Narrower saddles negatively affect saddle pressures in female cyclists.
The studies evaluating the long-term effects of saddle pressure on the integrity of the pudenda nerve, pelvic floor and sexual function are warranted.
Because of the differences in the structural bodies of men and women, bicycle saddles must reflect these differences.
A man’s seat is usually narrow and long, while that of a woman is wide and short.
A woman’s seat is wide to reflect their generally wide hips. Women have their pelvic bones set wider apart than men, hence the wide seats.
A major concern for both men and women is too much pressure that can affect the flow of blood to the genitals.
This means that the design of a seat is important.
You are unique, and also it is your saddle!
Some brands that have carried out research into soft tissue discomfort in women have come to the conclusion it’s your body shape that determines the ideal saddle for you.
Those who have more ‘pronounced’ or less ‘protected’ genitals, they suggest, will need a wider cut-out or relief channel, than those who are more ‘petite’ down there – so do consider your own personal anatomy when saddle shopping.
Each rider is completely different and the saddle should be sized to match your position and anatomy.
First set your position then look towards the correct saddle.
Most professional bicycle fitters are trained to determine proper placement and width of saddles. This is done visually while you are riding your bike on a stationary trainer.
Your position on the bike has a lot to do with your saddle comfort. For example: if you ride a triathlon specific bike and it is set up properly, your pelvis will have a slight forward rotation.
Without the correct bike saddle there will be tremendous pressure on sensitive areas. If you are on a road bike with a fairly upright position you will be supported by the widest part of your sit bones and will need a wider seat. Before you go shopping for a new saddle make sure that your position has been properly set up by a professional bicycle fitter.
There are also unisex seats in the market which can be used by both women and men and it also can fit you perfectly, of course. So as taller women tend to fit on men’s bike seats and shorter men often prefer women’s seats as their posture on the bicycle tends to be similar.
The conclusion is that you should not ride in pain ever again!
Secondly, don’t worry if a bike seat does not fit you but it fitted your best friend.
Thirdly, the pain is not your fault, you didn’t do anything wrong, is about our unique anatomy and finding the perfect match.