Time For A New Saddle? - Russ Hays

Time For A New Saddle?

by Ana Ramirez February 10, 2016

Time For A New Saddle?

Have you ever wondered why this bike part is called a saddle and not a seat? It’s because a seat is something you sit on to support your entire weight while a saddle carries some of your weight. While cycling your weight is dispersed across your arms, legs, hands and buttocks.

Spring months are peak selling time for new saddles. Often riders come into the shop after being out on their first couple of rides of the season complaining about all kinds of saddle soreness. If you haven’t ridden much over the winter months, take a few rides of increasing length and you just might find that things are all good again.

If the discomfort continues try some simple fixes to resolve your discomfort like raising your handlebars so that you don’t rotate your pelvis too far forward. Check the tilt on your saddle. It might be that it is too far up or down. If the discomfort persists and you’ve tried the adjustments, it probably is time to look at getting a new one.Saddles are a high wear component.

Saddles come in different lengths, widths, levels of firmness and material coverings. Saddles are all about personal fit. What is very comfortable for one rider may be agony for the next. We’re all built differently. There are a lot of choices available to you. Generally speaking prices rise as weight drops and materials improve.

Here’s a few starting points to consider as you begin your search for the perfect saddle.

Do you mountain or road bike? What kind of problems are you experiencing with your present saddle?

There are basically three types of saddles - cruiser, comfort and racing.

  • Racing saddles are thinner, harder and tighter. Mountain bike saddles are also thin but have more padding. Many of these saddles have shorter noses and cutaway centers to relieve pressure on the genital area.
  • Cruiser saddles are wider and well padded. This kind of cycling doesn’t require fast pedalling. The handlebars are upright so a lot of the rider’s weight is on the saddle.
  • Comfort saddles (this sounds good!)) are also wide with great padding. These saddles are often used for long distance touring and are very popular with women.

Saddle padding comes in soft, medium or firmly padded options. What you choose depends on your riding style. Foam and gel are the two most common paddings used. Most riders assume that softer means more comfortable but this is not always the case. It really depends on your riding style.

The outer covering of your saddle can be leather, synthetic leather, plastic or fabric. Some saddles are perforated to increase grip. It depends on what feels best to you.

Cyclists are all built differently. There is definitely no one-type-fits-all when it comes to saddles. Come on into the shop and we’ll fit you with your dream saddle. Of course, we’ll let you take it for a test ride. We know how important a comfortable ride is.

Ana Ramirez
Ana Ramirez