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Female Paralympian calls for improved saddle design

Hannah Dines spent years believing an injury caused by her saddle was a necessary “sacrifice” for her sport.

The Scottish Paralympic cyclist required surgery as a result of the saddle on her trike bike causing her painful vulva injury.

Following her surgery, Hannah has now called for further research into the design of saddles for women. She said on the BBC 5 Live show:

The 25-year-old has now called for more research into saddle design for women.

“I had to go through several surgeries to try and alleviate the pain,”

“It’s pretty frightening but at the same time I was having the time of my life and I thought maybe this is the sacrifice for sport that everyone talks about.

“Push through the pain to be stronger and fitter – but it’s not good to ignore in this case.”

Hannah, 25, has cerebral palsy and struggled with persistent pain for five years as a result of being an elite athlete. When the pain became unbearable, Hannah had no option but to undergo surgery. Hannah is hopeful that with better data and research, cycling conditions and saddles can be improved for women, she said:

“There have been efforts to start designing seats better for women but there needs to be data from actual women – the way women [compared to men] sit when you go fast or when you’re a racer, when you want to get aero, and you’re rotating really far down and holding on to handlebars really low…

“Get women in and create something brand new. I think that has to happen.”

Hannah is making a good recovery and hopes to qualify for Tokyo 2020.

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