Even if your bike feels pretty good but your saddle isn’t level or nearly level then your fit is wrong.
Step 1, level your saddle.
At this point, if you feel like your legs are reaching, then lower your saddle about 5 mm.
Now you’re ready to address your bar position. Your pelvis’ preferred posture, its mobility and the mobility of your lumbar spine and hamstrings are what will determine your bar reach and height — even more so then your torso length and arm reach measurement will. If we don’t match the bar position to the posture where your pelvis is most stable then your saddle will be uncomfortable.
If you still don’t have a comfortable saddle, there’s a good chance that your bar position needs to be shorter and/or higher. This is not a certainty, but just highly likely. An easy way to test this is to put on a stem that has a much higher rise than your current stem. If the stem were a bit shorter too that would be helpful as well. If your saddle pressure eases, then you have your answer. If not, then your saddle discomfort is coming from a different source.
Most likely suspects?
- Saddle fore-aft isn’t balanced. The saddle should be far enough back to facilitate with pushing you back and keeping you stable on the saddle. If your hips are behind your feet then every pedal stroke when you push down is producing a counter-force that pushes you up off the saddle a little (unloading force – good) and back on the saddle (keeps your pelvis from sliding forward – also good)
- It’s just the wrong saddle — poorly matched to your anatomy. This happens a lot less often then most people think. Generally the saddle type isn’t the primary cause of discomfort.
- There is some more remote cause, like perhaps your cleat position, or you have a rotational imbalance through your torso that’s going to cause shearing across the saddle as you pedal.
Of course, there’s potentially a lot more complexity involved, but this should get you started.
He lives with his wife and two kids and runs multiple businesses in Grand Junction, Colorado.