Scientists have measured sit bone spacing for large populations. On average, men’s sit bone width ranges between 100mm – 140mm (give or take a few mm to round), and women’s range between 110mm – 150mm. Graphing these two averages shows an overlap of 30mm between men and women’s average sit bone spacing. This dispels the myth that saddles are gender specific, and the marketing hype that women must ride a wider saddle. What this means for YOU is that it is worth your while to measure your sit bones in order to find a saddle that best matches your anatomy and your riding style.
If you have a willing partner, use a measuring tape, assume the position and measure away! Or, if you are alone, place a piece of paper on top of a foam-like surface and sit down on it hard. Make sure you are sitting upright, which will push your sit bones into a vertical position. Your sit bones will leave an indentation on the paper. Use a measuring tape to measure the space between the indentations in millimeters not inches.
Once you have the measurement, add 2cm (or 20mm). Saddle width is approximate to sit bone spacing + 2cm. With leather saddles like a Rivet, you definitely want to add that 2cm, because you do not want to be sitting on the metal frame of the saddle. You want to be seated between the edges of the frame. What if the saddle’s more than 2cm wider than sit bone spacing? You may experience rubbing/chafing on the inner thighs, and or extra pressure on your hamstrings. You may find yourself moving up onto the nose of the saddle, which will put more pressure on your soft tissue. Overall, too narrow is typically worse than too wide because the saddle will naturally migrate up into the pubic area filled with soft tissue and nerve endings.
The chart above shows our three Rivet saddles and their range for riders. The Diablo, at 150mm wide is our narrowest saddle, the new Independence at 160mm wide is in the middle and the Pearl at 170mm wide is our widest saddle. This should help provide a rough guesstimate to determine which saddle might best suit you.
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