Read the full article here: Bicycling.com/heavyweight-guide-bike-buying
The Heavyweight Guide to Bike-Buying
MOLLY HURFORD X MARCH 5, 2015
From frames to tires, we look at bike parts built to last.
Denizot has noticed that many of her customers rebel against the idea of a thinner saddle and prefer wider, more padded saddles. While a cushy saddle is great for a leisurely ride, many cyclists find a stiffer, more supportive model more suitable for longer outings. “I’m consistently telling people if it’s not comfortable, go to a bike store and try a different saddle,” she explains. “We have comfortable saddles, but every person is different. I tell them to take a bike to the bike shop and ask them about saddles and try out a bunch of different ones.”
Terry Bicycles offers women-specific clothing in a wide range of sizes, but the company is also well known for its saddle selection. When it comes to plus-size women and saddles, marketing VP Paula Dyba explains, “One of the [misconceptions] that plenty of riders have is that they need a super-wide and soft saddle to be comfortable, and we sure do hear that from plus-size riders looking for plus-size saddles.”
But even a company like Terry doesn’t make a plus-size saddle, for good reason: Contrary to what you might think, sit bone width doesn’t vary according to weight. “While we don’t specifically make a ‘plus’ saddle, all our sport and touring saddles are pretty wide in the rear to support sit bones properly,” she continues. “Sit bone width doesn’t change much from female rider to female rider, but what does is the amount of a rider’s ‘padding’ and riding position.” Her suggestion? Go wide if it’s more comfortable and you’re not planning on going too fast, but keep the wide part of the saddle at the back. “More upright riding requires more width and support in the rear,” she says, “But we recommend against going too wide through the mid-section of the saddle or it can lead to inner thigh chafing and discomfort. Rule of thumb is enough width and saddle padding to support the sit bones, with a shared balance of weight distribution on handlebars, seat, and pedals.”