Why You Experience Bike Seat Discomfort

Why You Experience Bike Seat Discomfort

So this is a question I get asked a lot is my seat supposed to be this uncomfortable? the short answer is no.
But many riders put up with a lot of pain and numbness. Numbness is bad and the risk of sounding trite numbness tells you the nerves down there are being pressed on.

You don’t want to press on those, because stuff will stop working right. The pelvis is really complex not to mention it houses pretty
much all of our parts. So for garbage-disposal pleasure and procreation just to name a few, but even the bones of the pelvic area are complex.

There is a book called a Netter it’s an illustrated guide to our anatomy.  It’s a work of art it’s something that used all the time by a PT. Every twist and turn of a peripheral nerve. Every recurrent artery every random insertion of a ligament is documented in that book.
It’s named after the guy who drew the whole thing.  Take a look at the pelvis imagine trying to draw a 3d representation of this. This is what it looks like from the front it’s also made up of three different bones. I know it doesn’t look like it but they’re fused together these are called the ilium the ischium and the pubic bone.

What we really want to look at is down here these are commonly known as our sit bones or ischial tuberosities they’re basically the area in black there here’s what they look like from behind now let’s go back to that side view that pink area that’s called our ischial ray mine and that’s where we actually sit when we’re on the bike.

We only sit on our sit bones when we’re sitting straight up in a chair most of the time. The more aggressive our position is the further forward we sit on these bones. You might sit here on a mountain bike position and here on an aggressive road or time-trial position. Because of the shape of the pelvis the bones get narrower and that’s the key to understanding saddle Comfort.

Every rider has their own optimal posture and so the pelvis have different mechanics overall flexibility plays a major role but there are many other factors like lumbar mobility trunk strength arm length shoulder girdle stability and hamstring length.

let’s look at this from the ground up or from the saddle up pelvis will rest on the saddle at a given angle factor in a flexible spine and long arms. And it will determine our in our position maybe the rider has shorter arms we’ll have to make adjustments to the Hanwha position remove that flexible spine for a not so flexible version and things change drastically maybe their hamstrings are tight allowing more upright pelvic posture.

We can keep making substitutions because there are as many variations as there are riders in the world that’s really what it’s all about for saddle Comfort.

The bars must be placed correctly furthermore your pelvic angle needs to match up with where you rest on the saddle. As well as the type of saddle you drop let’s look at this view of a saddle from the side and the top if you have an upright pelvic posture.

You should be contacting the saddle towards the back in the rider portion saddle if you have your bar out of position your pelvis will get drawn forward and the angle or tilt is unlikely to change and now the wider portion of your pelvis will make contact with the narrower section of the Bike saddle numbness and pain will follow. Often riders will feel like they have to keep scooting back on the saddle slide forward. To scoot back slide forwards scoot back and this can also lead to more pressure from your hands which shows up as hand numbness and/or shoulder and neck pain.

Bike fit technology stuff these are pressure graphs of how a rider is waiting their saddle. Color of low pressure is blues to greens high pressure is yellow.  Same rider after a one and a half centimeter change in their bar reach that’s about half an inch putting the bar in the right position resulted in them being able to match the pelvic posture to the correct part of the saddle and their numbness and discomfort disappeared so get things done right pay attention to pelvic posture and match your bar position to it your naughty bits.

December 12, 2018 / by / in

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