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 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.

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Where to sit on your Bike Saddle

Where to sit on your Bike Saddle

Where you sit on your saddle plays an important part in your comfort on your bike seat.

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.
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Where do I sit on a bike saddle?

Let’s have a look at where you should be aiming to position yourself on a bike saddle so that the right structures are contacting your seat in the right places. Sitting in the correct position will also ensure your legs and hips have the freedom of movement to pedal efficiently and correctly.

The X is where your sit bones should connect with the seat.  Your sit bones are the large boney structures you can feel when you sit down. Place your hands under yourself when sitting – feel the boney structures – they are your sit bones, the bottom part of your pelvis. These bones should connect with the saddle at the most cushioned part of the rear of the saddle.

The red circles are where your leg movement will occur if you position yourself correctly on your saddle.

For more info on pedalling please read  Pedalling & Bike Seat Comfort

Check in with your seat position when you are riding

You frequently get on and off your seat during a ride so it important to check in with your position to make sure you are sitting in the correct position on your bike seat. Not too far back or forward or slightly to one side. Sitting in an incorrect position can cause issues of discomfort when you ride.

You might be surprised how often you are on and off your seat and how easy it is to not be quite sitting on your seat correctly.

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

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Core Strength and your Riding Position

Core Strength and your Riding Position

The position you ride in plays an important part in you being comfortable on your bike seat. Learn the importance of your core strength in achieving this position and maintaining it throughout your ride.

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.

tow rope

What is your ‘A’ Riding Position? 

We talk about the correct riding position as your ‘A’ Riding Position. It is defined relative to an ‘A’  to help you gain some understanding of what shape you are trying to achieve, and to make it easier to think about and adjust when you are riding.

Learn about your ‘A’ Riding Position and then lets get some understanding of the importance of the core muscles in supporting and maintaining this position. 

Core Strength

Your core muscles are the key muscles that enable you to achieve an ‘A” Ridng position and maintain this position through out the duration of the ride.

So what is Core Strength? Core refers to our centre, like the core of an apple, Our core is our mid region, the region that links our arms and legs. When we talk of core strength, core control or core stability we are referring to the strength/control/stability of this mid region. Being able to keep this region in a good position over a period of time.

As a rider it means having control of your mid region so you can achieve and maintain the “A” riding position.

Using Your Core Muscles 

If you are achieving the ‘A” position then you will be using your core muscles. It will take a conscious effort (at least until you become very proficient at it) to ride in an ‘A’ position. In fact, your body seems to find it far easier to ride without using your core. However with a little patience, time and practise you can learn to use core muscles when you ride.

What happens when you don’t have sufficient core strength/stability/control to maintain your ‘A’ Riding Position?

Your spine with collapse (slightly forward or backwards) causing increased load and compression on tissues and structures on the bike seat that are not designed to take this load. This is likely to result in discomfort.

Collapsing Forward 

Your lower back will become more arched. Those who carry a lot of weight around their tummies can be particularly vulnerable to collapsing forward. Collapsing forward may cause low back and pelvic issues as well as discomfort on your bike seat particularly compression of tissues in the front. (Note; there may be other reasons for compression at the front, for example, your saddle and how it is set up on your bike).

Collapsing Backward

Your lower back will become more rounded. This is like slouching when you sit on a chair/sofa. Collapsing backward may cause low back and pelvic issues as well as discomfort on your bike seat particularly at the back eg tail bone discomfort. (Note; there may be other reasons for pain around the tailbone, for example, your saddle and how it is set up on your bike).

You can do some training off the bike to help teach your body and brain about how to activate your core muscles and work to strengthen these muscles.  There are many resources to help you achieve this.  A few suggestions include; videos and information online, Pilates, Tai chi, Yoga and some gym classes.  Others include books and personal trainers. Whatever method you choose, ask questions and make sure it includes your biking goals

Why is it important? 

