Bicycle seats were clearly created by some kind of masochist. Affixing narrow, barely padded saddles to two-wheeled steeds and then asking us to sit there uncomfortably for hours on end is not ideal.
No matter how strong your legs, how finely tuned your heart and lungs or how expensive and lightweight your bike, if your backside starts to hurt, both your ride enjoyment and average speed can plummet. You’ll constantly be shifting around and trying to find a comfier position rather than focussing 100% on your riding and the road ahead.
Comfortability is one of the most important factors when it comes to choosing a great product, and a great product is durable, comfortable and is available in all shapes and sizes. That’s why we’ve brought you a selection of the most comfortable oversized bike seats we could find on Amazon. They’re strong, sturdy and cushioned, offering a wider surface area and firmer support to your pelvic bones. In other words, allowing more room for comfort and ease. In addition to that, they’re backwards compatible and can fit on your bike regardless of its make or model, you won’t have to spend hundreds on replacement stock bike seats anymore. By the end of this article, we hope that you are able to find a bike seat that suits your needs.
These saddles are right for you if you are:
- You’re tired of your bike seat feeling as stiff as a rock.
- Your thighs and legs chaff or hurt after long biking sessions.
- You want a seat that better supports your weight.
- Your current bike seat wore out or is in bad condition.
- You simply want a more comfortable saddle to ride on.
How do I choose a bike seat?
If you’re using a bike for prolonged periods of time, it is advised that you choose a bike seat that fits your body shape, as no two people are the same. Start by measuring the width of your sit bones, and choose accordingly. Make sure to take into account your flexibility and posture while you’re on the bike. Also, try to make certain that you set the saddle to the right height when you’re trying out the seat. As a general rule of thumb, oversized bike seats tend to be wider and thicker. It all comes down to the size of your hips and how your body adjusts to a certain bike seat.
Consider the Type of Riding You Do
Bike seats are typically classified into one of the following five categories:
Recreational riding: If you prefer short rides and sit upright while pedalling a cruiser, urban, or commuter bike, try a saddle built for recreational riding. Saddles are frequently wide, with soft padding and/or springs, and have a short nose.
Road cycling: Do you race or log a lot of kilometres on the road? Road cycling saddles are typically long and thin with minimal padding to provide for the best power transfer when riding.
Mountain biking: On mountain trails, you alternate between standing up on your pedals, perching way back (often just hovering over or even off your saddle), and crouching down in a tucked position. Because of these different positions, you’ll need a mountain-specific saddle with padding for your sit bones, a robust cover, and a streamlined form to help you move.
Bike touring: For long-distance riding, you’ll need a saddle that’s somewhere between a road saddle and a mountain saddle. Touring saddles often have padding for your sit bones and a relatively long, narrow nose.
Bike commuting saddles: Like saddles for road riding and bike touring, saddles for commuting include some padding, but not too much. Bike commuters who ride in all weather conditions should examine the weather resistance of the cover materials.
Consider the Type of Cushioning You Want
Bike saddles are divided into two categories: performance saddles with little cushioning and cushioning saddles with a lot of cushioning.
Don’t automatically think that a greater cushion is always better. Too much padding, in some situations, can produce discomfort and pressure when your body sinks into the seat.
Performance saddles are typically long and narrow with a little padding to allow for optimal power transfer and less chafing when pedalling. They’re ubiquitous on road bikes, mountain bikes, and touring bikes.
Cushioning saddles are typically wide, with soft padding and/or springs to absorb road bumps. They frequently have a short nose. They are most commonly found on bikes built for cruising and recreational cycling.
Gel and foam are the two most prevalent types of cushioning.
Gel cushioning conforms to your body and gives the most luxurious comfort. The majority of leisure riders prefer this for its improved comfort on short trips. The disadvantage of gel is that it compacts faster than foam.
Foam cushioning is elastic and rebounds back to shape. Road riders like foam because it gives greater support than gel while being comfortable. Firmer foam is suggested for longer rides, cyclists weighing more than 200 pounds, or riders with well-conditioned sit bones since it does not compact as quickly as softer foam or gel.
Some bike saddles have no padding at all. These saddles are frequently covered in leather or cotton. Although a no-cushioning saddle may be uncomfortable for some riders when first purchased, it will break in with regular use and eventually fit to your weight and shape. Despite the lack of cushioning, some riders claim that the “specific fit” of leather or cotton saddles makes them more comfortable. Another advantage of saddles with little cushioning is that they tend to keep cooler, which is very useful on long, hot rides. Choose this choice if a cushioned saddle hasn’t worked well for you and you want the classic look of a leather or cotton saddle.
