When sitting on a bike saddle, the majority of the cyclists’ weight rests on only a few centimetres of their behind. So, when selecting the right model, you should look at the positioning of the saddle because it can significantly improve its comfort. Longer tours or activities carried out over several days can be greatly influenced by the quality of your saddle. There are different models that put more emphasis more on padding, material or shape, and all of these have specific uses.
Road bike and MTB saddles
There is virtually no difference between road bike and MTB saddles, even when it comes to manufacturers like Fizik. This isn’t very surprising, since both activities require maximum comfort. So, as a general rule of thumb: if a saddle fits on your road bike, then it’ll also fit on your mountain bike and vice versa.
Hard or soft padding?
If and to what extent a saddle is padded depends on your experience and the intended use. Performance-oriented athletes typically prefer slim and hard saddles with little friction so their thighs don’t chafe. It’s often enough to simply raise or lower the nose of the saddle a few millimetres to prevent discomfort. Those who prefer a saddle with padding can choose between a diverse range of ergonomically-designed, padded models.
In addition to men’s saddles, there is now a wide range of women’s saddles that are optimally tailored to the female anatomy. In addition, some saddles provide space for attaching small saddle bags. Plus, although many models have an aluminium rail, there are also some made of carbon. These materials have different shock-absorbing properties which is why they’re also used for seat posts. Road bikes and cyclocross bikes sometimes feature suspension and shock-absorbing systems in the seat post to enhance comfort.
Selecting the perfect saddle
To select the right saddle size, you can sit on some cardboard and measure the distance between your sit bones. The right saddle will prevent one-sided pressure points and disperses the pressure evenly in the seat area. Pressure points should not occur, even during longer tours. The right bike trousers with high quality inserts and an ergonomic construction can also help increase comfort.