Position in Saddle



was7g

New Member
May 11, 2006
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OK... stupid question for everyone... where am I supposed to be bearing my weight in the saddle? I know that I'm supposed to be bearing it on the "sit bones," or ischial tuberosities (I.T. bones), right? It seems to me that my weight is being borne too far forward in the saddle... I've colored the following two images to demonstrate where I'm bearing most of my weight in the saddle- not exactly on the I.T. bones, and not exactly far forward of them, either. Be aware that the drawings are mirror images of one another (that is, not from the same side).

I feel some pressure, especially when I'm out for more than 90 minutes, on the soft tissues in the perineum, but not enough to cause pain and/or numbness- should I be totally discomfort-free in this area? I'm worried about long term effects like impotence.

Any suggestions about how to bear my weight further back would be appreciated. My thinking is that when I try to get my back parallel to the ground (in what I've been told is the ideal road bike position), I tend to put pressure on the areas shown on the drawings- as well as the perineal soft tissues. Is it just that my back isn't very flexible? From what I've been told, my position is too "upright," but when I try to bend down towards the handle bars, then I put pressure forward on the perineum.

Thanks.
 

Orcanova

New Member
Aug 22, 2006
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This is a man talking. Women have specifics I cannot address. Answer is...Wherever you are most comfortable. Actually, 80% of your weight should be on the saddle and 20% forward, on the bars.

Once you have that down, you may be shifting your weight on the saddle. Sliding forward or backwards just a little bit changes the pressure from sitbones to, other parts such as the, er, well, for lack of better term, the crack. On long rides you might shift subtlely to relieve pressure on one part that has been getting too much continuous pressure. You might even stand out the saddle for a little immediate relief and that actually goes a long way.

Specialized brand saddles, which I am currently riding, tend to emphasize the sit bones as a point of contact more and they can start to hurt (feel kinda bruised) if you don't vary it a bit. My Sella Flight Italia saddle favors the cheeks as a point of contact, but there's no cutout to relieve pressure on the "taint" area...and that could lead to temporary ED. Saddles are very personalised and there is no correct formula other than to try to ride with good form and vary your positioning to what suits you.
 

Insaneclimber

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Aug 21, 2006
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I reciently had a similar problem in that after about 3 hours rideing my private parts would be totally asleep or numb due to lack of blood circulation. Ive tried hundreds of different seat positions and a few different seats to fix this. finally i found that tilting my seat back a little more than is recomended worked. my weight now slides back into the right part of the seat to get the sit bones takeing the weight. Dont take this idea as gospel though every one is a little different. But i would strongly suggest you keep on trying till you get it right.

good luck
 

SEAcarlessTTLE

New Member
Nov 29, 2005
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Consider also adjusting the other parts of your bike "cockpit"... Saddle height, fore-aft position, and angle obviously make a big difference, but so might your stem length, stem angle, bar rotation (in the stem), shifter position on the bars, bar/stem height... Adjusting these can affect how your butt hits the saddle, how your weight is distributed, etc. I've gradually adjusted both my saddle and stem/bars over time as my back, shoulders, etc. got stronger and were more comfortably able to take a lower, more aero riding position. I don't mind having an old-fashioned quill stem 'cause it's so easy to adjust! :)

Good luck...
 

Orcanova

New Member
Aug 22, 2006
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Don't adjust too much all at once. Proper bike fit should already be a given. Just work on the saddle once the bike fit is right.
 

chero

New Member
Aug 22, 2005
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Thanks for posting the picture was7g, it is good to be visually reminded of the relevant anatomy. InsaneClimber, I agree with your point that tweaking the seat adjustment is the next step, and that this will vary with the individual. Further supporting the individualization advice is that I found a slight DOWN tilt helped me. Just below the horizontal helped get the nose out of the way of my perineum and let me take more weight on the ischial tuberosities. But, if you go too far, you will indeed slide forward in an irritating and uncomfortable way. In any case, keep tweaking or change saddles until you cure the numbness (and, of course stand up intermittantly to give your butt a break). Numbness means blood flow is cut off, and over the long haul, that does have negative consequences.

chero
 

lks

New Member
Jul 29, 2006
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Insaneclimber said:
I reciently had a similar problem in that after about 3 hours rideing my private parts would be totally asleep or numb due to lack of blood circulation. Ive tried hundreds of different seat positions and a few different seats to fix this. finally i found that tilting my seat back a little more than is recomended worked. my weight now slides back into the right part of the seat to get the sit bones takeing the weight. Dont take this idea as gospel though every one is a little different. But i would strongly suggest you keep on trying till you get it right.

good luck
Why would you want to slide back and change you knee to pedal alignment, unless your seat wasn't adjusted correctly to begin with? If you wanted to sit in a different position, why wouldn't you just move the seat forward so you didn't change your knee to pedal alignment?
 

Orcanova

New Member
Aug 22, 2006
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lks said:
Why would you want to slide back and change you knee to pedal alignment, unless your seat wasn't adjusted correctly to begin with? If you wanted to sit in a different position, why wouldn't you just move the seat forward so you didn't change your knee to pedal alignment?
KOPS is a ballpark reference point. You don't stay in one position in the saddle on long rides...even if you think you do. You move around a bit. Nevertheless, once you are in KOPS position, some people prefer to deviate from that a bit based on the terrain and their riding/pedalling style. Generally, people slide back on the saddle for climbing and forward when generating more power in the flats...

Anyway, the whole enigmatic issue is comfort in the saddle and it is elusive sometimes...and moving about a little helps alleviate discomfort or numbing. Which is more important: theoretically perfect position or preventing damage to the perineum and impotence..?