How do I choose a bicycle saddle?


Each cyclist should be aware that choosing the right saddle contribute to its comfort and further improves his or her cycling experience. Many potential buyers of a bicycle give up the idea of purchasing a certain model because they are disappointed by the comfort of the saddle. However, choosing the right saddle can free you from pain while turning any bike trip into a particularly enjoyable one.

Assuming that you want absolute comfort while cycling, we might show you a few alternatives that are as attractive as expensive. Why? Because the only saddles ready to offer you total comfort can be found on city bikes. Yes, with their springs and their generous size they can be easily compared to an armchair but this direction is still wrong because you will find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to use such a saddle on a mountain bike. Saddles designed for city bikes are indeed comfortable for shorter distances as with time you’ll get unwanted thigh pain. Therefore, these saddles quickly become uncomfortable for mountain bikes, especially while climbing. In addition, depending on the model, such a saddle may add up to 1 kg extra to the total weight of the bike. And this proves to be totally undesirable.

Well then, what’s to be done? Fortunately, saddles manufacturers are always concerned about creating products ready to offer a perfect balance between performance and comfort. This means designing and producing a quality saddle that won’t bother you even after a 50 km competition track.

When searching for that right saddle, you may come across loads of texts praising a certain model, so temptingly conceived by the respective manufacturer marketing department. However there is one golden rule, when you want to buy a mountain bike saddle: the ischium or the total width of your buttocks bones must be correspondent to the saddle width. Because each rider has a different anatomy best is to test the saddle! See the picture to understand exactly how wide a saddle should be.

The saddle nose is also important to control the bike but also for comfort. If the saddle is not properly adjusted, and its nose is too high, this certainly will cause unwanted effects.

Positioning the noise is also closely linked to your position on the bike. Pedaling in a bent position requires a saddle with slightly bent nose while riding in a more upright position calls for a saddle noticeably shorter and with slightly higher nose.

You may have already noticed some saddles with central cutout (cutaway saddles). This is very useful as it buttocks are relieved from pressure, this design being adopted by a large number of manufacturers. See exactly in the attached picture the contact areas and the central cutout of the saddle.

We shall discuss in a future article about what fabrics you have to look for when buying a bicycle saddle. Until then, you may profit from the fact that certain shops offer test saddles, so that a customer can be at ease when buying a new saddle for his or her bike.