Saddle tilt, climbing, butt tenderness question

I have noticed that my butt (ischial tuberosities/butt bones) seem to get sore when climbing for an extended period of time, after about 30 minutes of continuous climbing.
I do NOT get this same soreness on a “regular” ride with ups and downs in elevation spread out over the entire ride (100+Kms).
I am thinking to try and tilt the nose of my saddle down a bit more (currently I am close to level or -1 to -2 degrees) but wanted to see if the community had any other comments or suggestions?

What saddle are you using?

Something like a Specialized Power has very aggressive Ischial support. You may be incorrect on your thought as to which way to tilt your saddle, if your Ischaial tuberosities are getting sore then the nose needs to be tilted up which puts more pressure on the Perennial

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Many factors here I would experiment with:

Saddle Tilt
New Bibs - this can make a huge difference
Arched back vs. Rounded back
Seat Height to help with the back adjusment
Gearing/Cadence/i.e. Are you bouncing?

One tip re: Tilt – make sure the front of the saddle isn’t applying pressure to your sensitive spot when you get in an aero position. If it is, try tilting it down more.

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IMO bad idea. You’re going to potentially create a new problem especially if everything is working while riding rolling terrain.


I am using a Giant knock off of the specialized power saddle I think, the Giant Fleet.
Maybe it is tilted too far down at the nose?
I have not perennial issues so maybe I will double check my current saddle tilt and potentially go up to level?
I have 2 questions with measuring tilt:

  • Do you use a phone app or a short spirit level? I have found inconsistent measurements when using my phone app when flipping my phone to measure on the opposite long edges of the phone if that makes sense. The negative value on one side of the phone doesn’t match the positive angle value when I flip the phone.
  • My other issue is deciding how far back on the saddle to place the phone or level to take the measurement as the farther you go back the greater the negative tilt as the saddle raises slightly as you go back. Also, with the cut out in the middle it is hard to know how to place your level on the saddle to take the measurement.

Any tips and tricks are appreciated. Thank you

My dead simple measurement tools are a clip board or similar flat item large enough that fully engages the front and rear of the saddle combined with a gravity style angle finder placed on top of the flat part.


Make sure the bike is on a level surface if possible, or at the very least use the same angle finder to check how much you are off angle, and then take that into account for setting the saddle.

For most saddles with a “kick” that is common with these short nose saddles, 1-2* nose down is a decent start. Another “shotgun” option is to ignore all that, start by eye balling the middle portion of the saddle level and then tune from there.


Stop using the saddle surface for trying to document tilt level and how it felt to you - instead start using the saddle rails (flat spot with a good level or your phone) and measure that way.

Honestly, in my opinion stop worrying about level or tilt numbers and focus on how it “feels”. If it feels like it has too much pressure in your front (perennial) then tilt the nose down in small increments. If you have too much pressure in your Ischial then tilt your nose up in small increments.

If you are only having soreness in your Ischial and its only when climbing for a long period of time (30mins is pretty long), you may find that your issue is the fact you need to stand up more often even if its for a few seconds.


Just wanted to add a comment to your post Chad

  • 1-2* nosed down when you are measuring the end/tip of the nose/saddle ONLY. If you do the clip board method of the entire saddle it will me more than 1-2*
  • I’m guessing you mistyped something here? You seem to be using the same numbers in both ends.

The power saddle in particular is shaped like the picture I attached. If you measure the entire saddle surface you are not getting an accurate measurement or angle of the flat/sit area of the tip.

The power saddle in my example is designed to support the ischial tuberosities while rolling you onto your pubic bones for a more aggressive position.

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I use this app. It has a couple different level tools. I like the bubble surface level. I run a saddle with a channel that has a limited flat area where you measure tilt from and my iPhone is actually the perfect size and width to sit in flat in the right spot.

As for where to measure, I run a Fizik Aliante that’s got a kicked up rear and there is a video on exactly where to measure level from. Worth a google search for whatever saddle you are dealing with if its not obviously flat.

I use a Specialized Power saddle and use the flatter front end to see how it inclined. I use a phone app just to check what adjustment I did. I check the angle before and after adjustment. For me it is better to do it this way than always trying to find the actual seat angle.

I use the “measure” app on the iphone - for me using a EC90 (knock off power saddle) - 6 degree forward tilt is the way to go. I standardized how my phone fits in the groove in the cutout - just make sure you put your phone in the same place each time for consistency.

Long time ago a fitter (from my only fit in 2009) told me specialized saddles are meant to be tilted forward slightly (who knows if this is actually true…) and it worked wonders for me.