Finding the best saddle for you can be an arduous (and not mention expensive!) task with everyone you ask having their own perception of what saddle is the best and most comfortable and if you follow their advice might end up in the same position as you were before; with a saddle that makes you want to 😭 within minutes of sitting on it.
With so many different brands and so many saddle shapes and sizes available it can be a mine field of where to start and what to look for. The most important factor with a saddle is that it will be completely personal for you and you won't know until you've actually sat on it and ridden your bike for a number of miles.
Most bikes come with the cheapest saddle and usually coloured to match the bike but bike manufacturers know that this is likely to be one of the first things you will be looking to replace.
We use the Selle Italia id match system which can help narrow the search and uses your measurements to help identify what type of saddle is better and which ones will likely cause discomfort.
The saddle fit is a 3 step process.
Step 1: Measuring the intertronchanteric distance
This measurement is to identify the width of your hips. You'll either be an L (large) or S (small) and helps to determine if you are better suited to a wider or slightly narrower saddle.
S saddles have a sitting point width of 131mm - 136mm and L saddles go from 145mm to a maximum of 150mm
Step 2: Measuring thigh diameter
This measurement is used to compare the ratio of hip width from step 1 to the diameter of your thigh. If your thigh diameter is large relative to your hips it suggests you should look for a saddle and is narrower in the middle to avoid friction of the thighs rubbing on the saddle (often called friction free saddles).
Step 3: Determine angle of pelvic rotation
Pelvic rotation is the most important measurement as this looks at your ability to tilt / rotate the pelvis. While poor flexibility can limit pelvic rotation, it is not a direct measure of flexibility and in a lot of cases you might still be able to touch your toes but without much pelvic rotation.
There are 3 levels of pelvic rotation - Low (1), Average (2) and high (3).
Following these 3 measurements you'll get a letter (S or L) and a number (1,2 or 3)
S1 and L1 saddles have no central hole and are suitable for cyclists without a high pelvic rotation and who therefore do not need to ease the pressure
S2 and L2 have a minimum size centre cut and are suitable for cyclists with an average pelvic rotation and who produce pressure and friction while pedalling
S3 and L3 includes saddles with a large central hole, recommended for cyclists with a high pelvic rotation and who develop high levels of pressure on the surface of the saddle.
The S3 and L3 saddles also include versions with Super flow technology I.e. with an even wider central hole for cyclists who prefer even greater comfort.
The superflow drastically reduces all the discomfort caused by prolonged pressure on the pelvic area, allowing you to find an optimum and extremely comfortable sitting position at all times
S1 - narrow intertronchanteric distance and low pelvic rotation
S2 - narrow intertronchanteric distance and average pelvic rotation (flow saddles)
S3 - narrow intertronchanteric distance and high pelvic rotation (flow and super flow)
L1 - wide intertronchanteric distance and low pelvic rotation
L2- wide intertronchanteric distance and average pelvic rotation (flow saddles) L3 - wide intertronchanteric distance and high pelvic rotation (flow and super flow)
Once we have identified which saddle type is best suited to you we will discuss what type of riding you are intending to do.
If you're looking to ride your bike for enjoyment and mainly just looking for a saddle that is comfortable to ride with general fitness being the main focus the Grand Turismo saddles are the best place to start. These saddles tend to have slightly more padding making them a good choice for anyone who is new to cycling or just looking for an upgrade to their current saddle.
If you're looking for a saddle that will help you across a range of different riding scenarios, the performance range will have a saddle for you. In this range there is also Triathlon / TT specific saddles and saddles that weigh less than 65g. In this range the saddles split into a couple of categories dependent on that duration of riding you are intending to do.
The unique part about our Saddle fitting is that every saddle comes with a 30-day comfort guarantee which allows you to find a saddle that we think is a good start point and you can ride it for up to 30 days and if it's not providing the comfort you expected we will have another look and swap the saddle for an alternative shape / design based on the discomfort you are still experiencing..
The ID match takes some of the guess work out of finding a saddle and with the comfort guarantee allows you to use the saddle and if it's not the solution you can swap the saddle instead of having to buy lots of different saddles that don't reduce / solve your problems.
Book your Free saddle fitting appointment today and say good-bye to uncomfortable cycling.
The saddle fitting is part of our full bike fitting suite of services which includes road and TT bike set up alongside cleat fitting
If you're getting pain while cycling that is not directly related to the saddle see our bike fitting service which looks at your bike set up in more detail to ensure you're in the most optimal position to ride pain free.