Ever wonder why a bike seat is called a saddle? I think its because bike seats are just as comfortable as horse saddles – not very. Let’s get real – friction, pinching and pounding are the real problems, not the saddle per se. Although the saddle will never feel like your La-Z-Boy, you can make four significant changes that will maximize your ryde enjoyment.
1. Wear bike shorts (aka, diaper pants) to protect your bottom and other parts from pinching and pounding by providing form-fitting padding that moves with you. Gel covers or a stack of towels can cause more problems than they solve. Covers make you shift side-to-side causing strain on your lower back and creating more friction – ouch! Get a pair of bike shorts – your bum will love you for it.
2. Sit towards the back of the saddle, like you’re sticking your butt out, with a neutral spine. There’s more saddle at the back to cushion your ryde and aids in proper sitting posture. Also, sitting up front can cause pinching on your inner thighs. Like your mother told you, “Don’t slouch and sit up.”
3. Control your descent. Any time you are out of the saddle be sure to descend back into the saddle in one smooth transition. Plopping down interrupts your cadence and bruises your butt and other parts. Sit with control and your butt will say, “Thank you!”
4. Ryde like a duck swims – calm on the surface, peddling for your life below. Keep your upper body still to alleviate friction caused by rocking side to side in the saddle. If you want to save your butt ryde like a duck.
No matter what you do the saddle will never be a La-Z-Boy! But, learning how to sit correctly can make all the difference for your safety, comfort and enjoyment.
P.s. No one ever regretted wearing diapers pants (aka, bike shorts) but many regret not wearing them.