In a new regular column, Sara Robin, answers all you want to know about cycling. Today she advises on how to make cycling more comfortable

Q: I don’t enjoy riding my bike as my saddle is very uncomfortable, what should I do?

A: Everyone is unique and one person’s favourite saddle may be someone else’s instrument of torture! First you need to consider your position on your bike.

Are you sitting quite upright? You find this position on old style three-speeds with swept back handlebars and also Dutch style bikes.

With this type of bike most of your weight will be on the saddle rather than the handlebars and so you need quite a wide cushioned saddle with a bit of padding.

At the other extreme you may be leaning forward with drop bars and a more aerodynamic posture.

York Press: Sara gives advice on how to get comfy riding your bikeSara gives advice on how to get comfy riding your bike

This will mean you have less weight on the saddle and more weight on the handlebars.

With this type of bike you need a narrower saddle as a wide cushioned one will probably chafe your thighs and be uncomfortable.

Hybrid bikes can be somewhere in between these extremes and so you will need a moderate amount of padding and a medium wide saddle.

READ MORE: 'How to get a young child cycling with confidence' - our new cycling column

The shape of a saddle is also important, you want the saddle to support your perch bones or ‘ischial tuberosity’.

Women’s perch bones are further apart than men’s so a wider saddle designed for a woman is usually much more comfortable for women. This is something to do with women having wider child-bearing hips!

Many saddles now come with a cut out section in the centre, again this can make a big difference to how comfortable the saddle is.

Do have a think about what you are wearing when you ride your bike. For example jeans with thick seams can be very uncomfortable. You don't need to wear cycling clothing particularly for round town short rides but do check the seams. For longer rides it is worth having a look at shorts and underwear specially designed for cycling.

A few bike shops will let you try sitting on different saddles or perhaps even a test ride.

York Press: A bike shop can help you get the right saddleA bike shop can help you get the right saddle

If you have problems finding a comfortable saddle it could be worth checking if this is possible, rather than wasting money on one that isn’t right.

Getting comfortable on your bike means that you will enjoy cycling more and you may go further and faster as well.

About Sara

Sara has been riding her bike in York and further afield since 1980. She initially got into cycling in Australia and worked as a mechanic in two bike shops in Sydney. When she moved to York Sara was a founder member of York Cycleworks which was set up as a workers coop in 1980 and she worked there in many roles until 2002. She rides one of her bikes most days and would love to encourage more people of all ages to ride bikes for getting around, shopping, commuting and leisure.

Do you have a question about cycling? Email and we will pass your question on to Sara