Years ago, when my husband (then boyfriend) bought me the first bicycle I had owned in over ten years, I experienced a fair amount of discomfort to my “girl parts.” While I understood my sit bones would stop hurting after one or two rides, I explained why it would be better for him if other parts of my feminine anatomy never toughened up.
Need I say that I had a new “girl friendly” saddle by the end of the next day?
Fast forward a few years and, due to an unfortunate incident involving a rack full of bicycles popping off our car and landing on Route 495, my first saddle had to be replaced. This time, my husband bought me a Jett Women’s Saddle from Specialized which, with it’s slim profile and strategically placed comfort hole, is more comfortable than most people would believe.
Here’s the thing – when it comes to saddles, size does matter, but not in the way you think. In my experience, whenever I’ve ridden on a larger saddle, as at the gym, I experience much more discomfort than on my slim saddle.
Fast forward one more time, to this year when my husband built me a new triathlon bicycle – I have often said, I will know our marriage is in trouble when he stops building me bicycles – complete with a new triathlon saddle. The bike was beautiful – the pain in my girl parts was not.
Chatting with the guys at Bike Surgeon near St. Louis, my friend/fellow sufferer and I learned this “soft tissue pain” (their term, not mine) is not normal – which led me to the saddles from ISM. According to the site, the ISM saddles were designed by an avid cyclist who was experiencing significant pain during his rides.
Thanks to the folks at ISM, I’ve had a chance to give one of their saddles – the Adamo Prologue – a try. The saddle looks a little crazy, but makes perfect sense when you find out what inspired the design (think about something a man might be sitting on for an extended period).
But here’s what really matters – after using it several times, including at last weekend’s sprint triathlon where I placed 6th in my age group, I have ridden in comfort. The nose of the saddle is a bit wider than my other saddle, but I was able to adjust to this change after one ride.
The ISM saddles are not inexpensive – the Adamo Prologue retails for $184 – but to quote a certain credit card company, protecting your girl parts is “priceless.”
Seriously – isn’t my new bike pretty?
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