Ever wondered why are bike seats so uncomfortable? That is correct, we all remember our first cycles, don’t we? The sheer excitement of learning to ride on two wheels, and speeding across the town were more than enough reasons for us.
However, the dream was shattered, when we rode the cycles. We found seats to be different and we are not at all cozy. Well, there are a lot of reasons for that and we will discuss all that in this post. Keep reading and we will clarify all that in a while.
Why Are Cycling Seats So Uncomfortable?
Bike seat discomfort is a common issue that affects many cyclists, especially those who frequently ride for long periods. Several factors can cause bike seat discomfort, including pressure, chafing, and numbness.
Understanding the causes of bike seat discomfort is crucial in finding the right solution to prevent or minimize it.
- Pressure is one of the most common causes of bike seat discomfort. When you sit on a bike seat for an extended period, pressure points can develop in areas such as the sit bones, perineum, and soft tissue. This pressure can cause pain, soreness, and even numbness in some cases.
- Chafing is another common issue, caused by the friction between your skin and the bike seat. Chafing can lead to irritation, redness, and even open sores, which can be incredibly uncomfortable.
- Numbness is yet another common issue that can occur when there is pressure on the nerves in the perineal area.
Each cause of bike seat discomfort impacts comfort differently. Pressure can cause pain and discomfort, chafing can cause irritation and soreness, and numbness can cause a loss of sensation, which can be concerning. However, there are ways to prevent or minimize discomfort associated with each cause.
To prevent or minimize pressure-related discomfort, it is essential to choose a bike seat with adequate padding that is suitable for your body type and riding style. Adjusting the seat angle and height can also help distribute your weight more evenly and reduce pressure.
Chafing can be prevented by wearing proper cycling shorts or using chamois cream to reduce friction.
Numbness can be minimized by choosing a bike seat that is designed to reduce pressure on the perineal area or adjusting your riding posture to reduce pressure on your nerves.
Why Are Bicycle Seats So Small?
So that you can pedal! Heck yes, this is the only explanation for this and there are no doubts about it. You know what, if you don’t trust us, then try to pedal sitting in a chair. See how difficult it is and then let us know.
By the way, do let us know about your thoughts and experiences through the comments section. We really love listening from you and we mean it.
Now, the description in full – look you need to pedal and for that you need to extend your legs. This will give you full control and power while riding long distances. If you want to try doing this with a bigger or wider saddle, then you will find your thighs hitting against the sides of the saddle. This will make it extremely uncomfortable and your thighs will chafe in the long run.
We hope that we have been able to simplify the process by this exposition. All we are saying here is that you need smaller or narrower saddles to ride safe. As mentioned, it gives you more power and helps you ride satisfactorily.
How Can I Make My Bike Seat More Comfortable?
The first thing that you need to do in this respect is to start with smaller adjustments. Like, you can try to bring the seat down, or pull it up, whichever is suitable for you. This is the first of all alterations that we recommend. This suggests that adjusting the height of the seat can also take off some pressure and can make you feel comfortable.
Then there are other methods that can further ease your problem, like:
Step 1: Cushioning Seat
You may try to use cushioned seats to get rid of the discomfort caused by your cycle saddle. You get two options for this, one is in foam and the other is gel. Quite obviously, as a beginner, you will prefer foam over the gel any day.
The below-mentioned conversation will give you a better idea as to which one can you opt for:
- Foam – Most people would go for foam as they are available almost anywhere. Then they are not that expensive, and by this we mean, you can get them at various prices. They can make your ride comfortable and are very low on maintenance.
- Gel – This is another form of cushioning that you will find professionals, as well as leisure cyclists invest in nowadays. There are certain models of seats that have been designed for gel inserts.
However, you must get one thing clear that gel tends to deform under pressure. This can further hurt you as the deformation forms sections which turn out to be more uncomfortable.
The solution to this lies in some cushioning instead of choosing too much padding. Hence, you can select something called aero-bus technology. This makes use of spring rail designs that make it flexible and light. Choose wisely.
