By Rick Schultz
- 2 Saddle Options
- SRT – 198mm long (Tri, Track)
- EXT – 243mm long (Road, MTB)
- 2 Padding Options
- Thick with Gel
- Light Race
- 3 Different Rail
- Chrome Moly, Titanium, Carbon
- 3 Different Wedge
- Slightly Curved
- Fully Adjustable Rear
- 100mm – 165mm (SRT, EXT)
- Fully Adjustable Front
- Split-Saddle Design
- The one thing I would change is to modify the design so that there is a slight “bucket” shape like the Selle SMP. This bucket works especially well for Triathletes because it makes them stay planted in one place, thereby preserving the bike fit.
$239-$289 – Chrome Moly Rails
$289-$339 – Titanium Rails
$330-$389 – Carbon Rails
Source: Bike shops, Websites
Best Features: FULLY ADJUSTABLE to fit every cyclist and fix every cyclists problem.
Summary: This could be the world’s best designed saddle!
BiSaddle – This Could Be the World’s Best Designed Saddle
BiSaddle contacted me asking if I would like to test a unique saddle. This intrigued me. As a bike fitter and coach, the complaint I hear ALL of the time from my clients is how uncomfortable their saddles are. Most have tried numerous saddles and I am told that virtually every saddle is painful. So, it was a welcome surprise when I looked at BiSaddle’s website. I thought it could potentially solve a lot of saddle issues. In short, the BiSaddle can be completely configured front, rear, base and top.
Basically, you start by picking which rails you want; chrome moly, titanium or carbon. Next, choose which “wedge” you prefer – 3 options to pick from; Flat, Rounded, None. Now, choose which saddle top you want; the longer (243mm) EXT or shorter (198mm) SRT. Lastly, bolt it all together with the existing screws and supplied 4mm Allen wrench.
I have placed this test saddle on several “difficult to find a comfortable saddle” clients and was able to adjust the BiSaddle so that it worked for them. Note: these clients have all been triathletes who seem to have a harder time finding a comfortable saddle.
One modification I would make is to add a “bucket” at the rear of the saddle like Selle SMP. When fitting triathletes, the more power they put to the pedals, the further forward they slide. This is especially true when they use one of the two most popular triathlon saddles – ISM Adamo or Cobb Type 5, and the BiSaddle SRT is shaped much the same. One of the saddles that is becoming popular with triathletes is the Selle SMP Drakon. Before being introduced to the BiSaddle, I have replaced a lot of saddles (both triathlon and road) with the Drakon. My clients seem to love this saddle because it keeps them planted, so they can take advantage of the bike fit. With a flat top saddle, cyclists tend to slide forward right out of the bike fitting parameters they were just fit to, taking away many of the benefits of the fit.
Now that I have gotten saddle feedback from three different clients, it’s time for me to put some miles on it myself. So far I’ve ridden it for one ride and was pretty impressed how comfortable it is.
This is a keeper and I will continue recommending it, especially for those “hard-to-fit-clients.”
My Adjustment Process
Determining Sit Bone Width
In my experience, most cyclists ride saddles that are too narrow. This is most evident during the bike fit process when, after putting on a wider saddle onto a client’s bike, the WOW factor is immediate as the pain decreases and the comfort increases!
Most references say to add 10mm to 20mm to the width of your sit bones to determine saddle width, but again, in my experience, this is too little since most saddles have a generous arc at the rear sloping quickly to the outsides – see the Selle San Marco pictured below. If you only add 10mm to 20mm to your sit bone width, you will be sitting too low in the saddle placing excessive pressure on your perineum. So, a little too wide is much better than a little too narrow. You can’t imagine how many of my clients have sore rear ends due to their sit bones falling off the edges of their saddles as they pedal down the road. The good news is that this is easily fixed by first determining the right width saddle.
The BiSaddle can be easily set up for road cyclists, mountain bikers or gravel riders, track cyclists or triathletes.
Here’s my process for determining correct saddle width.
- Measure between the center of your sit bones (ischial tuberosity). Note that your sit bones are not a single point but measure roughly 1” (25.4mm) diameter. The center of my sit bones is 115mm. If you take the total width that would contact the saddle, this comes to about 150mm. If I took +20mm, I would be using a 135mm
(115mm + 20mm) saddle which would place the outer edges of my sit bones OVER the edge of the saddle.
- The bare minimum saddle width for me would be 150mm which is a full +35mm wider than my 115mm wide sit bones. And this will only place my sit bones AT the edge of the saddle.
- A better saddle choice would be 160mm which gives me 5mm each side for support.
- MY EXPERIENCE: If I ride a typical road saddle (ex. Specialized Romin, Bontrager Montrose) with a width less than or equal to 150mm I go numb. Those saddles at 155mm to 160mm, I get full and comfortable support, no numbness.
Most triathlon saddles (i.e., ISM, COBB, now BiSaddle) are typically flat across the rear. As a road cyclist, I could use a triathlon style of saddle with a 150mm width, and I would be supported well. For the BiSaddle setup, I split the difference at 155mm.
My experiences described above assume a typical road saddle where each side at the rear arcs downward fairly quickly. If you look at the Selle San Marco Shortfit Racing saddle pictured above, there really is no flat area at the rear of the saddle for my sit bones support (RED). The saddle curves off quickly placing my sit bones in the area of the green circle. Sure, I am still sitting on the saddle but low enough where all of the pressure in on my perineum. Thank goodness for the cutout.
Using the BiSaddle
I attached the BiSaddle to a spare seat post and placed in about same position as my other saddle. Several small saddle adjustments later, I was ready for a ride.
I loved it! Very comfortable, great support. The only drawback was that since the saddle is essentially flat on top, I did slide around a little when applying power. But overall, a perfect choice for those having trouble finding a comfortable saddle.
Recommended: A true 4.5 star rating.
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Coach Rick Schultz is an avid cyclist who trains, races and coaches in Southern California. Rick is an engineer by trade, and in addition to being a coach, he's a bike fitter and prolific product reviewer. He's the author of Stretching & Core Strengthening for the Cyclist and Bike Fit 101: Your Toolset for a Great Bike Fit in the RBR eBookstore. Check his product reviews website, www.biketestreviews.com, and his coaching site, www.bikefitnesscoaching.com. Click to read Rick's full bio.