A Guide to Softening Your Bike Seat
Did you just get a new bike? All your excitement and optimism could come to an abrupt end, if your bike seat doesn’t offer the comfort you desire.
Many riders would think of softening their bike seats if they are not as comfortable as expected. However, the reverse could happen, and your seat could actually be too soft to support your bum!
One option for solving bike saddle woes is to buy a seat cover that offers your desired level of comfort. However, before doing this, you should rule out other factors.
This video explains some of the main factors contributing to bike seat discomfort (Courtesy of Bike Fit Adviser):
Consider These Things for A Comfortable Bike Seat
- Do you have the correct saddle?
There’s no way around the wrong saddle for your cycling needs. Here are some questions you need to address in order to find out which bike seat suits you best:
- Why do you need a bike?
- What is the purpose of your bike? Do you intend to use your bike for mountain biking, road biking, or just daily commuting? The saddle of a bike is usually designed according to its cycling purpose.
- Wide seats don’t mean more comfort
Wide seats are not equivalent to comfort. They may actually be more uncomfortable owing to increased friction and chafing when pedaling. The width of the saddle relative to the width of your body’s seat bones is what determines comfort. In the same vein a seat that’s too narrow won’t be comfortable. As a rule of thumb, your bum should be able to occupy the whole seat. Conversely, putting your weight and pressure at the fore part of the seat would harm your health.
- Flat seating surface
Some bike seats have a more aggressive, sloping profile. The average rider might find it difficult to get into a comfortable sitting position on such saddles. In contrast, bike seats with a mostly flat surface are a safer choice.
- Saddle setback and position
Ensure your saddle has just the perfect height, the tilt you desire, and the perfect position for you. You can find out more about measuring the right seatpost setback here.
- What’s your seat cover like?
Your seat cover is a factor that cannot be underestimated. Usually, seat covers come with a layer of padding. If it is too thick, the seat may become too soft to support your weight. If it’s too thin, you may feel discomfort if your bike saddle is tough to begin with. The right seat and cover combination should be sufficiently firm to support your weight, yet not cause your rear end to feel extremely sore after a ride!
Softening the bike seat is the first thing many riders think of when faced with an uncomfortable saddle. However, ensure that you go through the steps above before changing the seat or buying a new cover.
In addition, any seat cover you get should provide firm support for your weight, without feeling too hard.
(Credit to https://bikeshaven.com/how-to-make-a-bicycle-seat-more-comfortable/)