Why Are Bike Seats So Uncomfortable? (Explained with Guides)

The bike seat is intended to hold only the sit bones, not the entire weight of the biker. Due to their slender and unusual shape, they allow our lower limbs to move freely.

When I got old enough to ride a bike, I couldn’t fathom why their seats were so skinny and hard. That made riding them uncomfortable, and sitting on them for too long was really difficult.

This scenario has made many kids wonder why bicycle seats are so uncomfortable.

Well, there are certain reasons why bike seat is shaped as it is and why they are uncomfortable.

We will discuss all of this in this article and look at tips on making your bike seat more comfortable.

But before we begin, let’s properly define what you call a bike seat.

Is It A Seat or A Saddle?

Saddle saddle

From a new rider’s perspective, you might consider calling what you seat on a seat, but in the actual sense, it’s a saddle.

You might be wondering why it’s called a saddle, but there are certain differences between a saddle and a seat that plays a role in why bike seats are uncomfortable.

The major difference between a saddle and a seat is that the seat is meant to carry your full weight while the saddle is not.

Knowing this would give you some idea of why the bike seats are uncomfortable.

Why Are Bike Seats So Uncomfortable?

Why Are Bike Seats So Uncomfortable

Below are some reasons why bike seats are so Uncomfortable. Knowing them can help you improve how you sit on your bike while riding.

Here are some major reasons why bike seats are uncomfortable :

1. Incorrect Bike Size

Many riders usually use bikes too small or too large for them rider, and even with the best gears available on such bikes, the size of the bike can affect your sitting position.

Many times when you suffer discomfort when riding your bike, it’s as a result of the bike size rather than how the seat was made.

2. Wrong Handlebar Position

Riding your bike with the handlebars in the wrong position can cause soreness on your butt. If you notice that you lean too forward or bend too backward, then your handlebar is in the wrong position.

The cause is that the handlebar is either too high or too low, which would give the rider a longer or shorter reach when riding.

When you notice this, get your bike repairer to adjust the handlebar to give you the right fitting. Doing this would give you a great turnaround in how much comfort you feel.

3. Clothing And Accessories

Wearing the right sports clothes and accessories when riding a bicycle comes with its benefit, which includes a comfort to your sit bones.

Biking clothes and accessories are important when riding. Wearing skin-tight clothes with convenient padding will protect you from any discomfort from the bike seat.

4. Not Enough Rides Or You’re Just Beginning

If you have not been biking regularly or are a beginner, you will experience some level of discomfort from riding the saddle.

Getting used to your bike saddle will take several weeks of riding. If you don’t ride continuously, you will never get used to your bike seat.

5. Seat Setting and Size

Before you begin riding, you must check if your seat fits properly. If it doesn’t, you must get your repairer to get a bike seat that fits your height.

Also, the angle adjustment at the saddle’s nose must be checked. A degree of tilt, less or more, can cause soreness to the butt and backache. Riding at a leveled angle will give you the comfort you desire.

6. Hard Material Seats

Many bikes are made from hard materials, which play a part in the rider’s comfort. Many of these bikes have their seats made from hard, durable materials.

Some bike lovers don’t mind the hardness of the seat, but to other people, the seat may not be comfortable to sit on for a long period.

7. Small Design Seats

Another reason why the seat is uncomfortable is that the seat has small designs. Many bikes, especially mountain bikes, have small seats because the riders are not expected to sit for long but rather ride standing.

If you’re using your bike for your daily commute and you experience discomfort, check the size of your seat as well, as that might also cause the rider some discomfort.

You can opt to replace your small seat with an ordinary seat with thick foams. This will reduce the level of discomfort you feel.

8. Chaffing

Chaffing is another cause of discomfort a lot of individuals feel while riding their bikes. This is caused by the material of the rider’s clothing and the saddle rubbing together.

When such things occur, and there’s some irritation on the flesh, you should change your riding shorts to padded shots and use irritation cream on your body to prevent chaffing from reoccurring.

How To Make Bike Seat More Comfortable

best seat for older bike riders

The right way to make your bike seat comfier is to get the right bike fit, so you don’t have to ride too upright, and you also need to get the right saddle for your butt.

If you’re experiencing discomfort while riding or the bike saddle feels like it’s on a knife’s edge, then it’s time to make your bike saddle comfier.

Here are a few ways in which you can achieve this :

(i) Use Adjustable Saddle Pads

The adjustable saddle pads allow you to adjust the amount of padding in different parts of your seat. Start with less padding on your rides before you begin to adjust the pad as you deem fit.

You could also use gel pads to help keep the cycling heat away from sensitive body parts like hips and knees. They work perfectly for high-speed rides because of how they absorb shock.

(ii) Use A Padded Seat Cover

There are different types of padded seat covers you can choose from. They include cotton, nylon, vinyl, leather, and mesh. You could also use two different seat covers over one another based on their looks.

When riding with shorts, a mesh seat cover looks cooler, while all other options feel great against other clothes.

However, each seat cover has its function, which includes:

  • Cotton seats are comfortable and soft.
  • Nylon seats are breathable and lightweight.
  • Vinyl seats offer appropriate support without looking too much.
  • Leather seats offer added protection against abrasion and scratches.

(iii) Get Custom Made Seat

Getting a custom-made seat means that you will get the necessary amount of padding on any part of the seat. This option affords you a bit extra cost but maximum comfort.

A custom-made seat would come with all areas of the seat passed to remove rough edges. There will be no ridges or sharp corners, and your legs wouldn’t rub against each other.

(iv) Change Seat Regularly

New bikes usually come pre-installed with plastic saddles, which is not good for riders as it breeds sweat. This sweat breeds bacteria that create an offensive odor on the seat.

Whenever you get a new bike or if you have a bike already, change the seats to something made of carbon fiber or metal. These two seats allow air passage, which helps them last longer.

(v) Steadily Adjust Position

Spending a lot of time sitting straight while riding a bike isn’t healthy for the body. While riding, try to change position as you can lean backward and bend forward.

Keep your head forward and avoid slouching while riding. Do not bend towards the handlebar unless you’re going downhill. Lift your torso towards the sky to avoid back pain.

Why is my bike seat so uncomfortable?

Final Verdict

Everything that will make your ride on your bike uncomfortable is listed. Please take note and look for how to deal with them.

Replacing your saddle with a new one is the best solution to get rid of that pain. Go through this article and find all you need to enjoy riding your bike without feeling uncomfortable.

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I’ve been riding (bicycles) my entire life and am passionate about everything that comes along with it. I wouldn’t call myself a true “roadie”. I’m just a guy that loves riding because of the pure joy it brings.

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