A “bad saddle” can damage your health
It will come as no surprise to anyone: cycling has many advantages for cyclists, but also for the environment. Indeed, whether it is an outing with our club, with the family or to go to work, this means of transportation fits perfectly into our society where ecology and savings are real priorities.
There is no need to summarize the numerous advantages offered by the bicycle, which are indisputable and verifiable after only a few days of practice. Mountain bike, VTC, racing bike… We could then mention the different equipment offered in stores. However, one characteristic could quickly affect your opinion on this fabulous means of transportation, and more particularly if you are a beginner: the choice of your saddle.
First of all and logically, an unsuitable saddle will be synonymous with discomfort after a few pedal strokes. However, a “bad saddle” can lead to other significant problems. In practice, a feeling of discomfort will lead to poor posture and pain, which can be quite serious. Finally, as you may have guessed, a poor posture will affect the health of the cyclist. Here is a non-exhaustive list of probable scenarios:
– Patellar syndrome: causes pain in the back of the knee
– Windshield wiper syndrome: tendonitis in the outer knee area
– Crow’s feet tendonitis: pain located in the upper tendons of the knee
– Low back pain: common among cyclists, this pain sometimes leads to total immobilization for a variable period
– Cervicalgia: pain located in the neck and sometimes causing headaches
Of course, the saddle is not always the cause of these scenarios. However, this equipment remains essential to maximize your comfort and allow you to enjoy every ride. So which bike saddle should you choose?
How to choose your bike saddle?
A bicycle saddle is characterized by its curvatures. While some have a curved shape, others are almost completely flat. As a beginner, you might think that the latter would be ideal when referring to professional cyclists. However, both types of saddles will have their own advantages and disadvantages.
– Curved saddles are for recreational riding or lack of flexibility
– Flat saddles will correspond to variable positions, thus better versatility and extended performance
The padding of a saddle can be compared to the choice of a mattress: more flexibility does not necessarily mean “a better choice”. Here, everything will depend on your profile and your expectations. Here is a brief summary of the advantages/disadvantages of the main types of padding.
– Maximizes performance
– Suitable for solid profiles
– Limits numbness (an opening is also recommended)
– Suitable for recreational positions
– Limits pressure on the bones
– Particularly suitable for women starting out
And that’s all?
We could also mention the shell (the surface surrounding the saddle) or the choice of rail. However, these features will not directly affect your comfort and health.
Finally, don’t hesitate to visit your favorite store to test different models. Whether you are a beginner or not, a few moments may be enough to find THE best saddle for your cycling profile.
What if your aches and pains were caused by a bad adjustment?
To finish this guide “how to choose your bike saddle”, let’s also mention another important factor: the adjustment of your equipment. Indeed, a saddle that is too high or a stem that is too long, for example, will encourage the appearance of pain.
Knowing how to adjust your equipment correctly and maintaining your bike are essential conditions to fully enjoy this exciting sport. For the rest, we wish you wonderful rides and remember: happiness is as simple as 2 wheels!