A lot of novice cyclists make the mistake of believing that their bike saddle isn’t all that important. After all, if they are just going to be on the bike for an hour or so a day, many reason that they can just get by with whatever came with the bike.
However, once the cycling bug grips you and you start wanting to spend longer on your rides, you will quickly realize that having a good bike saddle is vital to ensuring that you remain comfortable and healthy when you are really pushing yourself. This is especially true for adventure cycling and other long distance trips, where a bad saddle can cause issues in the long run. If you’re now in the market for a new saddle, there are a number of key mistakes that you need to ensure you don’t make before you spend your cash.
Not Taking It For A Test Ride
If you were buying a new car, would you just pay the money without even getting a feel for the vehicle before you did? Of course you wouldn’t, and the same should be true of your bike saddle.
You need to look at a new bike saddle as a long term investment. This is something that is going to be with you for the lifetime of your bike, and often beyond, so you need to make sure that it suits all of your requirements. A good saddle will stay with you for many years.
Soft Does Not Mean Comfortable
If you have ever sat in a particularly soft bike saddle it is easy to believe that they will be the ones that will offer the most comfort on a long ride. After all, it simply feels so good to have all of that cushioning underneath you, so how could there possibly be a better choice?
However, it is important to remember that soft does not equate to comfort in the long term. Whenever you ride your bike, your sit bones will always be looking for somewhere solid to rest. That soft saddle that seemed like such a good idea at first may actually lead to you poorly distributing your weight and leaving yourself in discomfort during your ride.
Failing To Consider Your Riding Style
Though there are obviously proper techniques that most cyclists follow, nobody’s cycling style is ever going to be exactly the same. After all, the way you ride is going to change based on the terrain you’re riding on, as well as your personal preferences.
When you are buying your bike saddle you should always make sure to speak to a professional and let them know exactly how you ride and what you use your bike for. In some cases they may be able to point you in the direction of a bike saddle that better suits your personal style and needs.
Not Sizing Properly
Bike saddles come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, so you need to ensure that you pick on that suits your particular body type. Sit bone width, in particular, is important to keep in mind as this measurement doesn’t necessarily equate to your pants size.
Make sure you have an idea of the size that you need and speak to a professional if you’re unsure. After all, your bike saddle might be the greatest in the world but if it doesn’t fit your body type it is still going to feel extremely uncomfortable when it comes time to use it.
Always take your time and consider the options before you purchase a bike saddle. After all, in most cases it is not an absolute necessity and you can usually get by on your existing saddle long enough to allow yourself the time to find the right one.