Having been scheduled for a prostate
operation and its implications on my cycling, I did some research and
eventually found Bicycle Seats.com, who have a range of saddles specifically
designed for prostate victims. How fortunate that I found this firm, who were
so caring, friendly and prompt in their response to my queries. They recommended the Easy Seat deluxe saddle
for me, and offered me a full refund if I was not satisfied. If you need
sincere advice, I would really recommend consulting this firm. After nearly 3 weeks of using the saddle, I
am happy to report that I am very satisfied with my purchase. However there is scant definitive information
on setting it up, which is a new experience for cyclists who are totally
unaccustomed to riding a noseless saddle, and I thought it would be valuable
for the cycling community to have some reference document that is practical,
and that could be helpful. So here is my experience.
I am a 74 year old man who believes
firmly in the tenet of good eating, mental stimulation and exercise as the
basic ingredients to sustain one’s health in one’s senior years. All in
moderation, but very necessary. I do not
cycle to excess, and my routine consists of leisure and city cycling – I do
about 7 to 10 kms daily, as frequently as possible, and prefer quiet routes
around our home in Vancouver which offer varied degrees of inclines and
The first and most important point that I
wish to make is that you have to give this saddle a fair try. Bicycle Seats suggest 3 weeks to break in
both the saddle and yourself, and this is a fair estimate. Reading the adverse
posts regarding this saddle, I feel that the writers did not give it a fair
try. There is no doubt that a noseless saddle takes some getting used to, and
although I am now convinced that my settings are as accurate as they will ever
be, and I am able to ride long distances without discomfort, it will never feel
the same as a conventional saddle. However, unless I specifically think of my
saddle, it just doesn’t come to mind and I am unaware of any conscious
discomfort. The main thing is that there is no pressure on the sensitive
perineum area. The MAIN disadvantage is that one loses one’s natural cycling
instinct to use one’s thighs over the nose to assist in steering - an
unconscious facility which comes naturally when one learns to ride. You suddenly become aware of how much you
rely on the nose for steering, which you’ve always taken for granted, and
suddenly you find that you have to rely totally on your handle bar contact for
stability. With this sort of saddle you
will NEVER be able to ride with your hands off the handle bar – which you’re
going to have to accept. To overcome
this setback, it is ESSENTIAL that you purchase a good mirror to watch the
traffic behind you, as you may lose stability the moment you try and look over
your shoulder, with possible disastrous results. I cannot stress the importance of this enough. But don’t let that turn you off. Once you’ve set up your saddle properly,
particularly your handle bar height, and have gotten the ‘feel’ of this new
style of riding, you’ll be just fine. I
repeat – YOU HAVE TO GIVE THIS SADDLE A FAIR CHANCE BEFORE YOU CONDEMN IT.
Now to the setting-up part, which for me
was a process of trial and error and reference to the many, and often diverse,
suggestions for setting it up. Don’t
worry if your initial settings don’t work when you try them on the road for the
first time. You’re going to have to do a
lot of tweaking over a few days until you find the ‘sweet spot’ and it will
take about a week to get the feel of the settings, when you will intuitively
feel that the saddle needs to be raised slightly, or moved back or forward, or
the gap adjusted or the handle bar raised or lowered. Also, until you get used to it, you’re going
to feel pretty tired after each session and your joints will be feeling the
effects as well. This WILL happen, so
be patient, and hopefully my guidelines will assist you to adjust
1. Firstly, start off and set up the
saddle as if it were an ordinary saddle, and follow the usual guidelines
without getting too technical. In fact,
the Bicycle Seat.com site has some good suggestions for getting started. There are many very technical references on
the web for setting up a bicycle saddle, but if you’re just a casual, keep fit
cyclist like me, I find that the ‘keep it simple-stupid’ method is probably the
2. If you already have a saddle
installed correctly and its not a new bike, then simply replace the old saddle,
and position it so that it corresponds with the rear position of your old
saddle. Adjust the gap in the middle to
be similar to the corresponding area of the conventional saddle. Don’t think that you have to make it wider
apart. More of this later.
