Where to start .....
Saddles come in many shapes and sizes. That's not to mention colours and designs.
Saddle width – saddles come in different widths, and you should try and match these to your sit bones. You can measure your sit bones at home: put a piece of tinfoil on the sofa, sit on and lift your feet off the floor so your weight goes through your sit bones. When you stand up, you will see two dimples where your sit bones are. Measure the distance between the centre of the two dimples, and then look for a saddle designed for that width of sit bones.
Cut out – a cut out in the centre of the saddle may help keep your soft tissue from pressing into the saddle. Look for one that is long enough to create that space even as your hips roll forward as you reach out to the bars.
Saddle Dynamic – Saddles that cradle you are amazing and give you strength and stability - however if you are an aggressive moving rider you may feel that it is pushing into your soft tissue, rather than keeping a space between there and the saddle. So it really is a horses for courses approach. Also with saddle dynamic it very much matters on the female hormones, delicate changes at different time of the month and also depending on the time of your life, have a big impact. What we are finding is something that was your go to saddle - maybe after children or onset of hormonal changes becomes unbearable.
Saddle Material - you don’t want any raised seams that might cause pressure points, or with sharp edges - there are some saddles out there.
Always remember to take a picture of your saddle before you fit a new one. Take a hex key out on rides to make alternations if needed.
If it’s your sit bones that hurt, make sure they’re supported on the body of your saddle- some saddles will be too big or small. Make sure your saddle isn’t too high. Alway have a bit of chamois cream on and we have found that there is a real difference between male and female specific creams. If you’re getting chafing and blisters, something is rubbing. Is your saddle supporting your sit bones? If they’re hanging off the edge because your saddle is too narrow, your sit bones may rub. If your saddle is too wide, the edges may be rubbing your inner thighs. Sometimes your bum will just hurt a little if you are a new or returned rider - however If it is your soft tissue perineum and/ or labia area – that are hurting in any way, then you are in the wrong saddle or saddle type. You should look to make sure you’re not supporting your weight on this area, and also make sure you have cream (Bum and Sun -if its hot) as well as making sure you have NO PANTS ON ! You should always be naked under cycling shorts.