How to Replace a Bicycle Seat

How to Replace a Bicycle Seat
Many people experience discomfort when riding a bicycle. It's not too difficult to see why: You spend hours at a time exercising on a seat that's harder and shaped differently than anything you're used to sitting on. Although it could just be a problem with adjustment, replacing the seat is a quick fix that you can perform in your garage.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Allen wrench
  • Allen wrench
Step 1
Give it some time. Unless your seat is too narrow or too wide, which would indicate the need for a new seat, you may just need to break it in. If the bike is new, it will take some time to get accustomed to the seat. Don't run out and replace it the minute you sit down or you might throw away money on a seat that doesn't feel any more comfortable. Allow for several weeks of regular bike rides.
Step 2
Make sure that the discomfort isn't caused by a poor setting. Adjust the basic seat settings such as height, position and angle. Height can be adjusted by loosening the hardware at the base of the seat post and pulling the post up or down. Position and angle are adjusted by loosening the bolt or bolts on the post clamp that holds the seat. Fine-tune these settings to see if you can improve your comfort.
Step 3
If you've given it a number of rides, made all possible adjustments and still feel the seat is the problem, determine exactly what is wrong with it. Do the two bones on your backside fit comfortably on top or is the seat too narrow? Is the seat too wide, causing your legs to chafe against it? Would you prefer a different shape? Is there a particular part of your body that suffers from pressure and discomfort? Analyze the problem so that you can pick a better seat.
Step 4
Using what you discovered in Step 3, shop for a seat that addresses your issues. Beware that while buying a super-soft seat is always a temptation, it often is not the best solution. These seats don't offer the same support and may cause more discomfort and pressure. Discuss your issues and riding style with shop staff, consider their advice and purchase your new seat.
Step 5
Take off the old seat. Grab a set of Allen wrenches to determine the proper size you'll need, which will probably be in the 4 mm to 6 mm range. The bolts to open the post clamp are located underneath the seat; there should be one or two bolts holding the clamp together. Loosen these bolts until you can turn or remove the top of the clamp to expose the seat's rails. Pull the seat off.
Step 6
Place the rails of the new seat onto the clamp. Secure the bolt or bolts enough to keep the clamp in place, then set the seat's position and angle. Once set, tighten the bolt or bolts completely.
Step 7
Take a quick test ride down the street to make sure your settings are correct. Tweak the seat as needed to get it right. Allow some time to break it in.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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