Newbie with saddle questions

Hi there !

I’m completely new to Zwift (Lvl 7 at the moment) and my gear is pretty basic for now.
I currently ride an indoor bike with cheap sensors, I do plan on upgrading to a zwift hub with a bike in the future but for now it’ll have to do until I have the funds for it.

One problem I have with the current setup is that my indoor bike saddle is terrible. After 20 minutes, I can’t feel my crotch at all, so I keep fiddling on it. It affects my performance quite a lot. I’d like to go for longer rides but after an hour or so it just hurts too much to continue.

I’ve looked online for a new saddle but they all look pretty similar to me, I don’t know enough to make a good decision.

I think the main thing to take into account is that I’m currently very overweight. I’m 144kg (317lbs) and 1m86 (6’1). My stance on the bike is somewhat leaned in, I’d say I’m about 60 degrees forward. (90 would be a straight back)

From what I understand, a wide saddle would be better to release some tension in that area but might be worse for performance ? I don’t know really, any help is appreciated.

Also, I’ve read both that the saddle should be straight up flat or angled forward, so I don’t know which is better ?

Thank you in advance !

Tough question, as saddles can be a pretty personal thing. My suggestion would be to go to your LBS and try out a few to see what feels good to you. If the shop has some tester saddles that you can use for a few days that would be even better.

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Some good advice on this recent same topic thread

My question to you would be what indoor trainer are you using and does it allow for you to fit all types of regular bike saddles?

IMO almost everyone new to cycling is going to struggle to cycle for an hour in the early stages. Even after 20 minutes constantly seated, which you generally are indoors, I would expect some discomfort initially. Try and set yourself a target of say 1 minute out of the saddle every 5-10 minutes to give some pressure relief.

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Good point, I had in mind it was more streamlined, good to know.
That tester saddles idea is great, I have a bike shop nearby that I know is really good, thank you !

Great thread thank you !

Ah I didn’t know it was a such a common thing. Thank you very much for the advice, I’ll try that !

i assume you are already wearing good bibs but if not start there. if you’re gonna spend a fortune on anything cycling related then start with bib shorts

go to aliexpress, pick a saddle shape you like, actually pick 5, and buy $10 bootlegs. if you get on well with a specific shape then buy the real thing or just keep the cheap one (i’m not paying £200 for a romin, sorry Specialized). one thing i will add is that if a saddle isn’t immediately and obviously destroying your balls and taint from the second you sit on it, it might be worth leaving it on for a day or two as ian says sometimes it’s just a question of conditioning.

tilted slightly down is best, generally you don’t want it tilted up. as far as what’s actually best for you other than that, everything else is individual so you will have to experiment

Thanks Ian.
I’m 62 years old and have always cycled, it’s a way of life for me, along with running. All to keep fit physically and mentally. My butt by now should be tough as. But sadly indoor cycling is a pain. I’ve just recently purchased a rocker plate which I have to say is amazing. No longer have that pain in the butt, bang out 2 hrs no problem. So it clearly wasn’t the saddle,
Happy rides once again.
Thanks to all our community for their replies :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

In February 2021, I started indoor cycling. I had the same experience. After 20 minutes, it was over; sitting on the saddle became painful. My advice is to persevere because it gets better every day. It takes time, but it improves. After a few weeks, cycling for two hours straight was no longer a problem.

If you experience numbness in the front area, your seating position may be incorrect, or the saddle may not be optimal. It’s important that both of your sitting bones truly rest on the seat surface of the saddle, not in front of or at the edge of the seat surface.

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In order of importance:

  • Proper bike fit (saddle height & setback, angle; stem height and reach; cleat position)
  • Padded (aka “chamois”) bike shorts without underwear

You can follow YouTube tutorials to get your bike fit dialed in. Start here:

Alternately, see a physiotherapist specializing in bike fit.

Replacing your saddle is the last thing you should try.

Comfort is key and saddles are particularly personal and critical. The only way to figure out what’s best is to try some until you find one you like.

Some bike stores have an entire catalog of loaner saddles which you can try for low cost or free. Failing that, many stores have a box of saddles that folks who bought bikes immediately swapped out for the model of saddle they know they like - these are often for sale for cheap, and you might get lucky.

Wider saddles LOOK comfy, but you will quickly find that they are not. With a wide saddle you end up rubbing your inner thighs raw and/or sitting on your gluteus, which prevents much needed blood flow to those muscles.

Good luck!

Saddle width is determined by your sit bones.

You want to make sure you aren’t resting too much on the front of the saddle either. That can mean rotating saddle downwards a bit at the front, or maybe also bring the bars up higher slightly.

Quality cycling bib shorts are important too, not the old worn out ones from ages ago. That’s a personal choice and what works for me may not for you.

Mine are Assos Equipe RS S9.

This is all great advice, thank you so much yall !
First thing I take note of, is that I need bibs lol, I’m so new I just discovered them !

Like these:

Worth noting not all are the same for all people, the different shaped chamois/padding and the way the material is cut and the shape of the shorts will mean what works for me (like those Assos ones I linked) won’t work for others. It depends on your build.

It’s like the saddle, you have to spend money and try them and find out what works.

Also, buy multiple pairs of bibs once you find the ones that are good. 3-4 pairs of them and swap between them (if you ride a lot like I do). Then you want to look after them properly, don’t use harsh detergents (I use wool mix with a bit of dettol added) and hang them up to dry inside.

And when you are finished riding, don’t stay in the sweaty cycling kit for long, get changed and washed as soon as possible. This might help to avoid any nasty things like saddle sores. Also get the cycling kit in the washing machine as quickly as possible.

When I’m doing Haute Route events, I don’t always have the luxury of a washing machine in the hotels where we are staying (some don’t have them), so it’s a matter of hand washing them with a mild detergent and hanging them up to dry as best as possible and not riding in the same kit day after day. And the emergency precaution against disaster (also known as saddle sores) is a particular antiseptic cream that I trust. A few things from experience.

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If you have a Trek dealer nearby, their house brand Bontrager saddles can be returned for any reason within 30 days.


Those are also good saddles too. Specialized and Trek are both pretty good.

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Hi Ian.
I have …. Had the same problem riding indoors. So much wasted cash on saddles and fitting. Omnirocker plate has fixed it. Rode 61k. No problem. Butt pain gone. Worked for me

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Rocker plates are also a great way to improve comfort. I have one.

I also find it much more comfortable riding on the hilly courses instead of mindless Z2 for 90 minutes on the flat. Sure the legs hurt more but it’s more comfortable otherwise.