How To Avoid Pain From a Bicycle Seat

How To Avoid Pain From a Bicycle Seat
Cycling is an effective cardiovascular exercise that promotes heart health and weight loss. Unfortunately, poor-fitting clothing and poorly-aligned bike seats can make your time on the road painful and uncomfortable. To combat these and other unnecessary aches and pains when cycling, make a few easy-to-implement changes for a safer, more hygienic and more comfortable ride.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bike seat
  • Cycling shorts
  • Gel-filled coverings
Step 1
Use a gender-specific bike seat. General shape variations of the pelvis can significantly influence how comfortable cycling is for both men and women. Bike seats made for women are designed specifically to accommodate a woman's wider pelvis, whereas those made for men are designed specifically to accommodate a man's narrower pelvis. Gender-specific bike seats are available at bike shops and large retailers such as Target and Walmart.
Step 2
Adjust the height of the seat. If you can pedal backwards with your legs fully extended, the seat is at a perfect height. If, however, you have to rock your hips forward to keep your legs on the pedals as you reach the bottom of each stroke, the seat is too high and should be lowered. Continue to adjust the seat until your legs are fully extended with your heels on the pedals when you backpedal.
Step 3
Tip the nose of the seat 1 to 3 degrees if you experience pain or discomfort in your groin or hips when cycling. Only move the seat 1 to 3 degrees to avoid putting undue pressure on your knees. Your bike seat should support your weight adequately, not cause your body to shift forward so much that your weight is disproportionate on the seat.
Step 4
Wear appropriate clothing. Seams located in the crotch of jeans and shorts can cause pain and numbness in the groin, which can make cycling painful. To avoid discomfort from the wrong type of clothing, wear cycling shorts every time you cycle.
Step 5
Use lubrication on the padding in your cycling shorts. Apply a body lube such as Chamois Butt'r to the padding in your shorts to reduce chafing and discomfort while you ride. Remember to launder your cycling shorts regularly to eliminate a build-up of bacteria.

Tips & Warnings

Gel-filled coverings are an effective tool against pain and discomfort when cycling.
Cycling for a long period of time can cause pain and discomfort.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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