Cycling should be a fun and pleasant experience. If your butt (or another part of your anatomy) hurts after a ride, you probably won’t find riding your bike fun for very long. In this article, I will try to show you the different options you have for bike saddles. Let’s dive into it!
Different types of saddles fit different types of bikes and riding styles. It is crucial to have a saddle that fits your riding style, even if it doesn’t fit the type of bike. In addition, the saddle should also be properly adjusted in relation to the handlebar and the pedals.
Does that mean that I should use a comfortable saddle on my road bike, or maybe I shouldn’t worry at all just give it some time and get used to it, or maybe I should just adjust the saddle properly? Let’s find it out together!
Use The Right Sort Of Seat
There are a lot of different types of bike seats. While it’s not super important to use one particular kind, it is a good idea to use a seat that’s designed for the type of riding you do.Electric bikes built for everything and priced for everyone. Shop Rad Power Bikes, America's #1 electric bike brand. Get out. Go further. Ride Rad.
Riding a bike with a cruiser seat with the seat high up and an aggressive riding position won’t work very well at all. Similarly, sitting totally upright on a time-trial seat will get old pretty fast.
Don’t worry too much about the type of bike you have here. Instead, focus on how you actually ride it. Try to match the aggressiveness of your preferred riding position with the seat you use (forward-leaning or upright riding position).
Different types of bike saddles are designed for specific types of riding. Let’s see what the most common ones are that you will meet.
Cruiser saddles are typically wider and more cushioned for a comfortable ride on a cruiser or beach cruiser bike.
Road bike saddles are often flat, narrow, and lightweight for efficient pedaling on a road bike.
Comfort or leisure saddles are designed for long-distance riding and have more padding for added support.
Mountain biking saddles are typically wider and have more padding for added shock absorption on rough terrain and have a more streamlined design to support the rider’s movement while moving back and forth on the saddle on technical terrains.
Touring saddles are designed for long-distance riding and often have a cut-out or depression in the center to alleviate pressure on sensitive areas.
Women’s saddles are generally shorter and wider than traditional saddles to accommodate a woman’s wider hip. They also often have a cut-out or depression in the center to alleviate pressure on sensitive areas
On a similar note, make sure you’re sitting in a sane place on the seat that you have. Sitting all the way forward or hanging off the back of your seat isn’t usually a good sign. In both cases, try adjusting things so you can sit comfortably in the middle of the seat. Your butt will thank you.
Adjust Your Bike
While cycling shops are quick to sell you a new saddle to reduce butt pain, cycling experts usually blame other things. The height of your seat, the position of your seat, and where your handlebars are can all have a big impact on butt pain.
You’ll want to examine as much of your bike’s fit as you can and get everything right before you start buying a bunch of saddles to compare.
The easiest thing to adjust is your seat height. If you’re experiencing pain, there’s a very good chance that your seat is too high. Try dropping it a good bit and doing some more riding. If this improves things, you’re on the right track. If you feel like your legs aren’t extending properly, however, you might want to go higher instead.
The distance between your seat and your handlebars is called the “reach,” and it’s a big factor in how your bike feels. A bike with a lot of distance here will force you to lean forward, while a bike with no distance here will cause you to ride in a more upright position.
It’s possible to adjust this distance in a number of ways. You can raise or lower your handlebars, move your seat forward or backward, or adjust the angle of your bars. You can also change out your stem, the part of your bike that holds your handlebars aloft.
Adjusting your reach will have a big impact on the angle of your pelvis and how you sit, meaning it’s often a gigantic contributor to butt pain.
Just like with just about every other activity, pain is usually a sign that you should be taking more breaks. On long rides, try to stand up on your bike every few minutes for long enough to let your butt air out and relax.
Don’t be afraid to get off your bike and walk around, either. Some amount of discomfort is totally normal when you’re getting used to a new saddle – or a new hobby. Ride for as long as you’re comfortable, then get off and take a break until you’re ready to return.
Use Proper Attire And Prep
Your legs move up and down a lot when you ride your bike. Depending on the clothes you’re wearing, this constant motion might cause chafing between the stuff you’re wearing and your skin. Cyclists wear bike shorts for a reason – they’re designed to handle this sort of motion without causing pain, chafing, or discomfort.
You don’t necessarily have to jump straight to dedicated bike shorts if you don’t want to, but consider wearing some sort of athletic garment on your lower half to reduce seat-related issues. Make sure you’re wearing appropriate undergarments, too. Wearing loose boxer shorts under your fancy new bike shorts will nullify most of their benefits.
Most serious riders go commando when wearing bike shorts, but you probably don’t want to do this if you’re wearing sweatpants. Instead, just make sure that your clothes make sense.
Finally, whether you’re using bike shorts with a chamois or are just concerned about chafing, consider using chamois cream to keep everything smooth and lubricated.
This is something in between a lubricant and a skincare lotion that will keep your butt and thighs from chafing while you ride. It’s definitely something to look into if you’re having issues with saddle sores or pain while you ride.
I have written to a greater extent on how to reduce butt pain when cycling in these articles: