The basics of the bike saddle: the musts!
Within the following checklist you can select the perfect ‘pedestal’ in no time – so nothing spoils your cycling fun.
The optimal bike saddle…
- Adapts to the body.
- Is ergonomically designed.
- Is as hard as necessary and as soft as possible.
- Allows sufficient freedom of movement and a stable posture.
- Is tailored to the cyclist’s ischial tuberosity in terms of width.
- Was set optimally.
- Consists of environmentally friendly, innovative materials.
Ideal seat position
When adjusting the seat, start with the height and the slant of the saddle.
If you sit on your bike seat, you should be able to touch the ground with the tips of your toes. If the soles of your feet reach the ground, then your saddle is positioned too low, which can later lead to knee problems. Whilst cycling please watch out that your knees when pushing the pedals are not higher than your thighs.
Once the optimal height is established you can adjust the slant of your saddle, which basically needs to be level. However in case you do not load your pelvic bone evenly, you may slant the saddle slightly forward, not too much though. We do not recommend you slant your saddle backwards, since this impedes power transmission.
By the way: On Eurobike cycling tours, our trained experts are by your side with advice before the start of the tour. They will be happy to help you set everything up perfectly!
The correct item of clothing: cycling shorts
Particularly important with cycling shorts is the accurate fit and the fashioning of the integrated seat padding. A perfect pair of cycling shorts needs to have a tight fit and be of good quality, however the seam around the thighs and the waistband needs to allow enough freedom of movement. The seat padding in turn needs to be adjusted to your pelvic bone and should also be tight fitting. With men the padding is often slightly more narrow, and with women a bit wider. Whether your cycling shorts are a good fit, can only be established when riding your bike. Turn the shorts inside out and place them on top of the bike seat, that way you can see clearly whether they are covering the saddle adequately. When trying on cycling shorts watch out that there is no room between body and seat padding in order to avoid unnecessary friction or additional soreness caused by folds in the fabric. It is best to really take your time with this purchase.
How to conquer the soreness
In order to avoid friction, sore spots and hence added pain during your cycling holiday, we recommend classically to apply some milkfat or Vaseline to your gluteal muscle. Nowadays there are plenty of advanced creams on the market, which work both preventative as well as disinfect already inflamed sore areas and have a cooling effect just like a protective layer. We recommend you test any products on offer beforehand in order to prevent any cases of intolerance or allergic reactions.
Especially for longer cycling tours and excursions a saddle cover can come in handy. There are various products on the market – such as lambskin, mixed or high-tech materials with gel-padding. For your cycling holiday a water-repellent and nonslip material is best suited. If you have opted for a non-water-repellent material, it may absorb water during a spot of rain and then cause friction again. In such a scenario a rain cover can also protect the saddle from any moisture.
Practice makes perfect
Even professional cyclists have pain during their first trips after a long break from training – this is completely normal! After all, almost all of your bodyweight rests on a small area. In order to keep the feeling of pressure within limits, it is best to distribute weight as evenly as possible over all contact points. This includes the handlebar, the peddles and the saddle. In addition, the buttocks are a large muscle that needs to be trained like all other muscles.
Hence when planning a cycling tour it is worth making sure you slowly get used to the bike and the saddle beforehand. Cycle on a regular basis, which will greatly prepare you for the cycling holiday. It is recommended to embark on a small cycling tour at least once a week. This ensures that you not only adjust well to your equipment but also keep fit!