They provide quite comfortable seating and an attractive seat price. Therefore, many cyclists prefer them.
Soft or hard saddle?
Many newbies are inexperienced in buying a padded touring or road bike seat. This is a big mistake as the saddle shifts body weight to soft tissues and does not dissipate heat well.
This seat is only suitable for city bikes. It provides high comfort on short journeys. But at long distances, the muscles begin to flow, you often have to stop to rest.
The rigid saddle ensures the correct distribution of body weight. The butt touches the seat only in the right areas, the rest hangs above the surface. This saddle is suitable for long rides and allows for high speeds.
Conclusion: soft seats are only suitable for city bikes. For all other models, select a rigid saddle.
Design features of bicycle saddles
Additionally, you should consider the basic requirements for the design and shape of a bicycle seat:
- It is advisable to give preference to models with a narrow and long nose.
- The back pad should be sized appropriately for the bones to move back and forth.
- No protruding sides of the nose are allowed. Otherwise, they will rub the crotch.
Saddle without spout
Now a unique offer has appeared on the market. a saddle without a nose. It allows you to eliminate additional pressure on the perineum during the trip. But how then is the pelvic support carried out?
Specialists have developed a special crescent shape for the seat. It does an excellent job of supporting the pelvis, the bones rest against the saddle. This seat can be used by people of any age, including children.
Wide or narrow saddle. which is better?
Narrow saddles are designed for professional use. They are suitable for road bikes and allow for high speeds. But are these saddles really easy to use??
The cyclist does not sit during the ride. He practically rides while standing, applying maximum pressure on the pedals. The narrow seat will not interfere with him during competitions and training.
City bikes and cruisers offer a sit-down ride. Therefore, wide saddles are installed on them. They provide comfortable seating and reduce stress on various muscle groups.
The downside of a wide saddle is that it slows down pedaling. Therefore, purchase it only for a walking or city bike. For mountain, touring or road bikes, it is better to choose a narrower seat.
Perfectly matched women’s bike saddle
Most of the seats on the market are designed with the male anatomy in mind. But in women, the pelvic bones are wider, so they often find it uncomfortable to use such saddles.
Manufacturers create special female models. How do they differ from ordinary ones? First, the designers have reduced the length of the spout. Due to this, girls can ride comfortably in a skirt.
Secondly, the specialists have increased the width. As a result, the pelvic bones sit on the saddle rather than hanging in the air. Of course, the designers have worked on the look. Women’s models have bright colors, they can be decorated with various decorative elements.
If the standard seat seems uncomfortable to you, there is pain in the perineum while traveling, then get a special solution for girls. As a rule, it solves all the problems of the fair sex.
Some companies produce models with a central cutout. As planned, the hole should reduce pressure on soft tissues and increase ride comfort.
Some people consider the hole to be an unnecessary element. According to them, soft tissues will begin to fall into the neckline, as a result, there will be even more discomfort during the trip.
But all the skeptics’ fears are unfounded. During the ride, the buttocks constantly move back and forth. Due to this, it is excluded the collapse of soft tissues into the cutout, especially since the bulk of the weight falls on the pelvic bones.
The springs are only useful for cruisers and city bikes. They must have optimum rigidity. If the springs are too soft, the seat will start to rock constantly during travel.
Mountain bikes, road bikes and touring bikes do not need these elements. The cyclist leans towards the handlebars during a ride and transfers about 40 percent of his body weight onto it. Springs will reduce the effectiveness of pedaling, if they are available, it is impossible to develop high speed.
Conclusion: if the handlebars are set high, then stiffer springs will be useful. They act as shock absorbers and absorb mechanical stress. If the handlebar is located at or below the saddle, then it is better to refuse these elements.
Correct bike saddle adjustment
The main mistake many beginners make is a low seating position. Subconsciously, a person is afraid to fall off the bike, because he seems too unstable. Therefore, beginner cyclists often place the seat at the lowest height to reach the ground with their feet.
Why is this bad? During the ride, the knees are bent. The joints experience unfavorable stresses that can lead to their subsequent destruction. Also, the cyclist gets tired quickly, fizzles out after 20-30 kilometers.
How to place the harness correctly?
- Sit on the bike.
- Turn the pedals so that one of them is at the very bottom.
- Raise the seat so that in this position the leg is straight and the heel touches the pedal.
- To check the height, try to reach the bottom of this pedal with your toes.
- After the test, you can fix the seat. The resulting height is ideal for you.
Important! The seat post should be at least 10-15 centimeters deep into the tube. Many manufacturers apply the label to make it easier for owners to navigate. If you reduce this parameter, then the pin can break the frame.
There are a huge number of companies involved in the production of bicycle saddles on the market. But we will list only the most popular ones:
- Brooks. Brooks seats are considered one of the best solutions.
- Bike Attitude.
- Mizumi, etc.
The wrong bike saddle as source of real health hazards
An improperly fitted saddle can cause serious discomfort. But for girls, it also poses a threat to sexual health. As a rule, it is most difficult for women to find a seat, since most models are created for men.
Additionally, scientists from Yale University conducted a number of studies. According to the results obtained, an incorrect saddle disrupts blood circulation in the genital area. It can cause decreased libido in men and women. Also, discomfort and numbness in the perineal region are often noted.
If you have already encountered problems after long cycling trips, you need to see a doctor immediately. Timely assistance of a specialist will prevent adverse consequences.