The importance and benefits of core control goes well beyond the bike. Core control is essential when moving your body.  It doesn’t matter what the task is, we need core control to be able to complete the task with ease, efficiency and without causing discomfort.

On the bike having good core control;

  • Will help ease general discomfort and more specifically lower back/pelvic discomfort.
  • It will help you achieve bike seat comfort by encouraging the correct parts of your body to bear the sustained weight of your body when sitting on your bike seat – structures and tissues that are designed to be better at taking this weight.
  • Improved riding efficiency as core strength allows your big powerful muscles in your legs, that drive your pedalling, to work better.
  • Allows both your upper limbs (arms) to be relaxed and not carry any tension when you ride.

 

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

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How to Choose the Right Bike Glove

How to Choose the Right Bike Glove

There are a range of different bike glove styles and designs to choose from and it’s not always easy to make a decision. Let us help you to understand the glove that best suits the riding you do.

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.

The first decisions you need to consider when choosing a bike glove are

  1. the level of padding in the palm
  2. whether you go for a fingerless or a full finger length
  3. how much protection you need

At goRide we have Recreation Bike Gloves or Endurance Bike Gloves…

Recreation Bike Gloves

Recreation Bike Gloves have minimal padding through the palm, and are sleek and fitting giving you a great grip.  They are available in Fingerless or Full Finger lengths.

Endurance Bike Gloves

Endurance Bike Gloves have a greater level of padding through the palm which includes gel padding, are durable and have increase protection feature.  They are available in Fingerless or Full Finger lengths.

Winter Bike Gloves

Winter Bike Gloves have a recreation level of padding & protection through the palm and upper, a fleece lining and extended wrist length.  They are available in a Full Finger length.

Endurance Full Finger and Fingerless Bike Gloves

Bike Gloves

Wearing a Bike Glove when you ride;

  • will help make your ride more comfortable by absorbing some of the vibration/energy passing through the handlebars from riding over different surfaces/terrains.  It will also reduce the pressure on structures in the palm of your hand from gripping the handlebars
  • can help to control temperature by providing warmth or reduce sweaty palms.  If your hands are at a good temperature you will have a good connection between your hand and the handlebar grips.
  • provides protection for your palms and the top surface of your hand if you fall or pass too close to objects

Understand what style and type of glove matches the comfort, temperature control and protection you need.

Comfort

Choosing the right level of padding is important to get the comfort you require from a bike glove.

Having a greater level of padding as in the Endurance Glove, can assist with comfort when riding over different types of terrains particularly bumpy terrain and/or if you ride for long periods (greater than an hour). If you have a lean forward riding position (not fully upright) and you feel a lot of pressure through the palms of your hands when you ride,  you can benefit from an Endurance Glove.  As can anyone who suffers from hand or palm conditions such as carpal tunnel.

The padding in the Recreation Glove is sufficient to support your comfort if riding shorter distances and over smooth terrain. It also suits the lighter hand grip an upright rider has.

To support your comfort when you ride

  • an Endurance Glove is best suited to those riding on a variety of terrains and/or riding for greater then an hour and/or feeling pressure through the palm on the handlebars
  • a Recreation Glove is sufficient for smooth surfaces and rides less than an hour

Temperature Control

Choosing either a full finger or fingerless style will help you get the right temperature

A full finger glove fully encloses the fingers and will assist with keeping your hand and fingers warm.  This style is a good choice for riding on cooler days in Spring and Autumn and definitely necessary through Winter.  Thermal fabrics like fleece will provide extra protection from winter temperatures.

A fingerless style is open at the fingers and will help keep your hands cool and reduce sweat. This also helps to keep your hands dry which is what you need to maintain good grip and control on your handlebars. Fingerless gloves are a good choice for summer riding and also suitable on warmer days in Spring and Autumn

To support temperature control when you ride

  • Full finger for riding in cooler/cold weather
  • Fingerless for riding in warm/hot weather

Protection

Do you need to protect your hands from falls or knocks?

