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Old 05-01-07, 09:56 PM
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alanbikehouston
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If you go back and read the most recent twenty (or thirty, or forty, or fifty) saddle threads, there is one clear answer: only you can figure out which saddle is most comfortable for you.

The biggest factor in saddle comfort is not the saddle. It is bar height, and the distance from the rear of the saddle to the front of the stem. If the top of your bars is level with the top of the saddle, and you have selected a bike that enables you to have a comfortable reach from the saddle to the bars, most good saddles will be comfortable after you and the saddle get used to each other.

Most roadies, impressed by the pro cyclists they see on TV, have their bars two, three, or even four inches lower than the saddle. They buy bikes with top tubes and stems that are too long, to imitate that stretched out position pro cyclists use in time trials. And, the result is crotch pain and crotch numbness, caused by rotating the pelvis forward, shifting the rider's weight from his sitbones forward onto the soft bits.

Ride for a week or two with the high part of the bars level with the saddle, and you will notice a big improvement in crotch comfort. And, surprisingly, a firm saddle, with little or no padding, is often the most comfortable on a long ride. The soft, padded type saddles seem comfortable on a short ride, but their softness allows the sitbones to sink down into the padding, putting pressure on the crotch. A firmer saddle keeps your weight on the sitbones.
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