How to Improve Confidence on a Bike

How to Improve Confidence on a Bike

Confidence on a bike can depend on a range of things and it is important to work on and develop your confidence.  This is especially true if you want to improve and try some new things. 

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Confidence or more to the point lack of confidence can really interfere with your enjoyment of riding.  To try new things and ride more often you need to feel confident about your skills and ability.  This is especially true for any challenging environments you may ride in.  We want you to choose to ride more often and to ride to more places.  Working on your confidence will allow you to do this.

Tips to Improve Confidence

Skills

  • get some training from a cycle instructor, join a skills session or go to a skills clinic (local councils often run these courses through the local sports trust)
  • include practice sessions in your weekly riding schedule.  Choose a quiet, empty place and go through starting/stopping, smooth braking, balance and cornering
  • choose to ride on a weekly basis throughout the year.  Riding regularly will improve your ability on a bike.  Large periods of time without riding make it difficult to maintain your confidence.
  • ride your bike for different things.  Ride for transport as well as fitness/recreation.  Varying where you go and what you experience will widen your ability

Learn more at: How to Improve Balance on a Bike or choose to read Starting & Stopping – Bike Skills for Beginners

Support

  • ride with a group or with your friends.  You are more likely to try new things when in a group and other people will build you up and you can learn from them
  • encourage other members of your family to ride with you.  Including those close to you in your development and learning will make the journey much more enjoyable whether that is a partner, sister, children or grandchildren. 
  • make sure when you talk to others about your riding you do it in a positive way
  • seek out information from knowledgeable sources and use any resources you can find.  Look for websites, newspaper and magazine articles, books etc.  People have been riding bikes for centuries so there is a lot of available advice

 

Practice skills in a quiet place

Safety

  • wear protective gear like a helmet & gloves that fit well and make you feel safe
  • choose bright or fluorescent colours for your outer layers.  Be easy to see
  • use lights even in the day time.  A rear light set on flashing mode will attract attention even during the day
endurance grip

Be bright & visible

Set Goals

  • chose a trail or a place you would like to ride to and train to make it happen
  • enter a race or event that supports all levels of riding ability
  • have a test ride that shows you how your riding is going.  Doing this ride will tell you if your fitness has improved or your ability to ride over certain terrain has improved
  • reflect on your accomplishments.  It can be a great idea to have a record of all your rides – where you go and how it felt.  When you look back over this record it will show you how much you have done.

Homestead Run – Hanmer Springs

 

When it’s hard…

Even when it’s bad look for the good.  You’re outside in fresh air, connected to the environment and community around you.  Your body is moving and working.

It often helps to be aware of things that make you smile or bring you comfort about your riding.  Rituals and routines comfort us.  Try some of the things on the following list

  • ride at a time of the day that you enjoy or the same time of day every time you ride
  • chose to ride to a place that you like or to see things you enjoy.  A place for stopping or having a coffee
  • wear clothing that makes you smile or prepares you for riding.  A top that is your favourite colour, a pair of socks you wear every time you ride
  • balance frequency vs duration.  It is often a better plan to go for smaller rides more often
  • talk to people about your riding and ask lots of questions.  Find an advisor or someone you trust to help you with any problems

Your bike riding success is different to others… use our stories and support, get the right solutions.

Support and inspire other riders and families to ride

Share your riding outings, adventures and experiences on our quick and easy question and answer forms. Join us in helping others ride bikes. All entries receive a free shipping coupon and go into our seasonal prize draw.

goRide supporting women and families to SMILE when you ride

How to Improve Balance on a Bike

How to Improve Balance on a Bike

Being balanced on a bike is an important skill to have.  Balance comes more naturally to some.  If your balance is not as good as you would like, there are ways to improve.

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Riding a bike requires good balance especially when the environment or terrain changes.  Uneven surfaces can challenge even the best of us.  Regardless of your current ability to balance it is definitely a skill that everyone who rides a bike should practice and improve.  This will then improve your riding. 

