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.
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 is when the symptoms you are experiencing are directly related to the type of saddle you are sitting on. A good place to start when deciding which saddle you need is by measuring the width of your ischial tuberosities (sit bones). Getting the right width saddle will ensure your sit bones will contact the saddle in the correct area.
You should also consider the profile of the saddle. This is the shape you see when looking at the saddle side-on. 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 from 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.
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