IS YOUR SADDLE COMFORTABLE?
Is your saddle comfortable? Do you experience numbness, pain, saddle sores or any other type of discomfort from sitting on your bike saddle? If so, this is an indication that you are not on the right saddle. It is not 'normal' to have an uncomfortable saddle and at Bikefit and Sports Science we have a great solution!
In all reality the first step to any successful bikefit is to ensure that the saddle is not going to compromise the ideal cycling position. A saddle that is not right for your individual body can totally change the way you sit on a bike and pedal the bike. It can even cause you to recruit muscles poorly or wrongly (poor compensatory biomechanics). Your saddle can have the largest impact to your cycling posture of any potential bikefitting change.
At BSS Bikefit, we have a wide range of saddles for you to try so you can find the exact one to match your pelvis strucure. We use a 'Switchit' (see video above) which was designed by Bikefit guru Paul Swift.
Other fitting systems encourage you to 'sit on a box' to measure your sit bones. While this strategy might measure the distance between your sit bones, it does not take into account the shape of the rest of your pelvis, leg length discrepancies, pelvic rotation etc. The only true way to know if a saddle is right for you is it to try it. At BSS Bikefit you can try many different saddles in the space of a few mintes due to the revolutionary technology of the 'switchit'; a much more comprehensive way to find the perfect saddle for you. At BSS you are able to physically try 5 or more different saddles in under 2 minutes.
So why is saddle shape so important?
Compare these two video's: courtesy of Bikefit Systems
In this video you can see the pelvis of a rider with a 6mm leg length discrepency riding on a ROUNDED saddle. Notice the rocking motion and the uneven movement of the hips.
In this video you can see the same rider on a flat saddle. Notice how the pelvis is no longer rocking and is nicely centred on the saddle
As you can see from the above videos, a saddle can make a huge difference to how a rider is positioned on the bike. Fit systems that do not look at the rear view and do not try a variety of saddles will not pick this sort of detail up. Using methods such as sitting on a box to measure your sit bones would also miss this issue. It might get the width right, however it would not pick up the importance of this paticular rider needing a flat saddle rather than a standard 'rounded' one.