How to Find the Right Bicycle Saddle for Obese Riders
By Joan Bishop Denizot
Finding the right bicycle saddle is crucial since this greatly affects the rider's comfort and performance in their ride. Picking the right saddle is actually challenging for all riders regardless of their weight and size. For heavy riders however, the additional weight and pressure put on the seat may cause discomfort and strain. Here are a few things heavy riders may want to consider in choosing a saddle for cycling comfort.
Consider the width of the saddle. The idea of the saddle is to support the two "sit bones" to keep the rider balanced on the bike. Heavy riders may want to consider choosing a slightly wider saddle for better support and comfort on their backside but not too wide as this may cause chaffing or rubbing.
Consider the saddle pad. It is a misconception that the best saddle pads are those that are soft and thick. While these types of pads can be comfortable in the beginning, these can cause excessive heat as these absorb much pressure from the rider's weight and movement and thus create discomfort during the ride. Experts suggest that heavy riders get a saddle seat with firmer foam since this doesn't quickly compact compared to a foam or gel cushion. Also, experienced heavy riders agree that it is wise to choose a saddle with the least cushioning but still is comfortable for the rider to sit on. It may take some time to get used to riding a firm saddle but over time, the ride would be more pleasant.
Consider durability. Because foam saddles easily wear out for heavy riders, these have to be replaced more often than a lighter cyclist would. Experts suggest that leather saddles can be a great option for heavy riders since these are more durable. Also, the longer the rider stays on the saddle; the seat becomes molded to the rider's anatomy.
Shop wisely. It is advisable that a rider give the bike a test ride before buying it. During the test ride, the rider may vary positions on the saddle, ride on different speeds, hit some bumps and try some uphill terrain. This way, the rider can test the comfort of the saddle seat and the sturdiness of the saddle seat. Also, it is suggested that the rider also inspect the rails of the saddle. Although chromoly is the most affordable and suitable for most riders, titanium rails are more durable and long-lasting.
Considering all the factors, the key to finding the right saddle is optimum support and comfort for the rider.
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