Imagine being passionate about cycling, and riding through for hours only to end up with pain and soreness in your nether area. There is nothing worse, and we know.
Whether you are a professional rider, a child starting or a fitness freak wanting to burn those extra calories, feeling inordinate discomfort or pain in your crotch area is universal.
We know, you probably think your saddle is to be blamed for this tragedy. While the quality of the saddle may have an impact on the comfort of your ride, myriad other factors make a bike seat what it is. What’s good is, you can always make your bicycle seat more comfortable in a few simple ways.
Before you decide on how to make your bicycle seat more comfortable, it could help to know what might be the reason that causes such pain and saddle soreness.
- What Makes Bike Seats So Uncomfortable?
- How to Make a Bicycle Seat More Comfortable
- Final Thoughts
What Makes Bike Seats So Uncomfortable?
As we have mentioned, your saddle is possibly not why you are suffering from post cycling distress. Rather, what makes your bike seat uncomfortable is the positioning of the saddle. The saddle angle and height are what play a great role in determining the comfort of your ride.
Besides, a common mistake that we have noticed is the wrong choice when it comes to the shape of the saddle itself. Your bike seat might also give you a tough time if you are not sitting on your bike in the right manner.
Other than that, it could also be all about your cycling dress. Think through if your track pants are what you really need to ride for hours, even on the smoothest terrains. Improper clothing can cause burns and grazes on the perineum.
Last but not the least, the bike seat itself. A low-quality, poorly shaped bike seat is probably going to do more harm than good. Even if you have got yourself the most comfortable bike seat, not choosing the right one or the seat wearing out over time can cause similar problems.
Related reading: Why Does My Bike Seat Keep Tilting?
How to Make a Bicycle Seat More Comfortable
Here are a few ways that you could follow to make your cycling experience more enjoyable and less discomfort.
Invest in the Most Comfortable Bike Seat
If you don’t have the most comfortable, highest quality bike seat already, you’d need to invest in one immediately. One of the most comfortable designs is the noseless seat shape, which allows clearance and air for your inner thighs and thighs, and hamstring.
Along with added hip rotation, such designs like the ISM PR 3.0 Noseless Saddle offers a wide rear area for a multiple cycling position. Apart from the design, the best quality saddles will have a wide rear section, along with multiple foaming pads and a shock-absorbent metal suspension like the Cloud-9 Cruiser Saddle, which is especially suited for larger men or women.
Although a well-padded, streamlined or nose-less bike seat might cost you more dollars than your average saddle platform, such seats last a long time, with some getting better with use. If you are looking for a more affordable option, we suggest you check the Schwinn Comfort Bike Seat.
Get a Saddle Padding or Gel Cover
If your bike seat does not have one already, it might be wise to get yourself a padded covering. These covering come in either gel padding or foam padding; both adding enough cushioning to the inner things.
Although an unpopular opinion, expert cyclists claim that thin padding is sometimes more comfortable than fatter padding. Thick gel or foam covers tend to be more intruding in the crotch area and can deform more easily, changing the shape of the saddle.
It would be wise to remember that extra padding of any kind takes away the coolness from the seat. Due to this reason, professional riders prefer leather or cotton covering, instead of a full-pledged cushion on their seats.
One such gel padding that we recommend is the Zacro Gel Bike cover which is neither too thick nor too thin and provides just the right cushioning for your inner thighs. You can find more information about choosing the right bike seat cushion in our best gel bike cover review & buying guide.
Related reading: Best Gel Bike Seat Cushion & Cover Reviews & Buying Guide
Wear the Right Clothes
One possible explanation to why you’re getting bruised inner thighs might be related to what you are wearing during your long rides. If you are wondering how to make a bicycle seat comfortable without making any real changes to the bike seat itself, you may want to purchase yourself cycling shorts with padded inners.
Apart from the sewn padding providing added cushioning, the special fabric that is used to design cycling shorts makes sure that sweat does not stick to your body. Remember, the right cycling shorts are tight fitting and stick to your thighs. This is because loose shorts can cause serious chaffing issues to your inner thighs.
For men cyclists, we recommend you consider investing in products similar to Sponeed shorts, which like other great cycling wear elastic closure, breathable and anti-sweat fabric. Women’s cycling wear differs from men’s when it comes to creases and paddings. The fitting around the chest is tighter and narrower around the waist. Louis Garneau women’s shorts tick all the right boxes in terms of comfort and longevity.
Ensure You Have the Right Saddle Type
If you are seated on the wrong saddle, even 5 minutes of touring on your bike could give you the worst soreness. To make your bicycle seat more comfortable, make sure you have the right saddle, to begin with.
For mountain riders, the most comfortable bike seat would be that with padding and covers, faired along with the shape so that leg movement is easier. As for people who ride for longer distances and stretched hours, like a road racing rider, they would be most comfortable with long and tapered saddle designs.
Cyclists who love bicycle touring are often keen on making their saddles more comfortable and seek to know what kind of saddle would be best for them. Since touring is a crossover between mountain biking and road racing, your saddle has to be elongated in shape with good gel padding.
Related reading: How to wash a gel bike seat cover?
Adjust Your Own Position
It is important to remember that you are neither supposed to completely leave your body weight on the saddle, neither are you right to sit upright with your back straightened like a stick. Both these positions can cause total body twinges, along with soreness to your perineum.
Distributing your weight properly through your bike is most crucial if you want to make your bicycle seat more comfortable without changing anything about the saddle. Disperse your body weight in a way that some pressure falls on the handlebar, with a quarter of the weight on the bike seat.
Additionally, your bottom area must be well adjusted on the seat itself. If you are leaning way too forwards or backward, your buttocks are most likely to be more on the air than on the seat. This also means that you should not sit on the nose of the seat, as it can increase the pressure on the pelvic region and intrude free blood flow.
Change Saddle Angle, Position, and Height
These adjustments would completely depend on your personal preference and comfort. If you have the right saddle and know the proper way to position yourself, making your bike seat more comfortable is possible by changing the positioning of the saddle, handlebar, or even the seat post itself.
Adjust the height of the seat by positioning your feet on the pedal, while pedaling down with one foot. If you feel comfortable with the height in a number of positions, you should fix the saddle height accordingly. You can also maneuver the saddle sideways, along with few adjustments to the handlebars.
Use Anti-chafing Creams
If you want to prevent the gazing friction with your inner thought and the seat post frames, you may want to use creams like Vaseline to make your bike seat more comfortable.
If you want an ointment to soothe your inners when post cycling, you can also opt for anti-chaffing creams, which could help and prevent burns on your skin.
Related reading: What’s the Purpose of the Hole in a Bike Seat?
For centuries till date, cyclists have been looking for ways on how to make a bicycle seat more comfortable. Apart from investing in the most comfortable bike seats, you would have to make a few adjustments in your cycling positions, and your saddle position.
A gel covering for extra padding is also a great idea, along with multiple layer foam padding that is not too thick between the legs. More than anything, it is most vital that you have chosen the right saddle for yourself and the kind of riding that you most often head out for.
This would determine the design of the saddle as well, for which, as we suggested, a noseless option can be both soft, and capacious on the muscles.