How to set up the saddle position to increase comfort and efficiency: First you need a bike saddle with the correct saddle width as shown in our first video on how to select the correct saddle. To be in the best position on that bicycle saddle, whether you’re on a road bike, mountain bike or trail bike, your sit bones should be over the comfortable portion of the saddle, your arms slightly bent to absorb shock, and saddle height set to give a slight bend at the knee with your hips slightly bent forward to reach the handlebars. If you find you have to stretch far forward to reach the handlebars, this may cause your hips to roll forward and place undue pressure on the prudential nerves and arteries resulting in pain, discomfort and possible dysfunction. Fore aft position on the seat is also critical to place your sit bones on the sweet part of the saddle. As you move forward on the saddle or bend forward to become more aerodynamic, as with a time trialist or triathlete, more pressure is also placed on the pelvic nerves and arteries and you are no longer over the saddle sweet spot, again causing discomfort. To setup saddle height, also make sure you have a slight bend at the knee. If the leg is too far extended (straight) at the bottom of the pedal stroke, you will find your hips tend to rock back and forth. If you knee is overly bent, you’ll lose power. Incorrect setup of seat height can be inefficient and uncomfortable. Next check seat tilt. If the bike seat is tilted to far forward, you’ll get discomfort and numbness in the hands and arms. If the seat is tilted to far back, you’ll get discomfort in the saddle area. You may have to play with these positions to find what is best for you.
Correct cycling position will allow for longer rides and better performance and decrease soreness not only in the buttocks region but also arms, shoulders, and knees. Note check cleat position to counter foot discomfort.
Also see our video on bike fit.