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.
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.
How to Break a New Saddle In
Your body needs to adjust to a new saddle… do not expect to get a new saddle and immediately be able to go for long rides.
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