01 March, 2018
By: Pete Karinen
Saddles are one of the most important factors to all day comfort on the bike, yet almost everyone I know has struggled to find find the right fit and instead deals with discomfort. Maybe this is because it can be an awkward subject to talk about or maybe it's because there are just so many options out there.
The hardest part about finding a saddle that works for you, is that everyone is different. One of your friends may recommend a certain saddle that seems to work for them but ends up being extremely uncomfortable for you!
Ergon has developed a saddle system that can choose a saddle for you based on your body type and needs. They do this with a series of questions you answer. Simple questions like, type of riding, age, frequency of riding, areas you normally experience pressure, and sit bone width are essential to finding the right fit.
If your not sure of your sit bone width, they have a list of measurements you can take to get a good estimate. The best way to measure your sit bone width however is with a sit bone measuring device. There are a couple brands that make these measuring devices, such as Ergon and Bontrager and can be found in select shops.
Of course this all sounds good...if it leads you to the right saddle. So I put it to the test. After using the saddle selector, my ideal saddle chosen was the SMC-3 saddle in a size large (yes large!). Size or width is determined by sit bone width and this is one of the most essential parts in saddle selection.
I've put several hundred miles on this saddle over the last couple weeks, even doing a 7 hour race and back to back long days without ever experiencing any discomfort. This may not be the case for everyone, but I'd definitely recommend giving the Ergon system a try if your'e struggling to find the perfect fit!
If you're right on the edge of sizes, I would recommend sizing up if you sit in a more upright position, and sizing down if you ride in a more aggressive position. This is because effective sit-bone width narrows as you rotate forward.