3. Sit on the saddle in a doorframe
with somebody to assist you if possible, and set the height to correspond with
the usual ‘leg extended – heel on pedal – straight line’ guideline, which
always works. I have tried the suggested
method of optimizing the height by the 109% method, but this depends very much
on having purchased a bike which was carefully selected from the start. In my case this didn’t work as my legs did
not fully extend when I pedaled, so I went back to the tried and trusted method
I’ve just mentioned.
4. The next important step is to
adjust the forward-aft position, and for this I used the ‘relaxed horizontal
crank position’ where a weighted string held on the bone below the kneecap
intersected the center of the crank.
5. Start off with the saddle
inclination pointing up slightly. A noseless saddle tends to
force you to slide forward, and you need to counter that.
6. Now adjust your handle bar
height. Start off with it on a level
with the center point of the saddle, and then raise it just a little more –
maybe a centimeter at the most. A noseless
saddle of this type requires that you cycle in an upright position to take the
pressure off your wrists.
7. You’re now ready for your first
ride. Take your saddle and handle bar
adjustment tools with. Get on the bike in a quiet area. Make sure your mirror is adjusted so that you
can see clearly behind you, and take off!
Your first attempt is going to make you feel awful, and wondering why
you bought the darn thing in the first place. But remind yourself that it is
going to take at least a week before you even start to get the feel of it, so
convince yourself that you’re going to give it a fair try.
8. From this point, stop frequently
and make adjustments as you feel necessary.
The three main considerations are:
DON’T make more than
one adjustment at a time – don’t feel that you should raise the saddle and
lower the handle bars in one go. Give
each adjustment time to ‘get the feel’ of it.
adjustments at a time. Even a few
millimeters can make a difference.
Concentrate ONLY on
the particular adjustment for that ride.
Ride short distances and experiment only with that adjustment and then
go home, until the next day – or maybe later in the day. DON’T RUSH IT.
9. Start by having a narrow gap
between the two parts of the saddle.
Don’t think that a wide gap will sit easier on your buttocks. Again – look at the width of the ‘missing
part’ of your conventional saddle.
10. Probably the first adjustment will be the inclination
of the saddle. If you keep sliding
forward, tilt it up – but not too much.
This adjustment can be deceiving as it is inter-related with both the
forward-aft position and height.
11. When you feel that the tilt is optimum – even though
you may still be sliding – then try adjusting the forward-aft position- but
only a little at a time.
12. Next go for the saddle height – try moving it
slightly up or down. I found that a
single, small adjustment here can make a heck of a difference.
13. Next try the for-aft position in the same way.
14. The last saddle adjustment should be the width of the
gap. Remember you’ll start off with a
pretty small gap, so you can progressively widen it to the most comfortable
15. FINALLY try raising the handle bars – but be careful
you don’t pull them right out of the tube.
This could be potentially disastrous!
16. Try this procedure every day for a week, and you
should then start feeling that the adjustments are more intuitive as the saddle
wears in, together with your personal ‘feel’ for this new experience. If you feel after 3 weeks that you’ve
genuinely given it a good try, then consider returning it, but remember that it
IS going to be VERY uncomfortable at first, and, like I said at the beginning,
it requires a new – unnatural way of riding a bicycle, and although it may feel
different if you consciously think of it, for the most part you will not be
aware of any discomfort.
17. As a parting comment, I make use of the free
Runtastic Road Bike app which is available for the IPhone, and really provides
a good record of your cycling experience.
I also have one of those little cycling computers which gives you
ongoing information about your speed, distance, cadence etc, as I am not keen
to have my valuable Iphone mounted on the handle bars in case I DO take a
tumble – which is always possible as a cyclist.
AND REMEMBER THE MIRROR.
I hope you will find some value in this
article and wish you happy cycling with your new Easy Seat. I also urge you, if you need to make further
enquiries about a suitable seat for you prostate problems, to look at the
Bicycle Seats website http://www.bicycleseats.com/prostate-relief-seats.html?source=gawprostatebicycle
and to contact them with your specific problems.