Riding in comfort? How to choose a bicycle saddle

bicycle saddlebicycle saddle
bicycle saddlebicycle saddle

Riding in comfort? How to choose a bicycle saddle


Choosing the right saddle can be a lengthy process. For amateur riders and professionals alike, a comfortable saddle can easily be the difference between a bicycle that collects dust and a bicycle that is used every day. Maximum padding and positioning is essential and cannot be compromised on.

There is a variety of considerations that you need to be aware of when choosing your next bicycle. And the saddle is definitely one of them. The position of your body on your bicycle can greatly affect how you ride, how much power you deliver to the pedals and how comfortable your experience is. All bicycles have some degree of flex when weight is applied (and naturally the saddle padding will wear out when heavier parts of weight keep pushing down on specific areas) but in order to guarantee the best possible experience, you need to take all these factors into consideration before setting a budget. A comfortable ride might be more expensive but it will certainly influence the amount of time you spend on the seat.

Before making a decision, a good start would be to base your feeling about a specific bicycle on how you feel when you’re on it, rather than how good it looks. For example, if you feel that you have to constantly adjust your seating position then you should look at a saddle with a more pronounced dip. Maybe your current seat is too wide and it rubs against your legs? Or maybe the saddle is too hard. Whether it’s a mountain bike or a road bike, the type of things to look at are fundamentally the same, however, your bicycle guide will be able to assist with the material process to best suit your needs, budget and use.


Here’s what you need to consider when looking for a saddle:


Cover material for the saddle

The cover material you choose has a lot to do with how it reacts to your skin. Many saddle covers come with a synthetic covering which tends to break over time. Although more expensive, leather is the better option. It’s essential to choose something that will add comfort to your riding experience.


The shell of the saddle

The shell refers to the shape and how springy it is when you ride or sit on it. Remember that with mountain biking, you will be riding on rocky terrain, therefore your shell needs to be able to take the pressure it gets without hurting you. The majority of saddles have a nylon shell but more expensive shapes include carbon fibre. With the shape, you need to consider the type of riding you’ll be doing, your weight (which will affect the saddle positioning and feel) and the amount of pressure and heat resistance you need. A few shapes include a flatter and more narrow width, a bigger and wider shell or a shell that has a groove in the centre or a cut out hole. The padding will influence the softness or the firmness of the seat.


The saddle’s padding

The padding is one of the biggest contributors to adding comfort to your ride. The more padding density you have, which is usually a combination of polyurethane foam and gel, will help to decrease pressure from behind and across the saddle. While you might want a softer saddle that is more comfortable in the beginning, sometimes the softer it is, the more heat it will create, which in turn creates discomfort. Much like a running shoe, it is advised that you replace your padding once it starts to hurt you. This can sometimes be time-consuming, but the longer you leave it, the worse your posture will become.


The rails underneath the saddle

When we talk about the rails, it is not the handlebar rail that you immediately think of. These rails are the bars that the seatpost clamps onto under the saddle. These rails are usually linked to the frame, so depending on the type of frame you choose it will influence this. The better saddle rails are lighter, made from titanium or carbon. You must remember that the rail plays an important role, in the sense that it is part of the main contact points that affect the riding experience for any driver. The others are the saddle, the handlebars and the pedals. If one point is not adjusted properly, it will affect the other areas.

To get the most out of your bicycle saddle, speak to the experts at Chris Willemse Cycles. They will be able to set you up with the perfect bicycle and saddle to impact your riding experience. When you have a proper, comfortable and stable bike, it will allow you to obtain the greatest benefit from your investment.


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