How to Make Your Bike Seat More Comfortable
Today we’re going to talk about how to make your bike seat more comfortable so that you can truly enjoy your biking experience. Biking, and especially mountain biking, is one of our favorite things to do for exercise. Our love for the sport is why we started mountain bikes lab, and one of our goals is to get as many people as possible interested in the great sport of biking. It is a fun way to get outdoors, get some exercise, and generally have a great time. However, one of the main issues many beginner bikers have is that their seat is never quite comfortable which really discourages people from experiencing everything that biking has to offer.
How to Make Your Bike Seat More Comfortable
Almost everyone has had an uncomfortable seat in the past, and if you have you’ll know that being uncomfortable while you’re sitting is one of the worst things in the world, especially if you have to sit there for a long time. This is even more true for an uncomfortable bike seat as all the movement can really exacerbate the issue.
In this article were going to give you some of our professional tips on how to make your bike seat more comfortable. These easy and accessible tips will make your ride far more comfortable and make you much more willing to get out and hit the trail. Also these tips will apply to every type of bike including mountain bikes, electric bike, road bikes, or even cruisers.
So how exactly can you make your bike seat more comfortable? Keep reading and we will reveal all the secret, and not so secret tips on how to make your bike seat more comfortable.
Adjust the seat height
Our first and most obvious tip on how to make your bike seat more comfortable is to adjust the actual height of your bike seat. Nowadays almost every commercial bike in the world has an adjustable seat height however many people do not think to change it.
Having your bike seat too high or too low can be a big issue not only for comfort, but safety as well which is why this is our first tip. After adjusting the height of your bike seat your leg should fully extend, that means no bend in your knee, right as you reach the bottom of your pedal. This means while sitting you should be able to fully extend your leg without lifting your body off of the seat. Doing this puts you in an optimal pedaling position while spreading your weight effectively between your arms, legs and buttocks.
While it may seem obvious to some of you this is an often overlooked tip and can be the solution to many sore seat complaints.
Adjust the seat angle
The second tip is a bit more general and certainly has less of a hard and fast rule, however this is also one of the most overlooked fixes when trying to make your bike seat more comfortable. While this is usually a bit more technically difficult to accomplish than changing your bike seat, with most home tools you should be able to easily change the angle of your seat.
When doing this small incremental changes in angle are the best way to find a more comfortable position. Every person is different and while the height of your seat is a widely accepted fact, the most comfortable angle may be different for many people. Personally I enjoy my seat almost perfectly parallel to the ground, with a slightly upwards angle moving from the rear to the front of the seat.
After buying my first bike over 15 years ago I distinctly remember having an extremely uncomfortable seat. The worker at the bike shop positioned my seat so that it had a downward angle which caused me to have to constantly lean back and made riding incredibly difficult. Fixing this issue was a life changer and I have been riding with that same angle ever since.
If you want to make your bike seat more comfortable this is definitely one of the quickest and most effective fixes. If you do not have the correct tools at home take your bike to any local shop and they will do this for you in less than 5 minutes.
Wear the Correct Clothing
Our third, but maybe our most important tip on how to make a bike seat more comfortable is to dress for the occasion. You wouldn’t go to the beach in jeans and a jacket, and similarly you should ride your bike wearing the wrong clothing, it’s simply a recipe for disaster. Now this tip applies more for mountain bikers, and road bikers who are going for decently long distance rides, however it is equally applicable to the everyday casual rider as well.
Chaffing is one of the more common reasons for discomfort while participating in any sport. This effect is extremely uncomfortable and anyone who has surfed without a wetsuit will know what we are talking about. Chaffing occurs when your skin rubs against clothing or the bike itself which can cause discomfort, rashes, and very raw and sensitive skin.
Wearing loose casual clothing dramatically increases the likelihood of chaffing which is why we recommend buying some true biking attire. While not the most attractive clothing in the world biking clothes are made to be aerodynamic and more importantly, tight. This tightness reduces the rubbing that occurs while riding which in turn greatly reduces chaffing.
Unlike some more obvious issues chaffing may not seem like such a big deal and often is not even noticed until after the fact. However after a hour of riding your skin will be very sensitive the next day which is very uncomfortable. If you don’t have bike clothing we recommend wearing tight compression underwear or leggings to replicate the effect of the tight biking clothing. Wearing this will allow you to ride longer and make your bike seat more comfortable.
Get a bike seat covering
One of the simplest ways to make a bike seat more comfortable is to get a thin bike seat covering. Some of you might be thinking that a super thick and plushy covering might be the correct way to go but this is not true.
A thicker covering will put too much pressure on your tail bone and actually make riding more uncomfortable. A thin cover on the other hand, with cushion your ride more than your normal bike seat, while also distributing your weight more evenly across the seat.
More even weight distribution is key to a more comfortable ride and is one of the factors that makes adjusting your seat high so important as well. After lots of testing we believe that gel bike seat covers perform the best. Overall they are the most durable of the bike seat covers and provide the best weight distribution. In addition adding a nice gel seat cover makes every seat much more comfortable.
Ride your bike consistently
Often when you first get a bike it is natural for your seat to be very uncomfortable which is due to the fact that your body is getting used to the new seat. Many times inexperienced riders will be uncomfortable the first few times they are riding and decide to get a new bike seat without giving their original a proper chance.
We have found that you need to ride your bike at least 7-10 times and two times a week for your body to get accustomed to a new seat. If you seat is very uncomfortable and you are not riding this often we suggest that you ride you bike just a bit more and see if the problem resolves it self.
Just like breaking in a new pair of tennis shoes breaking in a new bike seat is very important in making your bike seat comfortable. Not only are you getting used to your new seat but you are also slowly forming your seat to your specific body’s shape and size. This is when you ride another person’s bike it may not feel as natural as riding your own, especially after you have been riding one bike for a few years.
Of course there are some times when consistent riding does not fix the comfort level of your seat which leads directly into our 6th and final tip for how to make a bike seat more comfortable.
Buy a new bike seat
Simple, obvious and definitely not super profound, this tip is for those stubborn people who are not willing to give up on an uncomfortable seat. Sometimes in life things just don’t work out and the same can be said for in biking. Just like how a certain frame or bike type may not be right for you, so to can a seat just not be comfortable for certain people.
Although there is nothing wrong with sticking with an uncomfortable seat, in the long term it can lead to potentially long lasting soreness and discomfort. There is no reason to stick to an uncomfortable seat after you have gone through these tips and tried everything. Sometimes you and your seat just won’t agree and that is ok!
Well there you have it our six tip on how to make a bike seat more comfortable. Of course there are more than six ways to make your bike seat more comfortable but we feel as though these are the six best, and quickest fixes for an uncomfortable bike seat.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our article on how to make your bike seat more comfortable and always remember that comfort is the first step in having a great time on your ride!