Your Bike Saddle

by Bea | August 12th, 2011 | Biking

When biking, there are typically three points of contact. These are your handlebar, your pedals, and your seat. With these three critical parts of the bike, your work is distributed throughout the bike. If something is not correctly placed, then you will be less efficient as you could be.

If you’re a sprinter, the saddle is probably the lowest priority on the list, because you do not spend too much time in your seat in general. For the rest of us, your bike seat is a very important component.

Most bikes are sold with bike saddles designed for the average man. Let’s be honest here, how many of us are the size of an average man? I do not really even have to mention this, but the bone positioning of a man’s sit bone in comparison to a woman’s is a whole lot different; however, if you ask, you can probably get the bike shop to trade the seat for a women’s at no extra cost. If they don’t do that, then that shop is lacking some professionalism and customer service.

If you do not have the time or money to get a new seat right away, the least amount of effort that you can put into making the best of your bike seat is to have the correct positioning. A seat is supposed to be designed to put the pressure in all the “right” places on your sit bones. The last thing that you want is for a seat to be digging into your soft tissues or spreading its pressures across your all the points of contact. You may like gel seats, or seats that distribute the pressure to your whole bottom. While it is usually okay for shorter rides, these types of seats aren’t actually going to make you feel better in the long run. This is because your tissues contain nerves, blood vessels, and more.

A lot of people aim their seats downwards to provide more comfort, but by doing so, you tend to slip off. Also, the height is very important. Sit on your bike, and start to peddle backwards. Your leg should be fully extended, but not so much so that you could overextend or shoot through your knee. You also should not wobble at all, or move around from one side of the saddle to the other.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.