A saddle pad is an optional extra that may be used to give padding to any saddle. Though velvety and comfy, its padding is not as confined as that of a pre-padded saddle, so it may travel to places you don’t need or want it. This is not an issue for leisure rides, but it may be for faster rides or longer distances. If that’s the case, padded bike shorts or underwear would be a better purchase.
Why a softer seat won’t relieve sore bottoms?
Just as the softest running shoes aren’t the most comfortable in the long run, neither are the softest bike seats. If your buttocks hurt while you ride, there are additional things to look into before purchasing a new saddle—things other than how comfortable it is.
Rather than opting for a softer saddle, you should first ensure that your bike is properly set up, with your weight evenly distributed across the saddle and handlebars. (Cyclists use the term “saddle” because a seat holds your complete back end whereas a saddle supports you in strategic spots.)
If a correctly adjusted bike still hurts your buttocks, you should look for a saddle that corresponds to the distance between your sit bones (which you can measure by sitting on a Ziploc bag full of flour). You’ll also want to choose the correct saddle for the type of riding you do, whether it’s casual riding, short races, or longer touring rides. Your local bike store can assist you in determining which one is best for you.
Here are six tried-and-true methods for preventing and treating bike seat pain, whether you’re a seasoned rider or just starting out. Use all of them, or at least a couple of them, and then sit back and enjoy the trip.
Get Fitted for Your Bike
If your seat is too high or too low, your legs will not be able to effectively support your weight on the pedals, and the seat will step in to compensate. This implies putting more pressure where it hurts. Furthermore, if you sit too much forward or too far back, the angle at which your body attaches to the seat will be unpleasant. All of this may be avoided if you get properly suited for your bike at a reputable bike store.
And Your Saddle
Saddles, like us, vary in shape and size. As a result, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for riders. Try on a few different styles at the store, and don’t be tricked into thinking that something big and comfy is always preferable to something more streamlined. It all comes down to your body and where your sit bones naturally land on the saddle. It’s a matter of trial and error, so don’t feel obligated to use the seat that came standard with your bike.
Wear Padded Shorts
Padded shorts are essential if you plan on riding for an extended period of time. There are many options available, including many low-cost alternatives, but shorts are not something you want to compromise on. They are your number one pain reliever. Cycling shorts differ in terms of chamois thickness and substance, with most employing foam padding and others relying on gel. Newer cyclists, as well as those going on long-distance rides, will benefit from plenty of padding to avoid pain. Thinner padding may be preferred by more experienced riders or triathletes who use the same item for running, biking, and swimming.
Either way, remember: Cycling shorts are meant to be worn without underwear, as the extra layer causes friction and irritates your skin.
This one is simple. Standing up on your rides helps to relieve pain and get the blood flowing again. So, attempt to get up for a few seconds every 10–15 minutes to give your backside a break.
Try Chamois Cream
Applying a tiny coating of cream directly to your undercarriage or the inside padding of your shorts may feel weird. However, the cream lowers friction between your seat and your body, which helps to prevent discomfort from occurring. This isn’t necessary for 25-mile rides, but chamois cream can work wonders if you’re out all day, or especially if you’re embarking on a multi-day tour.
Slowly Build Time in the Saddle
The amount of time you spend in the saddle has a big impact on how much discomfort you feel. If you’re a new rider or have just gotten a new seat, you shouldn’t go for a long ride immediately away. Instead, gradually increase tolerance. Begin with shorter rides and gradually increase the distance over several weeks or months. If you wear excellent shorts and use a few of the tips above, your body will eventually adapt and the pain will go away.
What makes for a good bike seat?
Ventilation: The hole in the centre of the seat allows air to pass from the front to the back of your bike seat. This helps to keep you cool as you ride, preventing your bottom from getting sweaty and uncomfortable. It also allows your pelvis to move naturally while you’re pedalling, causing your body to use a lot less energy.
Material: It’s important that you choose a bike with good material. Leather, for example, is one of the longest-lasting materials; resisting cuts, wears and scratches.
Cushioning: Foam is usually favoured as it provides more support than gel while still delivering comfort. If you ride for long periods of time or are over 90 kilograms, firmer foam is preferred as it doesn’t compact as quickly as softer foam or gel.
Seat width: Generally speaking, you need a saddle that’s wide enough for good support, but not so wide that it causes rubbing and chaffing. Seats that tend to be narrower on the front and wider on the back, leave more room for you to pedal all while protecting you from rubbing your thighs against the seat and causing chaffing.
How it complements your body: Men and women have different hips. So, if you’re using a bike for a long period, it is advisable to choose a saddle that fits your body. Women’s saddles tend to be wider and shorter, while men’s saddles are usually longer and narrower.
How do you sit correctly on a bike?
