Saddle selection and saddle position

Two important riding needs are: saddle selection and saddle posture. The right saddle and the right posture can reduce pressure on your crotch, and also minimize chances of saddle sores. However, there is no one saddle posture that fits all. Even saddle selection depends on your riding technique.

The best that can be said is that the saddle should be wide enough to enable your ‘sit bones’ to support your weight on a saddle. For men, a very narrow seat would place their body weight on the soft tissue between the sit bones, which is harmful. In case of women, saddles are a little wider in the main sitting area because women have wider sit bones.

The seat should be either flat or slightly curvaceous. A sharp curvature, apart from creating riding position problems, places the sit bones below the saddle’s center, adding to crotch pressure. A slight curvature of say 6 degrees or less is ideal.

Riders must avoid thickly padded saddles because they can be harmful in the long run. They can also choose from wedge shaped or gel padded saddles. However, there is simply no way of knowing their comfort level, until you ride on a selected design. Some bike shops provide a test ride program. You can return the saddle back to the shop if you are unsatisfied.

It is imperative for increased comfort that you master the style of riding and the positioning. For many riders, a saddle that is slightly off-center, compared to the top tube, is more comfortable. The others need to adjust their sitting angle. They should tilt slightly to the right or left if the nose of the saddle is discomforting.

You can keep moving on or off the saddle to avoid constant pressure and discomfort. You can also stand up and pedal for short periods while climbing or going over a plateau. This will ensure proper blood circulation through the body.

It is a hard ride on a road bike unless you cultivate a few good habits. You should always try to seat yourself on the wider area of the saddle. You can also use shock absorbing seats for better comfort. Do not overload yourself with unnecessary backpacks. It will only increase the weight making posture adjustment difficult. A similar problem can be experienced by obese people.

Indoor riding requires conscious effort from your side for posture adjustments. Try to get up every few minutes and change your seating angle for better comfort.

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