If you’re looking for a bicycle saddle because you want to upgrade the basic saddle that your bike came with, or you need a new one for whatever reason – then I think I have a brilliant suggestion. I was looking for a new bicycle saddle because my basic one was leading me to experience some numbness in my gentleman’s area, even with shorts. I decided that this was unacceptable, and started looking for another saddle.
Now, the first saddle that I tried was one that I already had in my house – namely my Brooks leather saddle – a Brooks Flyer. Don’t get me wrong, riding the Brooks got rid of the problem straight away, and the Brooks is a very comfortable ride. It does present a few problems however. The first is that you cannot leave a leather saddle outside because rain would ruin a leather saddle. The second problem is that at £125 price tag – a Brooks saddle is a desirable (not to mention relatively small) item and it does attract a lot of thieves; just check eBay at any time for the large number of Brooks saddles for sale which are “no longer needed”.
Because of the reasons mentioned above, I set about looking for a saddle that would relieve the pressure down there at the same time as being weather proof and with a price tag that would make the saddle less desirable and/or not upset me too much if it did get stolen. I went to a few retail stores to see what saddles they offered in the under £50 range which would avoid excessive pressure on the perineum (the soft bits between your sitting bones which contain nerves and blood vessels that supply your private parts). It turns out there was precious little offered. The budget saddles were full of gimmicks such as bits of sponge that made the whole saddle soft, or the seemingly magical “gel” inserts that invited buyers to touch the gel, as if this would ascertain the comfort of the saddle when sat on. Let me tell you – soft saddles are not good for you, because as you sit on them, all that softness is taken up quite quickly by your sitting bones, leaving a dome of compressed material pressing onto the soft bits in the middle. The gel is not much better, as most of it is far too soft.
So the answer, in general is to opt for a saddle which is not too soft. Most high end saddles are hard and they are like this for a reason. Your sitting bones are placed on the hard surface and the natural space between the sitting bones along with either a scooped area or hole running down the centre of the saddle serve to create a space such that a minimal amount of pressure is placed on the perineum.
Enter the Rido R2 which retails at £42.50 from http://www.rido-cyclesaddles.com/ The owner of the company was kind enough to send me one of their saddles to review. I found the saddle to be very strange at first. The angle at which I set the saddle was not correct for me and after a couple of adjustments I was able to set myself up with a position that provided the optimal comfort.
I have been riding the saddle for the past month and it has been great. It’s been at least as comfortable as my Brooks saddle, if not better. This alone makes the saddle good value for money as the price of the R2 is half that of the average Brooks saddle. The back of the Rido R2 is shaped such that when I ride the R2 I can move back and forth to find the spot that best suits my sitting bones. Furthermore, there is a space between the two angled parts at the back of the saddle, which has meant that I felt no pressure on the perineum whatsoever, and I’ve had no discomfort or numbness since.
Last but not least – as you’ll be able to tell from the pictures, I’ve used the saddle well, it’s been on my bike for over a month, and I have no plans to take it off either, which is testament in itself. I give the R2 5 stars.