Bike Saddles And Female Anatomy

bicycle seats for women

Bike Saddles and Female Anatomy

If you are an avid cyclist, then you already know how much time your backside spends on the saddle. Without a properly fitting saddle designed for the female form, those hours can translate into serious discomfort and even sores. Understanding the way the female anatomy interacts with the bike saddle will help understand why this is a common problem. 

Women are often reluctant to share the pain they are experiencing "down there". It can be embarrassing and we sometimes may think we are the only woman experiencing saddle discomfort. The opposite is actually more true. More often than not women are experiencing some level of discomfort when cycling, caused by an improperly fit bike seat. 

Consider this women's bike saddle experience from Christine Warren.

Christine is a triathlete who competes in the 70.3 IronMan races. During the week she trains up to 17 hours in the saddle and oftentimes does 4-5 hour rides on the weekends. Over the years she tried every different brand and type of women's saddles and finally decided that riding was just painful and that she was always going to be dealing with saddle sores. The sores got to the point where Christine even required a medical procedure to help relieve some of her pain.

christine best womens bike saddleBest Bike Saddle for Women

Posterior Women's Bicycle Saddle Discomfort

Women often find that their backsides are sore after a long ride. If the women's bike saddle is a leather or plastic model with minimal padding, and it continues to make the butt or perineal sore after a proper break-in period, then the pain is likely due to a saddle that is the wrong shape for the woman's anatomy, placing pressure on all the wrong areas.

According to Lovely Bicycle, "If it still hurts just the same after a reasonable break-in period, and the pain feels to be the result of pressure on the sit bones, then the saddle may be wrong for your derriere." This often happens because the saddle is too narrow for a woman's wider sit bones. Also, women tend to cycle a little less aggressively than male cyclists, so the bum gets more pressure from the seat.

One commenter found that narrow or wide could both cause problems. She said, "I'm sure there's plenty of ladies with . . . wide sit bones, but this is not always the case. A too-wide saddle is just as uncomfy as a too-narrow one."

womens sit bone bike seat anatomyWomens best bike saddle


Genital Discomfort

Labial discomfort occurs when the vaginal lips bunch up and press into the saddle on a road bike. A saddle with cutout in the center can help, but it has to be positioned exactly for the woman's individual anatomy, which is almost impossible. Instead, applying cream or even Vaseline to the vaginal area before riding can help lubricate the area and prevent painful abrasions from the friction.

Pain is not the only problem women have. One anonymous commenter said, "After an hour or two of cycling, my [genital area is] numb and sore." This type of problem is caused by pressure. Cream will not help with women's bicycle saddle pressure. Lovely Bicycle recommends tilting the saddle down to take the pressure off, but this may put too much pressure on the arms and hands and create a painful ride. Instead, we recommend experimenting with different saddles until you find one that works with your anatomy and avoids the painful perineal pressure.

If you have already tried multiple saddles and still cannot get comfortable, then we recommend taking a look at BiSaddle. BiSaddle is an adjustable saddle. Meaning you can adjust the shape of BiSaddle to custom fit your body and riding style. And, if your riding style or body shape change, you can simply re-adjust for ultimate comfort.

Check out BiSaddle @