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Saddle Discomfort in Male and Female Cyclists

September 23, 2014

Over the years i have conducted countless professional bike fits. Frequently i have cyclists coming to me suffering from "saddle discomfort". This would have to be one of the most common complaints that I run into. There multiple issues which arise as a result of direct saddle pressure to guys and girls "undercarriage". For men prostate issues can be one of the most troublesome.

Prevalent symptoms include 

  • sharp local pain

  • refered pain

  • painful urination

  • inflamation of the proatate

  • passing of blood in urine 

There is no evidence that shows cycling increases the chance of developing prostate cancer, however any of the symptoms listed above can cause a great amout of greif to the rider. Cyclists who currently have or have had prostate cancer in the past quite often resort to completely stopping riding as it can be too uncomfortable or painful to sit in the saddle.

There is one Italian saddle manufacturer who is a godsend for people suffering from saddle discomfort issues. Selle SMP has been manufacturing bicycle saddles in Italy since the 1940's. In fact they are the only major saddle company who has resisted outsourcing its manufacturing to Asia.


SMP has put a lot of thought into the design of their saddles. The large central cut-out section of the saddle, takes direct pressure off the prostate and blood vessels in men, drastically improving comfort and overall health in this area.

From my experience, approximately 1 in 3 males will suffer from genital discomfort on the bike. For women, saddle issues seem to be a little more prevalent at about 1 in 2. Selle SMP saddles come in a large range of sizes and padding levels so there is one to fit all body types.

 I could scare you all abit more with some more in-depth horror stories in relation to "saddle issues" but for now i'll let you do some of your own research. The Journal of Sexual Medicine is a good place to start. 


For any cyclist suffering from any form of saddle discomfort, I recommend booking in for a bike fit where we will be able to have a closer look at how your body and bike interact.