The majority of skin abrasions from falls will happen to the palm of the hand and so both a fingerless and full finger glove will provide protection from this type of incident. 

Gloves also protect your knuckles and the top surface of your hand from impacts and knocks.  An Endurance Glove will have extra padding or more durable fabrics on the top surface of the glove to protect your hand. This type of injury to the hand is more likely to occur on narrow single tracks where structures like trees or a rocky cliff face can cause damage.  Full finger gloves will increase your protection for this type of riding as well.

To support protection from injury when you ride

  • Both Recreation and Endurance, full finger or fingerless gloves provide a good level of palm protection.
  • Endurance gloves will have better protection for the top surfaces of your hand.  Full finger Endurance gloves provide the best protection and are often the best choice for mountain bike riders in all seasons. 

Once you know the type of bike gloves that will give you the comfort, temperature control & protection you need, it is really important to get the right size.  Bike gloves need to be firm fitting and not interfere with your ability to grip your handlebars.  Please use the Size Guides and fitting instructions.

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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Mountain Bike (Curved Top Tube) – Kids Bike Seats Attached Options

Mountain Bike (Curved Top Tube) – Kids Bike Seats Attached Options

Do you have a mountain bike with a curved top tube?

Understand the options that may be suitable for your style of bike. Helping you get the Right Kids Bike Seat Attached to your bike. 

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.

tow rope

Overview: Bike with Curved Top Tube

Kids Bike Seat Match:

Front  – YES. Ideally your bike frame will be medium to large otherwise you will struggle for the space required to fit a seat and a child here.  You will probably need a mountain bike specific adaptor.  See the Front Seat section below for more details.

Mid – YES. Ideally suitable for bike frames that are medium to large otherwise you will struggle for the space required to fit a seat and a child here.  There are two different brands to choose from – Shotgun & DoLittle. Both these seats have been designed to work with angled top tubes.  

Rear – NO, if your bike is a full suspension mountain bike, it is not compatible with a rear kids bike seat.

 

A Mountain Bike with a curved top tube has some options for riding with kids… Points to note.

SMALL and XSMALL FRAMES –  if you are considering a front or a mid mount seat then pay particular attention to whether you will have enough space between your body and the handlebars.  Often small & x-small mountain bikes do not work with kids bike seats, your only option is to tow.

29 INCH WHEELS If your bike 29 inch wheels then a frame mount rear bike seat is likely not be a suitable option

ELECTRIC BIKES: Battery placement can be an issue with Kids Bike Seats . Batteries in the frame of the bike, bottom tube, seat post tube can create problems for mounting so the set you choose needs to have width adjustment or compatibility.  Unharnessed or lap belt seats are not always a suitable option for an electric bike if you plan to ride at speed.

CARBON FRAMES – Carbon frames are not compatible with front or rear kids bike seats.  They can be used with mid mount seats.

Front Kids Bike Seats

A Front Kids Bike Seat sits right behind the handlebars so the child is in between your arms. Kids love this as they can see where they are going. This seat provides the best interaction between you and your child as they are right in front of you and you can see what they are doing.

A Mountain Bike  commonly puts the adult rider in an forward lean body position. This position reduces the space between your chest and the handlebars and can effect your ability to ride comfortably with a front kids bike seat. You may have enough space if you ride a medium to large bike frame. A dropper seat post can be a great solution to riding with a front kids bike seat – as you can lower the seat to stop/ mount and dismount the bike.

A solution for you? Max weight is 17kg, generally children 1 to 3yrs, child must be able to sit unsupported to be put in this seat, height up to 110cm.  Your child must be able to fit a helmet see toddler helmet..It’s also a good multi child option as it leaves the back of the bike for more children – if your riding is up to it!!

