To get results from your indoor bike you’ve got to put in the miles – that means spending a decent amount of time on the seat. The problem is that exercise bike seats are not very comfortable. And, if we get a pain in the butt every time we work out, we’re not going to be inclined to keep doing it.
That’s why the comfort of your stationary bike seat is one of the most important factors in determining whether you will achieve your exercise bike goals or not. In this article, I’ll show you how to make exercise bike seat more comfortable, as well as giving tips on how to deal with seat pain and answering the most common exercise bike seat questions.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Why Is Your Exercise Bike Seat Uncomfortable?
- 2 How To Make An Exercise Bike Seat More Comfortable
- 3 What To Do For Comfort While Cycling
- 4 What Not To Do When Working Out On An Exercise Bike
- 5 How To Treat Bike Seat Pain
- 6 Why Is It Important To Have A Comfortable Exercise Bike?
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
- 8 Conclusion
Why Is Your Exercise Bike Seat Uncomfortable?
Saddle Is Too Narrow/Wide
When you sit on your bike seat, the vast majority of the pressure goes on the sit bones. If the seat is too narrow for your sit bones, you will not be comfortable. Women have wider sit bones than men, so require a wider seat.
A seat that is too wide may interfere with natural pedaling motion. It can also cause pain in the crotch area for men.
If possible, you should try out the seat before buying the bike. If you are buying online, check user reviews on this issue.
Go here to find out how to convert your cycle into a stationary bike.
Not Wearing The Right Kind Of Equipment
Loose fitting pants are not a good idea when you are on the exercise bike, as the material of your shorts or track pants may rub against your skin, causing chafing on the inside of the thighs, which can be very painful. The best way to avoid inner thigh chafing is to wear cycling pants.
Interested in the best bike trainers? Read more here.
Putting Too Much Pressure On The Hind During Exercise
A seat that is either too narrow or too wide can put excessive pressure on your butt. An overly narrow seat will cause your butt cheeks to spill over the edge of the seat, or it may compress your seating position. Either way, you’re likely to feel an uncomfortable tingling sensation or even numbness in the butt.
You can lessen butt pressure by not leaning completely on the saddle. By coming forward a little and lifting your body, you will also be engaging your core more.
To find out what the best elliptical machines on the market are right now, click here.
Saddle Is In The Wrong Position
The saddle can be adjusted up and down and often backwards and forward also. This allows you to customize the seat to fit your body. If the seat is either too high or too low, you will not be able to get a biomechanically correct pedaling motion. You are also likely to cause strain to your lower back, hips and knees.
To get the right seat height, stand alongside the bike – the seat should be at the level of your hips.
Don’t forget to read about the best folding exercise bikes.
A final cause of seat discomfort may be that you have a bacteria-related problem. Excessive sweating may cause the build-up of bacteria in your nether regions, leading to a urinary tract infection (UTI) or other cause of discomfort when you sit for extended periods of time.
To minimize your risk of getting a UTI, be sure to shower after every workout. You should also put your clothes in the wash after each workout and change into a clean set of clothes.
What are the benefits of exercise bikes? Click the link to read more.
How To Make An Exercise Bike Seat More Comfortable
Wear The Right Clothing
If you’re only spending a few minutes on your exercise bike, your clothing will not be a huge factor. However, if you are doing longer sessions in the saddle, the clothes that you wear become increasingly important.
You should wear tight fitting clothes that are comfortable. They should be made from material that is highly breathable and that is sweat wicking. Bicycle pants made from lycra are a good choice. If you are shopping for cycle pants, look for a pair that has built-in padding to provide extra protection for your butt.
Do not wear loose fitting clothing which may rub against the skin, causing chafing of the inner thighs.
What is a recumbent bike? Read more by clicking the link.
Adjust Your Seat
Before you first use your exercise bike, you should adjust it for your height. Stand alongside the bike and note your hip level. The height of the seat should correspond to your hip height. Adjust the seat accordingly.
Many bikes will also allow you to adjust the horizontal position of the seat. Ideally, the seat should be positioned so that you are able to reach out to hold the handlebars without having to excessively lean forward. A seat that is too far back will force you to round you back, potentially causing lower back discomfort.
If the seat on indoor bikes is too close to the handles, you will not be able to get a natural pedaling action. Your knees may hit the handle bars, keeping you too constricted.
Get Seat Cover
Another option is to retain the seat but add a soft gel seat cover. This is a better option than placing a cushion on the seat. Doing so may compromise your exercise form as the pillow beneath your butt moves around.
Change Your Saddle
Most exercise bikes come with a one-size-fits-all seat. These are not meant to meet the comfort needs of people of different shapes and sizes. If the bike has a universal seat post, you will be able to remove the seat and replace it with a custom seat of your own choosing (and expense).
