August 24, 2015
Whether you ride for pleasure, fitness or competitively, the sole largest reason why people don’t “enjoy the ride” has a lot to do with the number one contact point between you and your trusty steed “THE SADDLE”. Your butt feels every twist, turn and bump in the road so making sure it is being looked after should be of the highest priority. At Cycliq, we are known for “watching your back” however the following tips are aimed at looking after your behind!
Keep or Replace?
Like Homer Simpson’s faithful sofa indent, the more time you spend on a modern day saddle, the more likely your bottom will become accustomed to the saddle. When you buy a new bike often it will come preloaded with a flashy new seat that the bike manufacturer has included with the bike. It is easy to get caught up with the new bike needing to look perfect. Surely mounting your old miscoloured + scuffed saddle wouldn’t be the smartest thing to do right? WRONG. I would suggest if you have found a saddle that suits you – stick with it and never let it go!
That being said, if the saddle is so far gone that it needs replacing… I would still suggest spending the money to replace with a NEW saddle of the same make/model. Finding a saddle that works for you is quite often a rarity so take advantage of this and your butt will be forever grateful.
Make and Model
Believe it or not companies spend countless hours looking at body form geometries and developing saddles for the modern day bicycle enthusiast. Companies like Fizik, Specialized and Selle Italia are amongst some of the most in tune with you and your backside. Not only do they have an array of saddles for both men and women, but a variety of saddles within their range for the different disciplines that exist. For example; my good buddy Nick rides an S-works Power saddle on his road bike and a Fizik Tritone saddle on his time trial bike whereas I ride a Fizik Arione CX on the road bike and Fizik Ares on the time trial bike. I have provided this in an effort to portray that even though we are similar builds and spend a similar amount of time riding each week, we have different preferences that keep us comfortable. It also highlights that Nick has found two different brands suit his needs better whereas Fizik have both my preferences covered. It’s a little cliché but it’s pretty clear when choosing bike saddles, what is good for the goose isn’t necessarily good for the gander.
Anthony’s Fizik Ares TT Saddle
Nick’s S-Works Power Road Saddle
Busting a Modern Day Myth – (Less Could be More)
First things first…. In order to give yourself the best chance of a hassle-free undercarriage, investing in a good quality set of Cycling Knicks/Shorts is a no brainer. Unfortunately, even this investment isn’t guaranteed to work 100% of the time with friction still likely to have a negative impact especially when you spend many hours in the saddle. Adding to this, is the fact that many after market add-ons such as gel covers and foam wraps initially decrease pressure on hot spots but actually create further friction as they slide and roll around on top of your existing saddle. Thus, highlighting that “Less if often More.”
In my humble opinion – the proof is in the pudding. No one spends more time in the saddle than professional road cyclists with their thin lightweight carbon saddles offering very little to no padding whatsoever. They do however always use good quality Knicks and supplement these by applying chamois crème’ to make sure they don’t miss a single pedal stroke. So be kind to your backside and follow these simple methods to achieve the pain free ride you deserve.
Much like a professional MC – testing not once, not twice but multiple times should be the adopted method when choosing a new make/model of saddle. Buying on look / appeal should be avoided at all cost. Nowadays, most reputable Bike Stores have test saddle programs, which allow you to borrow the saddle and actually get a good feel for what you are about to buy. I can’t stress how much I think cyclists should TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS! (So I put it in capitals) From my experience you need to complete at least a week minimum of normal riding or (6-7) rides to ascertain if the saddle you are testing is sympathetic to your buttocks.
Once I found the saddle that worked for me I have not changed other than to purchase the same seat now on 4 consecutive occasions. Because of this I very rarely experience issues with my number 1 contact point. Here’s a short clip of me enjoying a pain free training ride testing a Fly12 prototype and CycliqPlus 1.0 IOS app to edit the clip from the coffee shop before I even got back home!
Your turn. What kind of saddle do you use?