EasySeat Seat Adjustment Tips

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 variation.

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 speedily. 

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 best.


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:


a.       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.


b.      Make SMALL adjustments at a time.  Even a few millimeters can make a difference.


c.       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 position.


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.