First thing to do is check your…

Body Position & Bike Set Up

Having a strong, efficient position on the bike will help with your balance.  There are several things to check to make sure you are riding your bike in a sustainable position.

  1. Seat Height – the height your seat is set at is important for pedalling motion and power.  You should ideally have a leg that is close to full extension on the down stroke of your pedal action.  You want to be able to generate good power but still be confident.
  2. Seat Angle/Tilt – if you can’t sit properly on your seat  or it makes you move around or slide your balance will be affected.
  3. Reach to Handlebars – again you need to be in a comfortable position where you are not stretching or cramped up.  Good posture should be easy to achieve.  The ‘A’ position requires a flat upper and lower back, dropped shoulders and C shaped arms

For more on this topic please read the following stories.  Always be aware of your body position while riding, keep checking in with how your body is feeling.  Bike Seat “Sweet Spot” explains height, tilt and reach. ‘A’ Body Position shows your ideal body position (includes a video)

Good body position on your bike will help with balance

Tips for Improving Balance

Look ahead and keep your head and eyes up!

This sounds so simple but when we start to feel a bit uncertain or unbalanced on a bike we tend to look at our front wheel. Only look where you want to go. Your eyes should be looking at the road or track directly in front of you.  How far ahead will depend on how fast you are going but aim for 2-3metres in front of your bike.  As you ride in more challenging places this rule becomes more important.  When off road trails narrow there will be a tendency to look off the track, or worse, down the bank!  Don’t!  Keep your head up and eyes ahead.  If it starts to get a bit bumpy under your bike again we naturally want to look at the rocks or stones creating the impacts.  If you have been following the rule (look ahead, head and eyes up) you will have spotted the obstacle ahead of you and made adjustments to your steering to choose a good line or path.  You then need to trust in your decision and continue to look ahead knowing you will miss or anticipating the bump on the track.

womens boyleg goUnders

Look ahead to be aware of what is coming on the track

Things to do off the bike to improve balance

If you don’t have very good balance when you are off the bike chances are that on the bike won’t be much different.  So there are ways to help with your balance before you even get to your bike.  These strengthening tips are great for everyone that rides a bike.  They are also a great thing to do when you are not riding very much, perhaps the weather is particularly cold or wet and you can’t ride.  We recommend spending that ride time on exercises that will help you when you get back to your bike. Our bodies are all different and through a life time will have experienced different things making them short, tight, weak in certain places or on a certain side.  This body history effects your ability to balance.

Strengthen Your Core

Having a strong core is an essential element in maintaining good body position on a bike (read more about this subject: Core strength & your riding position).  If you have a strong core your movements will be strong and efficient and you will be well balanced when you ride.

There are all sorts of ways that you can work on core strength.  Both Yoga and Pilates offer core strengthening and balance work.  These days you can do classes in a variety of places or stay at home and do them online.  If a class is not your kind of thing try doing really simply things on a daily basis.  Stand on one leg to brush your teeth.  Swapping legs from morning to night.  Each day attempt to stand on one leg and shut your eyes.  Get yourself a Swiss or Gym ball and sit on it rather than a chair.  Buy a wobble board and spend 10 to 15mins a day trying to balance on it.

Strengthen Your Leg, Hip & Butt Muscles

Again strength in these muscles will make time on your bike easier.  Having balanced strength from front to back or from side to side will help with balance and alignment when you pedal.  For more on pedalling read Pedalling Technique or see the story on Pedalling & Bike Seat Comfort.

There are a huge variety of things you can do to strength leg, hip or butt muscles.  If you are aware of an area of weakness we recommend focusing and working on that area to help with balance when you ride.  Walking, pilates, yoga, hill walking, climbing stairs, weight training or gym classes – these are all ways to improve strength.  Choose something that appeals to you and that you will stick at.

Things to do on the bike to improve balance

Practicing Balance.

To follow are a couple of skills to practice on your bike in a quiet, empty place like a car park, school/sports ground, wide bike path.  Trying these skills is meant to challenge your balance in a safe environment and in a way that you feel like you are in control.  Only move onto a harder stage when you feel confident about what you have completed.

