Thursday, 29 March 2012

Tips for Saddle Comfort

Long Days in the Saddle

I had a question via the blog on tips to prevent saddle soreness.  As you do more miles, inevitably you have your John Wayne moment when your backside feels uncomfortable to say the least.  It's not 100% avoidable, however here are five tips to minimise discomfort: -

1) Make sure your saddle is level.  Use a spirit level on the saddle to get it just so and ensure that you fully benefit from the design..
2) Wallop a load of chamois cream around your nether regions before a long ride.  In a previous interview with Rapha-Condor Sharp rider Andy Tennant, he swears by Boots Aqueous cream.   I subsequently bought a big pot of it for about six quid and I have to say it works.
3) Wear a decent pair of shorts with a very good chamois pad.  Your backside is one of the most important contact points on the bike to take care of if you fancy taking road cycling seriously.  Buy the best you can afford and don't wear underwear underneath your lycra, go commando, that's the whole point of it - to prevent chaffing.
4) Invest in a decent saddle.  Our backsides are all different and it can take a bit of trial and error to get it right.  After trying about six saddles, I settled on the Selle Italia Gelle Flow Max Flite which has a centre cut out to relieve pressure on the perinium area and gel pads at the back.  Without a doubt the best saddle I've tried and ridden by lots of roadies.
5) Get your saddle fore/aft position right.  You'll need a plumbline and a wall for this.  Sit on your bike with your pedals level at the quarter past nine position.  Position the plumbline against the knobbly bit on the side of your knee, of the forward facing leg and let it drop.  The plumbline should go straight through the centre of your pedal spindle.  If it doesn't, adjust your saddle backwards/forwards until it does.  This will mean that your downstroke is optimal and you're not overly stretching or putting undue pressure on the crown jewels.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Phil,
    All good advice. Can I just add - when your ride is finished get out of your kit ASAP and give your nether regions a good wash. The bacteria that cause saddle sores thrive in hot sweaty cycling shorts!
    Great blog by the way.