Novice cyclists, who after the first rides with pain from the fifth point, rush to explore the range of bike shops and find a wonderful solution to their problem - a saddle with a gel filler.
However, keen cyclists' stance on gel is almost always negative, and beginners who wander into bike forums will immediately find out that the saddle has to be narrow and hard, and any softeners are evil. Because of this controversy, do we get a decent amount of questions about this?
To clearly understand why the backside hurts on a bicycle, you need to realize that we are not sitting on the saddle with the entire area of the sirloin, but only with two ischial bones. At the same time, it does not matter what kind of fat reserve you have, all the same, in a sitting position, these bones seem to be “exposed”, so obese people are no softer to sit than thin people.
Choose a soft bike saddle? Not
It would seem that if you soften the surface of the saddle, then all the problems will be solved, but in fact this will only aggravate the problem. Due to the above anatomy, the soft tissues are not subjected to pressure, because the pelvic bones take all the load.
And if the saddle is soft, the ischial bones will go into a gel, and the muscles, blood vessels and other internal organs will constantly experience pressure from your own weight. Softness and comfort in the first hour of riding will be overshadowed by the numbness of the perineum after a few tens of kilometers.
Add to that the chafing and irritation from excessive sweating, because unlike a normal sit bone, a soft gel saddle will have a large area of skin in contact with the surface of the saddle.
Based on the above, I can only agree with seasoned cyclists who discourage newbies on the forums from buying a saddle with a gel filling.
The exception is people who are extremely far from the bike and are not going to ride it in any serious way. They rarely travel for more than an hour, with a frequency of once a month or two, and a gel saddle may be appropriate with this approach.
So, novice cyclists - bear with it, the unpleasant sensations disappear after about a dozen hours of riding, in the limit of one week. Ride every day for an hour and a half, and after five to ten days you will no longer feel discomfort on a hard saddle.
Keep in mind that padded cycling shorts are best when used with rigid sports saddles, which not only wicks away sweat, but also softens the fit where you need it.
Advanced Saddles with Gel
We need to make a small remark - there are gel saddles that are suitable for long-distance runs, but they can be very expensive and are definitely not included in the list of possible acquisitions for beginners.
They are designed in such a way as to soften the area under the ischial bones only a little, and, of course, they cannot be called soft. In addition, they have a slot in the center, which allows you to relieve the soft tissues of the pelvis.
I guess the question of whether to buy a gel bike saddle is now fully covered.