Finding a Bike Saddle – Introduction
The pros of staying physically fit are hard to deny. Getting your body moving keeps it strong, helps it fight off illness and can even be beneficial to your mind and stress levels. Research shows those who keep their bodies physically fit are at a lower risk for heart disease and diabetes.
There are many options for getting fit, but one that is a bit more fun than the rest is cycling. Not only is it exciting to get outdoors and hit the road, but cycling also burns plenty of calories and builds muscle.
Since it is low impact, cycling can be the perfect exercise for those young to old, as well as those who are overweight or guys who just have a bigger build. However, while cycling seems simple, as if you can just pick a bike and go, it can become overwhelming when you really start to consider all of the different equipment options available on the market today.
One of the most important choices you will make regarding equipment is your bike saddle. It is one of only three places your body will meet the bike, including the pedals and handlebars. The correct bike saddle will position you over the bike correctly and increase your comfort level. Did you know the bike saddle also will help you control the bike? Needless to say, choosing the right saddle for your age, weight and gender is a must.
One of the first things you should determine when purchasing a new bike saddle is the material and cushion the saddle is made from. The type of rider you are will play a big part in the material you should select. If you plan on shorter distances to begin with, a softer cushion will be comfier. Synthetic saddles with gel padding conform to the rider’s shape and are a good option for beginners and recreational riders.Saddles made from foam tend to be water-resistant – and sweatproof- and bounce back into shape quickly. It is very responsive and is ideal for lengthier riders, where a firmer shape perfect for switching positions numerous times is best. Firmer saddles also are recommended for larger riders.
Saddles also come in leather, which gives the bike a genuinely nice, expensive look, but require a bit of upkeep as they are susceptible to scratches, along with wear and tear.
When it comes to choosing the size of your bike saddle, there is no one size fits all. Saddles come in a variety of widths, and to pick the right one you need to know your sit bone width, or the distance between your sit bones.
Bike shops have tools to help you measure, or you can do it yourself. Take a piece of foil, lean forward to estimate your riding position and lift your feet. When you are done, measure between the two points of the deepest impression.
On average, men’s sit bone width is 100 to 140 millimeters (4 to 5.5 inches). When buying your bike saddle, add two centimeters (3/4 inch) to your sit bone width.
For those who are bigger than the normal size, or heavier, a wider saddle is going to be the more comfortable choice. An extra wide bike seat offers a bigger surface, and there are many companies providing options for bigger guys.
Now that we have covered what to look for in your bike saddle, let’s take a look at the best choices for extra wide bike saddles on the market.
Best Bike Saddles for Big Guys
YLG Oversized Comfort Bike Seat
If unique is your style, then look no further than the YLG Oversized Comfort Bike Seat. Padded with premium high elasticity density memory foam and wrapped in PVC leather, this durable option is made for comfort with its distinctive shape made to fit your body.
The leather also is made for long-term use, while providing non-slip and anti-scratch capabilities. The extra arc wide design doesn’t compromise leg movement and provides a reflective band on the back for added safety.
Dual spring rubber ball suspension gives you better protection when riding. It does lack real memory foam, but even without it, the comfort of this seat doesn’t disappoint. There are even days you can go without the padded shorts while on your ride.
Outerdo Comfort Bicycle Seat
The Outerdo Comfort Bicycle Seat is a solid option for new bike riders, especially those with a mountain bike. You can’t go wrong with this high-quality bike saddle, which includes slow rebound memory foam made for a comfortable ride.
It also includes a second layer of high-density EVA foam for support, all of which is water resistant and even better, anti-sweat. The center cutout will give you good airflow and it is easy to install on a variety of bikes. While it does not deliver as wide of an area as some other options on the list, the saddle offers a good riding position that protects your back.
It also comes in a variety of colors for those riders who like to make a statement. Pick from red, white, green, yellow or blue. While the seat can become uncomfortable for some casual bike riders, it is excellent for those long-road cyclists who need a firm ride when switching positions numerous times along the trail.
Bikeroo Oversized Comfort Bike Seat
The Bikeroo Oversized Comfort Bike Seat has plenty to offer bigger guys. It comes with thick padding and elastomer springs, making it super shock absorbent. The thick foam padding will make you glad you picked it on rides covering a lot of miles, and the narrowness of the design affords an even distribution of back pressure.
With its synthetic elasticated rubber, the springs isolate vibration which you would normally feel, especially on those longer rides. Your sore muscles will thank you.
If you ride in the upright position, this may not be the choice for you because it can cause some discomfort in areas you would rather not feel pain, but for those who ride in a climbing or descending position, the Bikeroo is a great choice. Even better, it won’t break the bank.
Giddy Up! Bike Seat
This waterproof, memory foam bike seat will provide all the comfort you need on those long bike rides. The seat also is covered in artificial leather, giving your bike a stylish appeal without the upkeep real leather brings.
This seat is shock absorbent, giving you a smoother ride, especially on those bumpier roads or rough off-road paths.
This option should be at the top of your shopping list because they put safety first, equipping this saddle with both a LED light and a reflective band on the back. Sometimes the lights can go out, which would be the only complaint about this comfortable seat. The pre-mounted taillight provides an added layer of safety, warning cars you are there. The leather gives it an expensive look without being expensive on your wallet.
Similar to the Outdero, this seat is preferred for long-road cyclists who need a firmer ride, and not for casual cyclists who need a softer cushion and might find anything else uncomfortable.
TONBUX Bicycle Seat
The Tonbux Bicycle Seat comes equipped with a long nose, making it ideal for larger male bike riders. The surface is made of microfiber artificial leather, giving it a nice look without wear and tear quickly showing.
It also has an air vent in the middle of the saddle, delivering you airflow on your ride. The air vent keeps sweat from becoming a nuisance on those hotter days.
The bottom of the seat includes a shock absorbing ball, giving you a more relaxed ride on those bumpy trails. While it is designed to absorb shocks, the seat can be a bit firm compared to other models, but the reflective tape on the back and the ease of mounting this model are a huge plus.
If we had to take a pick, we would go with the Giddy Up! Bike Seat as it comes with an LED tail light and has good shock absorption.
However, at the end of the day, we all come in different sizes, shapes, and have different riding preferences. To find the bike saddle that is best for you, it is important to just find the right size and shape for your body, as well as determine your riding position and how long you plan to be on your bike each day. These are all crucial in picking the right bike saddle for your body, and fortunately, there are plenty of great options.