How to Choose the Right Saddle
5 Easy Steps to Prevent Saddle Discomfort
NEWS FLASH: You do not have to be uncomfortable riding your bike!
Many women think that saddle pain is just an unfortunate side effect of cycling. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. For sit bone pain and any women's bike seat pain, there is a solution! Here are some steps to take if you dread time in the saddle:
1. Do You Use Padded Riding Shorts?
One of the biggest mistakes new cyclists make is not investing in a chamois that fits her and her riding style. Chamois are made to wick moisture, provide support for your sit bones and reduce chaffing. You may need to try out a few different shorts to find the ones that work for you. Try different thicknesses, shapes and cuts. Just like a good pair of jeans, it is all about fit and personal preference. Generally, riding shorts with fewer seams will result in less chaffing. And here is the kicker: DO NOT WEAR UNDERWEAR UNDER YOUR RIDING SHORTS! The chamois is made to be next to your skin. Check out our articles on how to wear chamois and how to wash your gear.
2. Get Some Chamois Cream.
If you tend to have hot spots or chaffing issues, chamois cream (or chamois butter) could be your new best friend. Apply the cream to your body and/or to the chamois pad in your shorts. Add more cream to problem areas. Some of our favorite brands are: Petal Power, Chamois Butt’r Her’, and Dznuts bliss. Look for samples and find your favorite!
3. Go to Your Bike Shop for a Professional Bike Fit.
Improper fit on your bike could be the main reason for your saddle discomfort. If your saddle is too high, too low, too far forward, too far back, not level, or if you are reaching too far to your handlebars, you could be experiencing pain as a result. Your bike shop fit technician will listen to your problems and help you find a solution.
If you have had a proper fit and employed the use of riding shorts and chamois cream, you need a new saddle. Although it may seem like a good idea to go to the bike shop and buy the squishiest saddle you can find to ease your sore bum, more padding is not usually the answer to your problems (and could actually cause MORE chaffing). Your retailer can help you find a saddle that is best suited for you and your riding style with the help of Liv’s saddle fit testing tool. Then, spend some time on the saddle. Trying out a test saddle for a few weeks is the best way to know if you are getting the right fit.
5. Ride Your Bike!
There is no replacement for saddle time. If you are training for a long ride, race or tour, the only way to condition your backside is to put in the miles. Do take your time when you are getting into cycling. While you may have enough endurance to put in 50 miles on the first day, go slow at first to avoid discomfort and injury.
Don’t let saddle pain take you off the bike. If you follow these steps, you should be on your way to experiencing many happy miles to come. Check out Liv’s new line of performance saddles HERE and then head into your local Liv retailer to try one out!