How to choose the best saddle?

Sella idmatch

It is undoubted that one of the most important points of cycling comfort is the support on the saddle.

Amateurs, amateurs and professionals are constantly looking for a comfortable and functional support, which guarantees their comfort but also an adequate performance. In addition, an inadequate support on the saddle can accentuate problems already present in the subject such as inflammation of the urinary tract or pain in the perineal region. For years it has been mistakenly believed that saddles, anatomically complementary to the shape of the support, could guarantee a better session.

Today, with more in-depth investigative systems, it has been identified how important it is to maintain adequate space in the area between the saddle and the pelvic region. Recently, a series of new indications have been rewritten that allow us to revolutionize in part what have been convictions of the past, and which today are no longer founded.

The first concerns the width of the basin.

saddle pressureIn a recent study conducted on 49,875 subjects between men and women it was mathematically shown that the distance between the two ischiatic bones, ie the two points of support of the pelvis on the saddle, is not only related to the gender (male-female), but the different width is more influenced by the size of the subject.

The comprehensible error of assessment was born in the years from the different conformation of the basins between men and women. In fact the two ischial tuberosities of the woman are much more open than those of men, but this different width does not correspond to an equally greater distance because on average the woman’s pelvis is smaller than that of an average man. Therefore, the first fundamental point in choosing a saddle is linked to the gender but also to the size of the individual.

Still in the same study it was highlighted how much the point of support of a subject on the saddle is modified according to the circumference of the thighs at the root.

This measurement, if compared to the width of the pelvis, can impose on the subject a different advance or retreat on the saddle. The reason why the circumference of the thigh changes the progression or not on the saddle arises from the inability to extend the leg down, due to the resistance offered by the lateral profile of the saddle during the extension of the thigh on the pelvis. Let’s try an example to better understand this concept.

If you notice how the seat of a horizontal gym bike is made, it will be observed that it is much shorter than a normal session to give the thigh a chance to extend completely and allow pedaling. A longer session would prevent such movement.

A similar situation occurs with saddles with wings that are too wide; they force the subjects with circumferences of thighs more generous than their pelvis, to assume a more advanced position, where the saddle is narrower, to free the movement of the entire thigh. The obligatory advancement, however, leads the subject to lean in a different point from that designed by the manufacturer and therefore with considerable discomfort for the cyclist. In fact, the forward sliding brings the ischial tuberosities out of the support plane of the saddle, which in turn is wedged with the front part of the nose inside the ischial arch increasing the pressure in an area not predisposed to bear it.
Also the forward rotation of the pelvis on the saddle influences the choice of the type of model. A subject positioned on its own half rotates the pelvis (antiversion) drastically reduces the space between the saddle and the ischial arch, thus increasing the pressure on the soft tissues passing through that area.

For subjects with a high rotation of the pelvis, a saddle is indicated that adopts a generous discharge of the central part, implemented with a deep canal or a hole that prevent the tissues from being trapped between the saddle and the pelvic bones

Identifying a saddle is not easy, because it depends on a series of anthropometric and functional characteristics that make the choice unique and subjective. But it is just as important to put the saddle in the correct way in order to take full advantage of the benefits that the choice of a suitable product can guarantee.