Monday, 11 April 2011

Blazing saddles

There are times when I feel my developmental level as a bike rider is somewhere around that of an 8 year old.  I just don't get saddles, bike positioning and how to make the two work together.  Mostly luck has got me through, and I have had some remarkably comfortable rides.  I note my current hybrid has a Bontrager comfy girls saddle with quite a wide rear end (as have I), and that my previous Decathlon MTB had a f'i'zi'k (I have been generous with the apostrophes here) saddle which was skinny and not padded but also never gave my bottom any cause for concerns.  The current MTB is mortifyingly painful.  A Boardman women's specific saddle in the most impractical white.  It is hard, narrow and I suspect the front end is angled slightly upwards.  I tend to be forced into a sitting position where my front bits are under pressure from the hard pointy end rather than sitting comfortably with my saddle bones on the saddle.

I have no idea how to change things to make it right.  Do I need to move the handlebars forwards so my reach is perhaps more similar to my hybrid?  Do I need a new saddle, and if so, how do I chose one, what if the next one, after lots of pennies have been parted with is equally uncomfortable.  Maybe I need to adjust the position and angle of the current one which would, I note, require me investing in an additional allen key or perhaps one of those fancy gadgets with a bewildering array of tools for the would be mechanic.  Toyed with switching the saddle from the hybrid onto the Boardman in a moment of experimentation but realised the saddle is too wide to work for mountain biking as getting my arse over the back wheel would mean some odd frog like position to get my legs either side of the saddle.  Not simple.

With all these things chasing round my mind I took the opportunity this weekend to take a seat on my mum's bike.  She is 67 years old and travels everywhere on her steed which comes equipped with a rear pannier and a rear rack bag and a basket on the front.  It is a proud upright beastie.  It has, though, an amazing saddle.  Sat on it, and every time I moved, it popped, it swayed, it bounced like a bucking bronco.  Further examination revealed a zebeddee type spring from saddle to bike enabling any shock to be absorbed through ... well, I'm not sure.  It was a revelation, and if my mum can manage with that, then maybe, just maybe I'm being a little too fussy.

1 comment:

  1. You are not being too fussy. Your bits should not be getting squashed, so the seat is not right for you. Get thee to a bike shoppe and have them help you find a seat best suited to mountain biking AND your body.