Ride in a straight line.  Great to practice this where there are actual lines for you to stay on.  Sounds pretty simple but it can be challenging.  How long can you maintain the straight line for?  As you get better at this skill try to go slower.  The slower you go the harder it is to maintain your balance and keep your bike upright.  You may eventually be going so slow that it is easier to stay balanced up out of your seat, balancing on your pedals.

Straight line while looking back.  This skill definitely requires good balance and is an essential part of riding in traffic or a group.  To begin with don’t turn very far, keep your torso straight and turn your neck for a quick scan only.  Do this several times to one side while trying to keep your bike moving forward in a straight line. We recommend practicing to your right as this will be where most of the traffic or things you need to see are – we ride on the left). Remember what we said about speed above so make sure you are going fast enough (but not too fast) to make this achievable.  When you have mastered one side try turning your neck to the other side.

To practice turning for longer it is really important that you have a good distance of straight clear riding space in front of you.  To turn for longer take one hand off the handlebar and open up your body while twisting your back to get a good view of whats happening behind you.  If you need to you can break this skill down into stages.  First ride with one hand only on the handlebar maintaining good balance and a straight riding line.  When you feel good about this practice the back twisting movement while still looking ahead.  When you feel balanced doing this add the final bit of the turn – your head.

Your bike riding success is different to others… use our stories and support, get the right solutions.

Support and inspire other riders and families to ride

Share your riding outings, adventures and experiences on our quick and easy question and answer forms. Join us in helping others ride bikes. All entries receive a free shipping coupon and go into our seasonal prize draw.

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Rider Profile & Saddle Match – New to Bike Path

Rider Profile & Saddle Match – New to Bike Path

To achieve comfort on a bike seat your bike saddle must match you as a rider. Let’s work out your Rider Profile so you can find the right bike seat.

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rider profile

Rider Profile – Saddle Match Example.

In this story we are presenting an example of a rider profile saddle match for a new or returning to bike path rider.  Learn about Joan, her Rider Profile and discover her saddle match.

Meet Joan: Joan is a 55 year old women who recently bought herself an E-bike that she loves. She hasn’t been on a bike in a number of years.

Your rider profile may have some similarities to Joan as well as some differences… reading about Joan will help you understand how to work out your own rider profile and saddle match.

Rider Profile.

 Body Position/Angle on the Bike – We do not usually sit at just one angle but have a range that the shape of our bike allows us to move through.  Please choose a position from the three below;

  • Position One –  90 to 75 degrees.  This rider has an upright body on the bike 
  • Position Two –  80 to 45 degrees.  The forward bend is slight to mid range
  • Position Three –  60 to 15 degrees.  A mid bend to fully forward

To understand more about your riding angle…

Position One

Joan has a riding angle range of 90 to 75 degrees.  She spends most of her time on the bike at a 80 degree angle, upright body position.

To get the comfort Joan needs when riding she should choose a saddle that supports Position One on the bike.

Bike Saddle Match = Position One

 Your Gender – Being female or male influences the width of your boney structure (how far apart the sit bones that we use to transfer weight onto the saddle are).  Women usually have a wider pelvic structure.  This is not true for everyone but if your pelvis is narrow you will more than likely know and should choose a narrow female saddle or consider a mens saddle.

Joan has a typical women’s pelvis width.  To get the correct support when riding Joan needs a women’s width saddle.

Bike Saddle Match = Womens

   Match your saddle to how you ride

What type of rider are you… or where do you want to get in the future?

  • A Casual Rider…  enjoys shorter ride times and leisurely trips.  Usually less than an hour.  Can be a new rider or returning to riding after a long break. The riding is gentle and easy and can be anything from once a month to daily.
  • A Fitness Rider…  enjoys short to mid length riding on a regular basis, at least 2-3 times a week.  Usually riding from 30 minutes to 2 hours with occasional longer rides.  Often working towards or training for a specific trail. The riding is varied, usually social and at times is moderately challenging.
  • A Confident Rider…  enjoys riding on a consistent basis, committed to riding a bike as a large part of lifestyle.  Usually riding from 30 minutes to 2 hours and takes the opportunity for regular longer rides.  Maintains a high level of bike fitness, will happily ride alone and rides through all the seasons. Is strong and in control even when the terrain is challenging.

