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Buying Bicycle Saddles

When riding, your seat or saddle is a big deal. You rest most of your weight on the saddle and what you ride on can be the difference getting saddle sores, being uncomfortable or being comfortable. Here are a few tips on finding the right saddle for your bike.

Width
How wide of a saddle you choose is partially up to your gender. Men and women have different sized and shaped pelvises. Women will tend to need a wider saddle because their sit bones are further apart on their pelvis. A man will want a more narrow saddle to accommodate our thinner pelvis. Test out some and see what feels good.

Materials
The debate between plastic and leather rages on. Your choice will depend on how far you typically ride and how sensitive you are to moisture. People tend to love their seat materials and tend to stick with what they know. Ask around to see what others have used, but remember, your tush knows what it likes and you need to try them out for yourself.

The Middle
Do you need holes cut into your saddle, a sunken middle or are you one for the solid seat Some prefer the hole in the center to allow flow through ventilation and to remove pressure off the sensitive perineum. Not everyone thinks this actually works.

Cushion
Whether you choose gel or foam, some people prefer a cushy ride. Some people prefer a hard saddle that places most of the pressure on the sit bones and takes pressure off oft tissues between. Those who vote for a harder surface say that the softer seats cause them to lose circulation. Obviously some saddles are squishier than others. Try out a couple of different levels of softness or hardness before making a final selection.

Summary
No one saddle is going to suit everyone and you need to try them out. But be very watchful with soft saddles, especially for men where a big concern can be numbness issues associated with riding.


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