2. What kind of bike? Does it fit? + Saddle chat

What kind of bike do I need?

Excellent Choices

  • Road bike
  • Touring bike

Good Choices

  • Hybrid
  • Cyclo-cross
  • Non-suspension mountain bike with road bike tyres

Bad Choices

  • Dutch city bike
  • Any other mountain bike
  • Folding bike
  • Fixed Gear / Single Speed / Track bike
  • E-bike (you won’t be able to charge it)
  • Triathlon bike
  • Unicycle
  • Penny-farthing

Does my bike fit me?

If you’ve had your bike a while and been on some long rides, then you’ll generally know if this is the case or not.

Badly fitting bikes will commonly cause discomfort in the back, shoulders, knees or bum.

If you are not comfortable on the bike after a few rides, look at how it’s set up and make some adjustments.

You can raise or lower the saddle and handlebars, as well as change the distance between the two by moving the saddle back or forward.

If you talk to a regular cyclist or someone that works at a bike shop, they will be able to help you with this. If you don’t like talking to people, there’s loads of info online.

FAQ: How do I find a good saddle for a person with a vag?!

This is such a good question with such a crap answer. Bodies and riding styles are so unique that you will only know a good saddle when you find one!

But the search need not be totally painful. Here are some suggestions that previous cyclists have offered:

💬 Your local bike shop (i.e. not Halfords 😅) might offer a saddle fitting service that will include trial of a few different saddles.

💬 London Bike Kitchen have a library of saddles that you can borrow to try before you buy (and it’s run by women!)

💬 Research suggests the shape of your ‘lady bits’ could determine the perfect saddle. As a result, I now use the Specialised Power Mimic saddle, which works really well for me, but it’s definitely an individual thing.

💬 To learn your unique bum shape, you can sit on a big piece of tin foil on top of a soft(ish) chair. The impression will show you where you might need extra support.

💬 Comfort also depends on your riding position. More upright position = more pressure on your sit bones. More ‘racey’ position = more pressure on other bits!

💬 You can also play around with how your saddle is fitted to the bike. See this guide on Total Women’s Cycling. I found that tilting ever so slightly forward helped for me.

💬 I can vouch for the Selle Italia Womens gel saddle. Probably worth testing some in person if you can though.

💬 I bought a gel seat cover which is a life saver for long rides. Other people find them uncomfortable though. Try it out!

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