Make no butts about it, being comfortable on your bike saddle is the biggest asset you can have. An uncomfortable saddle takes the joy out of riding and a big reason some people stop riding all together. Attempting to remedy this can be frustrating, just looking at a saddle won’t tell you if it’s going to fit. What if there was some easy way to narrow your options and make finding a comfy saddle easier….well that’s exactly what I’m going to do in this post. So don’t be saddle sore…get saddle sure. Here is how to pick a comfortable saddle.
So don’t be saddle sore…get saddle sure
Focus on posture
Think about how you are sitting on the bike. Are you seated completely upright or do you lean slightly forward? Maybe you ride aggressively or do triathlon. The amount of forward lean will dictate the saddle shape, width and cushion required. Generally the more upright you are the wider and softer you need. The further forward you lean will require a narrower and firmer saddle. The length of time you spend on the bike also can make a difference. Below is a simple zone system to narrow the options.
Bigger isn’t always better
One common misconception is bigger and softer increases comfort. The size of your butt also has less to do with the saddle selection. Have you had your sit bones measured lately? Seriously, we have a simple way of measuring this at our bike shop. It’s a quick and simple process that requires you to sit on a gel pad and then measure the impressions of your sit bones. For posture 1-4 this is a very useful tool to pick the saddle that gives your sit bones the most support and relieves soft tissue pressure.
Try a pair of padded cycling shorts
I get this question a lot, “how do those roadies ride on those hard saddles all day?” Simple, they wear snug fitted padded shorts. Cycling shorts are silky and tight for a reason. First the slick material decreases friction and wicks moisture quickly. This is a huge help in preventing rubbing discomfort and saddle sores. They are skin tight so that the chamois doesn’t move around and rub the rider’s legs. For those with a more casual riding style, wear these shorts like underwear, yes next to skin always but with some running shorts on top. There are also mountain bike specific shorts that look like hiking shorts but come with a removable padded liner.
30 day comfort guarantee
All of our saddles come with a 30 comfort guarantee. If you’ve gone though the process above then you’ve narrowed your selection down to just one or two options. Give one a try for up to 30 days. If you’re happy with your selection then away you go. If you don’t feel 100% comfortable after 30 days, bring it back to our shop and swap for another option. In the end if it feels good, its a good saddle fit.