Step 2: Seat Covers
There is another way of keeping it cozy while riding your bike. You can wrap the saddle with synthetic or leather covers. Leather is sturdy and needs time to break, whereas synthetic does not need much upkeep. Synthetic does not need time to break and is quite affordable. Leather within the break-in period could be stiff and yes, it is need to be looked after.
You know then cotton, which may not be a common resort, but is also available. It has a lesser break in time and is comfier than the other two materials. This shows that you get a lot of choices and must invest carefully. There is no need to burn a hole in your pocket while doing so. Think practically before making a decision.
Step 3: Bike Shorts With Cushioning
Did you know that there are cushioned bike shorts? Heck yes, there are and you will be surprised with their performance. You can go for shorts made from chamois, as this keeps your crotch area protected. There is another variety, the bibbed shorts that reduce the pressure from your shoulders and waistband.
Finally, Lycra, which is made from elastic polyurethane composition. This happens to be the go-to fabric for anyone that is starting out. This is super comfy, airy, and accommodating which makes your ride restful.
How Do I Stop My Bike Seat From Hurting?
We have already mentioned some ways of making yourself comfortable on a bike saddle. In this segment, we will tell you how to stop getting hurt from your bike seat. We have found some tricks that can actually ease the pain. So, be sure to read them all carefully.
Step 1: Practice Riding
The more you ride, the more your skin gets toughened and your legs also strengthen in the meantime. This denotes that riding base miles are important as your body needs to get used to the sport you are into.
Step 2: Strength Training
This is a must-do and you cannot escape if you are serious about cycling. You need to spread the weight of your body on your legs over your butts. This is why you need to strengthen your leg muscles as that will help you balance the weight equally.
Step 3: Fit Of The Saddle
We are staunch believers in the fit of a bike. The better the fit, the better will be your ride. A wobbly seat with loose handlebars and wrong saddle height will only add to your woes. This implies that this will end up in uneven weight distribution which will be unsafe for you.
Step 4: Stand-up
There is no need to do this, but we must tell you a fact that sitting constantly on your sit bones causes injury. Nonetheless, if you stand while riding after every 10 to 15 minutes, it will help in better blood circulation. It also relieves the pressure of your sit bones and this practice can take care of everything.
Why Are Mountain Bike Seats So Hard?
Mountain bikes may look like torture initially that do very little for your rear. Nevertheless, when you learn about the functionality of these saddles, you will be taken by surprise. That is correct for so much thinking has gone into engineering these bikes without a doubt.
They may be hard for your sit bones or ischial tuberosities but are designed to increase your efficiency. These bikes have been manufactured in such a way that they provide you with better pedaling proficiency. Additionally, they are also premeditated to allow proper blood flow in your body.
There are some more things that you need to know about the hard seats of MTBs, like:
- They keep your crotch area cool due to easy airflow
- The hard seats avoid chafing of your inner thighs
- These seats also support your lower back
- Harder saddles stop compression of nerves
Yes, we know you are startled, believe us even were left speechless when we learned about these aspects. We tend to complain without knowing the real reason as to why something is made in a specific way. That is basic human nature we suppose, but as we have sought the truth, it only enlightened us.
Why Are Spin Bike Seats So Uncomfortable?
If you find spin bike seats to be difficult, then there is only one solution and that is practice. That is right, the more workout, like consistently ride your bike, the less painful will it be. You will build your stamina and all these complaints will vanish into thin air within a few weeks. The mantra is regular exercise or the use of your spin bike and not using it as a clothesline.
The reason for them being uncomfortable is the same as that of any other bike. You need to break in, adjust if required, and then go with your business. Alternatively, you may try to:
- Use cushioned seats if the problem persists
- Balancing your weight by using your legs
- Take a shower right after you finish cycling, ideally, you need to wait for 15 to 20 minutes
- Invest in a snug pair of bike shorts
- Apply coconut oil or Vaseline in advance in between your thighs to protect them from chafing
We have discussed everything in this post regarding an uncomfortable bicycle seat. Whereas, fine-tuning the saddle, installing cushion (you know the gel ones), and wearing the right gear (with padding if required) can make it comfortable for you.
We also agree with the fact that one size fits all is totally wrong in this case. No two riders are the same and so are their riding styles. The terrains also matter a lot and you must pay attention to that as well. Happy cycling!