 

Joan is only starting out so she is taking her time to allow her body to rediscover riding. This puts her in the Casual Rider category.  However, having an E-Bike means she has assistance and with this assistance she will quickly put herself in the Fitness Rider category.

Joan has spent a considerable amount of money on her E-Bike so is motivated to use it.  She is hopeful that she will enjoy riding and would like to build up to riding for a couple of hours 2-3 times per week.

Therefore Joan has decided she will purchase a bike saddle that matches to a Fitness Rider, so she has the comfort she needs to support her to increase her bike riding.

Bike Saddle Match = Fitness Rider

   Match your saddle to the places you go

Where do you have the confidence to take your bike?

  • Cities/Towns/On-Road…  smooth, sealed, tar-seal.  In and around traffic, urban and surroundings.
  • Bike Path/Easy Trail… off road pathways, cycle tracks and trails that are wide, smooth, compacted dirt/gravel or sealed.  Board walks & bridges, little technical challenge.
  • Off-Road Trails/Country Roads… varied, changing, loose gravel, stones, potholes, 4WD roads, can be isolated.
  • Mountain Bike/Back Country Tracks…  narrow, tight turns, steep descents, long climbs, roots, rocks and loose gravel, can be isolated.

 

Joan is currently cautious and prefers to ride on smooth, well graded trails away from traffic and any shared paths need to be quiet.  She prefers to ride with a group and is keen to explore and discover new things in her community.

Joan is a Bike Path/Easy trail rider currently with the aspiration to gain confidence about where she can ride.  As her control and balance on her bike grows she hopes to use it to ride to more places.

Bike Saddle Match = Bikepath/Easy Trail

Joan has decided that it is likely to take her quite a while before she would be confident to ride her bike on varied surfaces. She believes her best match is to bike path/easy trail saddles and she would be happy to look at purchasing another saddle to support her comfort for riding on rougher off road trails/country roads if this ever becomes where she does the majority of her riding.

Specific Issues and Considerations

Bike saddles can help with areas of discomfort.  If you have any specific issues it is better to choose a saddle that has been designed to help

  • Heavy Rider
  • Sit Bone Aches
  • Tail Bone Discomfort
  • Soft Tissue Compression
  • Chafing

Joan is finding achieving comfort on her current saddle challenging she is having some sit bone aches and tail bone discomfort when she is riding.  Joan is also slightly overweight and would like the feeling of support a wider saddle will give.

 

Bike Saddle Match = Wide, Sit Bone and Tail Bone Support

Joans Rider Profile

Having worked through her profile. Joan has identified she is a

  1. Fitness Rider – though Casual currently she is working quickly towards the Fitness category
  2. Women
  3. Position One 90 to 75 degrees
  4. Bike Path & Easy Trail (working towards all off road trails & country roads along with occasional town trips to the library or for small amounts of groceries)
  5. Sit bone, tail bone discomfort

Best match is… the Wide Fitness Trail Saddle.  This is a good option for Joan if she is motivated to get herself into the Fitness category quite quickly.  It is a better match to how Joan wants to ride, not how she is currently riding.  But getting a more comfortable saddle will help Joan ride more often and for longer, helping her obtain her couple of hours 2-3 times a week riding goal.

 

Other saddle solutions that Joan could have considered 

All these saddle options have good rear support for sit bone issues.  They also allow for tail bone placement as they either have a rear channel and/or a rear curve…

Joan liked the look of the padding in this seat. However the padding on the Wide Soft Saddle is a double layer of foam which has lots of cushioning but has little support. Joan would find this saddle initially quite comfortable while enjoying her short, smooth surface riding, however it is likely to limit Joan’s comfort when she begins to ride for longer and is not suited to the more challenging trails in the future.

