Bikes come in all shapes and sizes, as there are different types of bikes and different models and brands, so there is plenty to choose from.
But no matter what bike you end up getting, one thing is pretty standard across all bikes: the seats are not the most comfortable ever.
As in, sitting on your bike isn’t exactly like sitting on a comfy chair, and it’s quite possible that your butt will end up hurting after a time, and might become sore if you ride for a long time!
But why are bike seats so uncomfortable? Is there a purpose to their design? Let’s find out!
One of the main reasons for the discomfort associated with bike seats is the way that you sit on them, due to their design.
You’re essentially placing all of your weight on two small bones at the bottom of your pelvis, rather than properly sitting down on the entirety of your butt.
This is so that you can still pedal and keep the bike moving, even while seated. But as a consequence, your butt can start hurting really bad after some time, and many people will experience soreness at the end of the day.
Although professional cyclists and those that use their bike every day will slowly get used to the bike seat and it will eventually hurt less and less until it’s not that uncomfortable at all!
Another thing about bike seats, that also contributes to the discomfort they unfortunately cause, is that they are hard and firm surfaces rather than being designed as comfortable padded seats.
The reason for this design is that the harder bike seat helps keep you steady and stable while cycling, as well as making it easier to pedal with more force.
After all, bikes are for cycling and exercising, they’re not meant to be a comfortable seat, so why would the bike seat be comfy?
What’s important is that the seat allows you to quickly stand or sit, to lean forward or to push up against it, and to be able to pedal consistently and then speed up when necessary.
Overall, bike seats tend to be uncomfortable because they are shaped and designed to be practical, allowing you to cycle with speed, power, and control.
They are not meant to be comfortable seats, they are part of the bike to keep you going, after all!
How do I stop my bike seat from hurting?
Although bike seats are generally quite uncomfortable, and will often cause soreness, they really shouldn’t be causing any unbearable pain or more discomfort than is considered normal.
If your bike seat is hurting you or causing you harm, then it might mean that the bike seat isn’t properly adjusted to your needs!
Here is how to make sure your bike seat is properly adjusted:
Setting the height
Having your bike seat set to the right height is super important, and it is vital to ensure a comfortable cycling experience.
If the bike seat is too low, your cycling will suffer and your knees will hurt, but if your bike seat is too high you will also struggle to cycle properly, and the bike seat will probably hurt a lot more.
The bike seat should be set at a certain height so that your legs extend out fully when cycling.
Another popular way of setting the right height is to sit on the bike and to set the height so that you can reach the ground with your toes, rather than your full foot.
However, whichever method you choose to follow when setting the height, what’s important is that it ends up being comfortable to you.
Setting the angle right
Bike seats don’t just move up and down, when loosened, the bike seat can also move sideways, changing its angle.
As a general rule, you should make sure the bike seat is falling forward and that it is stable in its position.
Sometimes bike seats become loose and begin to move sideways while you’re cycling, and this can be both uncomfortable and painful. So make sure the seat is properly tightened to stay at the right angle!
Making sure you have a suitable bike seat
Different types of bikes have slightly different bike seats, with some being wider and some thinner.
This is down to the way the bike is intended to be used, so it’s pretty important to have the right type of bike seat to go with the style of cycling!
However, even if your bike seat is properly adjusted to your needs, sometimes the butt soreness is inevitable, and it’s pretty much a part of cycling! Bike seats hurt your butt, and that’s the truth!
But don’t worry, there’s no need to simply suffer. There are a few things that you can do to reduce the butt soreness so that over time the bike seat becomes less uncomfortable and less of a struggle.
Here are a few tips on reducing the butt soreness from the bike seat:
- Wear padded cycling shorts or pants
- Apply some soothing cream to the skin and muscles around your pelvic area, to reduce the pain and discomfort
- Make sure your bike seat is suitable and well adjusted
- A slow build-up to cycling for longer periods of time, so you get used to the seat’s discomfort and grow immune to it
Why are mountain bike seats so thin?
Bike seats that are designed thinner are usually intended for faster cycling, as less of the weight will be supported by the seat, and more will be supported by the legs and handlebar.
This is also the case with mountain bikes. They are intended for use over rough terrains, where you will likely be bouncing up and down, and will therefore be standing on the bike most of the time, rather than being seated.
Therefore, there’s no need for a wide bike seat, as you will be on your legs rather than your bottom!