If your bike has the wrong seat, you’ll realize very quickly that a good bicycle seat is important if you are going to ride regularly. With the wrong seat, even the shortest or smoothest ride can be a painful experience.
So how do you know the difference between a good seat and a bad seat?
A bicycle seat can differ between any two people, and it will be different especially between men and women. Our anatomies in the lower torso are made for different purposes, and it’s pretty safe to say that none of them include bike riding! To be honest, the perfect bicycle seat has not yet been designed. But the good news is that some seats are much better than others.
The biggest mistake that occasional riders, especially the elderly, make, is to buy a bicycle seat that is bigger and better cushioned. The problem is that bigger seats increase friction and contact so the only result you’ll get from a bigger seat is bigger discomfort. Rather get a smaller seat; the objective with a bicycle seat is to make the contact area between your bum and the bicycle seat as small as possible.
You do have some options with cushion seats. There are many comfortable, streamlined bicycle seats available, especially those designed with the bumps of mountain bike riding in mind. A svelte seat can be combined with some very nice and unobtrusive cushioning that will be positioned right where you need it.
There are a lot of bicycle seat designs that are intended to account for the anatomical differences in men and women. The flare of a woman’s bicycle seat is a little bit wider to allow those contact points and their cushioning to hit where a woman’s anatomy requires it most. Other options are bicycle seats made with various openings in the middle which help to decrease painful prolonged contact with male or female genitalia.
Before you make the final decision on a bicycle seat, it’s best to try a few out before you commit to purchase one. Shop at a reputable bike shop where you can ask the employees for advice. Most shops will allow you to take the seat home and try it on your bike.
There are many different types of bicycles. You will have to decide which type of bike you will predominantly be using to help you narrow down your choices. Below is a summary of some of the types of bicycles that are available on the market today.
The first type of bike is considered by some people to be comfort bicycles. These are the bikes that are used on weekends by recreational bike riders. These bikes usually have a comfortable shock absorbing seat, shock absorbing front forks and wide pedals.
Another type of bike that is a bit more rugged than the comfort bike is a trail bike (sometimes called a light duty mountain bike). These bikes can be used for a bit more rough stuff than comfort bikes but are not meant for serious mountain biking.
Touring bikes are used by riders who want to go on long distance rides and are generally riding faster than recreational bike riders. Touring bikes are built for riding on the pavement and have more shock absorbency than comfort bikes but are lighter in weight.
Cruiser bikes are heavier than comfort bikes and have wider tires. This makes them good for the road and especially good for riding in the sand.
A true mountain bike has a much stronger frame and components than any other bike because they are intended to be used for off-road- and rugged terrain. The tires on a mountain bike are wide for more shock support and are knobby. The seat and handlebars are positioned in such a way that the rider is able to lean over while maneuvering the bike.
Recumbent bicycles are quite popular with older riders and people who have some limits in physical ability. The rider reclines while pedaling in a feet forward position. The seat is much more comfortable than on any other bicycle. Recumbent bikes sit low to the ground and have multiple gears.
It’s a good idea to have a chat with friends and family who own bikes; their opinion may help you to decide which bike is the best one to get. If you are only buying a bike for weekend rides you don’t need to spend a fortune when buying your bike. Also, go to a few different bicycles shops and talk with the pro’s there before deciding which bike to buy. You will have many years of enjoyment if you choose the right bike.