The Women’s Town & Trail Saddle is a good option for how Joan is currently riding as it is the only Casual category saddle that will handle easy bike path and off road trails for rides over 30mins.  Would be the best option if Joan believed it would take her a long time to build up her riding.

The Women’s Tour Trail Saddle is a great off-road endurance, touring saddle.  Joan’s usual angle of 75 degrees fits within the body position range (80 to 60 degrees).  Bold choice if Joan believes she will become a fan of riding holidays and training to be fit for them.  This saddle is a narrower option…  Perhaps this is the saddle to consider in a year or two?

Other solutions to support Joan being comfortable on her seat

The right saddle is the best starting point in achieving comfort on your bike seat.

There are other things to consider that will help Joan adjust to riding and provide protection on longer rides or multiple days of riding.  Please read our story which covers all the bike seat comfort options.

Your bike riding success is different to others… use our stories and support, get the right solutions.

Support and inspire other riders and families to ride

Share your riding outings, adventures and experiences on our quick and easy question and answer forms. Join us in helping others ride bikes. All entries receive a free shipping coupon and go into our seasonal prize draw.

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Tips for Riding in Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter

Tips for Riding in Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter

Welcome to Tips for Riding in Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. Riding through the different seasons provides different challenges and demands 

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winter gloves

The demands and challenges can be different dependent on the season you are riding in.  To have successful riding experiences in spring, summer autumn or winter, learn and understand what you need to be safe and comfortable. Choose the season below that relates to your current riding… and learn more.

Spring Riding

If you haven’t been riding much over winter spring is the time to get excited about riding a bike again. It is easy to be excited and enjoy this season on your bike as the weather starts to warm and the days start to get longer. Spring is your preparation season. Preparing your bike for riding. Preparing your gear and your body for spending more time on the bike.

Summer Riding

Long, warm days, warm summer evenings with lots of opportunity to ride.  Summer is the season that we use our bikes the most.  You need to consider your comfort on the bike seat and be aware of the conditions you are potentially riding in and have solutions to any challenges.

Autumn Riding

Cooler, more unpredictable weather awaits you on the bike.  Autumn is the season where you want to use all the summer riding you have done to your advantage.  You just need to be aware of the conditions you are potentially riding in and have solutions to any challenges.To continue the success of your summer riding into autumn you need to think about length & warmth.

Winter Riding

Winter is the season that throws up the most challenges.  To continue to ride and still enjoy your riding you will need the right gear for the cold, for wet conditions, and to be seen in the dark or poor light. We really hope you want to keep riding in winter, it just takes an awareness of the conditions you may encounter and how to best protect yourself.

Your bike riding success is different to others… use our stories and support, get the right solutions.

Support and inspire other riders and families to ride

Share your riding outings, adventures and experiences on our quick and easy question and answer forms. Join us in helping others ride bikes. All entries receive a free shipping coupon and go into our seasonal prize draw.

goRide supporting women and families to SMILE when you ride

Bike at a comfortable temperature – use layering

Bike at a comfortable temperature – use layering

To enjoy time on your bike you want to be able to control your body temperature.  Being too hot or too cold just makes biking unpleasant.  We recommend layering of clothing to support a comfortable body temperature.

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The key to managing your temperature on the bike is layering with riding clothing that is breathable and moisture wicking. In warmer temperatures you may just ride in one layer (a base layer).  Compare this to slightly cooler temperatures where you will ride with more than one layer. The number of layers and the clothing you choose will be determined by the temperature and the conditions you are riding in. When you ride you create air flow this causes a draft and a cooling of your body temperature.   If you ride at speed e.g on an E-Bike or when descending down a hill, this effect is accentuated and can quickly become chilling. This can be more of an issue if you are wet from rain or damp from sweat. This is why bike riders frequently require more than one layer. At the very least you need to carry an additional layer with you.

When you are heading out for a ride consider how many layers you may need to ride in comfort? Do you need to carry any additional layer/s with you? Let’s understand the three layers and the type of clothing found in each layer.

