Rider Profile – Saddle Match Example.
In this story we are presenting an example of a rider profile saddle match for a new or returning to bike path rider. Learn about Joan, her Rider Profile and discover her saddle match.
Meet Joan: Joan is a 55 year old women who recently bought herself an E-bike that she loves. She hasn’t been on a bike in a number of years.
Your rider profile may have some similarities to Joan as well as some differences… reading about Joan will help you understand how to work out your own rider profile and saddle match.
Body Position/Angle on the Bike – We do not usually sit at just one angle but have a range that the shape of our bike allows us to move through. Please choose a position from the three below;
- Position One – 90 to 75 degrees. This rider has an upright body on the bike
- Position Two – 80 to 45 degrees. The forward bend is slight to mid range
- Position Three – 60 to 15 degrees. A mid bend to fully forward
To understand more about your riding angle…
Joan has a riding angle range of 90 to 75 degrees. She spends most of her time on the bike at a 80 degree angle, upright body position.
To get the comfort Joan needs when riding she should choose a saddle that supports Position One on the bike.
Bike Saddle Match = Position One
Your Gender – Being female or male influences the width of your boney structure (how far apart the sit bones that we use to transfer weight onto the saddle are). Women usually have a wider pelvic structure. This is not true for everyone but if your pelvis is narrow you will more than likely know and should choose a narrow female saddle or consider a mens saddle.
Joan has a typical women’s pelvis width. To get the correct support when riding Joan needs a women’s width saddle.
Bike Saddle Match = Womens
Match your saddle to how you ride
What type of rider are you… or where do you want to get in the future?
- A Casual Rider… enjoys shorter ride times and leisurely trips. Usually less than an hour. Can be a new rider or returning to riding after a long break. The riding is gentle and easy and can be anything from once a month to daily.
- A Fitness Rider… enjoys short to mid length riding on a regular basis, at least 2-3 times a week. Usually riding from 30 minutes to 2 hours with occasional longer rides. Often working towards or training for a specific trail. The riding is varied, usually social and at times is moderately challenging.
- A Confident Rider… enjoys riding on a consistent basis, committed to riding a bike as a large part of lifestyle. Usually riding from 30 minutes to 2 hours and takes the opportunity for regular longer rides. Maintains a high level of bike fitness, will happily ride alone and rides through all the seasons. Is strong and in control even when the terrain is challenging.
Joan is only starting out so she is taking her time to allow her body to rediscover riding. This puts her in the Casual Rider category. However, having an E-Bike means she has assistance and with this assistance she will quickly put herself in the Fitness Rider category.
Joan has spent a considerable amount of money on her E-Bike so is motivated to use it. She is hopeful that she will enjoy riding and would like to build up to riding for a couple of hours 2-3 times per week.
Therefore Joan has decided she will purchase a bike saddle that matches to a Fitness Rider, so she has the comfort she needs to support her to increase her bike riding.
Bike Saddle Match = Fitness Rider
Match your saddle to the places you go
Where do you have the confidence to take your bike?
- Cities/Towns/On-Road… smooth, sealed, tar-seal. In and around traffic, urban and surroundings.
- Bike Path/Easy Trail… off road pathways, cycle tracks and trails that are wide, smooth, compacted dirt/gravel or sealed. Board walks & bridges, little technical challenge.
- Off-Road Trails/Country Roads… varied, changing, loose gravel, stones, potholes, 4WD roads, can be isolated.
- Mountain Bike/Back Country Tracks… narrow, tight turns, steep descents, long climbs, roots, rocks and loose gravel, can be isolated.
Joan is currently cautious and prefers to ride on smooth, well graded trails away from traffic and any shared paths need to be quiet. She prefers to ride with a group and is keen to explore and discover new things in her community.
Joan is a Bike Path/Easy trail rider currently with the aspiration to gain confidence about where she can ride. As her control and balance on her bike grows she hopes to use it to ride to more places.
Bike Saddle Match = Bikepath/Easy Trail
Joan has decided that it is likely to take her quite a while before she would be confident to ride her bike on varied surfaces. She believes her best match is to bike path/easy trail saddles and she would be happy to look at purchasing another saddle to support her comfort for riding on rougher off road trails/country roads if this ever becomes where she does the majority of her riding.
Specific Issues and Considerations
Bike saddles can help with areas of discomfort. If you have any specific issues it is better to choose a saddle that has been designed to help
- Heavy Rider
- Sit Bone Aches
- Tail Bone Discomfort
- Soft Tissue Compression
Joan is finding achieving comfort on her current saddle challenging she is having some sit bone aches and tail bone discomfort when she is riding. Joan is also slightly overweight and would like the feeling of support a wider saddle will give.
Bike Saddle Match = Wide, Sit Bone and Tail Bone Support
Joans Rider Profile
Having worked through her profile. Joan has identified she is a
- Fitness Rider – though Casual currently she is working quickly towards the Fitness category
- Position One – 90 to 75 degrees
- Bike Path & Easy Trail (working towards all off road trails & country roads along with occasional town trips to the library or for small amounts of groceries)
- Sit bone, tail bone discomfort
Best match is… the Wide Fitness Trail Saddle. This is a good option for Joan if she is motivated to get herself into the Fitness category quite quickly. It is a better match to how Joan wants to ride, not how she is currently riding. But getting a more comfortable saddle will help Joan ride more often and for longer, helping her obtain her couple of hours 2-3 times a week riding goal.
Other saddle solutions that Joan could have considered
All these saddle options have good rear support for sit bone issues. They also allow for tail bone placement as they either have a rear channel and/or a rear curve…
Joan liked the look of the padding in this seat. However the padding on the Wide Soft Saddle is a double layer of foam which has lots of cushioning but has little support. Joan would find this saddle initially quite comfortable while enjoying her short, smooth surface riding, however it is likely to limit Joan’s comfort when she begins to ride for longer and is not suited to the more challenging trails in the future.
The Women’s Town & Trail Saddle is a good option for how Joan is currently riding as it is the only Casual category saddle that will handle easy bike path and off road trails for rides over 30mins. Would be the best option if Joan believed it would take her a long time to build up her riding.
The Women’s Tour Trail Saddle is a great off-road endurance, touring saddle. Joan’s usual angle of 75 degrees fits within the body position range (80 to 60 degrees). Bold choice if Joan believes she will become a fan of riding holidays and training to be fit for them. This saddle is a narrower option… Perhaps this is the saddle to consider in a year or two?
Other solutions to support Joan being comfortable on her seat
The right saddle is the best starting point in achieving comfort on your bike seat.
There are other things to consider that will help Joan adjust to riding and provide protection on longer rides or multiple days of riding. Please read our story which covers all the bike seat comfort options.
Your bike riding success is different to others… use our stories and support, get the right solutions.
What is the best way to be comfortable on the bike. There are many factors to consider with your seat comfort. Use our goRide Buying Guide to get the right solution.
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