Most people who have never sat on a narrow racing saddle almost cringe with pain merely at the thought of balancing their body on what appears a knife-edge.
But this design is far more comfortable than it looks, and in order to maximise power and efficiency, this shape is ideal for freer and faster pedalling.
Many modifications have been made to ease the worst pressure points, with extra padding in the most sensitive areas.
The days when a leather saddle had to be broken in over many painful hours are also long gone.
But the simple fact is that, within reason, any cyclist's physiology gets used to the shape of their saddle.
Most saddles now use synthetic materials - and riders often have their own individual woven designs in the top of the saddle.
The post upon which the saddle sits is usually made of an exotic material like carbon fibre.
It is often shaped in a bladed aerodynamic design rather than a circular cylinder throughout its length.
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