A bike seat that pampers your private parts
June 23, 2005
Don’t think me perverse, but everyone should get intimate with their anatomy before shopping for a bike saddle. Because, let’s face it, your private parts must be comfortable with what they’re being intimate with, whether on a half-hour jaunt on paved roads or an all-day tour of the backcountry. And nothing’s more disappointing, after a hard day of riding, to have to say, “Honey, I just can’t tonight … I’m too sore down there.”Women often have it tougher than men when choosing the right seat for their seats. Most bikes come with a standard men’s saddle, narrow and long. Women’s “sit bones” (ischial tuberosities) – the bones under the fleshy part of your butt that you feel when you sit on a hard surface – tend to be wider than men’s. Imagine what happens, then, when a girl’s sit bones straddle the saddle. Ouch.Somebody once said, “A bike saddle is like true love – sometimes you have to play the field before you find it.” I’d recommend playing the field. Some bike shops let you try out a few saddles before buying one.I learned the hard way. After a fair share of tumbles and a whole new set of scars after buying a Cannondale Scalpel bike from Ajax Bike and Sports last year, I finally decided it was time to fiddle with the parts.Craig at Ajax had suggested that I might need a new seat, but I let my butt get mighty sore before I got around to it. On the last day of a weeklong bike trip, a bike-shop guy spent some time with my anatomy (don’t let your mind go there – I sat on a butt-shaped cushion that left an indentation so he could measure the width of my sits bones) – and suggested the Terry Liberator X.Founded by mechanical engineer Georgina Terry 20 years ago, Terry makes some of the best women’s saddles around. Designed by an all-female team, they were the first to have the hard plastic in the saddle’s center cut away. The Liberator X has a wide, contoured rear, and, according to Terry’s website, “a larger cutaway for relief and increased ventilation.” The base is light poly plastic, with chromoly steel rails and multidensity foam padding under leather casing. Men also started demanding a comfortable ride, prompting Terry to produce a men’s line.Check out Terry’s wide array of seats, from recreational to racing saddles, at http://www.terrybicycles.com. Ajax Bike and Sport, Aspen Velo and the Hub all carry Terry seats. The Liberator X retails for $54.99 at Ajax.