When it comes to comfort and enjoyment on the bike, the importance of the saddle could never be overstated enough. Get a wrong saddle or the one which doesn’t fit your size, and it is plausible that you would never be comfortable while riding a bike. In the worst case scenario, a badly sized saddle would rid your heart of the love of cycling.
Despite knowing the importance of a perfectly sized saddle, most cyclists simply stick with whatever the manufacturer has provided. They feel that having paid enough for the bike already, they would get a tailor-made saddle in the deal.
However, as suggested by the complaints of several of our customers, in-built saddles do not always ensure comfort. Thus, it is recommended to choose the right bike saddle on your own. Here’s how you could do just that..
Step # 1: Your Riding Style
As you might have guessed from the above-mentioned writing, it is your need which should meet your saddle and not the other way around. So, first of all, decide which kind of saddle you want. To answer this query, consider the following question …
- Do you use your bike for commuting purposes? Are you a professional cyclist? What is the condition of the road on which you drive your bike frequently? Do you prefer mountain, road or best hybrid bikes?
- What about the distances you cover while riding? Do you cover long or short distances?
Once you’ve answered all these questions, only then move forward.
Step # 2: Select the cushioning
Although there are many types of cushioning, let us look at the ones which are used by most bike manufacturers.
- Foam: When you use them at first, foam saddles provide great flexibility. However, with the passage of time, the support goes away. Moreover, there are various saddle types on the basis of the foam’s density. For example, if you fall into the category of long riders, go for a harder foam. However, if you only use your bike for commuting purposes at short distances, go for a soft foam.
- Gel: If you’re looking for a saddle whose MOC provides comfort, absorb shocks as they come, and mitigates vibrations, go for a gel saddle. However, that is not to say that gel saddles do not have any shortcoming. Just like foam saddles, these saddles also lose their softness on extended usage. As a result, they would become hard.
Step # 3: Type of your saddle
Now that you know which kind of cyclist you are, what is your riding style, what distances you normally cover on the bike, and the type of saddle cushioning generally available in the market, let’s take a look at the types of saddles?
Racing saddle: As you might have seen in the Tour de France, racing saddles are hard, narrow, and tapered. It is designed in such a manner to allow the legs to move freely. With this design, most of the rider’s weight is shifted to his arms and legs. Consequently, these saddles are the Number one choice for professional cyclists.
Comfort Saddle: As suggested by their name, “comfort” saddles are softer, wider, and provide great comfort. They are designed in such a manner which allows the saddle to absorb vibrations and shocks. Finally, most recreational cyclists prefer these saddles.
Cruiser Saddle: Generally used in best cruiser bikes, these saddles provide a huge amount of cushioning and are wider than the other two types. Most occasional cyclists tend to go for these saddles.
Step # 4: Standard Saddle or Special Saddle?
In stark contrast to the other steps, this step depends entirely on your choice. For example, if you want to reduce irritation during long rides, go for a standard (nose-less) saddles. However, you could also go for a saddle which has a hole in the middle or provide a softer channel.