Outer Layer:

The outermost layer which acts like a kind of barrier, protecting us from rain & wind as we ride.  Outer layers on a bike are what everyone sees as we ride around so outer layers can be very important in helping to keep us visible.  Clothing designed for bike riders is often slim & fitted.  This can be the case for your outer layer so be aware of this especially if you want to ride with several layers.

Type of clothing used as an outer layer:  waterproof or water resistant jackets, thermal soft shell jackets, merino, fleece, waterproof trousers

What do you need from an outer layer? This will depend on the conditions and where you are riding.

  • Do you ride in the rain?  Are you riding in isolated areas or a long way from home?  If yes then a waterproof outer layer is important to keep you safe from the rain and cold
  • Will it be cold when you ride?  Bike jackets are often hard shells meaning they lack an insulating element for warmth.  The main function is based around protection from rain so when it comes to warmth they can be lacking.  If you are not riding in wet conditions a thermal jacket can act as your outer layer
  • If you ride in mainly good weather and are simply at risk if you get caught out by a change in the weather then a water resistant outer layer is likely to be all you need
  • If you need to be seen to keep safe then wear an outer layer that is bright or fluorescent and has reflective strips
Choose the correct chamois

Match the type of outer wear you choose to the place and conditions you are expecting to ride in.

Mid Layer:

You only have a mid layer if you are wearing 3 or more layers. Note that your mid layer may also be your outer layer if riding in good weather conditions – 2 layers.

Type of Clothing: Includes merino fleece, soft shell jackets, vests, long sleeve tops

What do you need from a mid layer?  You are wearing this layer to provide additional warmth or protection from wind chill when you ride.

A versatile layer that should be easy to get on and off so choose zips and wide openings.  A mid layer should not be too bulky so you can wear it comfortably with other layers.

Choose the correct chamois

The amount of warmth and protection you need from a mid layer will be very dependent on the season.

Base Layer:

Any item of clothing that comes into contact with your skin can be considered a base layer.

Types of clothing: Sports bras, underwear, t-shirts, tops, padded bike pants/underwear, socks, gloves, beanies, head/neck warmers and leg warmers.

What do you need from a base layer; This layer needs to be comfortable to wear against your skin and have good moisture wicking and breathability properties.

When you are exercising on your bike this layer becomes really important for your ongoing comfort.  It must be able to manage moisture well so that you don’t become damp.  Therefore fabrics that are breathable, wicking and also anti-microbial should be chosen. If your base layer is the only layer you are wearing and you need to be seen, wear bright coloured clothing.

Bike Seat Comfort needs to considered in your base layer. Wearing either bike specific underwear or pants that have a chamois (padding) sewn into them will add to your comfort.

Choose the correct chamois

Our goUnders are made from Supplex a soft, stretch fabric that also helps with wicking moisture away from your body.

When to Layer up (put more layers on). When to layer down (take layers off)…

The key here is to try and either layer up or down early. Be aware of how your body’s temperature is responding to the conditions and your clothing choice. Try to remove a layer before you get too sweaty and try to add a layer before you start to feel the effects of the cold.  Often it will take 10 or 15mins to “warm up” on your bike and after that you can consider removing layers – this is very dependant on the weather you are riding in.  At the beginning of a big hill climb it can also be a good idea to remove a layer.  When you have reached the top, and had a quick drink, make a layering decision again, should you put a layer on to protect yourself from wind chill on the descent?  Responding early helps minimise the adverse effects of being too hot or cold.

thermal bike jacket

Thermal bike jacket – mid or outer layer to block air flow & give warmth

thermal bike jacket

Merino tops are ideal for winter riding. Suitable as a mid layer and can be used as an outer layer in milder conditions.

thermal bike jacket

Lightweight, colourful synthetic fabrics for breathability as a base layer in warm conditions

base layer warmth

Head & Neck Warmers are a great addition to your cold weather riding.

Your bike riding success is different to others… use our stories and support, get the right solutions.

