The saddle is one of the most underestimated components on a bicycle and potentially one of the simplest upgrades to improve your overall ride quality.
A good bike saddle fits like a pair of good shoes – comfortable, supportive and you actually look forward to wearing them. If hopping onto your bike does not feel like that – a new saddle might be something to consider.
Size (or more accurately, the saddle width) is an important consideration while choosing the “correct” saddle – a saddle too narrow or too wide is not only uncomfortable but also unsafe. Narrow saddles cause soft tissue damage by putting excessive pressure on areas that should ideally have no pressure. A wide saddle can also cause pain and lead to excessive movement on the saddle and can also cause saddle sores because of excessive chafing while riding.
Apart from the width of the saddle, saddles are also built keeping the overall ride experience they were intended for and have feature and technology differences to keep in mind while zeroing on the correct saddle.
While few good bike shops have bike fit measurement devices that help with measuring sit bone width, its quite simple to do this at home to help you zero in on a saddle – especially if youre looking to buy one online.
UBER SIMPLE SIT BONE MEASUREMENT
We need 3 simple things that can be easily found at home.
Preferably use some old packaging cardboard as it will conform to your sit bone easier. Around 40cm in width and 30cm in length is all that’s required.
Any color of chalk will do as long as it is about 10cm long. It also needs to be longitudinally flat in order to create the markings.
3. MEASURING TAPE
This is important to help record your results and to gauge what saddle you ultimately need.
Place a flat piece of cardboard on a bench or a lightly padded sofa. Then sit on the center portion of the cardboard with your weight evenly spread. Ensure your back is straight.
Once you stand up, keep the chalk flat (parallel to the ground) and shade the cardboard piece. The indentations left by your sit bones will remain uncolored by the chalk because of the dent in the cardboard.
The distance between the uncolored regions gives you the Sit Bone width.
We recommend repeating this 2 – 3 times to ensure you get correct consistent readings.
Most good bicycle saddle brands have a sit bone mapping to the various sizes they offer.
Saddles form an important part of your overall ride experience – you spend a LOT of time on this single component. While your style of riding and how long you intend to spend on the saddle will determine what model of saddle you need, the width is an important aspect of choosing the saddle. Measuring your sit bone width is a simple procedure that you can easily do at home to ensure you zero in on the correct saddle choice.
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WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING
I’m an avid mountain biker and I like riding fast and flowy singletrack. As I keep riding, I continuously work on honing my riding skills. I like to ride whenever possible, especially with friends. I also like to influence folk into getting to ride more often.
Working on bicycles has also been a keen interest of mine for quite some time.
DISCIPLINE: Mountain biking and Road biking
CURRENT BIKE: RockRider 5.3 & Specialized Allez Elite DSW
DREAM BIKE: Santa Cruz 5010