BikeTraining Tips

The Essential Guidelines for Saddle Comfort

by BiSaddle

(Photo by BiSaddle)

Cycling is an exhilarating and rewarding activity, but it can quickly turn into an uncomfortable experience if you're using the wrong bike saddle. The saddle is a critical component of your bike as it supports your body weight and determines your riding comfort and efficiency. Using the wrong saddle can lead to a range of issues, from minor discomfort to serious health problems. In this guide, we'll explore the nine consequences of using the wrong bike saddle.

One of the most immediate and noticeable effects of using the wrong bike saddle is discomfort and pain. This can manifest in various ways, depending on the type of saddle and your riding style.

These guidelines have transformed many cyclists' saddle experiences.

6 Guidelines for Saddle Comfort:

  1. Width: Ensure it's wide enough to support your sit bones.
  2. Flatness: Avoid excessive side-to-side curvature.
  3. Firmness: Opt for firm padding to prevent sinking and pressure points, but not too firm that bruises sit bone tissue.
  4. Cutout and Channel: Consider if you need to relieve soft tissue pressure.
  5. Shape: You need a saddle shape that matches your pedaling mechanics, riding style and riding position to reduce rubbing, chaffing and saddle sores.
  6. Length: A properly sized saddle distributes weight evenly, reducing strain on sensitive areas.

Guideline #1: Width

A sufficiently wide saddle spreads weight across sit bones, sparing delicate tissues from undue pressure. Your saddle should match or exceed the spacing between your sit bones, plus about 1 cm on each side. A simple piece of corrugated cardboard can help determine this width accurately (include link).

Guideline #2: Flatness

Excessive curvature increases pressure beneath the pubic bone, leading to discomfort. Look for saddles with minimal side-to-side curvature to maintain pelvic comfort.

Guideline #3: Firmness

Thick, soft padding may seem appealing, but it often leads to increased pressure and discomfort. Firm padding, typically found in higher-quality saddles, distributes weight more evenly. Padding that is too firm can cause bruising and discomfort. It can take time for your sit bones and surrounding tissue to adapt to your saddle.

Guideline #4: Cutout or Channel

For some cyclists, especially those experiencing persistent soft tissue pressure, a cutout or channel provides relief. Assessing your need for a cutout involves testing saddles to gauge soft tissue tolerance. If the cut out is too large though, pressure increases on surrounding tissue.

Guideline #5: Shape

You need a saddle shape that matches your pedaling technique, riding style and riding position to reduce rubbing, chaffing and saddle sores. You need sufficient leg clearance so you can pedal efficiently without rubbing or chaffing. This friction and pressure caused by an ill-fitting saddle, can lead to chafing, blisters, and saddle sores. One unique saddle is BiSaddle, an adjustable shape saddle that provides cyclists the ability to tailor their saddle to individual body shapes and preferences.

When assuming the forward-leaning position typical of triathlon or time trial riding, the pelvis tilts forward, lifting the sit bones off the saddle surface. As a result, weight distribution shifts, and pressure is dispersed across the pubic bone, inferior pubic rami, and adjacent tissues. Saddle shape is critical in determining where to safely and comfortably direct this pressure.

Guideline #6: Length

A saddle that is too long or too short can lead to discomfort. It may cause pressure points or chafing, leading to pain or numbness. Saddle length is important for reducing soft tissue pressure. The length determines the area of support it provides for the cyclist. A properly sized saddle distributes weight evenly, reducing strain on sensitive areas. The length of the saddle can also impact pedaling efficiency. A properly sized saddle allows for optimal leg movement, maximizing power output and reducing fatigue.


As you can see, using the wrong bike saddle can have numerous adverse effects, from physical discomfort and pain to decreased cycling performance and enjoyment. Therefore, it's essential to invest in a high-quality, well-fitting saddle that suits your body type and cycling style.

Why not check out BiSaddle? Our patented fully adjustable saddle is tailored to fit individual body shapes and preferences, ensuring an optimal and comfortable cycling experience. With saddles that are shorter and adjustable, we offer a custom-fit experience that minimizes discomfort and maximizes performance. Whether you're a casual cyclist or a professional athlete, we have the perfect saddle for you. Don't wait any longer - start your journey to a more comfortable and enjoyable cycling experience by shopping at BiSaddle today!