why are bike seats so uncomfortable

3 Main Reasons Why Are Bike Seats So Uncomfortable and Remedy

Why are bikes seats so uncomfortable – Biking is a great workout for staying fit and many people are swapping their car or bus commute for a bike ride for just that reason.

They help with cardio, build muscle, and get you where you need to go in just one workout. However, if you’re not adjusted properly to the bike, then it can sometimes be a very uncomfortable journey to go on. 

So why are bike seats so uncomfortable? The truth is, they aren’t, not necessarily, the discomfort that you feel when riding a bike is more likely to be other issues created by factors such as clothing and handlebar positions.

This article will outline some of these issues and explore how to bike comfortably so you can get back on the saddle and continue your fitness journey.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you click on them, at no additional cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.

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Why Are Bike Seats Shaped Like That?

When starting to bike, you may wonder why bike seats aren’t more comfortable. They are usually stiff and skinny and aren’t very nice to sit on for long periods of time. This is because they simply aren’t meant to be sat on for long periods of time.

Bike seats are shaped in their skinny and stiff way just to give the rider the minimum amount of sitting space if the cyclist in question needs it.

If the seat was any wider, it would restrict the limbs from moving freely while you are sitting down, a bike seat is never designed to hold your whole weight because you need to be constantly moving while riding a bike, and holding more weight would restrict you from doing this. 

If Not The Seat, What Is Causing My Discomfort?

Because the seat is meant to be shaped like that, it is likely that the discomfort that you are feeling comes from different factors surrounding your bike. Below we’ll explore some of the most common causes of discomfort while riding a bike and how exactly to rectify them.

Incorrect Bike Size

No matter your expertise level when it comes to biking or the type of bike that you have, if a bike is too big or too small it is going to affect your comfort in a major way as the size of the bike will determine the seating position. 

Don’t be afraid, when buying a mountain bike or a road bike, to query the salesperson in what size bike would be right for your height and weight. It could save you a world of discomfort and perhaps a little money too.

Handlebar Position 

why are bike seats so uncomfortable handlebar raise

The bike seat is made for the proper positioning of your butt and your legs, so when that positioning is adjusted, it can cause some discomfort.

The position of your butt will mostly be adjusted by the position of the handlebars on your bike. If your handlebars are too low or too high then you may have a longer or shorter reach than is comfortable for you. 

The handlebars should be in a position that is comfortable for you to ride in, this will differ from person to person so try out different positions to see which is more comfortable for you.

The most common position that people find comfortable is to have your arms out straight with a 90-degree angle between your torso and your upper arm.

Use Ergonomic Comfort Bicycle Grips for a better riding experience

why are bike seats so uncomfortable comfort bicycle grips


Having the correct clothing for any sport will give you a great deal more comfort than any clothing, including the comfort in the way you sit on a bike seat.

You can purchase biking shorts from any biking retailer or online store, biking shorts are usually padded to give your bones extra comfort while sitting on the bike seat while not inhibiting leg movement like other padded clothing might do.

If you find that your bike seat is uncomfortable even with the correct handlebar position and bike size then we recommend that you try out some bike shorts or pants.

Forget about uncomfortable derriere aches by using this Padded Bike Shorts Cycling Underwear

why are bike seats so uncomfortable padded bike shorts

How To Make A Bike Seat More Comfortable

The trick to having a comfortable bike seat is choosing the right seat for you, there isn’t one way of making a bike seat comfortable, all butts are different, and find different materials and shapes comfortable. Therefore you’ll have to choose the right material and shape for your butt. 

Shape And Size

The shape and size of the saddle will all depend on the shape and size of your butt. The saddle needs to support the bones that you use to sit on and not the tissue surrounding these bones.

If a bike seat is too thin or too narrow then your body weight will not be well distributed while sitting on it, causing discomfort and throwing the balance off of your ride, which could potentially cause harm.

On the other hand, if the bike seat is too wide the seat could stop your legs from being comfortable while pedaling and cause friction around the crotch area, making the bike seat uncomfortable and hampering your ride. 


Having the right material for your bike seat is another good way of making sure the bike seat is as comfortable as possible for your butt specifically.

Most bike seats are made out of synthetic materials as they are lightweight so they don’t affect the ride of the bike and are low maintenance as they are waterproof and very durable.

However, they aren’t the only material that you can get a bike seat in. 

You can also get bike seats that are made of cotton, however, this isn’t a very common option. Cotton is a little stretchable and comfortable and has a brief break-in time so you don’t have to keep riding to get used to it. However, cotton is not waterproof and can be quite difficult to maintain. 

Leather is another bike seat material that you can use and a comfortable one too. However, leather has a large break-in time and you will probably have to cycle around 320 kilometers just to get used to it.

Much like cotton, leather is not waterproof and will need to be applied with a conditioner to keep it from drying in the sunlight, making it difficult to maintain.

You can also get gel and foam bike seats, these seats will be very comfortable to sit on but are more for casual bike riders who value comfort over the sport. 

Use this Memory Foam Sweatproof Bike Saddle for a more comfortable riding experience

why are bike seats so uncomfortable sweatproof bike saddle

Final Thoughts

Bike seats are not meant to be uncomfortable, they are a place to rest the bones you use to sit while still being able to maneuver your legs and ride the bike.

However, you can make a bike seat more comfortable by adjusting the factors around it, such as the handlebar position, bike size, and the clothing you wear.

You can also make a bike seat more comfortable by changing the size and material of the seat to suit your individual butt leaving your question as to why are bike seats so uncomfortable down in the dust.

3 Main Reasons Why Are Bike Seats So Uncomfortable and Remedy