Technical FAQ: Saddle for ischial bursitis

  • By Lennard Zinn
  • Published Oct. 12, 2002
  • Updated Nov. 24, 2009 at 11:37 AM EDT


An orthopedic surgeon recently diagnosed me with ischial bursitis (left side).

I first experienced fairly severe symptoms last July after riding a lot of road miles in a short period oftime on my mountain bike. I stopped cycling until this spring hoping that it would just go away. I also purchased a new saddle (Selle Italia Pro Link, carbon rails) and am riding my road bike exclusively.

However, I began noticing some of the same symptoms (although less severe) recently and am concerned it will flare-up to a point that makes it impossible to ride. It seems to dissipate if I stop cycling for awhile and then re-appears after logging more miles.

The doctor said that it is primarily a pressure issue and that I should try to get a saddle that doesn’t put pressure on the bursa. Do you have any recommendations on treatment or particular saddles that may help me accomplish this goal?


Answer from Roger Minkow (designer of Specialized Body Geometry saddles): –For pain in the ischial tuberosity area, you might recommend a shock seat post for his road bike. As far as saddles go, it will be trial and error depending on where the pain is really coming from. If the pain is bursitis, a dual-density saddle with flexible areas under the sit bones may work.

Velo makes several models which he can look at. If the pain doesn’t go away with that he can experiment with a Body Geometry-like saddle assuming the pain might be radiating from a nerve or an artery which is being compressed.

– Roger

FILED UNDER: Bikes and Tech / Technical FAQ TAGS: / / /

Lennard Zinn

Lennard Zinn

Our longtime technical writer joined VeloNews in 1987. He is also a framebuilder, a former U.S. National Team rider, and author of many bicycle books, including Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance and Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance, as well as Zinn and the Art of Triathlon Bikes and Zinn's Cycling Primer: Maintenance Tips and Skill Building for Cyclists. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Colorado College. Readers can send brief technical questions to Ask LZ.

Stay updated on all things VeloNews

Subscribe to the FREE VeloNews newsletter