How to Choose a Comfortable Bike Seat
With the 46% increase in bike commuters since 2005, bike lovers have started to pay even more attention to their bike seats, ditching plastic saddles for a vintage leather bike seat. And if you're as serious about bicycling as Brian Mulder, who just rode 15,000 miles down the length of South America, choosing the right one is crucial. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right saddle for your bike.
Consider Your Reason for Riding
Brian Mulder recently cycled the length of South America. His reason for riding? Travel and distance. And with any run of the mill bicycle saddle, it would likely have been the most uncomfortable ride of his life. But since he knew that nature and purpose of his ride, he chose a Selle Anatomica bicycle saddle. If your ambitions for cycling are anything like Mulder's, investing in a custom vintage leather bike seat is going to get you where you need to go without sacrificing any kind of comfort. So before you choose your saddle, understand your purpose.
Get the Right Shape
Most people don’t know that bike saddles come in many different shapes to accommodate various body types. Bikes for females, for instance, tend to have wider and rounder saddles to accommodate their frames. The shape of your saddle should also match your biking needs. To further explain this, consider a BMXer and a competitive biker. The former needs a lighter and narrower saddle because of the stunts and speed which require a lightweight bike, while a competitive biker who's on track for hours will require a wider and more comfortable saddle, preferably a more curved saddle. It is, therefore, important to find the right shape that will match your biking intensity and use.
Find the Width of Your Sit Bone
Apart from the varying shapes, saddles are also sold with different widths that will more or less depend on your anatomy. Have your bike vendor measured the width of your sit bone so that you’ll better fit onto your vintage leather bike seat? Anything too narrow and you could suffer some pretty painful rides, a saddle that’s too wide on the other hand won’t allow you to ride efficiently.
What you use your bike for will greatly determine what type of seat you should settle for ultimately. For ultimate comfort, you should always look for vintage leather bike seats. For speed and propulsion, carbon fiber paddles are great since they are very light.