Support and inspire other riders and families to ride

Share your riding outings, adventures and experiences on our quick and easy question and answer forms. Join us in helping others ride bikes. All entries receive a free shipping coupon and go into our seasonal prize draw.

goRide supporting women and families to SMILE when you ride

Heavy Riders and Bike Seat Comfort

Heavy Riders and Bike Seat Comfort

Heavy Riders can find achieving comfort on a bike seat challenging. Lets have a look at understanding the challenges and your options for improving your comfort  

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Bike Path Rider - New to riding

Bike Seat Comfort

Acheiving bike seat comfort can be a challenging and complex task and heavy riders can find achieving comfort difficult.

If you are a heavy rider, know that improving your comfort is possible. It is likely you may have to work hard, be precise, try things, and be patient to achieve comfort.

Please do not give up, or choose not to ride because you are struggling with comfort.  We are here to help… comfort is possible for you. You are not alone, other heavy riders have achieved bike seat comfort and the rewards are worth it.

Bone Structure & Heavy Riders 

The size and width of your boney structures do not change after you have fully grown, so after the age of approximately 18. If you where a size 16 and are now a size 20 this is due to an increased amount of  subcutaneous tissue and muscle (the stuff under our skin) rather than a change in the size of your bones, your boney structure.

Sitting on your bike saddle and weight transference

When you sit on your saddle you are effectively straddling it. You are wanting the sit bones (bottom of your pelvis) and the boney area around them to take most of the weight.

What are sit bones?

Your sit bones are large strong thickened areas of bone at the bottom of your pelvis that are designed to take your sitting load.

These sit bones need to be supported on your saddle. Your saddle has to provide a “useable width” for these sit bones. Remember above, we talked about your boney structures, they have not changed in width with your increased weight so in theory heavy riders do not need to have an extra wide saddle just one that will support the width of your sit bones.

However, many heavy riders can feel unsupported and uncomfortable on what they feel are narrow seats due to the increase bulk effectively hanging over the sides of the saddle.

endurance padded pant & chamois cream

Your sit bones are meant to take weight so they need to be supported on a saddle.

Saddles for Heavy Riders

If you are wanting a wider saddle there are some challenges with the materials used to make these saddle that are currently available on the market. Wider saddles are soft saddles, made of foam, and they have little supporting materials. These saddles are therefore designed mainly for short distances and may not provide the support you need if you are wanting to ride more distance/time… for example greater than 30-45 minutes.

Heavy Riders may need to start with a wide saddle and transition to a less wide saddle as they increase their fitness on the bike and their body and its tissues are more accustomed to sitting on a saddle.

How you ride

How you ride is particularly important for Heavy Riders ability to achieve comfort.

Your Riding Position

Maintaining a good body position is vital to your comfort on your bike seat and your riding efficiency. We refer to this as your “A” Riding Position. Achieving this position and maintaining it throughout your ride can be  challenging for heavy riders.

During the ride heavy riders can often collapse out of their “A” riding position as they do not have the core strength to maintain this position throughout the full duration of their ride.

Time on the bike

You will need to be very conscious of how you spend time on the bike. You need to find what works for you. Some tips

  • Work out how long you can ride in comfort and only ride for this time
  • Stop very regularly to give some of your weight bearing tissues a break
  • If you are wanting to increase your time and frequency on the bike… only very gradual increases with lots of rest and recovery
  • You may need rest days between rides to allow your body to recover
  • Make sure you have considered all your options to supporting your comfort on your seat. It is likely you will need to consider multiple options to achieve comfort.

Your bike riding success is different to others… use our stories and support, get the right solutions.

