Saddle discomfort and saddle sores were the most common physical problems while riding, according to a survey done on readers of another bicycle site. In another study of novice endurance cyclists, well over 60% disclosed they suffered from butt pain, and about half of these bikers had to change their riding style or temporarily stop riding.
Have you ever taken a bike ride, only to come back with an uncomfortable feeling in your butt? If so, you are not alone. In fact, many people have this same issue when they go on long bike rides.
Bike saddles are supposed to be comfortable, but not all bike saddle models are the same. Some bicycle manufacturers make their own unique models of bike seat for sale, while others use generic saddles made by third-party companies.
Since different people prefer different things in terms of how they sit on a bike (width wise), it is important that you make sure that the saddle on your bike is comfortable for you.
Bicycle saddles aren’t meant to carry the riders full weight, but only their sit bones. This means that the riders full weight is not on the seat, but between their sit bones.
List of issues that make bike seats so uncomfortable are:
- Incorrect bike size
- wrong handlebar positions
- Incorrect biking shorts
- Improper form and endurance
- Type of bike saddle
- Saddle height
1. Incorrect Bike Size
Incorrect bike size can cause you to feel uncomfortable when you sit on it. They had no idea, however, that they had the wrong bike size. This is why it’s important to buy your bikes from a reputable dealer who has trained staff members that can help you pick out the correct size so that you dont have problems with a sore butt as you ride.
2. Wrong Handlebar Position
Bike saddle soreness can be caused by incorrect bike handlebar position. Having the correct handlebar position is will help reduce bike seat soreness.
3. Incorrect Biking Shorts
Biking clothing are just as important as your bike. Wearing the correct gear can make your ride a much more fun experience. The right type of shorts will help reduce friction between your thighs and the seat or even worse chafing from sweat that gets into places it shouldn’t.
4. Improper Form and Endurance
Novice riders generally lack the endurance to carry the majority of their weight on their legs, thus they tend to sit lower into the saddle, causing butt soreness.
For the first few weeks after starting to ride a bike, you may experience some discomfort while your body adjusts. As your body adjusts to riding, the soreness should subside.
If you’re still sore after a few weeks of riding, it’s possible you’re riding on a improper saddle or that it’s not correctly adjusted or fitted.
5. Type of Bike Saddle
It only takes one ride on the inappropriate bicycle saddle to understand how important a good bicycle seat is for regular bicycle riding. If your bicycle has a terrible saddle, even the shortest, smoothest ride might be unpleasant and unenjoyable.
What makes a good saddle different from a bad one? It will differ between any two people, but it will be particularly different between men and women. Our lower torso anatomy is designed for a variety of functions, none of which entail riding a bicycle. To be honest, the ideal bicycle seat has yet to be invented. Some saddles, on the other hand, are noticeably superior than others.
The most common mistake made by infrequent riders is to choose a bicycle saddle that is larger and more padded. Larger saddles are the worst choice to go for. Saddles with more surface area increase friction and contact.
All they’ll do is enlarge the scope of your aggravation. Opt for a more compact saddle. The goal is to reduce, not increase the contact area between your derriere and the bicycle seat.
When it comes to padding, you have some flexibility. There are some really comfortable, streamlined bicycle saddles on the market right now, especially those designed for the bumps of mountain biking or the hybrid bicycles that are so popular among city riders.
There are numerous bicycle seat designs available nowadays that take into account the physical distinctions between men and women.
The most important difference is that a woman’s seat flare is slightly wider to allow those contact points and padding to hit where her body wants it, but there are also bicycle seats with varying openings in the centre to reduce unpleasant extended contact with male or female genitalia.
Bike saddles come in a variety of designs and sizes to suit your riding style. If you’re a road cyclist, you’ll want a very thin saddle with a hard surface because you’ll be sitting on it for a long time.
Your saddle should be the proper width for your buttocks so that your body weight is supported by the sit bones rather than the soft tissue surrounding them. Your body weight will not be distributed equally if your saddle is narrower. If your saddle is too wide, it causes friction on the crotch area. There are specific tools designed to measure the spacing of your sit bones so if you want to go the extra mile, consult your local cycling shop to see if it has one and get advice.
6. Saddle Height
Your saddle’s posture has a big impact on your level of comfort. IT band syndrome, which is a major source of knee pain in cyclists, can be caused by a high saddle. A saddle that is too low, on the other hand, is less likely to cause injuries but can reduce your pedaling efficiency.
As a result, it’s critical that you get the saddle height just perfect. To do so, measure your inside leg, subtract 10 cm, and use that measurement to determine the distance between the center of the bottom bracket and the top of the saddle.
While it isn’t exact, it will give you a good sense of your optimal saddle height. You can alter the height from here if need be.
Other Tips To Reduce Saddle Discomfort
A. Develop Leg Strength
Workout your thigh and calf muscles more to develp leg strength. Some of the exercises you can do include:-
Squats: Squat exercises are advantageous for cyclists because they help balance the hamstrings by working them in a different way compared to pedalling.
As a cyclist, you should aim to squat low enough so that your thighs are roughly parallel with the ground – an angle your thighs will become accustomed to through pedaling.
Jump up as high and as hard as you can from the squat position, keeping your hands as close to your hips as possible to avoid creating false momentum.
Do this 15 times in 4 sets, quickly and powerfully, to strengthen the thigh muscles.
Lunges: Lunges result in muscle, which helps to build strength and tone your body, particularly your core, buttocks, and legs. Enhancing your appearance isn’t the only advantage of body shaping; you’ll also improve your balance and range of motion.
Calf Raises: Your calves are one of the most active muscles that are used when riding your bike. They are always in use, whether you are riding in or off of the saddle, because they are constantly extending and contracting.
As a result, it’s critical to strengthen these muscles off the bike in order to make them stronger when riding and reduce the risk of cramping.
Place your feet on a block or step while sitting on a bench (and hold dumbbells on your thighs for resistance). Your knees ought to be 90 degrees bent, and your toes should be turned out about 15 degrees.
Make your heels to sink into the floor until you feel a stretch in your calves. Drive your feet into the platform and raise your heels as high as you can.
B. Try Saddle With Cutout
For those who love saddles with a cutout, they say it helps to alleviate pressure on the perineum area, which improves blood flow.
Critics on the other hand argue that because of anatomical differences (as well as saddle differences), not everybody requires one. They say the cutout won’t do much good if the region of the saddle supporting the sit bones is sufficiently high (relative to the rest of the saddle surface).
In many instances, the cutout simply increases the visibility of the channel.
The channel may also perform the task (when designed properly). If there is no support between the areas of sit bone contact, the saddle will simply flex (depending on material, etc.), making the cut out or channel a pinch.
C. Use Chamois Lubricant
Chamois cream is a viscous, anti-bacterial compound that aids in the elimination of friction between skin and clothing, and thus the chafing that can occur during a ride. It is available in a variety of forms, including balms, creams, and even powder.
Riders use chamois cream to prevent saddle sores or, worse, an abscess, which can keep you off the bike for a few days and necessitate medical treatment.
How to apply chamois cream? Apply around the saddle’s contact and chafing spots, or mirror these points on the chamois if you wish.
If one or the other isn’t cutting it, don’t be scared to use chamois cream on both the chamois and yourself. It’s up to you how much you apply – the more you do, the less likely you are to get painful, but don’t go crazy!