If you are like most of us, you know what it feels like to have a saddle that just doesn’t sit right with you. You know, one that rubs you the wrong way? Maybe you don’t like the one that came on your bike or maybe you might just be curious as to what goes into picking a saddle. While there is no straightforward answer to this question, there are a few guidelines to help get you there. Here are our three tips for finding the perfect saddle.
What Type Of Bike Is It For?
Most saddles are designed for a specific type of bike because each riding discipline has a varying set of demands. Road cyclists might want a saddle that is stiff and lightweight while a bike commuter might want one that is cushy and comfortable. The difference between saddles can be so different that some brands focus on only one type of riding. Take WTB for example, which only makes saddles for mountain biking. So, start with the type of bike and discipline you are going to be doing and then go from there.
Find The Right Shape
Often the shape of the saddle is determined by the type of riding it was intended for. Mountain bike saddles are designed with a flatter profile, which makes it’s easy to slide on and off the back. Also, most mountain bikers sit in an upright position, so the padding and cutouts are placed with that in mind. As for road biking, riders are usually bent forward so the cutouts and padding are placed to better support that type of position. Road saddles also have a slightly curved profile which helps keep you from sliding back and forth. We won’t lie. The best way to find the right saddle is by sitting on it, but it’s possible to find the right one online. Use your imagination when looking at each saddle and visualize if the shape will work for you.
Know Your Sit Bone Measurement
Most people don’t know that saddles actually come in different widths. The width of your saddle might come in a standard measurement like medium or large. Often times though, the saddle width will be measured in millimeters. The right saddle width for you depends on the distance between the points of your sit bones. These are the bones that support you on the saddle. Generally speaking, men have sit bones between 100mm – 140mm wide and women range between 110mm – 150mm. You can measure your sit bones at home or come visit us at Peak Cycles and we can do it for you. By knowing your sit bone measurement, you can really start to hone in on the perfect saddle for you.
Hopefully, these tips will help guide you to a more comfortable ride. For those riders who really want to get into the finer details, a bike fitter is the next best step for maximizing your comfort and performance on the bike. To learn more about our in-house bike fitter, click here.