All About Saddles

31/08/2021

All About Saddles

When people ask me what the most important part of riding an e-bike is, I always say, cycling shorts and a good saddle. Years ago, I rented a bike on holiday and it had one of those “razor” saddles on the bike – you know the ones that a bike comes with. As I am of the cuddly variety these types of saddles are not good for me. I rode the bike for the day and ignored the fact that my bum and back were very sore. 

The following days and weeks, I suffered a great deal as I had bruised my coccyx which is one of the most painful injuries I have had. It meant having to sit on a soft pillow for weeks as it hurt so much to sit down.

(The top is a standard saddle, the bottom is a wider and more comfortable saddle:)

Before you do anything about buying a saddle, go and get your bum measured. I know it sounds embarrassing but it’s better than sitting on a soft pillow for weeks! What they do is they measure your sit bones; they are not measuring the width of your bum so there will not be any judging going on.

If you would prefer you can measure it yourself at home. There are videos on YouTube to show you how. 

There are such a huge variety of saddles out there it is important to try a few before settling on the one you want. Speak to your local bike shop about which saddle might be suitable for you. Your weight, your cycling ability, and the sort of bike riding you want to do will all have bearing on which one is most suitable for you.

Here are a variety of saddles:

The gel and foam-filled saddles are the ones I would recommend to any leisure cyclist. They are ideal for long days of cycling and are made with comfort in mind. I have used saddles by the company SQ Lab (see below image), for the past 7 years and I find them comfortable and durable. When you find a saddle you like, it will change your whole cycling experience.

When you go on a cycling holiday, you may not always be able to take your own bike. However, you can take your own saddle with you, just check with Freewheel to ensure that it will fit on your rental bike.

If that is not a possibility then think about a bike saddle cover, they come in a variety of materials like memory foam and gel. They are not designed to last for long periods of time but for a week or 2 on holiday they will be a good alternative and reduce any pain issues. Here's a good one:

How you sit on your saddle will also dictate comfort, a bike fit by a knowledgeable local shop would be money well spent. A bike fit will give you several indicators about your position, one of which will be where and how you sit on your saddle. Let them know if you have any pinch points and they can advise you on how to make them better.

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In summary a good pair of cycling shorts and a saddle that fits you are the perfect ingredients for a comfortable day on the bike.