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road bike saddles

What Is Your Perineal Pain Telling You About Your Bike Saddle Needs?

Cycling is an excellent hobby. Not only is it a healthy form of exercise, it's a great way to get outside and see the sights. With roughly 3.4 million U.S. adults cycling on a regular basis, it's clear just how popular of an activity it is. But at some point, you may start to feel some perineal discomfort. If you're not sure what that means or how to prevent it in your future cycling endeavors, you've come to the right place.

Ready to learn what your perineal discomfort is telling you about your road bike saddle needs? Keep reading to learn more.

What causes sit bone and perineal discomfort?

There are a few different things that could cause discomfort in this area while you're cycling. The first is saddle height. Most road bike saddles are preset to a certain height. If you're sitting too high, your weight could shift in a way that causes saddle discomfort.

The next possible cause could be your saddle angle. Fortunately, this is easy to adjust! If you're experiencing perineal pain when you ride, try tilting your seat slightly forward. Flat road bike saddles have a tendency to cause some discomfort.

If you've tried adjusting your saddle height and saddle angle and still experience discomfort, the problem might be your riding style. If you're not taking time every 10 minutes or so to stand while you ride, it could contribute to perineal discomfort. Other adjustments to try include standing when you ride over bumpy terrain and testing out a full-suspension bike seat.

What types of bike saddles could help prevent perineal pain?

If you've discovered that your bike saddle is the root cause of your pain, then it's time to look into different types of bike saddles. Here are a few of the options you might look into:

  • Gel cushioned saddles - Gel cushioning provides the most comfortable seat on a bike. If you're a recreational cyclist, this type of saddle is likely the most preferable for preventing perineal pain.
  • Additional saddle padding - If your bike saddle isn't already padded, looking into an additional saddle pad may be a good option. The only downside of this option is that it may move around while you ride.
  • Center slit bike saddles - If you're looking for more than just a recreational cycling hobby, this is likely the best option. Saddles with a center slit are designed to protect your perineum. Not only do they eliminate perineal compression, they provide ample airflow while riding.

The first step to optimal cycling is discovering the cause of any discomfort and taking steps to eliminate it in the future. More often than not, the root cause of cyclist discomfort is road bike saddles. Are you riding with the right saddle?