Length, Width and Shape of the Road Bike Saddle
On a city or touring bike you adopt an upright posture, which makes wide, well-padded saddles suitable for distributing weight evenly. The situation is different on a road bike: even if you choose a road bike with comfort-focused geometry, you adopt a relatively outstretched riding posture compared to that of an everyday bike. That's why road bike saddles are generally relatively long and narrow, so that your legs and pelvis have enough freedom of movement. Which saddle shape suits you depends, among other things, on your individual mobility. If you are very flexible in the hips and can bend your upper body far forward, the majority of your weight rests on the front part of the saddle and thus on your pubic bone. At the same time, arms and hands do more in the way of support work. Relatively long and narrow saddles are suitable for this type of posture, which at the same time have a slightly raised back. This prevents you from sliding back and forth on the saddle and adopting a relieving posture. Consequently, this saddle shape helps you channel your energy directly to the road. If you are less mobile and sit more upright, then your ischial tuberosities (also called the sit bones) are put under more strain. For this reason, you should opt for a slightly wider saddle. If the saddle is too narrow, pressure is distributed over the perineal area, which can lead to pain and numbness. In addition to mobility, the distance between your ischial tuberosities plays a decisive role when buying a saddle. As a general rule: if you can feel your sit bones at the beginning of a ride, the saddle width is correct. You can easily determine your sit bone distance at home with the measuring cardboard from SQLab.