Will a Front Kids Bike Seat – Fit my Bike

 

Front Kids Bike Seats – FAQ

Front Kids Bike Seat Buying Guide

Ride Safely with A Front Kids Bike Seat

Mid Mount Seats 

Mid Mount Kids Seat attaches directly to your bikes top tube  It gives great interaction and good protection in between your arms.  Most mid mount seats have no harness. These no harness systems are great for kids who have ridden balance bikes from a young age.

A mountain bike with a curved top tube is suitable for all Mid Mount Seats as long as they meet the ‘Will it Fit Criteria’ If you also want to ride your mountain bike without your child then Mid Mount for Mountain Bikes is your best solution as it is quick and easy to attach and fully remove this seat from your bike. As a mountain bike commonly puts you in a forward lean position it is great to check your reach to your handlebars. With some assistance place your child on your top tube 20cm back ( from the front) do you have enough space to reach your handlebars around this seat and ride comfortably. More comfortable for those riding medium to large bike frames. A dropper seat post can be a great solution to riding with a mid mount kids bike seat – as you can lower the seat to stop/ mount and dismount the bike.

A solution for you ? Max weight is 25-30kg, generally children 2 to 5-6yrs, child must be fairly good with balance to begin riding with them. .Mid mount seats are also a good match to bike path/trail riding.It’s also a good multi child option as it leaves the back of the bike for more children – if your riding is up to it!

Mid Mount Kids Bike Seat – FAQ

Mid Mount Kids Bike Seat Buying Guide

Ride Safely with a Mid Mount Kids Bike Seat

Rear Mount Seats Carrier and Frame

A rear kids bike seat fits above the rear wheel of your bike attached to a rear carrier (carrier mount) or directly to the frame of your bike ( frame mount). A great commute riding option. .The biggest issue is weight to the rear of your bike… You will need to practice riding with the extra weight high at the rear of the bike.

A mountain bike with a curved top tube. If it is a full suspension mountain bike then a rear bike seat is not a suitable option as the suspension will cause impact into the rear wheel.

If it is not a full suspension mountain bike then it will need to meet the ‘will it fit’ criteria for either a carrier or frame mount kids bike seat.

A solution for you? Weight up to 22kg, generally children 1 to 6yrs  Harnessed seat, adjustable shoulder and footrest heights at allow for height change as they grow There is a Junior Seat for older kids: Max weight is 35kg, generally children 4 to 10yrs, the harness is a simple lap belt Rear seats are a good multi child option as it leaves the front of the bike for more children or the wheel hub for tow options– if your riding is up to it!

 

Will a Rear Kids Bike Seat – Fit my Bike

CARRIER MOUNT – THULE or IKI

FRAME MOUNT – YEPP or JUNIOR ( Older Kids)

Rear Kids Bike Seat – FAQ

Rear Kids Bike Seat Buying Guide

Ride Safely with a Rear Kids Bike Seat

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

Step Through Frame Bike – Kids Bike Seat Attached Options

Step Through Frame Bike – Kids Bike Seat Attached Options

Do you have a step through bike frame? 

Understand the options that may be suitable for your style of bike. Helping you get the Right Kids Bike Seat  Attached to your bike. 

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.

tow rope

Overview: Bike with a Step Through Bike Frame

Kids Bike Seat Match:

Front Seat – YES.  The Front Kids Bike Seat (Thule Mini) is often the best option for this style of bike.

Mid Mount Seat – YES.  The mid mount brand Do Little may be an option for you.  It comes with a tall or retro adaptor.  Your frame needs to be a double down – have two tubes like in the photo of the yellow bike.

Rear Seat – YES.  Rear seats can be carrier or frame mounted and your bike style suits both these options.

 

A step through bike offers many options for riding with kids… Some points to note.

SMALL and XSMALL FRAMES – if you are considering a front or a mid mount seat then pay particular tension to whether you will have enough space. The upright body position you ride in will give you this space on smaller frames.

