Difference between a men´s and a women´s bicycle saddle?

 distinction between a women's and a men's saddle is not necessary with a step saddle, because the decisive factor is the seat bone distance. The correct saddle width guarantees that the sit bones rest fully on the saddle. This is the only way to relieve the sensitive perineal area in men and the usually lower pubic arch in women.


The difference between men and women

The pelvis of man and woman differ mainly in the fact that a woman's pelvis must allow birth. For us however, the contact to the saddle is of interest – and here, the difference is less than often assumed.
The concept we developed to measure the distance between the seat bones provided us with interesting insights. There were no meaningful statistics about the sit bone distance relevant for the saddle so far. When researching the Internet on the subject of sit bones, you can find a lot about e.g. shepherd dogs, but almost nothing about humans. The statistics we have developed over the years show that the distance between the sit bones of men's between 6 cm and 16 cm and between 9 cm and 17 cm for women.

Why measure sit bones? 

The sit bones are used to support the body weight during normal sitting and can absorb high pressure, this should also be the case when cycling. The sit bones are the lowest point of our pelvis and transition from the ischial branches to the pubic branches. The left and right pubic branches meet at the pubic arch, where they form the pubic symphysis. Depending on the sitting position, the bearing surface extends from the large ischial tuberosities over the ischial branches and the pubic branches to the pubic arch.

The widely branching network of nerves and blood vessels of the perineal area extends from the anus over the genitals to the upper pubic arch. Laterally, it extends over the upper pubic rami. 

These can absorb light weight - but pressure reduction is urgently needed. 


Due tothe SQlab width concept, the main load of the body weight is placed on the sit bones when cycling. A uniform pressure reduction in the perineal area and the upper pubic bones is achieved via the lowered saddle nose of the SQlab step saddle concept. 

Anatomical explanation: pelvis and sitting bones 

The difference between bike sadlles for woman and a man


The anatomical difference, which has hardly been noticed so far, is that the pubic bone is usually much lower in a woman's pelvis, which often leads to unpleasant pressure points on the saddle nose.
There are therefore many women with a very small seat bone distance and many men with a very large distance.
A measurement of the sit bone distance at the SQlab specialist dealer facilitates the right saddle choice and saves unnecessary test rides. 
This results in the most important rule for more comfort and relief on the bicycle saddle: measure the sit bone distance!
Only by measuring the distance between the sit bones and calculating the optimum saddle width is it possible to guarantee that the sit bones rest fully on the saddle. With the additional lower saddle nose, the sensitive perineal area in men and the usually lower pubic arch in women can be relieved. 
Different saddles for women and men are no longer mandatory with the SQlab saddle concept! 

In 3 steps to the right bike saddle for woman and man

Here's what to consider:

1. Measure sit bones

2. Determine the correct saddle width 

3. Suitable saddle shape for relief 

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.