The perfect saddle is indeed hard to find. Most people will think that if their saddle is uncomfortable, they should get a wider one. Or one with springs. Or one with gel. Or one with an animal print cover. What it really boils down to is a misinterpretation of how bicycle-saddle comfort actually works. It’s not the width of your ass that determines comfort. It’s the width of certain bones at the bottom of your pelvis. Your ass bones. More specifically, the ischium. Those are the ring-like bones that receive the pressure when you are seated. It’s the spacing of these bones and how that width correlates to the saddle that determines comfort. You may have seen those types of saddles that have a hole, groove or split down the middle? Those are designed to focus more pressure on the ischium and less pressure on your taint.
So when people ask me why I choose to ride on a narrow leather saddle instead of a cushy, gel-filled, synthetic-material one. I say, because it eventually forms itself into the shape of my ass-bones. A leather saddle, like the Brooks B17 pictured above, will form itself to you, giving you the most support where it is needed and relaxing the pressure where it not needed. It is not just a hipster accessory. Brooks has been around for a long time and their stuff is great. Getting a wider saddle often creates more problems, some of them circulatory. The word thrombosis comes to mind. The wider the saddle, the more likely the back of your thighs will receive regular pressure. There are arteries and all sorts of things in that part of your leg that really could do without that kind of pressure. Imagine sitting on the edge of a chair for an hour, letting it dig into the backs of your legs. That’s what a saddle that is too wide can do to you.
So dear reader, it doesn’t matter how wide your giant ass is. It’s where your ischium is likely to receive the most support that will make you comfortable. Invest the money in a good quality saddle that fits you best. Don’t skimp.