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Saddle Discomfort…A Real Pain in the arse!
Do you find yourself constantly adjusting your position when riding? Maybe you have tried a few (or a lot!) of saddles without finding one that seems to suit. Discomfort, pain, numbness and pins and needles are all common complaints that can be resolved by our Bike Fit service.
There is simply no excuse for putting up with saddle related problems as there will always be a solution via a good Bike Fit. We split saddle problems into two categories; Fit-Related Saddle Discomfort and True Saddle Discomfort.
Fit-Related Saddle Discomfort
This is essentially when you have the perfect saddle, but the wrong cycling position. The story we usually hear is that a customer has tried multiple saddles but each saddle they have tried is painful or uncomfortable. It is highly unlikely that all those saddles were unsuitable, and actually the problem is the Bike Fit. For example, your position can cause too much pressure going through your sit bones. Bringing your centre of mass further forward can help to spread pressure through other contact areas. The only way to test this theory is to have a Bike Fit so you know for sure you are in the correct position. In most cases, the pain will resolve. If the same pain remains, then we can conclude you are suffering from “True Saddle Discomfort”.
True Saddle Discomfort
True Saddle Discomfort is when the symptoms you are experiencing are directly related to the type of saddle you are sitting on. There are thousands of different saddles out there to buy which makes it all the more confusing when it comes to deciding which one is right for you. It goes without saying that there is no “perfect saddle” that would suit us all. A good place to start when deciding which saddle you need is by measuring the width of your ischial tuberosities (these are your sit bones, the bony bits of your bottom!) Most saddles will come in a variety of widths and getting the right width saddle will ensure your sit bones will contact the saddle in the correct area.
After that, you should also consider the profile of the saddle. This is the shape you see when looking at the saddle side-on. Profiles can range from completely flat to having an exaggerated curvature. As a rule of thumb, flat saddles are more suited to aggressive positions, whereas rounded saddles are more comfortable for riders with a more relaxed riding style. Although this is a general rule, it is not always the case and trialling a saddle before you purchase is a good idea.
Saddles with cutaways in the centre can be useful if you suffer with numbness in your nether regions by releasing pressure from the nerves in that area. Split-nose saddles are helpful for people with a leg-length discrepancy or an asymmetrical pedalling action.
At UK Bike Fit, we have a variety of saddles you can try for a 30-day period. If it does not feel like the right saddle, you can exchange it for a brand-new saddle!