The coaching and support team recognised the saddle as a major topic of attention during the build-up to the London 2012 Olympics, as saddle discomfort was a concern for many of the squad. The pursuit of marginal gains in all areas resulted in highly aggressive and aerodynamic stances where bodyweight distribution became acute, with actual concerns about soreness, discomfort, and damage. However, over time, British Cycling and UK Sport devised a tailored solution that resulted in a significant improvement for several members of the team.
The way you seat yourself on a bike greatly impacts your comfort, so first and foremost, when you sit in the saddle, take up the whole seat. You should be able to easily reach the tops and brake hoods on a road bike, or the grips on a mountain bike. Your elbows should be slightly bent, not locked. And the lean of your torso should be supported by your core in a comfortable position. Improper fit on your bike could be the main reason for your saddle discomfort. If your saddle is too high, too low, too far forward, too far back, not level, or if you are reaching too far to your handlebars, you could be experiencing pain as a result.
What can I do to stop chaffing, discomfort and sore muscles?
If your bicycle saddle is too narrow then your sit bones will extend over the side of the saddle, placing your weight on the soft tissue. However, if a saddle is too wide, generally, it interferes with leg movement. Discomfort on the bones when you slide rearward may be a more complicated thing. Keep in mind that the seat is only supposed to support your sit bones, not your full weight. So, it’s important to choose the seat that suits your sit bones perfectly.
You must slowly build up and let your body take time to adapt. There’s no question that your buttocks get used to the saddle with time, but try not to rush it. Beginners tend to sit quite heavily in their saddles, which is why they generally get bucked off their saddles fairly easily.
We advise you to apply more weight and force through the pedals. That way, you will generally have a more stable position on the saddle. After a long day, all this riding really puts a toll on your body so be sure to try to stand up out of your saddle every 10-15 minutes to give your backside a bit of a break and to restore some blood flow.
Why women have even more saddle problems on a bike?
If you’re a woman these problems are even more enunciated and new problems are amplified.
Most road bike saddles are designed for men.
So how are female triathletes and cyclists supposed to comfortably ride a bicycle with a saddle that was designed for a man’s anatomy? The answer is of course that many women will have a very tough time getting comfortable on a narrow men’s bicycle saddle.
Not so obvious differences in anatomy
Aside from the apparent differences in anatomy between men and women, there are also less evident differences. Pelvic breadth has the greatest influence on bicycle saddle comfort. Women have a somewhat broader pelvis than men in order to allow for childbearing. Because of the additional breadth and real pelvic shape, a woman sitting on a men’s bicycle seat can place the “sit bones” outside of the area of support. This shifts the support from bone to soft tissue, which is quite painful.
The saddle should support the pelvis
A good bicycle saddle should support the rider from the “sit bones” and put little or no pressure on sensitive soft tissue areas. To do so, you’ll need a saddle that roughly fits the width and geometry of your “sit bones” while sitting on the bike. The bony protrusions at the top of your leg towards the root of your buttocks are known as your sit bones. This width varies depending on how far forward your pelvis is rotated.
Check your position first
Your riding position has a lot to do with saddle comfort. For example, if you ride a triathlon-specific bike that is properly set up, your pelvis will rotate slightly forward. There would be a lot of pressure on sensitive places if you don’t have the right saddle. If you ride a road bike in a somewhat upright position, the widest area of your sit bones will support you and you will require a bigger seat. Before you go saddle shopping, ensure sure your posture has been properly set up by a skilled bicycle fitter.
Check your pelvic width in the riding position
After you’ve properly set up your position, you may begin shopping for a suitable saddle. The first thing to look for is a saddle with a width that nearly fits your “sit bones” while you’re riding your bike. To find the proper placement, use your hands to feel for your “sit bones.” If you are having difficulty on your own, you should seek the assistance of a professional bicycle fitter who is trained in pelvic placement on the saddle. The most crucial part of saddle choosing is the optimum width.
Look for firm yet forgiving padding
The cushioning is the next item to look for in a saddle. In the back of the saddle, thin layers of highly dense shock-absorbing foam are ideal. The seat should be solid but slightly pliable. The stiffness will aid in keeping your pelvis in place and preventing excessive movement. If you get the width right, you won’t need any extra padding.
The saddle’s nose may require a cutaway.
After you’ve decided on the appropriate firmness, you should inspect the saddle’s nose. It should be narrow enough for your thighs to move freely without chafing against the saddle. Many saddles contain a hole or relief in the front to allow for a forward rotated pelvic position without putting too much pressure on soft tissue. This cutaway or relief can be found on the majority of women’s saddles today. This is an indecisive solution. On the one hand, it can relieve pressure on sensitive places, but it can also increase pressure due to the smaller surface area. If you ride in an upright position, a saddle with this cutaway may not be necessary or desirable.
