The fundamentals of the finding the correct saddles have always been considered to lie in the riders ‘sit bones’, specifically the distance between them. Generally speaking women’s sit bones vary more than men’s but all saddles come in different widths to accommodate these different sit bones – 80%-90% of the riders weight should be being supported by the sit bones when seated and saddle manufacturers tend to use more padding around the area where the riders sit bones will rest, so it is obviously an important area to focus on and important to ensure you get the correct width of saddle.
However saddle fit is about more than the distance between your sit bones – the angle at which they rest is also vitally important, with Giant recently establishing that it was in fact pelvic contact condition that affects saddle comfort rather the sit bone width following extensive testing.
Furthermore, the perineal area, which is also in contact with the saddle, is important to think about with many saddles now including cutaways or pressure-relieving channels in their saddles to accommodate for riders who may be looking for a saddle to flex more to relieve discomfort.
Choosing the right saddle
A good place to start when looking for a new saddle is to start with your current one (if you have one!). Work out what works for you (shape / size / padding / width) and what doesn’t work for you and compare to new saddles. But if you want a more accurate way of ensuring you choose the correct saddle, Giant may have the answer.
Giant have engineered a new way to ensure riders have the most comfortable of rides by ensuring they have the correct fitting saddle - Dynamic Cycling Fit. All Giant saddles incorporate Giants Dynamic Cycling Fit philosophy and technology which results in tailor made comfort, unique fit and optimal performance whatever your riding style. Following their testing process Giant have developed saddles in three different fit options: Forward, Neutral and Upright.
Depending on the angle of the riders pelvic contact condition, each type of saddle will have different features; for those with a forward contact condition the saddle will have a longer pressure relief channel and a slightly raised rear shape for suitable support and condition. For those riders who have an upright contact condition, the side profile will be slightly wider, the central pressure relief channel slightly shorter and the rear shape will be more level.
In order to ensure riders have the most suitable saddle (and as a result, enjoy riding so much more!), Giant have developed their own simple 5 step system of ensuring every rider has the correct saddle for their body type:
During Step 5 your pelvic impression, which was identified during step 4, will be analysed so you can be advised on the correct type of saddle (Forward, Neutral or Upright). The diagram below shows how the fitting tool is used to identify this:
You can find out more about our saddles, our saddle technology and the fitting process here.