If you’ve noticed holes on your bicycle seats and wondered what they were for, they are a great construction detail for pelvis comfort. When comparing bikes before purchase, one thing that springs out – and is, in fact, a distinguishing factor between prices – is the shape and build of the saddle.
Certain saddles come with a noticeable cutout in the middle and relief toward the front. The design is meant to cater to body comfort during rides.
What’s the Purpose of the Hole in a Bike Seat?
Well, the ultimate purpose it serves is comfort. If you are a seasoned cyclist, you would know how crucial it is for the saddle to be comfortable, no matter how long or short the ride may be. The hole in the bike seat is often referred to as a relief, in the sense that it functions to relieve pressure off of the delicate tissues in the pelvic region.
It is designed to regulate circulation and provide air ventilation during rides, which makes it an even more important aspect for seating, going beyond comfort, as a measure for people with certain health conditions.
Bicycle saddles have often been implicated with prostate problems. The gap or the whole reduces pressure from the genital area; each half of the saddle moves with the corresponding leg, which effectively reduces friction, and so, in turn, makes riding easier.
What Body Type Can the Cutout on a Saddle Serve Well?
Cycling ergonomics is important to take into account when deciding upon the most comfortable saddle type. Physical requirements vary with people and biking gear preferences are not the same either. So, naturally, you would want to pick out a seat that fits your body type well.
Typically, long grooves or cutouts at the center are seats designed for women and the design is based on a more common, narrower shape, mimicking the female pelvis. But note the word typically; meaning that anybody with a narrower pelvic or a similar bone structure can opt for these saddles.
And anyone with a wider bone structure should generally opt for one without a crevice. The hole at the center, that is the relief, will allow for free movement of the thighs without chafing.
Related reading: Why Does My Bike Seat Keep Tilting?
Does a Hole in the Saddle Only Serve a Particular Body Type?
The answer is no. While it was essentially designed with narrower pelvic shapes in mind, it can be extremely beneficial for more intense, aggravated rides such as on mountain roads or off-trail rides. The canal offers ventilation and proper circulation, while also protecting delicate tissues so it becomes easier to direct weight and balance with ease.
But gel pads can often be troublesome to use and dips can accumulate rainwater, so it is simply easier with creviced saddles to ease pressure and allow for a more comfortable ride.
Related reading: How To Make Bicycle Seat More Comfortable?
In summary, finding the right saddle can be a long process, but once you get your right fit, riding becomes all the more pleasurable. Having said that, there is not much that can go wrong with a creviced seat.