Asymmetric sit bones and new saddles

I thought this was pretty interesting, I did this old school measurement method on my sit bones a few times today and they all came out heavily weighted on the right hand side.

Every so often I get a small saddle sore (folliciculitis stage) and 99% of the time it’ll be on the right hand side. The latest episode occurred a couple of weeks back when I broke my summer shorts out for the first time of the season - shame on me I should have rewashed them before using them.

Anyway, so I’ve been considering if new saddles would help and thinking about upgrading to a specialized saddle with mirror. I’ve been riding the same model of saddle for 7ish years, a 155 Power Expert from Specialized. By the sizing protocols of saddles I’m on a model “too wide” with my sit bones measuring 100mm wide, but saddle comfort is something I haven’t struggled with in years, except the pesky saddle sores that sometimes arise (I’m a big volume rider).

I’m know curious how to navigate this, I don’t think a bike fit is going to tell me if a saddle is going to help with saddle sores, but also I’m curious how to navigate trying out new saddles giving this asymmetry showing just sitting on a flat surface of cardboard! Would pressure mapping on a saddle have utility or is they going to open up a rabbit hole of cleat shims and all the chat about leg length discrepancies.

We don’t even sit on sit bones in the road position. I just posted the explanation in another topic. I’ll find the link.

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I have various asymmetry issues. I seem to have been searching for the perfect saddle forever.

I’ve been riding SQ Labs (rock side to side) for a few years. They are ok but never melt away comfortable. I’m trying a SMP Drakon now and love it. It feels a little locked in with the dip in the middle but it’s certainly helped with the asymmetry. Next I want to try a little bit flatter SMP. And honestly, I bet the Drakon is perfect outside but maybe not as good locked into a trainer.

It very much helped for me and that wasn’t even the reason I went in. IMO, pressure mapping can be a game changer if there is unequal weight distribution, like I have. During my fit with the pressure mapping we were able to test different saddle angles and positions (height and setback) and pick that combination that resulted in the least pressures. For me this involved moving the saddle up and back which allowed me to rotate my pelvis forward and take pressure off the extra pointy parts of my pelvis.

So my experience with saddle sores is there are superficial issues due to chafing, sanitization, etc. What also is called a saddle sore is a bursa (ischial bursitis), which is basically a body’s response to develop a fluid filled sack under the skin due to repeated tissue trauma from the high pressures. I experience the latter and reducing pressures while pedaling has been a life changer for me.

I also found that using a saddle with minimal padding was better for me than padded saddles (but straight carbon was too hard.). With padding the side that took most of the weight would wear that side of the saddle padding faster than the other and caused its own set of problems.

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I had a great sesssion with a bike fitter yesterday, the pressure mapping showed that I run very narrow at the point of contact but also that I’m quite flexible with respect to saddles, we tried various of the widths of the model I run and all had pretty good pressure distribution.

The current fit hypothesis as it relates to saddle sores is that I’ve been running my saddle too high and one of my feet is very poorly supported by my shoe and that creates a lot of motion over the saddle. Dropping the saddle, reducing my hip angle a touch by reducing the setback and then adding more support to my foot with a bit of foam under the insole really reduced the movement over the saddle leaving me more stable and planted.

All in all a very interesting and informative experience, still dialling in the fit and time will tell
And I’ll report back!


I really don’t understand why the “sit on cardboard” method has so much traction.

If you want to understand where your sit bones are touching, just sit on the saddle, put your fingertip underneath it and then stand up. It’s always going to be narrower than the points where you sit on the cardboard (unless you are sitting bolt upright).

I ended up doing a pressure mapping session with a fitter and what it shows was essentially that I’m quite narrow on the contact points