Riding comfort: the ideal saddle

Tips&Go

Choosing the ideal saddle – as we all know – is essential in obtaining high-level performance without compromising on comfort and well-being while riding.

Today, thanks to the idmatch system and in particular measurements made with the Smart Caliper, it is possible to identify the ideal saddle size with absolute precision, guaranteeing each person the most suitable saddle, that is, ensuring the ischial bones are resting on the rear part of the saddle where the width is greatest, and where the highest comfort and best performance is achieved while riding.

Why then, in spite of everything, do some cyclists continue to complain of excessive saddle pressure? The answer can be found in incorrect assembly or use by the individual. For example, it’s as if after buying a pair of pants in our size, we then wear them back to front, complaining that they’re uncomfortable.

Saddles that are too high…

As highlighted by data collected by the sophisticated bikefitting system, idmatch BikeLab, one of the errors most frequently encountered among amateur cyclists involves bike saddles positioned too high.

Lifting the saddle too high is often a “fashion” trend insofar as bikes with a very elongated saddle post are considered more “elegant” and harmonic. But we must remember that we’re not dealing with a work of art on display, but rather a technical means used to perform a service.

Following a study conducted on a sample of 270 cyclists who declared to suffer soreness due to excess pressure on the saddle, despite having tried different models, it was found that 79% adopted a saddle position that was too high with respect to their anatomical-functional characteristics.

In these cases, what basically happens is that the person is no longer able to complete a full revolution of the pedal stroke and therefore needs to compensate in other ways, giving rise to a series of problems.

…and too far forward

In this specific study, 70% of the cyclists examined had also adopted a saddle position that was too far forward to shorten the distance between the saddle and the pedals. Trying to fix one error with another doesn’t however represent a solution. In fact, in the case examined, pain was accentuated mainly due to the protrusion of the ischial tuberosities from the saddle plane and the consequent invasion of the saddle nose in the ischiatic arch, where there are blood vessels and nerves that should be protected against any type of pressure.

In regards to this aspect, it must also be noted that in recent years there has been a general “trend” whereby the saddle is being progressively shifted forward. This has led the majority of cyclists to sit so far forward as to cancel out all the positive effects of having a saddle customised to your body size.

 

Finally, we remind you that adopting the correct position on the saddle not only protects the heath of blood vessels and nerves in the perineal region, but also assists the forward rotation of the hips, thus reducing strain on the lower back and improving the aerodynamic profile of the torso.

To read more: idmatch Bike Lab

 

Selle Italia

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