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Fitting a Saddle

andrearae132011-11-15 04:12:33 +0000 #1
I have just returned home from a 4 hour saddle search. I spent the whole four hours at my LBS trying out the saddles they have there (Bontrager (WSD), Fizik (men's), one Terry). I was totally unsuccessful. I would like to try some other saddles, but fear I'll need to purchase them on-line to get a good variety (and return policies). What I need to know is, how can I try out new saddles at home? I don't have a trainer, so I'd want to put the saddle on, ride and adjust as I'm riding.

Is it possible to do this? And how do I do it correctly?




Trek WSD 2.1, Bontrager CRZ stock
Muirenn2011-11-15 04:14:59 +0000 #2
Hi Andrea, welcome to TE!

First thing: measure your sitbones.

Second thing, look under Gear and Accessories forum to see the many many saddle threads. Then repost with more specific questions.

I like to use homemade playdoh to measure. Some people just put flour in a bag and sit on that. But basically, you need to sit on a low bench with your weight on your sitbones, lean forward to approximate your riding position, then measure the center to center measurement of the depressions made by your bones.

Most accurate if done commando.
Muirenn2011-11-15 04:38:24 +0000 #3
Here is the forum, you'll find saddles under Favorite Saddles, Most-Hated Saddles, and the regular forum beneath.


Also, if you paid for a bike fitting, the LBS should help you position and adjust any saddle you bring them. Still should learn how, of course. That info is here too.
andrearae132011-11-15 05:08:18 +0000 #4

First thing: measure your sitbones.

According to the Bontrager system I am about 140mm...

More specifically:

~My bike has been professionally fitted

~I need a new saddle

~If I get a saddle on-line, how do I put it on correctly so that I don't have to keep going back to the LBS

~Is this possible?

~What other measurements do I need (and how to take them) to try out saddles at home without the help of the LBS?
Muirenn2011-11-15 05:07:37 +0000 #5
Do you mean how to use an Allen wrench to attach the saddle?

There are usually one or two bolts that adjust to attach the saddle to the rails. You will need an allen key to adjust. If it is one bolt, that bolt is often in the center top, right under the cutout. If two, then on either side of the seat-post, under the rails.

There is also a bolt at the bottom of the seat-post, and this adjusts to raise and lower the saddle. Different saddles will require a different height.

Can't remember what size mine are, (maybe 5 and 6 mm) but the bolt at the bottom of the seat-post is generally a smaller size than the one(s) on the saddle.

Don't overtighten the seat-post bolt, especially if you have a carbon seat-post.

Do you understand where your knees need to go over the pedals? How high the saddle needs to be? That the saddle should ideally be level?

This post has a good description of the most accurate way to measure sitbones (since this measurement is often 'off' in bike shops). The woman who gives the description is a Physical Therapist and bike fitter.

The post is also good in that it explains exactly how your anatomy should be seated on the saddle. Probably one of the better saddle threads I've seen on TE. (And I've seen a lot).


TE has a good return policy on saddles. So does Performance Bike. So does Nashbar. So does Wallbikes. So does Specialized.

Many more I'm sure, you just need to make sure you know their return/exchange policy before you buy. They do have a time limit.

Also, do you know if you need a cutout?
Muirenn2011-11-15 05:59:57 +0000 #6
Here is Knot's cut-out test.


The more you read before buying, the better idea of what shapes and styles you should start with.
andrearae132011-11-15 05:50:05 +0000 #7

Thanks so much! I'm concerned about not being able to get the saddle correct if I do it by myself. The guys at the LBS make so many adjustments and use a tape measure and I am just worried. I feel more confident now after spending a total of almost 6 hours trying out different saddles in the LBS. I did purchase a men's Fizik today with the option to return after I try it out on a longer ride outdoors. But I really think I need a cutout, 'cause this saddle seems to have too much pressure up front. Thanks for the information about places to buy saddles. I never thought this would be so difficult, I'm beyond annoyed by the whole process...
zoom-zoom2011-11-15 05:16:41 +0000 #8
If your sit bones are 140mm I don't know how a Fizik saddle would work for you. I seem to recall that the men's Fiziks are all around 130mm, so your sit bones wouldn't even be ON the saddle (which means your crotch will be supporting your body, instead of your sit bones--ow!). You'd want AT LEAST a 155mm saddle.



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