Use Chafing Cream
A chafing cream can help to prevent any potential chafing problems. Apply the cream to your inner thighs before your workout as a preventative measure. This will reduce the friction between your clothing and your skin.
Change Your Position
By shifting your position between sitting and standing, you will provide yourself with a lot of seat discomfort relief. I recommend switching between sitting and standing at least every ten minutes.
- Always keep your legs slightly bent; the straight leg position will put too much strain on your knees.
- Maintain a neutral spine position when you are out of the saddle.
- If sprinting, tilt the hips sideways to promote an ideal ergonomic movement.
- Look up while cycling.
- Pull your shoulders down and lift your chest.
- Always maintain a slight elbow bend.
- Maintain a neutral spine position (do not round your back).
What To Do For Comfort While Cycling
- Adjust the seat vertically and horizontally (if possible) to ensure that it is correct for your height.
- Adjust the handle height so that you don’t have to round your back to hold them.
- Make sure that the sole of your foot (not just your toes and the balls of your feet) are resting on the pedals.
- Wear quality cycling shorts; if chafing is an issue, apply chafing cream before getting on the bike.
- If you are getting grip discomfort, wear cycling gloves while riding.
- Progressively increase the duration and intensity of your sessions, doing so gradually.
What Not To Do When Working Out On An Exercise Bike
- Do not follow a routine that is too easy for you; your body will not find it challenging and you will not get the adaptive response that you are after.
- Don’t do the same workout every time – mix it up for variety, switching between HIIT, spin, hill climb and other types of training.
- Don’t ignore the display monitor – it provides valuable diagnostic information that can motivate you to reach mini goals such as a certain calorie burn or distance covered.
How To Treat Bike Seat Pain
Take A Shower
Have a cold shower immediately after your indoor bike workout. Follow this with a hot shower. This switching between cold and hot will increase your blood circulation, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the painful area.
After your shower, spend a few minutes doing some self-massage. I highly recommend investing in a foam roller to gently massage the inner thighs and glutes.
A steam bath is a great option after your cycling workout. The steam will help to speed up the healing process if you have any chafing. The steam bath will also rejuvenate your entire body.
Why Is It Important To Have A Comfortable Exercise Bike?
It is important to have a comfortable exercise bike because a comfortable bike will lead to a more pleasant, effective and safe workout. This will encourage you to use your exercise bike more frequently.
A comfortable exercise bike will lower the shock resistance on your ankles, knees and hips. It will also reduce indoor cycling seat pain. You will experience little to no chafing on the inner thighs and your circulation will improve as a result of improved bodily ergonomics.
Frequently Asked Questions
Exercise bike seats are so uncomfortable because they usually come in a one-size-fits-all design. It is impossible to make a seat that will fit all shapes and sizes. The reason your stationary bike seat hurts may also be that you have not adjusted it for your height. You may also be wearing clothes that are too loose fitting, leading to chafing of the inner thighs. You may also be putting too much pressure on your butt by pushing down excessively while cycling.
Yes, you can change the seat on exercise bikes. However, the bike needs to have a universal bike post. This will allow you to remove the seat that came with the bike and change with one that you purchase separately. Changing out the seat of a bike is a simple process that can be done with a wrench in a couple of minutes.
Yes, gel bike seats are good. Gel seat covers provide a softer, more comfortable place to park your butt. Rather than swapping out a complete seat, you can also buy a gel cover that can fit on the existing seat. Either of these options will provide you with a far more comfortable seating position, allowing you to ride the bike for longer.
There are several ways to make your bike seat not hurt. The first is to make sure that it is set at the right height for you. The seat should be at hip level when you are standing. You should also wear tight, comfortable clothing to help prevent chafing. Consider swapping out the seat for a more comfortable one or purchasing a gel cover to slip over the existing seat. Applying chafing cream to your inner thighs can also help.
To make your bike seat softer, you can purchase a gel seat cover. These covers usually have a spandex or lycra outer. The soft gel will mold both to your butt and the existing seat. They usually come with drawstrings to help you to easily adjust to the size of the seat and to ensure that the cover will not slip off the bike.
A comfortable exercise bike will transform your entire cycling experience. You will be more motivated to exercise, which will lead to more consistent training and better fitness and body transformation results.
Here’s a quick recap of how to make exercise bike seat more comfortable:
- Adjust the seat for your height (it should be at hip height when you are standing)
- Wear padded shorts or cycling shorts
- Get a gel cover or swap out the seat
- Don’t put too much pressure on your butt
- Alternate between sitting and standing
Follow these tips to make your bike seat as comfortable as possible.