Coccyx pain

Coccyx pain when riding a bike?

With a very upright sitting position, the coccyx comes very close to the bicycle saddle. In combination with a saddle that is too soft or too narrow, this can lead to complaints. To avoid a painful coccyx - especially for women - a SQlab step saddle is recommended.

 

 

Causes of  tailbone pressure

 

 

 

Too narrow saddle

 

 

Too soft saddle

 

Too narrow saddle 

Cause - saddle too narrow 

can lead to high pressure on the tailbone

SQlab Solution 

Step saddle with pressure distribution according to medical aspects on the sit bone 

When in a very upright position, the tailbone can be very close to the saddle. In combination with a too soft or too narrow saddle this can lead to discomfort and pain. 

A SQlab steppe saddle is recommended to avoid a painful coccyx, especially in women. The SQlab saddle in the correct saddle width provides the sit bones with the perfect support so that the tailbone does not come in contact with the saddle. 

Sit bone measurement for the correct saddle width  

Too soft saddle 

Cause - too soft saddle 

leads to sinking sit bones

 

SQlab Solution 

SQlab saddle models in different saddle firmnesses adapted to riding duration and area of use

 

A too soft saddle usually becomes very uncomfortable after approx. 30 – 45 minutes on the bike.

The sit bones sink in so far, that sensitive soft tissue such as muscle and tendons are aggravated. After approx. 30 – 40 minutes a dull deep pressing pain sets in.

The sinking in of the sit bones also causes the perineal area in men and the lower positioned pubic bone arch in women to be subjected to higher pressure. Specifically, soft padding will effectively stop the blood flow. It is rare that the padding is so soft that the saddle shell causes the discomfort.

 

SQlab Solution
 
Soft saddles are generally only suitable for short distances!
The pelvis

When sitting normally, the sitbones support the body‘s weight and have the capability to withstand high pressure. This should also be the case when riding a bicycle. With an athletic riding position, the perineal area of men and the lower positioned pubic bone arch of women on the saddle.

The well branched out network of nerves and blood vessels of the perineal area reaches from the anus via the genitals to the upper pubic bone arch. On the sides it reaches past the pubic bones. 

These are capable of carrying a small weight – but a pressure reduction is essential. An even pressure reduction in the perineal area and the pubic bones is achieved through the lowered nose of our SQlab step saddle concept.

The sitting position

When sitting, the sitbones (areas marked in green) serve the purpose of supporting the body’s weight, hence they can endure a high load and pressure. They should also be utilised in this way when riding a bike.

 

In a dynamic riding position the contact point moves from the tip of the sitbones, forwards along the pubic arch to the pubic bone and the central perineal area is used for resting on for both genders. Women however, typically have a lower pubic arch which can result in higher pressure from the saddle nose when riding in a dynamic riding position. The surface area the riders weight is resting on is especially critical in a very dynamic and forward riding position and in such a case the riders weight should not only be supported in the centre but also on the pubic bone.

 

The sitbone and pubic bones both come together from their widest points in a “V” shape. This means the more dynamic the riding position, the narrower the saddle is allowed to, and should be.

Already in 2002 we developed a simple equation which uses the distance of the sitbone tips in dependence of the riding positing to calculate the perfect saddle width. This method has meanwhile been established globally. The method may be interpreted slightly differently from different saddle manufacturers and many leave the adjustment equation away all together, but our basic concept is used in all of these measuring methods.

 

The flexibility of the spine has much less influence on the positioning of the pelvis as often assumed. Spine and pelvis should remain in a natural position relative to each other and not be forced into a certain position, even if the body is very flexible.

 

Especially with the SQlab step saddle it is no longer necessary to tilt the pelvis backwards as the typical pressure zone of the perineal area and pelvis arch no longer pose a problem due to the lowered position of the saddle nose. The energy which is often required to hold the pelvis upright while the upper body taks a dynamic and forward position is no longer required with the SQlab step saddle and can instead be used for pedalling and propelling the bike forward. In addition, there is substantially less load on the spinal discs.

Saddle

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