Today’s QT comes to us from Coach Rick Schultz, whose answer to a client’s question comprises the tip. Here’s the conversation between the two.
Manuel S. wrote:
Any specific comments or review about the Specialized Power saddle? I read recently that you really like it, and I have one here but I can’t find the correct way to install it. I love the design, but it is always a painful experience!
Thank you in advance for your help.
Coach Schultz replied:
One trick is to find out where your sit bones contact the rear of the saddle. Take a level and place one end of level on the point where one of your sit bones contact the rear of the saddle and lay the front of the level across the front tip of saddle. Adjust the saddle so that it is level or slightly nose down. Use that as a starting point.
Manuel S. wrote back:
I did it as you told me and that did the trick! I finally found the sweet spot for this saddle. 41 miles this morning with no discomfort.
Thank you, thank you!
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.
Your recommendation is essentially consistent with my personal experience.
I currently use a Fizi:k Arion seat, which has a relatively flat profile. I’ve found that the seat is most comfortable when the seat’s mid-section is level. This setting also seems to provide the most useful range of positions.
Experience suggests that a relatively level seat mid-section seems to work well with other seat profiles as well. For example, at one time, I was using an 80’s era Selle Royal seat, which has a somewhat curved profile, and I was experiencing reoccurring neck problems. The cure, to my surprise, was to adjust the seat just a small amount. That adjustment made the seat’s center section somewhat more level (for a curved profile seat). The flatter seat position seemed to allow my spine to straighten, and completely cured my neck problem. This is a reminder that a problem is often a symptom, and the solution is often found elsewhere.
All my best to you and the group here at Road Bike Rider.
Thanks RAH. 2 takeaways;
1) I never place the level all the way across the top of the saddle. Why? On a lot of saddles, the rear section tilts up slightly and since you DON’T sit there, that point should not be used in leveling a saddle.
2) If you still experience excess pressure on the mid-to-front of the saddle, start tipping the nose down a little at a time. If you start slipping forward/off the front of the saddle, tip it up slightly and that ‘should’ be close to your optimal position.
Hope this helps clarify….