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Today you’ll learn how to make your bike’s seat more comfortable without trying so hard. I’ll share the exact same tips I’ve used to tune up my saddle for a more flexible bike ride on all terrains.
These tips applies to
- Any type of outdoor bikes such as mtbs, road bikes etc
- Indoor bikes such as exercise bikes, peloton bikes.
And let’s be honest:
No cyclist wants to go on a bike ride seated on an uncomfortable platform. But the factory built saddles aren’t always up to scratch in the first place.
I’ve personally had moments when my butts hurt like hell after a long distant ride because my saddle wasn’t comfortable enough to tackle the trails. And I can tell you from experience that saddle sores aren’t a joke of the day.
Give the saddle a proper treat.
In fact, when I gave my bike’s seat a tweak, it was so comfortable that I didn’t develop saddle sores again, and long rides turned out fun and a lot more entertaining.
So the question is:
How exactly do you make your bike’s seat more comfortable than it already is? It’s simple, so let’s uncover the seven handy tips that you can use right now.
Whether you attend spinning classes and the seat of the peloton bike is not so friendly on your butt, or you have a mountain or road bike with a seat that’s going hard on your bottom, there’s a way to get around the problem.
The tips below can help you get eliminate the discomfort once and for all, so you can enjoy your cycling session every time.
1. Use a Thin Saddle Padding
For a moment, it sounds somewhat insane to suggest that you should add a thin padding to the saddle.
But thick padding isn’t always great for cycling, as it tends to increase pressure on your sit bones, making effective cycling rather difficult.
So use a thin saddle padding instead. Generally, a bike seat cover with a thin padding will add a cushioning effect to the saddle while enhancing its overall sturdiness for a better cycling experience.
We recommend these two thin padding bicycle seats covers.
a) Premium Hollow Breathable Seat Cover : The most versatile cover as it can be used on all bike types including peloton bikes. Made of materials that keep your hips cushioned during cycling. Click here to get yours on Lyclist.
2. Get the Right Saddle
If you buy bike saddle based on brand popularity, you’re doing it all wrong.
Serious roadies know there’s more to a bike’s seat than just a name, and they don’t take chances with their wallets.
Getting the right saddle begins by looking at its width. It has to be wide enough to accommodate your weight well enough.
It’s all about even weight distribution here, and too narrow or too wide seats don’t always make the cut. Wider ones generate friction between the seat and the crotch, and anything narrow hinders proper weight distribution.
The takeaway here is to make sure you know the correct width of your sits bones, because the measurement will help you to choose the right saddle. A bike shop near you should be able to help you with this or find a comfortable bike seat online.
3. Adjust the Saddle
The problem may not be the design or quality of the saddle. Most of the time, the quality of the build is just right, the cushioning is up to scratch, and performance optimization is on point.
So why the discomfort?
The reason could be as simple as inaccurate positioning of the saddle, and you can fix this by simply adjusting the seat until you find a more comfortable, aerodynamic riding position.
Simply twisting the seat or handlebars in either direction, by a millimeter or more, depending on your riding height, can be the difference between a comfortable seat and a disappointing race.
As far as adjustments go, you should keep adjusting the saddle, seat post, and/or handlebars back and forth until you find a positioning effect that feels comfortable for you. You can adjust the seat by:
- Moving it up or down
- Moving it from side to side
- Adjusting the height of the handlebar, or seat post, or both
It’ll take some time before you find a comfortable adjustment positioning. So keep trying until you find a comfortable spot.
Make sure the seat isn’t too far forward or angled more than a few degrees or too far back. Keep in mind that the adjustment should be relatively leveled, so there’s no need to go overboard with the adjustments.
4. Sit Right on the Saddle
(Fun Fact): I’m in a local cycling group that goes for cycling every twice a month on different terrains. It’s fun being a participant, even if I’m not the man of the show.
However, I do see many of cyclist friends sitting too upright on their bikes on short and long distance rides.
And I’m never surprised when some of them call me to complain about their butts aching after the binge. Why? Because they use the saddle’s real estate plain wrong.
Let me say this:
Your body’s full weight isn’t supposed to rest on the saddle. And sitting too upright can even cause body aches, not just saddle sores.
After all, bikes handlebars are there for a reason – to help spread out your body’s weight the right way so that you can get the most out of your cycling adventure.
Generally, you want about 30% of your body weight to be supported by the handlebars and the remaining 70% on the saddle. This way, your butts won’t hurt, as there’s a reasonable dispersion of your body’s weight.
There’s no magic bullet to get this right and the rule isn’t written in stone. All you have to do is to adjust the handlebar or the seat up or down until you get a good incline angle and you’re good to go.
One more thing:
Make sure your butts take up the whole seat. Don’t be the cyclist who sits far too forward to leave your buttocks handing on the skinny parts of the seat. Otherwise, you’re only going to hurt yourself.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, sitting on the nose of a bike’s saddle is far more dangerous because it doesn’t give you a better cycling experience.
To be precise, the study states that cyclists who sit on the nose of their bike’s seats put more pressure on the crucial nerves, which undermines blood flow, and result in pain and uneasiness.
To prevent this from happening, let your bottom rest on the whole sit while including on the handlebars for proper weight distribution.
5. Dress Up Properly for a Bike Ride
There’s no better way to say this:
But if you aren’t dressing properly for your next bike ride, your booties are going to hurt big time.
In other words:
Wearing loose cycling shorts will cause a rubbing between your skin and the saddle, causing your skin to chaff.
The effect may not be immediate, but it’ll be noticeable nonetheless. The result is discomfort, which makes it very hard for you to ride your bike.
As you can see, the problem in this case isn’t the saddle but how you dress for a bike ride. So you had better dress up right before you get on your bike.
There’s a reason why the best cycling shorts are tight. They’re rightly so because the design goes a long way to manage the impact between your bike and body.
In particular, shorts, often made of tight lycra, are smooth enough to interact with your saddle without generating heat or creating friction.
The takeaway is this:
If you’re wearing loose cycling clothes, it’s time to change the gear. Invest in tight fitting shorts and cycling jerseys and see the difference it’s going to make.
More often than not, any tight-fitting cycling short will make a difference. But if you can get a pair with a thick padding, go with it.
6. Keep Riding Your Bike
Yes, keep riding your bike while seated on the exact saddle that makes you feel rather uncomfortable.
Roadies know that new saddles can be a bit hard, and the only way to make them as comfortable as possible is to keep riding your bike while sitting on it.
Eventually, you’ll get used to the seat. And provided you give the system the right adjustment, you should be good to go.
If the discomfort doesn’t go away after a few days, the seat could be the problem. Probably the saddle doesn’t fit your sit bones as it should and instead exerts pressure on the fleshy parts of your bottom.
Should that be the case, you’ll be better off investing in a new saddle for your bike.
7. Sometimes You Just Have to Stand Up
It’s fun riding a bike in the city streets and on dirty roads. You have the right incline that evenly distributes your weight, the saddle is comfortable, and your cycling attire is on point.
But then it hits you:
The seat simply becomes uncomfortable when you get to the hills. And for a moment, you begin to hate the experience.
This is quite a common case if you ask me, and there’s no bulletproof solution to ensure you are as comfortable on all rough terrains.
So I do recommend standing up in such cases. Because when you do that, your bottom isn’t going to be bouncing on the seat, so you aren’t going to feel the pinch at all.
Plus, your quads will get great workout, as mountain riding is a good way to get into shape.
Cyclists like you have it rough on different terrains all the time.
However, now that you know how to make your saddle more comfortable, don’t let your next ride be an experience you’ll regret. Tune up your seat right now if you haven’t yet.