If you are thinking of getting a new saddle, maybe due to the wear and tear of the current one you own or due to lack of comfort. Lack of comfort is a serious issue among cyclist and choosing a new saddle can be tricky because if care is not taken, you might end up not getting a comfortable one. This article intends to show you things to look out for when making your next purchase to ensure you get a comfortable bike seat.
Things to consider before buying a bicycle saddle
Type of riding
The first thing you need to determine is what type of riding do you do with your bike. The type of seat you can get in this line is
Recreational cycling: Involves upright seating while riding your cruiser or commuter bike. These saddles usually wide and have plush passing and springs.
Road cycling: If you use your bicycle for racing or you run it on the road frequently, the recommended seats are long and narrow seats with minimal padding which provide the best power transfer during rides
Mountain biking: If you go on mountain trails, the recommended type will be the ones with padding for sit bones, durable cover and streamlined shape.
Bike touring: If you go on long-distance rides on your bike, the perfect type will be the one that offers cushioning for your sit bones and have a fairly long and narrow nose.
Another thing to take into consideration for the purchase of a comfortable bike saddle is your preferred cushioning type. The two categories of bicycle saddles are
- Performance saddles which are usually long and narrow with minimal padding for maximum power transfer during rides.
- Cushioning saddles which are wide, and have more plush padding and springs to absorb road bumps.
They offer comfort in different situations and assuming that more cushions always good might become uncomfortable for your cycling experience if you are involved in activities that require less cushion.
Decide your preferred seat material
Materials used in making a particular bike saddle usually have an effect on its weight, flex, break-in time, cost, and how much they can withstand weather conditions. The two main parts that require special attention include the cover and the rails.
Synthetic: Most seat covers are made of synthetic materials from start to finish. Synthetic covers are usually lightweight and low maintenance, and they require no break-in time. This makes them a favourite choice among cyclists.
Leather: Comfortable Bike Seats made from leathers require constant leather conditioner treatment from time to time because they usually have no waterproof. They have a break-in period of about 200 miles, after which the leather moulds to the rider’s weight and shape.
Cotton: Some seats come covered in cotton. This type of covers do stretch and move only a little during rides. Making them a very comfortable material. Also, this cover material requires a shorter break-in period than leather.
Seat rail material is also important as they affect some functionality of the bike which might affect the comfort of the cycling experience.
Get the Right size
Comfortable Bike seats come in different sizes for different body types. If you are looking for a comfortable saddle, you must ensure you go for the right size.
Women and men have a difference in hip-width and sit bones, likewise, adults, teenagers, and children all have different size of sit bones. For this, there are bike seats designed to suit different body types. You must then ensure you get the size that is perfect for your body to enjoy as much comfort as possible.
The width of a saddle is measured from edge to edge from the widest point at its top. Generally, you should get a seat that’s wide enough for support, but not too wide to create rubbing and chafing.
Make sure you get the proper adjustment
Once you have decided and made a purchase, look out for some things to ensure proper adjustment
Height of the seat: Make sure it is not too high to avoid shifting your weight from side to side (this can cause irritation to sensitive perineal areas)
Fore/aft position: Anytime your leg is positioned at 90 degrees of the pedal, your knee should align over your forefoot. If you discover that this is not so, you need to remove it and refix till you get the position correct.
The tilt of the seat: The best position to put your comfortable bike seat is a position where it is parallel to the ground. So, if you are not properly adjusted, you will need to loosen it and readjust it as required.
Tips to help improve your comfort
If you want to have a comfortable saddle and a very good biking experience, it is not enough to have the right seat. Road bumps and other road issues, as well as prolonged sitting, can cause you to get uncomfortable. To maintain your cycling comfort
Stand up every 10 or 15 minutes of riding
- When crossing road bumps, stand slightly on your bicycle, absorbing the shock with your legs
- Stand up briefly on your pedals every 10 minutes or so.
- Wear padded bicycle shorts or minimise friction and produce a better cycling experience.
Taking all these steps will result in you not just having a comfortable bike seat, but also retaining your experience of comfort for long and get maximum enjoyment of your cycling.