Do you want to get more hours in on your exercise bike, but are starting to feel the soreness? You probably won't be the first one who says something like: "My exercise bike seat hurts!". Most cyclists will at some point, suffer from too many hours in the seat.
Exercise bikes are a great alternative to a standard bike. They allow you to cycle all year round, in a controlled environment. They're great for beginners as they don't require much balancing, as well as for the professional racer prepping for a race.
It would be a shame to pack the exercise bike away due to preventable soreness or pain, which is why I feel it's necessary to ask; are there measures you can take to make the seat more comfortable? Let's find out.
Why is your Stationary Bike Seat Uncomfortable?
It’s no fun buying an exercise bike or planning out a new routine, only to find that the pain coming from long hours in the seat has discouraged you to such a point that you're considering leaving the bike altogether.
Fortunately, chances are you're only feeling the hurt because your body still needs time to adjust to the new activity. Many people will most likely get a sore behind during the first month of riding the bike. However, as you build up your "sit bones," it'll probably get easier.
How to Make an Exercise Bike Seat More Comfortable?
Wear the Right Clothing
The right clothing can sometimes make all the difference. If you don't spend much time on an exercise bike, this probably won't matter, but for those who focus most of their workout on the bike, wearing the right gear will get you far.
While biking, your inner thighs are prone to chafing; this will likely keep you from getting on the bike, or doing any other physical activity for that matter.
Fortunately, this problem is easily solved with a pair of biker shorts. There's a reason why professional racers are advised to use them, because they really do make a difference.
Biker shorts are usually made from a very smooth, slick material which minimizes the friction between the skin and saddle. Many are also designed with extra cushioning around the crotch area, preventing unwanted soreness.
Adjust Your Seat
If you're serious about your exercise bike, you will likely be spending a lot time on the seat. But if it is too hard, too little or too big, it can make you feel uncomfortable.
An exercise bike will generally come with a standard one-size-fits-all seat, specially designed to fit a broad range of riders. But of course, this does not apply to everyone.
There are ways to fix this problem. For starters, you can look for an exercise bike with a universal post, this way you can quickly change the saddle to better suit your body.
You can build on this by adding a gel seat cover. Most saddles are already fitted with this helpful feature. It could make your seat that much more comfortable.
You might have heard of adding a pillow or even a couch cushion, particularly if you use a recumbent exercise bike. This may help you get through a few workouts but should not be used long term, because you might sacrifice your form.
Remember to adjust the height of your seat as well. As a general rule, the bike seat should reach your hips when you stand on the ground. The wrong height can potentially cause damage to your back.
Improve Your Technique
This will probably only apply if you're new to cycling. Nevertheless, your position in the saddle will influence the results. When you ride an upright exercise bike, keep your knees bent at about a five- to 10-degree angle.
Remember to shift your weight away from the saddle. The seat is there for support, not just comfort and practicality. As you ride, try to be as light as possible in your lower back. This will also help you burn more calories as more of your body is put into the activity.
Change your stance
Every once in a while, change your stance on the bike. You're likely to feel numbness or pain if you sit in the same position for a prolonged period. The buttocks are made up of mostly soft tissue, so any continuous pressure is bound to have an impact.
Changing your stance every 10 minutes or so will allow blood flow to resume to the restricted areas. This will help cure any numbness you may be feeling.
If you’re using a recumbent exercise bike, most of your weight will be rested on a specific place on your buttocks. It’s usually more comfortable to sit on, not only for your bottom, but your arms and back will also feel better.
While this type of equipment offers a great alternative to the standard exercise bike, you'll likely burn fewer calories because more of your body is rested, and so more time is generally needed in the seat to compensate. Try to shift your weight to your legs; this will lessen the pressure on your behind, while making your workout a little more efficient.
This step is important. You need to keep in mind that your body needs time to adjust to any new exercises. But this won't happen if you don't follow a routine.
If you were to ride more often, eventually your bottom would get used to the feeling, and the pain and numbness will likely subside. It’s all about building up your "sit bone," and this won't happen if you give up too quickly.
If you’re still hungry for tips, you can watch this video:
Spending a lot of time on an exercise bike will do your thighs a great deal of good. It's an excellent tool to use to get those extra leg muscles, as you can work harder without having to fear a crash.
Unfortunately, the perks also come with one big drawback: you're bound to feel sore at some point. Your body needs to adjust to the position; you'll get there eventually, don't worry.
In the meantime, here is a step-by-step summary of what you can do to help your sore bottom.
- "Diagnose" why it hurts - if you're just starting out, give it some time.
- Wear the right clothing.
- Adjust your seat - maybe you need a different size or more padding.
- Better your technique.
- Do more; the more you do, the less pain you'll feel.
Do you have any tips you'd like to share? Leave us a comment below.