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Bicycle saddlesPrint

How the back learns to love the bicycle saddle

Most people agree: a bicycle saddle should be comfortable. But that is only half the battle. It is at least as important for the seat to promote a healthy posture on the bicycle. Especially when occasional back pain is an issue.

Bicycle saddle problem zone

According to the latest statistics*, each of the around 75.5 million bicycles travelling Germany’s roads has its own problem zone: the bicycle saddle. Finding a seat that fits is not all that easy. What fits depends on whether a man or a woman is riding the bicycle, what it is used for and what the bicycle’s measurements and settings are.

Sitting complaints can be avoided

Pretty much every cyclist has these problems: numbness, sitting complaints, back pain and tense muscles are common on a bicycle, even over short distances. Surprising when you think about it: there are high-tech models with all kinds of features, but a rigid, virtually immovable seat shell forms the basis of almost all seats. In combination with an unsuitable seat pad, this has a proven negative effect on circulation in the seat area, especially in the area of the perineum and genitals. Since the female and male anatomy differs considerably in the seat area, special seats for women and men are offered in various widths. Aside from their basic shape, they differ in the design of the relief channel in the area of the perineum and genitals.

All a question of dynamics

These problems can be solved with a seat that is moveable and correctly adjusted. The seat construction should be flexible so it permits natural pelvic movements and reliably dampens shocks while riding. A full-surface 3D damping element also prevents the otherwise common rigid posture on the bicycle. When the seat makes controlled movements possible and facilitates changing the sitting position, the cyclist benefits from more active back muscles while riding – for better back health.

A horizontal position is recommended as the basic setting when adjusting the saddle. If the load on the perineum and genital area is excessive, slightly lowering the front of the seat can help. Minimally raising the front of the seat on the other hand helps in case of sliding forward, which leads to excessive pressure on the area of the perineum and genitals, or excessive load on the hands.

Indispensable accessories

Back-friendly cycling also includes ergonomic bicycle grips and a back-friendly bicycle backpack. The most important thing however is for the bicycle to be adjusted according to personal needs. While this should be part of the service offered by good bicycle shops, you can easily do it yourself with corresponding instruction. Find tips on these AGR web pages:

 

https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/154198/umfrage/fahrradbestand-in-deutschland/

Checklist

  • Good seats have to take the difference between female and male anatomy in the seat area into account. Manufacturers should consider this and offer seats in different versions. That includes various seat widths.
  • Some people experience an unpleasant prickling in the area of the perineum and genitals while cycling. This is usually caused by excessive pressure on the nerve tracts and reduced circulation. Good pressure distribution therefore contributes to comfortable cycling along with a shape of the seat surface tailored to gender.
  • A secure sitting posture is desirable, but it should not be overly rigid. Therefore a good bicycle seat should promote dynamic pelvic movements while riding and partly absorb bumps.
  • Last but not least, all of this is also a matter of adjustment. The lengthwise tilt of the seat therefore has to be adjustable. Plenty of leeway in the longitudinal adjustment contributes to an optimum sitting position.
  • More information about ergonomic cycling:

Minimum requirements

  • Gender-specific versions
  • Various widths
  • Pressure relief in the area of the perineum and genitals
  • Optimal pressure distribution
  • Support for dynamic sitting
  • Partial absorption of vibrations
  • Facilitation of longitudinal and angle adjustment

Products in this sector with the AGR seal of approval

Manufacturer

Ergon International GmbH
Universitätsstraße 2
56070 Koblenz
GERMANY
Phone +49 261/899 99 80
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
ergonbike.com

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