Alternative Bicycle Seats

Alternative Bicycle Seats
A bicycle seat should support your weight, reduce pressure on nerves and sensitive areas, and minimize friction points. Unfortunately, even a well-made saddle may feel uncomfortable when you first start to ride. Expect to feel sore during your first couple of weeks of riding. If your saddle fits well and matches your riding position, saddle pain will decrease with regular riding. If you continue to feel pain, ask your bike shop to check your riding position. If adjustments to your position do not help, look into alternative bike seats as a solution to your saddle pain.

Spongy Wonder Bicycle Seats

Look at Spongy Wonder's saddles if you have problems with tailbone or genitalia pain, or numbness caused by your regular saddle. The Spongy Wonder saddle does not have a nose. Two foam pads support your sit bones. A space between the pads and the absence of a nose keep pressure off sensitive areas. If your riding position leans your body forward at more than a 45-degree angle, your weight naturally slides onto your public bone. On a traditional saddle, the nose supports your pubic bone. Because the Spongy Wonder does not have a nose, it's best suited for upright riding. You can buy a Spongy Wonder saddle starting at $69, as of May 2010, from spongywonder.com.

RealSeat

Let your saddle feel more like a seat. RealSeat's bike saddle looks like a small lawn chair. Padded nylon sits suspended over your seat tube. The RealSeat comes in three sizes based on rider weight and starts at $89.95, as of May 2010. This saddle offers support mostly for your sit bones, so it's appropriate for bikes that put you in an upright position, with your weight off your pubic bone. Because the front of the saddle is not contoured like a traditional saddle, you may experience friction against the back of your legs on long rides, so stick to the RealSeat for short and relaxed outings. Look for the RealSeat at realseat.com.

The Pump Seat Easy Rider

Add suspension to your saddle. The Pump Seat's Easy Rider comes with an adjustable air cushion. Pump more air into the saddle for a stiffer ride, or keep the pressure low and let your seat work as a shock absorber. Remember that suspension absorbs the energy of your pedal stroke, along with bumps in the road, so the Easy Rider offers comfort over efficiency. The Easy Rider comes with a pump and a guarantee against leaks. The 10.5-inch width suits bikes with an upright riding position. The Easy Rider retails for $79.95, as of May 2010, at thepumpseats.com.

Article Written By Kathrine Cole

Kathrine Cole is a professional outdoor educator. She teaches rock climbing, backpacking, cycling, and bike maintenance classes. She is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, a Wilderness First Responder, and a Leave No Trace Trainer.

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