The Widest Bicycle Seats

The Widest Bicycle Seats
Thin may be in for a lot of things, but not necessarily when it comes to bike seats. Elongated, narrow saddles are ideal for racing where cyclists put much of the pressure on their feet and hands, but they can be uncomfortable for more leisurely biking. Wide bike seats come to the rescue--some of the widest bicycle seats at more than a foot wide.

Contour Bench Seat

At 16 inches wide, the bench seat is at the top of the list when it comes to seat width. The bench seat has no horn, is contoured to fit the buttocks and has indented areas that envelope the butt muscles. This type of design mimics the metal seats found on tractors and evenly distributes your weight, which makes for a more comfortable ride for larger cyclists. Many bench seats come with foam padding for even more comfort. Because of their size, bench seats are fairly heavy at 6 pounds. While none of the distributors mention the seat's manufacturer, it can be found for about $80 at bicycleseats.org, derri-air.com and healthyhomemall.com.

Comfort Seat

Comfort seats, available in widths up to 12 inches, are another wide choice. Like traditional bike saddles, comfort seats do have a front horn, but the horn is less pronounced and the rest of the seat is wider than the standard saddles. Comfort seats resemble a heart shape, with a sturdy area for the buttocks. Some feature two raised pads with a slight indentation in between while others have a single large pad. Gel foam or padding usually tops off the comfort seat. A number of different manufacturers produce a comfort seat, including Schwinn, Bell, Planet Bike and Cloud 9. Prices range from $20 to $50.

Hornless Bike Seat

Like the contour bench seat, hornless bike seats lack a front horn, but they are considerably slimmer and much lighter. Hornless bike seats average about nine inches wide and weigh about 14 ounces. The seat's design lets riders put the pressure on their ischial tuberosities, or sit bones, and not on softer tissue in the groin area. Companies that make hornless seats include Ergo and Air Limo, and prices range from $40 to $65. Ergo has a whole site dedicated to their comfort seat, which is simply named "The Seat," at thecomfortseat.com.

Article Written By Ryn Gargulinski

Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist and performer whose journalism career began in 1991. Credits include two illustrated books, "Bony Yoga" and "Rats Incredible"; fitness, animal, crime, general news and features for various publications; and several awards. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature and folklore and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing with a French minor from Brooklyn College.

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