In preparation for potentially bike touring Iceland, I’ve been riding regularly, trying to get my equipment all dialed in to fit my body and fit my needs.
I’ve never had any piece of gear be so finicky and challenging to refine. Funny thing, I don’t remember ever having any issues with the saddle of my road bike in my teens, which I did decent distances on, and certainly discomfort never crossed my mind on my BMX in my early 20s, which I rode quite seriously for hours a day. However, recently exploring a new style of using a bicycle, for loaded, day after day long distances, has been an arduous hit and miss experience of seeking correct gear, especially the saddle.
The three places a bicycle interacts with you (hands, feet, and butt), are crucial comfort points. If the weight distribution to your handlebars isn’t right or the right height, then one can get major aching and cramping in the shoulders and neck, like I do, which can also rapidly cause tension headaches. The wrong shoes, or pedals, or pedal-to-seat ratios and alignment, can cause numb toes, sore feet, and all kinds of knee trouble. Most serious of all, IMO, is the seat interface. An uncomfortable saddle is just a recipe for several kinds of hell. Continue reading Woman seeks saddle for long-term compatibility