Join Date: Jul 2011
Bikes: Santa Cruz Blur TR, Cannondale Quick CX dropbar conversion & others
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As you ride you get more accustomed to the saddle. You need to put in at least a few hours a week to maintain your 'riding butt'. Obviously as you pile on the miles and duration, you'll get even better.
Width is by far the most critical factor for the seat itself. Too wide or too narrow and you'll have serious pain in your tender fleshy spots.
Padding is the second most important, but counter-intuitively super padded seats aren't the most comfortable as time goes on. They ARE the most comfortable for a very short ride, then after 10-20 minutes you are sinking in too much and putting weight on your squishy bits instead of your sit bones. You want enough padding to not be miserable, but don't jump straight to the 3/4" thick gel foam models.
Third most important is your posture. Sitting upright is great at first, then after a time all that weight only on your saddle becomes painful. As you lean forward, support yourself with your core instead of your hands and wrists.
Finally is the seat angle. This is should be minute adjustments-- totally flat, one notch forward, or one notch back covers most riders. No one has extreme seat angles, but if you're feeling some pain and have addressed everything above, a little adjustment might help. The seat height should be based on your leg length, not comfort preferences.