The Truth About Your Bike Saddle

Myth No. 4

"I keep getting numbness/pressure on my groin area. Should I tilt the saddle forward to relieve the pressure?"

This is a more sensitive topic. Many people are uncomfortable or embarrassed to talk about these discomforts and resort to either making several guesses on how to fix it, or deal with saddle sores/numbness. In many instances with frontal saddle pressure, your instincts will tell you that you just need to tilt the object away from the sensitive area. Sometimes, a slight tilt in the saddle will relieve some pressure on your groin area.

However, the problem may arise that you start to slide forward, thus now putting no pressure on your sit bones and all of your pressure on your soft tissue area. Or by tilting your saddle forward, you could find yourself sliding around in your saddle.

Relieving groin/soft tissue discomfort can come from choosing a saddle that supports your sit bones (with the proper width) and also trying saddles with the slit in the middle such as a Specialized or Selle Italia. Many men and women who get groin discomfort have found relief from this type of saddle design. For men with prostate issues, the Selle SMP saddle has been found to help relieve a lot of discomfort as its design has a very large cut-out in the center. Please note that not all saddles with the cut-out design are created equal. Here's a picture of a center cut-out style saddle:


More: Home Remedies for Saddle Sores

Myth No. 5

"My saddle I use for my triathlon/time trial bike will also work for my road bike, right?"

As your saddle tilts you in different ways and has so many features to it, it won't always be compatible between your bikes. When you get a new bike or have a different type of bike, your body is put into a new position. Your new position may be slightly different or dramatically different. These differences can add new areas of pressure.

When you look at a Tri/TT bike, your body is extended and put into an aerodynamic position. If you were to put your road bike saddle onto your tri bike, you may find a lot of discomfort and pressure in the frontal area. You might also feel like the saddle is very 'stiff' or 'hard'. That's because of your new body position.

Saddles have many specialties from road cycling, to triathlons, to mountain biking and commuting. These saddles are made to be more specific to that person's position and style of riding. A great example of a triathlon specific saddle is the ISM Adamo brand. As you will notice in the picture below, this saddle has a much different shape and stiffness than a traditional road saddle.


More: Aero on a Budget

Active logoReady to ride? Search for a cycling event.

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.

Discuss This Article

Follow your passions

Connect with ACTIVE.COM