Find Your Perfect Perch: How to Measure Sit Bone Width for a Bike Saddle

Find Your Perfect Perch: How to Measure Sit Bone Width for a Bike Saddle

Cycling is a fantastic way to get exercise, explore your surroundings, and enjoy the outdoors. But an uncomfortable saddle can quickly turn a joyful ride into a painful experience. That's where finding the right saddle width comes in! By measuring your sit bone width, you can ensure your new saddle provides the support and comfort you deserve.

Why Sit Bone Width Matters

Your sit bones, also known as ischial tuberosities, are the two bony protrusions underneath your buttocks that bear most of your weight when you sit. A properly sized saddle will rest comfortably on these bones, distributing pressure evenly and preventing discomfort. A saddle that's too wide will cause chafing, while one that's too narrow will leave you putting pressure on soft tissue, leading to pain and numbness.

DIY Sit Bone Width Measurement

Here's what you'll need:

  • A piece of corrugated cardboard
  • A ruler with millimeters (mm) markings (or a pen and a separate ruler to convert centimeters to millimeters)
  • A pen or marker

The Measuring Process:

  1. Find a firm, flat surface like a table or a hard floor. Place the corrugated cardboard on the surface.
  2. Sit down on the cardboard with good posture, mimicking your usual riding position (if possible). Ideally, your feet should be flat on the floor or slightly raised. Sit for a few moments to allow the cardboard to compress slightly under your weight.
  3. Carefully stand up and locate the two indentations left by your sit bones. These will be the deepest impressions on the cardboard.
  4. Using your pen, mark the center of each indentation.
  5. Flip the cardboard over and lay it flat. With your ruler, measure the distance in millimeters between the two center marks you made. This is your sit bone width!

Choosing the Right Saddle Width

Once you have your sit bone width, add 20-25 millimeters to account for padding and saddle curvature. This will give you the ideal saddle width range to consider when shopping. Remember, saddle width is usually measured from the widest points on the saddle itself.

Keep in Mind

While sit bone width is a crucial factor, it's not the only one that affects saddle comfort. Saddle padding, shape, and even your riding style can play a role. If you have any pre-existing injuries or specific comfort needs, consider consulting a professional bike fitter for a personalized assessment.

With a little DIY measuring and some helpful tips, you're well on your way to finding the perfect saddle for a comfortable and enjoyable ride!

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