Because of obvious and not-so-obvious physical differences, many women will struggle to get comfortable riding a men’s saddle. The location of your bike on the bike has more to do with saddle comfort than the saddle you choose. Set your position first, then look for a suitable saddle. The majority of experienced bicycle fitters have been educated to assess the optimum positioning and width of saddles. This is accomplished visually while riding your bike on a stationary trainer.
Women’s saddles should be wider to suit their bigger sit bones and differing pelvic geometry than men’s saddles. Each rider is unique, and the saddle should be tailored to fit your position and anatomy. After you’ve decided on the width, you’ll want to consider the padding. Ideally, there should be very little padding that is firm but forgiving. Finally, if you’re riding a triathlon bike, seek for a saddle with a cut-out or relief in the nose. If you’re riding a road bike, you won’t need the cut-out.
Regardless of the saddle you choose, you should get a professional bicycle fit to help you make the proper saddle decision and ride more comfortably.
Our Top Bike Seat Picks
If you’re looking for a bike seat that is right for you, these are the products you can rely on:
- Colour: White
- Height: 2.36 inches
- Item display length: 10.2 inches
- Weight: 658 Grams
- Item display width: 7.8 inches
- Batteries included? No
- Brand: Bikeroo
- Department: Women’s
- Manufacturer: Bikeroo
- Item model number: Seat05
- Product Dimensions: 25.91 x 19.81 x 5.99 cm; 657.71 Grams
The Bikeroo comfort bike saddle is considered one of the most comfortable extra wide bike seats on Amazon. Isn’t a shame how most of the stock bicycle seats that come with new bikes is usually low quality and uncomfortable? Well guess what, that’s why upgrading to this wide option is always a great investment. Equipped with thick padding and dual spring suspension, its ergonomic design makes this bike seat ideal for you. It’s been tested by more than 7000 participants and they’ve absolutely loved it, stating it’s perfect for both indoor and outdoor bikes. Convinced yet? this bike seat comes with GIFTS! — a WATERPROOF SEAT COVER, MOUNTING TOOLS, universal bicycle seat adapter and mounting instructions. Now how does that sound to you?
- Colour: Black
- Size: XL
- Style: Outdoor (Steel Springs)
- Height: 7 inches
- Item display length: 10.2 inches
- Weight: 1.18 Kilograms
- Item display width: 10.2 inches
- Batteries included? No
- Brand: Bikeroo
- Department: Comfortable Bike Seat
- Manufacturer: Bikeroo
- Item model number: FBA_comfortable-Saddle
- Product Dimensions: 25.91 x 25.91 x 17.78 cm; 907 Grams
- Colour: Black Weight: 690g
- Size: 9.8″x7.87″x3.14″ (25x20x8 cm)
- Filling Material: High-density perforating memory foam
- Surface Material: Environmental waterproof artificial PU leather, wear-resistant
- Base Support: High-elastic steel bow & double rubber spring ball
- Package Includes:
1 x Bike Saddle
1 x wrench
1 x waterproof bike seat cushion cover
- Bike type: Cross-Country, cruiser, mountain bikes, road city bikes, fixed gear, hybrid bikes, folding bikes, e-bike, electric bicycle, etc.
- Colour: Black
- Size: 10.6 x 8.7 inches
- Height: 3.5 inches
- Item display length: 10.6 inches
- Item display width: 8.7 inches
- Lamp type: LED
- Light source: LED
- Material type: Foam
- Number of items: 1
- Outer material: PVC leather
- Power source: Batteries
- Seasons: Autumn/winter/spring/summer
- Features: Elastic
- Usage: Cycling
- Sport: Cycling
- Suspension: Dual-suspension
- Included components: 1 pcs CR2032 battery, bike seat rail clamp, water dust resistant cover included
- Batteries included? Yes, 1 pcs CR2032 battery
- Brand: DAWAY
- Fill material: Foam padded
- Department: Men, Women, Senior, Ladies, Boys, Youth, Kids, etc.
- Manufacturer: DAWAY
- Item model number: C99
- Product Dimensions: 26.92 x 22.1 x 8.89 cm; 780 Grams
Simply immaculate in design and comfortability. Its hollow design provides ventilation and breathability and overall makes long term riding easier and more comfortable. This premium bicycle saddle is made of high quality and long-lasting materials. The seat is covered with water-repellent material, waterproof PP plastic, high-density polyurethane foam, wear-resistant PU leather and a shock-absorbing rubber ball bow, whether you’re riding in the mountains or any unstable or uneven land. It is backlit and has a handle on the back, perfectly convenient when you have a passenger for them to hold on to it.
- Colour: Red
- Batteries included? No
- Brand: LINGSFIRE
- Department: Unisex
- Manufacturer: LINGSFIRE
- Package Dimensions: 25.1 x 21.4 x 11.5 cm; 750 Grams