I have been having issues with my pelvic bone when riding my bike. I have a very good bike, and the saddle is wide, but after riding 10 minutes my pelvic bone kills me to the point that I have to stop riding to rest it. I want to be able to ride more than this but am confused on which saddle to purchase. Some sites tell you to use a narrow seat, and others say a wide seat. What type of saddle should I look for?

  • 2
    By pelvic bone do you mean Ischial Tuberosities? Or would it be the hip joint? May 21, 2012 at 17:09
  • What kind of bike do you have? What kind of riding? Do you ride sitting upright or tucked forward? May 23, 2012 at 21:17

3 Answers 3


Saddle comfort can be tough to get just right and is very individual. You might just have to try a few saddles out...

Sheldon Brown has a lot of great information about saddle comfort here: http://sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html

Are you just getting back on a bike after not having ridden for a while? Your backside has to get used to a saddle. If you haven't ridden in a while, do some short (1 or 2 mile) rides and slowly increase the distance. Try that before you try replacing the saddle.

Those short rides in the saddle won't just help your backside break into the seat, they'll help get your riding strength up, so that more of your weight is on your feet and less on your pelvis.

How wide or narrow a saddle depends on your anatomy, your flexibility, your riding posture and your riding style. Basically you want the saddle as wide as you need it to be, but no more. Any extra width is likely to lead to chafing or soreness from the saddle pushing into things.

Your pelvis has two knobs at the back of a triangle with the point forward (essentially). Sitting down on a stool or chair, you tend to have your weight on those knobs. If you're sitting with your lower back fairly straight, you'll want a saddle that supports those two knobs, probably with a bit of padding right there. If you have your pelvis rotated forward so that you're not sitting on those knobs and are instead resting your weight on part of that triangle, you'll want a narrower saddle. You want just enough that whichever pelvic structure you're sitting on is on the saddle, with fairly little saddle to the sides of that.

And don't just go for the saddle with the most padding. A lot of people like a little padding on their saddle, but too much padding will just sort of squeeze into all the other sensitive tissues down there, which can be uncomfortable and cause nerve pinching or circulation issues. Get a saddle with just enough padding.


Hmm...I would head to your LBS and check your Sit bones to make sure your saddle is big enough. Most shops have a measuring device that allows to see where your sit bones are. I think investing some time, money into your saddle is very important.

I recently had to change my saddle and went with a Specialized Romin as the saddle was too small.

Good Luck.

  • 1
    Though, ultimately, it's "whatever works for you". May 21, 2012 at 18:01

The saddle with the right width, and with a "valley" for the crotch area will feel comfortable.

This can be a leather saddle after break-in (ex. Brooks B17 or B67), or an anatomically designed saddle, like SQ Lab. Both need to be of the right width for you.

If a saddle is too narrow, you will get sore, my experience shows that about 4-5h a day with a too narrow saddle is my limit.

If a saddle hits you around the crotch area, it will cause pain, and you cannot ride more that day. My experience is 1-2h is enough to make pain in this area, and I start feeling "I want to get off" after 5h it is terrible, and I don't want to ride for days.

See my response on this post about the details on sitbone width, and crotch area. Breaking in a Brooks B17 - sitbone width, crotch

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