How padded should my saddle be?

The first question many cyclists ask when they visit the store to buy a new saddle is which is the most comfortable. But in reality this question is moot, because it is impossible to know this beforehand, and several different subjective elements need to be evaluated.

For example, in addition to the size of saddle, which is easily identifiable with the idmatch smart caliper system, the cyclist also needs to be sitting on it properly, which starts with identifying the BRP and fit line.

A crucial, and often overlooked, parameter for identifying the most suitable saddle is the type and thickness of padding, which is determined on the basis of the length of rides you usually do.

Estimating the time that you spend in the saddle is fundamental to ensuring a comfortable ride because of the difference in sensations transmitted by the saddle as the hours pass.

A simple yet effective example to help you understand how important this information is is to think in terms of a soft couch. It’s great for lying down on to watch a film for 2 or 3 hours, but for a long sleep you need an “ergonomic” mattress with a firmness adapted to support the body throughout the night. In the long run, excessive softness would not be good for the spine, and you would wake with widespread back pain.

The same applies to saddles. For very short rides of up to 2 hours, “generous” padding is fine, ensuring a sense of comfort is maintained through the ride. But as time spent on the bicycle increases, the thickness of the support should be reduced, to ensure maximum efficiency and comfort.

Obviously this parameter is not inversely proportional to infinity. In fact, after 5/6 hours you need to start to using saddles with increasing thickness of padding.

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