How To Choose the Correct Bicycle Seat?
Have you ever wondered why you have never been comfortable on the bike? Do you squirm a lot on the bike saddle and can't find the perfect position?
Choosing a seat for your bike seat is something you shouldn't take lightly. A bad choice can cause your route or walk to be plagued with unpleasant pain. Choosing a bicycle seat that suits us, taking into account its width and shape, is essential, no matter what type of cycling you practice.
Today it is normal to find a huge variety of saddles, of all types and colors. There are some specific road models, others for MTB, triathlon, urban walk... The result is that, if you aren't very expert, it can be difficult to choose a suitable one.
The characteristics of the perfect bicycle seat
If you are considering getting a saddle to make a renovation of your old bike to improve it in general, it's important you know what a good saddle should have:
- Comfort. This is, of course, the first characteristic we look for: a good seat (combined with suitable clothing for cycling) should allow you to ride for hours without noticeable discomfort. In addition, it's advisable to use a cream to avoid irritation with the bicycle seat.
- Lightness and weight. If you are looking to reduce the weight of your saddle as much as possible, you will have to choose models with carbon rails and a padded surface, or completely carbon. Excessive lightness can be accompanied by a loss of comfort.
- Reduced price. It's important the bicycle seat is good to improve performance, but you also have to take into account the quality/price ratio, since not everyone has the same budget. The most expensive seats aren't always the best.
- A good fit of the prostate. This area is especially sensitive for cyclists who spend many hours pedaling. Antiprostatic seats have a hole in their central area to improve support on the prostate. However, it's unnecessary for some cyclists if they don't notice discomfort in that area.
- Correct width measurement. The saddles have different widths, and the correct measurement will depend on the distance between our sit bones. If you take your own measurement, you can find the model that suits you perfectly.
- Competition vs. cycle tourism use. It's common for professional cyclists to use very light carbon saddles in competition. The reality is that it's very simple, and it's summarized in action and reaction (Newton's 3rd Law). The harder you pedal, the less weight you will put on the seat. Therefore, if your intention is a cyclotourist use, you have to prioritize the padding. If you want the best cycling saddle for racing, you have to choose a lightweight one.
Bicycle seats for every type of rider
Depending on the modality that we practice, the saddles that we will find will have some common characteristics.
- Road seats tend to have a thinner profile and are designed to allow you the most movement and avoid pain. They are usually thinner and harder than other types of seats, and we often find them made of carbon.
- In mountain biking, on the other hand, we find saddles with more padding. Each time the models are more similar but modern saddles have been created to adapt correctly to the male and female genital areas and make our routes comfortable.
- If you are an urban or city cyclist, the seats that you will find on touring bikes usually have very thick padding, suitable for maximum comfort but which is penalized by having a high weight. This type of saddle is designed to absorb the typical vibrations of roads or highways.
- Triathlon and time trial seats are usually short and do not have the elongated "tip" that we do see in other modalities. In this way, the rider can go as far as possible to achieve maximum pedaling performance.
The characteristics of a perfect bicycle seat
- Lightness and weight
- Good fit in the prostate
- Correct width measurement
- Competition vs. cycle tourism use
Bicycle seats for every type of rider
- For road cyclist
- For mountain biking
- For urban cyclist
- For triathlon and time trials