Introducing The Performance Saddle Selection System
Saddles are funny things. If there’s one place on a bicycle to spend some money on an upgrade, pretty much any cyclist will tell you it’s the saddle. Because everyone is different, no one saddle can work for everyone, and every rider has different preferences. There are some riders who can sit down on pretty much anything and think everyone else is being whiny, while others swear by only one brand and model and hoard them in fear of a future product discontinuation.
In fact, for many dedicated cyclists, saddle choice can come to rival religion. Walk down the Performance Home Office hallways and you’ll see pretty much every model of Fizik, the odd Selle Italia Flite, Fabric Scoop, Prologo Nago, and even a few Specialized Romin’s and Bontrager saddles. And each of those owners will swear that their saddle of choice is the best saddle ever made.
So which saddle is right for you? That’s hard to say. There are a lot of variables that go into it, so trying to predict which saddle will be right for any individual is pretty difficult. Sit bone width, pressure sensitivity, nerve and arterial depth, flexibility. And even after you account for that, a lot of it can come down to simple rider preference—how you like the bike to feel under you.
If this all sounds bewildering, don’t worry. There are a few systems that can help you find the right saddle for you.
At Performance Bicycle, we believe that proper saddle fit always starts with sit bone width. To that end we’ve partnered with WTB to offer the Performance Saddle Selection System in each of our Performance stores locations. This unique system will allow the Spin Doctor® technician or sales associate to determine your sit bone width in store.
Basically here’s how it works.
- You simply bring your bike to a Performance shop (we can use a shop bike, but to get the most accurate assessment, we always prefer to use your own bike for a saddle fitting)
- The associate will put your bike in a trainer and have you pedal a bit to get an impression of your riding position and style
- The associate will then place the Saddle Selection System on your saddle, and have you resume pedaling. The System uses pressure-sensitive gel to capture an impression of your sit bones.
- The associate then measures the width of the impressions, as well as makes an assessment of your riding position and style
- These measurements give the associate a saddle fit code. Using that we can then recommend a saddle that will be right for you
- Each saddle in our retail stores and online comes with a fit code that corresponds to your sit bone measurements and riding style. So once the Saddle Selection System tells you what your code is, you can shop from our huge array of saddles both online and in-store using that code.
Remember though, sit bone width is just the starting place. To give the associate a better sense of why your current saddle isn’t working, you might want to really think about where you’re having issues. Things like:
- Discomfort during hard efforts
- General Discomfort
Some of these issues can have other causes that aren’t related to your actual saddle (like the seat height being too high, or the saddle being set too far back) so it might be a good idea to call ahead and ask about a Spin Doctor® Bike Fit when you come in.