Bicycle Saddle Technology

Elements Of Comfort - Bicycle Saddle Base Shape and Contours

bicycle saddle relief
Koobi Tri Showing Relief Area

Bicycle Saddle Base Shape

The primary objective of a bicycle saddle is to support your weight throughout your ride.

Moving Around On Your Bike Saddle

Cycling is a dynamic activity; your position on the bicycle saddle changes constantly as you take curves, climb or sit back and take in the view. In fact, movement is essential, since staying in the same position eventually reduces blood circulation to that area. Make sure your saddle design can handle the moving about in weight distribution and move with you.

A Bike Saddle Designed for Movement

A well designed bicycle saddle has contours that promote movement. If you look at a saddle from behind, you should see a relatively flat profile rather than a domed shape. The same is true when you view the saddle from the side. We have found that flat top and side-to-side profiles are best for both promoting movement and for supporting your sit bones during the various phases of a ride. Saddles which have a hammock like shape will feel nice in the parking lot test, but will hold your posterior in a frozen position. As the ride progresses, the cradling reduces movement, and cuts off circulation. Another shape that is appearing in newer saddle designs is a back of the saddle scoop. This shape also tends to constrict movement in the saddle.

The Horn (Nose) and Sides of a Bicycle Saddle

The width of the horn and the contours of the sides will not only influence comfort but affect mobility and control. The horn helps by keeping you from falling off your bike; it also helps you balance and steer the bike. The side contours allow your thighs maximum mobility and control.

Nose-less Bicycle Saddles

A novel saddle shape showing up in the last few years are saddles without a nose, in order to eliminate the pressure put on your soft tissue region. Indoor cyclists may find this design to have its benefits. But while the nose-less design may fix one problem, it forfeits the balance and control that the nose provides.

Koobi considers this design to be unsafe for outdoor cycling, as it is easy to slide off the saddle and fall forward.

More Elements Of Bicycle Saddle Comfort

Learn more about the elements of bicycle saddle comfort in this series of articles.