The Truth About Your Bike Saddle

Myth No. 2

"My friend told me to get this particular saddle because she uses it too and I've read so many great reviews on it"

Again, every person is unique. Doing your research first before buying is very important.

However, when it comes to saddle shopping, the best method of choosing your saddle is by getting a professional bike fit. The best bike fitters use both 2D and 3D technology with proprietary software to help examine the effects of different saddles on your body and help choose the perfect saddle for you. Because a saddle has different weights, shapes, and stiffness, and we all have unique bodies, flexibility, riding levels, and widths of our sit-bones, the right saddle for you is different from the saddle that is right for your friend.

Recently, I did a fit for identical twins for their new bikes. You would assume that since they look physically identical, they would have similar fits. But alas, they were very different, right down to their saddles!

More: The Quest for the Perfect Saddle

Myth No. 3

"I recently purchased a bike. Shouldn't the saddle that comes on the bike work for me?"

If you've recently purchased a bike or walked through a bike shop, you will notice that all new bikes come with a saddle the manufacturer specifies for that model. The saddle is usually narrow and stiff. A narrow saddle will work for some people, but I have found from working with many athletes on bike fitting, that a narrow saddle works for very few people. A narrow saddle size typically is about 143 millimeters wide.

An important fa?ade of saddle fit is being able to support your sit bones on the wide portion of the saddle. Having a wider saddle has nothing to do with your weight or size of your butt. It's all about your bone structure. For example, women tend to have wider sit-bones than men given their hips are prepared for child birth. When I fit my wife Melissa on her new bike last spring, I chose a wider saddle than the saddle she previously had. Her response was, "Oh, are you saying I have a big butt?"

After some marital counseling sessions, she understood that she needed a wider saddle for her sit bones to have more support and so she wouldn't slide forward.

More: Women-Only Cycling Issues Explained

About the Author

Optimize your biomechanics, power, and aerodynamics in the FASTER fit lab and wind tunnel. For more information on the FASTER wind tunnel, visit: ride-faster.com.

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