When you're in pain, the tendency can be to make drastic changes to alleviate the suffering. But, if you change the seat position too much, while you may ease the pain temporarily, you'll surely create other problems and you might even cause an injury to your knees, back, hands or posterior. Here are some guidelines to adjusting the seat, and a few recommendations if seat adjustments don't solve your saddle sores.
Cycling Clothing Helps First, when trying to find a comfortable seat position, it's best to do so wearing cycling shorts, which are designed for pedaling with a padded and seam-free crotch (it's the seams in regular clothing, such as jeans and gym shorts, that cause a lot of saddle discomfort).
Keep The Seat Approximately Level One of the simplest seat adjustments is angling the seat slightly up or down. But, never set the nose more than three degrees lower (women can prefer slightly tipped-down seats) or higher (men can prefer slightly tipped-up seats) than parallel. Rest a straightedge on the saddle's top while making adjustments so you can gauge the amount you're tipping it and keep it within the three-degrees range. If you tip it further, you risk injury.
Don't Move The Seat To Adjust Handlebar Reach Another mistake to avoid is determining your seat position based on the reach to the handlebars. Sometimes, if it feels like the bars are too far away, you might be tempted to slide the seat forward to reduce the reach. This solves the reach problem but your seat position should be based on your relationship to the pedals, which will minimize chance of injury and maximize your power when you're riding. The correct way to make size adjustments such as reach is to change the stem length (the part that holds the handlebars) after you determine your appropriate saddle position. We can help, if you need to make changes.
Try A New Seat Something to consider if you're searching for a solution to pain and not finding it in saddle adjustment is that your seat might be the incorrect model for your anatomy. It must provide support for your pelvic bone structure along with the way you sit on and pedal your bike. If it's a poor fit, no amount of adjusting will solve the problem. The cure is to try a different seat to see if it does the trick. We have a wide selection and we can recommend models that have worked for other customers.
We Can Help Finally, we're experts in fitting bicycles and we can help with seat adjustments. If you're suffering, please speak up. It shouldn't hurt to ride your bike and we'll do everything we can to get you comfortable again.