New ergonomic saddle designs reduce numbness, increase comfort

Find out how to keep saddle sores at bay  Credit: Doug Pensinger/Allsport
Nothing can kill the buzz of a good ride like an uncomfortable saddle. At the most recent InterBike show in Las Vegas several new saddle designs that combine a sleek, high performance racing design with ergonomic fit that guards against saddle soreness and numbness while riding in any position where presented to the cycling public.

Enter the new Trico Split-Rail saddle from Trico Sports that is the first fully adjustable saddle. This saddle is tunable for width, saddle stiffness and symmetric and asymmetric fit.

It has a durable New Hyde cover that encapsulates their new gel-foam technology that is stiff, yet relieves pressure on the "sit bones" of the pelvis. The width is adjustable on both sides so that you can position your sit bones directly over the padding for full support. Also the rail tension can be adjusted for a firmer or more shock adsorbing ride.

The combination of padding, cut out and adjustability make this a saddle that should fit anyones cycling style and posterior. Priced at $99.00 and is currently available.

Relatively new to the cycling market, Koobi is gaining the attention in the comfort and performance category.

The company is known for their comfortable and prostate-friendly designs. Koobi continues with its new tri-specific saddle, aptly named the Tri. The design principle is to create a comfortable saddle that runs silicone gel throughout the length of the split nose.

Smooth leather sides and stitches on the top ensure it to be a friction and irritation-free saddle. It's set off with hollow titanium rails (a reduction of 40 grams), creating a 215-gram saddle that retails for $139.

Fizik debuted a comfort special at InterBike, the Aliante. The carbon fiber-railed saddle retails for $135. And while the Aliante has the stiffer carbon fiber hard shell base at the edges, Fizik has also used a more pliable, bi-directional carbon base throughout the center for comfort and a wide aft section to accommodate a woman's physique.

While saddle selection is key to comfort and performance, you need to ensure that you follow these guidelines to ensure optimal fit of the saddle and comfort on the bike:

  • Make sure the saddle is level or slightly titled down at the front of the saddle. A saddle that is pointing up will increase pressure in the groin (perineum) area.

  • Select a saddle that properly supports your posterior. Your sit bones (ischeial tuberosities) should be fully supported by the back of the saddle.

  • Ensure that your saddle height is set properly. A saddle that is too high will lead to increased pressure in groin area and also lead to possible chafing because of the sliding side-to-side action of the hips that takes place in reaching for the pedals at the bottom of the pedal stroke.

  • Leaning too far forward can also put unwanted pressure on the groin area. Make should your stem is not too long or too low. Your upper body should be at no more than a 45-degree angle while sited and holding on to the tops of the handlebars.

  • Wear cycling shorts with a chamois. Cycling shorts add comfort and also cut on chafing and sore sports.

  • Finally, use a chamois lubricant such as Chamois Butt'r to cut down on friction and skin irritation. This is especially important on long rides.

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