There is no doubt that many road bike seats can be uncomfortable. Since you will be spending a lot of time sitting on the saddle of your road bicycle, this is a very good reason why choosing the best road bike saddle for your needs is one of the most important tasks you will need to complete.
Things To Consider When Buying Road Bike Saddles
When deciding on purchasing a saddle for your bike, there are a few things you must consider before hitting the store. No two bikers are the same, and there are major differences in the types of saddles you need depending on your goals and even physiological makeup! Whether you are looking to ride on the back of the seat for a Sunday morning ride, or finding the best road bike seat to maintain your status as a competitive cyclist, the hassle of browsing through the hosts of bike saddle reviews seems like the only option. Consider this article before you head to the store, because it could end up saving you money and the time spent on searching through a seemingly endless amount of reviews. The race for the best road bike saddle commences!
Before heading to the nearest outdoor sports store and picking the best priced saddle off the shelf, it is important to understand that some bicycle saddles are not suitable and why they can cause a great deal of discomfort.
We have all been there. The soreness, the tingling, and the numbness that leaves you counting the seconds until you hop off the bike. The pressure of the seat on the pelvis leaves you with “saddle sores”, and can ruin the cycling experience if proper precautions are not taken. The friction between an unsuitable saddle and your skin can leave irritation and chaffing as unfortunate cycling scars; which makes you think twice before hitting the road. The nose of the saddle tends to cause the most discomfort and compresses the nerves around the genital areas. It is absolutely essential that the right saddle is chosen to prevent these issues and potential harm on the rider.
An unsuitable saddle shouldn’t take away from any rider’s ambition to hit the road- be it for leisure, fitness, or performance. Now, let’s discuss the precautions you should take when choosing the right saddle depending on your cycling goals.
For your everyday cruise or commute, it is important to invest in a saddle that supports the weight of the rider on the back of the seat. Casual riders sit upright and tend to place most of their weight directly on the seat when taking a ride to the coffee shop or to the supermarket down the road. Therefore, consider a wider shaped saddle with a padded feel in order to cushion the sit bones. Because cruisers don’t pedal too quickly, the comfort and spaciousness of the shell is extremely important. The wider shape prevents any obstruction to the rider’s movement, and cyclists’ will be able to move at a comfortable pace with plenty of support. There is no need to invest in a complicated, savvy looking saddle for cruisers; a simple, comfortable, wide saddle with springs for extra support will do just fine. Consider a leather shell for the saddle, as it is regarded as the most comfy due to its ability to conform to the mold of the rider over time.
These types of wider-shaped saddles tend to suit both genders well, especially for women cyclists. As women tend to have wider hips and perch bones, more support is necessary for constant comfort. Most road bike seat reviews for women encourage a similar type of saddle for commuting and slower paced riders. For covering, a softer gel covering can be useful as most other types of coverings.
Fitness fanatics maintain a slightly-leaned forward position and travel at a medium to high pace for touring, general fitness purposes, or commuting longer distances. Look for a medium width with a pointed nose in order for riders to shift their weight towards the pedals and handles, and to allow for faster pedaling speeds without obstruction to movement.
Saddle comfort is also necessary when looking to control body fat levels and maintain general fitness; mainly to prevent you dreading those long distance rides. The saddles are also of medium-padded design, to absorb the shocks and bumps that riders may experience in longer rides or tours while still preventing any interference to movement. Look for a saddle with built in suspension underneath it, to help absorb shocks on the road even further. Women with sports bikes should look for a slightly wider shell than men, although it is still necessary to remain as thin as possible to prevent any friction during faster pedaling.
For professionals or racers looking to break records, consider the narrowest and lightly padded saddles available. Pro riders tend to lean as forward as possible, and pedal hard and fast for competitive purposes. Riders that fit this description place their weight as little as possible on the seat itself- and more on the pedals and handlebars. Therefore, the narrow and lighter design with little padding is encouraged to prevent any obstruction to movement and encourage a stronger forward force. Many of these saddles have cut-outs in the middle of them to relieve any pressure and enhance blood flow while pedaling. The ergonomic design of performance saddles are crucial in providing the ultimate capacity for bikers to hit their targets efficiently and comfortably.
Newer innovations for racer saddles provide even more special protection for reproductive organs and relieve any pressure that may specifically cause harm to the more intimate regions. If you can shell out a bit more cash, choosing one of these protective saddles along with a carbon fiber covering can go a long way in maintaining your status at a competitive cyclist.
If you find a bike that is suitable to your needs, definitely consider investing in a saddle that fits your requirements – it will be well worth it in the long-run. Consider your cycling goals, and budget accordingly. For cruisers, definitely find the best mix of value and comfort while sport cyclists should invest in a little more quality to prevent any discomfort during longer rides. For maximum performance, cyclists should absolutely consider investing $50+ on a top quality saddle as it could be the difference in cycling at your maximum pace without resistance.
Many cyclists disregard the importance of a saddle, and feel that they have already invested heavily in a bike to begin with. It is vital that you invest a little more in a quality saddle that fits your needs, just to prevent any possible discomfort, obstruction of freedom, or possible damage to your vital organs. Cycling can be the greatest form of stress relief and joy, so it is imperative to not let a small investment stand in the way of your goals.
While it may seem a daunting task when searching for saddles that are seemingly a dime a dozen, it will be valuable to consider the points discussed in this article and take the opinions of any friends or family that are well versed in cycling and bicycle saddles. If possible, narrow down your options to the one or two you want and conduct road bike saddle reviews for them to reach your final verdict. Once the precautions are taken, it’s time to ride away!