If you say, “I want one of those BIG, WIDE, SOFT, GEL, seats because I ain’t gonna have no sore bottom!” I get pretty frustrated. Especially if you are road biking or mountain biking. Recreational cruisers are a different story. But there is no doubt THIS, is worse for you than THIS. Call me crazy, here is why.
Simply put, you’re squishing all your sensitive muscles and surrounding nerves riding a thickly padded/wide seat. Your anatomy is designed to support your weight relying on your sit bones. Not your muscles. Over a long ride you are going to find your butt sore because they are tense from trying to give your body a solid platform of which to drive power off of.
But don’t let me get ahead of myself here, as anyone begins riding on a more anatomically designed/thin saddle, you will no doubt be sore at first. There is the potential for your bones and surrounding muscles to become slightly bruised on long rides and unfortunately you have to suck it up and get use to it. Generally, it should go away after you ‘acclimatize’ your butt. (hehe) Don’t give up, your body will adapt!
Having a saddle which your sit bones are issued the main weight also relieves pressure off of ‘sensitive areas’, and allows proper blood flow to all areas contacting the seat. (Wait Paul! I’m confused, you say its a saddle, then you call it a seat. Are they the same thing? Well plain and simple, I believe a seat is something you rest your lazy butt on, a saddle is a cockpit made for you to work your ass off.) So yes, a thin, narrower saddle is better. At least for the enthusiast through professional rider.
Note* Big seats are just fine on beach cruisers because you shouldn’t realistically be riding more than 4-5 miles at a relaxed speed. I’m referring to cyclist who are going on 15-60 mile training rides, or workouts.
Most of the time serious riders just have to guess which saddle might be good, try something out, and either be happy, or try something else. It’s a personal preference to what you will end up liking the best. Trial and error. I think it comes down to an educated guess.
So it is my encouragement to new riders to not just buy a saddle because it looks way more comfortable with it’s extra padding, you’re literally kicking yourself in the butt. There’s so much more about saddles I could talk on but for now, you know why my seat looks so uncomfortable, and you hopefully people will stop asking me if my butt hurts after I ride.