For the casual cyclist who isn’t used to hours in the saddle every week you know that you are going to feel discomfort, numbness, pain and maybe all of the above from your bike saddle. Maybe you’ve accepted this as a cycling side effect, something you put up with now and then. But at what cost?
For all cyclists, saddle discomfort, numbness and pain are an issue impacting health and enjoyment of riding. You are damaging your body if you are experiencing these symptoms. The fact that you ‘get used to it’ after a few rides does not mean that damage is no longer being done. These symptoms are often caused by areas of high pressure due to an incorrect saddle choice or position. Such symptoms can be the indicator that safe norms for circulation and nerve health are being negatively impacted. When riding, the sit bones should be supporting the rider’s weight with little to no pressure on the perineal or pubic bone area. This is extremely important for both men and women as it is essential that these sensitive areas of nerves and blood vessels are not damaged. Symptoms of damage other than pain include numbness as a result of compressing the nerves or reducing blood flow. This damage can become chronic and introduce a number of further issues.
At minimum every cyclist should adjust their seat to an ideal riding position for them. If necessary, consult with a fitting professional to ensure that your saddle choice and installation is optimal for your riding style. Just because a saddle is expensive, cool looking or the latest and greatest does not mean it is the best saddle for everyone. Do your own research, check out your options and make sure you are informed in your choice of saddle. Your butt will thank you for it.