Biking is one of the most enjoyable activities outdoors. It keeps you fit and healthy, while allowing you to reach places you’ve never been to. It is a great hobby to develop your sensory-motor skills. You can improve your focus, endurance, and stamina in biking.
However, as enjoyable and healthy the activity is, you would still observe some drawbacks in biking. You can feel discomfort in the butt area due to the hard and uncomfortable bike seat. This will result in occasional soreness on some parts of your body that might discourage you from biking.
Good thing, there are several ways on how to make a bike seat more comfortable for you. It includes setting up your bike seat properly, practicing good posture, and picking the best cycling gear. To delve deeper into the details, you can continue reading this guide.
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Why are Bike Seats So Uncomfortable
Once you first experience discomfort after biking, you would want to know why biking is uncomfortable. You will initially blame it on the bike seat or saddle, because of its stiff and rigid structure. However, this is not even the case, and there are several reasons why you feel discomfort.
It is not always about the bike or the saddle that makes biking more of an inconvenience. So, take a look at some reasons why the activity seems to be undesirable:
- Low-Quality Bike
Sometimes, comfort comes with a price. There are high-quality bikes offering convenience to the intended users. They put a premium in providing safety and comfort to the customers. Most high-quality bikes have specialized bike seats, well-engineered and ergonomically designed frames to give the best user experience.
Those in a lower price range may lack these features, making the experience unbearable. Hence, a cheaper bike can sometimes mean compromised quality and discomfort in the long run.
Another reason that is often taken for granted is the position of the biker. There are times that the user may unconsciously ride on a bike without examining the correct posture. Bikes are designed for bikers who ride with the right posture.
The height of the saddle and the gap between the biker and the handlebars are well-engineered by most manufacturers. If you feel soreness when using an ergonomically designed bike, you might not be sitting properly. As a result, you will experience soreness in your behind.
- Gear and attire
Of course, there are specialized biking gear and cycling shorts that can significantly increase your comfort when biking. These clothing items are very crucial as they will make you comfortable, but all-geared up as well. Moreover, they are designed to fit perfectly on any type of bike seat to prevent discomfort from cycling.
However, if you are aware of all of this. Meaning, you wear the right attire, have the proper position and a use well-designed bike, but still feel discomfort, here are the things that you should do:
- Setting up your bike properly
- Maintaining and managing good posture
- Gearing up well
3 Ways of Making Your Bike More Comfortable
Setup your bike the right way
- Installing the bike seat properly
One of the main culprits of uncomfortable bike seats is when they are not installed properly. Therefore, you need to ensure that your bike seat is correctly aligned before using it. Meaning, the bike seat should not be too high or too low when riding it.
The proper installation of the bike seat will certainly determine the level of discomfort you will experience. When the seat is too high or too low, your legs cannot support your weight, giving you pain on the lower back area, and yes – behind.
- Right-sizing is the key
Even when your bike seat is installed correctly, but it is not compatible with your bike, it will be a huge discomfort, as well. You need to ensure that you picked the right saddle for your bike. Most bikers would prefer smaller seats because the surface area is more suited for a long period of cycling.
- Check your saddle
Sometimes, the reason for your discomfort is the height of the saddle. Hence, you need to modify it. The simplest way to adjust the height of your saddle is to stand at the back of your bike, make vertical adjustments on the saddle.
You have to ensure that the saddle has the same horizontal level of your hip. In doing so, you will find comfort in riding your bike.
Another way to check on your saddle is the angle. It should not sway or even tilt a little when you are riding your bike. You must ensure that the angle of your saddle should be at the right level that can fully support the weight of your body.
If it does not, you will notice tilting and swaying when riding on it. You can adjust the angle to up to 3 degrees.
- Check the distance of seat-handlebar
Of course, the reason why you feel pain and discomfort on your shoulders and back area is the distance of the seat-handlebar. That’s why you need to check whether the distance of your forearm is perfectly aligned to the handlebar and set. In this way, you would not make much effort and lean too much when reaching the handlebar.
- Consider padding on the saddle
Another reason for discomfort is when padding seems to be too hard when you sit on the bike. If it is the case, you can consider getting a saddle with an excellent padding system. There are available padded seat covers in the market that you can choose from.
These seat covers can provide layers of comfort. Additionally, you can choose covers with memory foam or gel material for extra comfort and convenience.
Manage your posture properly
- Position your behind right
Of course, you cannot blame all the discomfort on the bike itself. Sometimes the main culprit is you. Maybe you are riding on the bike poorly and with the wrong posture. So at least you have to ensure that your butt is appropriately seated on the widest part of the bike seat.
It enables your weight to be properly distributed without giving too much pressure on your legs and lower back. It will also balance your weight without causing tilt and sway on your bike seat.
- Align your body right
Always ensure that you are practicing the right alignment of your body when biking. For example, you should avoid having a slouchy and rounded posture when riding. Instead, ensure that you keep your body as straight as possible, and your arms extended when reaching the handlebars.
When your body is properly aligned, you can sit comfortably where your shoulders and lower back are more relaxed. The right position of your body will reduce tension on your shoulders and behind.
- Do not put the weight on the pedals
Bike seats are made for a reason – to support your whole weight when you’re seated and cycling. Avoid putting your weight on the pedals, causing too much pressure on your feet. Once you are seated, make sure that your weight is well-balanced and evenly distributed to the saddle or bike seat.
Gear up well
- Pick the suitable material for your cycling shorts
Cycling gear and shorts are designed to provide bikers with the highest level of comfort. The manufacturers use a material that can significantly boost your comfort when biking. You can consider shorts made of smooth and slick materials that do not create too much friction against the saddle.
When you choose the suitable material, it will evidently minimize soreness on your behind. Of course, when getting cycling shorts, make sure that they will fit you well. It is not too tight that prevents you from moving freely, and not too loose that can disturb you when biking.
- Choose Chamois
There are cycling shorts that come with a pad or chamois. Aside from a padded saddle, padded cycling shorts can significantly enhance the comfort of your butt area. It gives the right cushioning and lessens the friction when you are on the ride.
You can pick cycling shorts with a gel pad or foam adding another layer of comfort.
- Ventilation is also important
Of course, good cycling shorts is something that has an impressive ventilation system. It enhances air circulation preventing the build-up of sweat when biking. You can choose shorts with breathable material as it is specifically made to be well-ventilated.
Biking is a pleasurable activity, however, if you occasionally feel pain and discomfort after riding, you might end up being discouraged. Thus, we have found the best ways to make riding on a bike more comfortable for you.
The guide that we listed above is proven and effective in reducing the level of your discomfort when doing the activity. We hope that you found this guide helpful and the next time you take your bike for a ride, you can maximize the activity without feeling uncomfortable.
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