Support and inspire other riders and families to ride

Share your riding outings, adventures and experiences on our quick and easy question and answer forms. Join us in helping others ride bikes. All entries receive a free shipping coupon and go into our seasonal prize draw.

goRide supporting women and families to SMILE when you ride

Smile when you ride

Be Comfortable on your Bike Seat

Riding in Cooler Weather

Riding in Wet Conditions

Be Visible on the Bike

'Fun Up' the Kids Bike/Biking

Clothing & Bags

Padded Bike Pants & Underwear

Bike Tops and Jackets

Headbands & Neck Warmers for Biking

Bags, Baskets & Panniers for Biking

Rider Safety & Protection

Bike Helmets

Mountain Bike Helmets

Bike Gloves

Bike Lights

Bike Bells

First Aid & Personal Care

Hydration

Bike Tow Ropes

Bike Parts & Care

Bike Saddles

Handlebar Grips

Bike Locks

Bike Carriers

Bike & Chain Cleaning

Bike Tools & Tool Kits to Carry

Kids Bike Seats & Bikes

Full Range Kids Bike Seats - Attached or Towed

Rear Kids Bike Seats

Mid Kids Bike Seats

Front Kids Bike Seats

Towing Kids who ride their own Bike

Bike Trailers for Kids

Kids Balance Bikes

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Buying Guides

Ride more places

NZ Made

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Kids & Youth

Padded Bike Underwear

Bike Helmets

Mountain Bike Helmets

Riding Clothing

Jackets for Biking/Outdoors

Protective Padding

Bike Gloves

Bike Bells

Handlebar Grips

Bike Locks

Hydration

Women

Padded Bike Pants & Underwear

Bike Saddles

Bike Helmets

Mountain Bike Helmets

Bike Tops & Jackets

Bike Gloves

Bike Bells

Hydration

Handlebar Grips

Family 

Full Range Kids Bike Seats - Attached or Towed

Riding with - 1 year old

Riding with - 2 year old

Riding with - 3 year old

Riding with - 4/5 year old

Riding with - 6+ year old

Men

Bike Helmets

Mountain Bike Helmets

Bike Saddle

Bike Gloves

Handlebar Grips

Bike Bell

Smile when you ride

Be Comfortable on your Bike Seat

Riding in Cooler Weather

Riding in Wet Conditions

Be Visible on the Bike

'Fun Up' the Kids Bike/Biking

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Buying Guides

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NZ Made

Solution Finder

Bikepath Riding

Beginner to Fitness

Commuting

Multiday

Multiday with Kids

Kids Attached or Towed on Bikepaths

Grow & Improve your Bikepath Riding

Ride more Bikepaths

Mountain Biking

Women Beginner to Intermediate

Kids Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking with Kids Attached or Towed

Riding in Traffic

Kids Attached or Towed in Traffic

Family Riding

Multiday Bikepath Riding with Kids

Full Range Kids Bike Seats - Attached or Towed

E-biking

Successfully Ride an E-Bike

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Buying Guides

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NZ Made

Solution Finder

Kids Attached or Towed Buying Guides

Rear Kids Bike Seat

Mid Mount Kids Bike Seat

Front Kids Bike Seat 

Towing Kids who ride their own bikes

Kids Bike Trailers

Kids & Youth Buying Guides

Kids Bike Helmets

Kids Riding Clothing

Kids Padded Bike Pants

Kids Padded Protection

Kids Handlebar Grips 

Kids Balance Bike

Comfort on the Bike Buying Guides 

Bike Saddle

Padded Bike Pants

Bike Jackets

Carrying Gear 

Handlebar Grip

Hydration

Rider Safety and Protection Buying Guides

Bike Helmet

Mountain Bike Helmet

Be Visible 

Bike Glove

Bike Light 

Mountain Bike Light

First Aid & Personal Care 

Gear & Care for Bikes Buying Guides

Bike Carriers

Bike Cleaning

Chain Cleaning and Lube

Women & Families Learning

Comfort on your Bike Seat

Improve your Riding

Carrying Gear

Ride More Places

Ride more Bikepaths

Ride more NZ Cycle Trails

Riding Gear

Bike Helmets

Padded Bike Underwear & Pants

Bike Gloves

Bike Jackets

Bike Locks

Kids Bike Seats - Attached

Bike Tools to Carry

Types of Riding

Bikepath Riding

Solution Finder