29 INCH WHEELS – If your bike has 29 inch wheels then a frame mount rear bike seat is not a suitable option.

ELECTRIC BIKES – Battery placement can be an issue with Rear Bike Seats – rear carrier batteries will effect you ability to attach both a rear frame and carrier mount. Batteries in the frame of the seat post tube will also create problems for frame mount seats. Consider whether an unharnessed mid mount seat is suitable for an electric bike if you plan to ride at speed.

Front Kids Bike Seats

A Front Kids Bike Seat sits right behind the handlebars so the child is in between your arms. Kids love this as they can see where they are going. This seat provides the best interaction between you and your child as they are right in front of you and you can see what they are doing.

A step through bike frame commonly puts the adult rider in an upright body position. This position is ideal for front kids bike seats as it provides space in front of you for the seat and child. You will still need to work though ‘will it fit’ to confirm that  you have enough space to reach your handlebars around this seat and ride comfortably.

A solution for you? Max weight is 17kg, generally children 1 to 3yrs, child must be able to sit unsupported to be put in this seat, height up to 110cm.  Your child must be able to fit a helmet see toddler helmet..It’s also a good multi child option as it leaves the back of the bike for more children – if your riding is up to it!!

Will a Front Kids Bike Seat – Fit my Bike

 

Front Kids Bike Seats – FAQ

Front Kids Bike Seat Buying Guide

Ride Safely with A Front Kids Bike Seat

Mid Mount Seats 

A Mid Mount Kids Seat attaches directly to your bikes top tube or via a bar/adaptor that creates a top tube.  It gives great interaction and good protection in between your arms.  Most mid mount seats have no harness (exception WeeRide). These no harness systems are great for kids who have ridden balance bikes from a young age.

A step through bike frame is best suited to the Do Little Mid Mount Seat. This brand comes with a supplied adaptor to allow these seats to be fitted to a step through frame. They offer a solution for a standard or an electric bike. You will still need to work through ‘will it fit’ to confirm that  you have enough space to reach your handlebars around this seat and ride comfortably.

A solution for you ? Max weight is 25-30kg, generally children 2 to 5-6yrs, child must be fairly good with balance to begin riding with them. .Mid mount seats are also a good match to bike path/trail riding.It’s also a good multi child option as it leaves the back of the bike for more children – if your riding is up to it!

Will a Mid Mount Kids Bike Seat – Fit my Bike.

 DO LITTLE ORIGINAL FOR STANDARD BIKESDO LITTLE ELECTRIC BIKES

Mid Mount Kids Bike Seat – FAQ

Mid Mount Kids Bike Seat Buying Guide

Ride Safely with a Mid Mount Kids Bike Seat

Rear Mount Seats Carrier and Frame

A rear kids bike seat fits above the rear wheel of your bike attached to a rear carrier (carrier mount) or directly to the frame of your bike ( frame mount). A great commute riding option. .The biggest issue is weight to the rear of your bike… You will need to practice riding with the extra weight high at the rear of the bike.

A step through bike frame can attach a carrier mount rear kids bike seat as long as a compatible rear carrier can be mounted to the bike. A frame mount kids bike seat can be mounted as long as it meets the will it fit criteria

A solution for you? Weight up to 22kg, generally children 1 to 6yrs  Harnessed seat, adjustable shoulder and footrest heights at allow for height change as they grow There is a Junior Seat for older kids: Max weight is 35kg, generally children 4 to 10yrs, the harness is a simple lap belt Rear seats are a good multi child option as it leaves the front of the bike for more children or the wheel hub for tow options– if your riding is up to it!

 

Will a Rear Kids Bike Seat – Fit my Bike

CARRIER MOUNT – THULE or IKI

FRAME MOUNT – YEPP or JUNIOR ( Older Kids)

Rear Kids Bike Seat – FAQ

Rear Kids Bike Seat Buying Guide

Ride Safely with a Rear Kids Bike Seat

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

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Kids Bike Seats

Front Kids Bike Seats

Mid Mount Kids Bike Seats

Rear Kids Bike Seats

Kids Bike Seats - Attached

Types of Riding

Bikepath Riding