4 Factors to Consider When Choosing the Perfect Bike Saddle
Riding a bike is one of the most exhilarating and enjoyable physical activities you can do wherever you are. You get to enjoy all the sights and sounds while riding on your bicycle. However, if you want to go on long bike rides, you need to make sure you’re using the right bicycle saddle when you go out. Otherwise, you’ll end up feeling sore even in the middle of your ride. As a solution, here’s what you need to know about choosing the right bike saddle for cycling.
1. Examine Your Sit-Bone Width
The first thing you need to consider is the distance between your sit bones, which will determine the ideal width of the saddle you should choose. Measuring your sit-bone width is easy enough to perform on your own. Just get a piece of corrugated cardboard and place it on a hard bench. Now, firmly sit on it and try to rock forward slightly to mimic a riding position. Next, elevate your feet to press your sit bones down onto the cardboard to make an indent. This will act as a sort of mould showing you just where your sit bones are. Mark the two indents and measure the distance between the two points to get your sit-bone width.
If your sit bone measures around 100mm or less, you have a narrow sit-bone width. 100--30mm means it’s medium width, and a wide one should measure 130mm or more. Now that you know the width of your sit bones, you can easily find a saddle with the right shape, size, and padding.
2. Observe Your Pelvic Rotation and Spinal Flexibility
Your pelvic rotation and spinal flexibility are two factors that play a vital role in getting the ideal saddle. The greater rotation and flexibility you have means you’re able to sit on your saddle while adopting a curled tuck position on it. This means you need a saddle that will support and cushion your sit bones at the rear. If you don’t have that much pelvic rotation, then you probably rock your entire pelvis and lower back forward when cycling. This places more tremendous pressure on your perineum region, requiring you to have more padding in that area.
3. Know Your Riding Style
Riding style matters a lot when choosing a saddle. Do you do more racing, sportive riding, or endurance cycling? Whatever style you use when cycling, you need to align it with the type of saddle you’re getting. For endurance riding, getting more padding would be ideal. Having some extra cushion is always better for longer rides as it puts less pressure on the pedals than a racer would.
4. Choose the Right Material
Bike saddles have covers or surfaces made from various materials, which is also another factor to consider as it will determine just how durable and reliable your chosen saddle is. Leather covers can be quite a comfortable material to sit on as it tends to mould to your weight and shape over time. A cotton material, on the other hand, also offers comfort and control while pedalling. Lastly, synthetic materials are more weather resistant, but their looks tend to deteriorate much faster and become less breathable.
By looking at all these factors, you’ll arrive at a set of specifications for the perfect saddle for you. Whatever kind of saddle you select, make sure you choose it based on your needs and preferences.
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