How to Make Exercise Bike Seats More Comfortable

Are you tired of your spin bike seat hurting your butt?

It’s not just you! 

One of the most common complaints about spin bikes and stationary bikes is that they are uncomfortable to sit on for more than 25 minutes. You see, the seats on exercise bikes are notoriously uncomfortable and can lead to a lot of pain in the butt.

The worse part is that even the most expensive spin bikes have this problem, as is the case with the Peloton, and why I always tell people you need to check out this post and get a better Peloton bike seat or cushion.

Look:

I’ve been riding all types of bikes for many years, and I’ve owned my fair share of exercise bikes with uncomfortable seats. So I’m here to tell you that the seat discomfort you experience doesn’t have to stay that way because there are some easy ways to make your bike seat more comfortable.

In this post, I’ll discuss why your spin bike seat hurts. Plus, I’ll even share my tips and guidelines on how to make your bike seat more comfortable! By the end of the post, you’ll know what to do to ensure you can exercise in comfort with your indoor bike seat. 

Let’s jump into it.

Why is a stationary bike seat uncomfortable?

Stationary bike seats are uncomfortable because they are too small for your sit bones(butt), your riding posture is poor, and also because they don’t offer enough padding.

A few other reasons an exercise bike seat hurts when sitting on them for long periods is the type of materials used in their construction. You may also find the bike seat uncomfortable because of its structural design. The structural design refers to components like the spring under the seat, the leather covering, whether it offers any airflow, and the padding thickness. 

In most cases, stationary bike manufacturers make their bike seats on a one size fits all basis. As a result, you’ll often find some reviews where people claim, “The seat is so comfortable,” while others will say, “This exercise bike seat is the most uncomfortable in the world.”

It’s simply because we all have different sized butts, and where our sit bones contact the seat will be different based on factors like our size and riding posture. So not all bike seats will be comfortable for everyone.

The problem now is identifying which factor affects you and causing your spinning bike seat to be uncomfortable. Once you figure out the cause, you’ll be able to make some adjustments to the seat that should bring you relief.

That brings us into the next section:

How to make exercise bike seats more comfortable?

After years of riding indoors and outdoors, I’ve found that there are several permanent solutions you can implement to make your stationary bike seat stop hurting. The best solutions to make your exercise bike seat more comfortable is to:

  • Replace the seat.
  • Get a Gel Bike Seat Cover.
  • Wear Padded Cycling Shorts
  • Fix Your Riding Posture
  • Adjust your seat and handlebar position.

Each solution corresponds to one of the causes of why the seat is uncomfortable in the first place. So if you can judge which issue you have, you can quickly fix your discomfort. I’ll go over each solution to have a clearer picture of why it solves the problem.

Replace the seat

An exercise bike seat is an important component on the level of the pedals that allows you to exercise. It should be comfortable and shouldn’t hurt or distract you from the workout. So replacing an uncomfortable exercise bike seat will almost instantly fix your issues if you chose the right one.

Let’s face it:

Being uncomfortable can make cycling a lot less enjoyable and often painful when you are through exercising. I’ve experienced this many times, and once I find a stationary bike saddle uncomfortable, I’ve only been able to sit on it for the first day or at most 30 minutes.

With that in mind, you have to consider the type of seat that comes with your bike and whether it fits your butt and sit bones. In most cases, it’ll be very hard to determine if a bike seat will be comfortable when shopping for the best exercise bike online. So my advice will always be to try to test the bike before buying it.

However, I know most of us won’t have the time or find somewhere that will allow you to freely test out a bike other than gyms that use the Peloton, Keiser, or a few other compact exercise bikes like these. As such, you should automatically assume that they all have very uncomfortable bike seats.

Since they all have seats that will hurt your butt, I highly recommend that you check out this list of the most comfortable bike seats. On this list, you’ll find bike seats that consider your comfort first and foremost.

How to tell if a bike seat will be comfortable?

  • For a bike seat to be comfortable, the first thing you should look at is the thickness of the seat. The thicker it is, the more cushioning you’ll have when you sit on it.
  • You want to look for a saddle with padding that cushions your sit bones. Some saddles use polyurethane foam which doesn’t do the job. Instead, you want saddles that have memory foam or gel cushioning.
  • It would be best if you looked at the width of the seat and whether it has a functional design that considers the shape of your bottom and sit bones.
  • Take note of the type and size of springs on the saddle; this can also add to your discomfort.

Get a Gel Bike Seat Cover

A gel bike seat cover is a padded cover placed over the bike seat to make it more comfortable. Gel-filled seats have foam, gel, and air pockets for cushioning. At the same time, some models include additional comfort features such as lumbar supports or cooling materials that will allow you to exercise longer.

Adding a gel bike seat cover over your existing bike seat is a very cheap alternative to make your exercise bicycle more comfortable. The best thing about a gel cover for your spin bike seat is that it universally fit bike seats and work for any saddle. As such, you’ll be to take it and install it over any bicycle seat you own, whether it’s a mountain bike, electric, cruiser, or spin bike.

How to choose the right type of gel bike seat cover?

 When choosing the right gel bike seat cover for your spin bike, it’s important to understand and prioritize what you need. For instance, if you want something more durable and can handle sweat, I’d go with this one from Zacro. If you want one that can fit over a large seat, you can go for this one that bikeroo offers.

There are even a few that have more gel cushioning in different areas to maximize your comfort. So it just depends on your needs. It would be best to consider where you feel pain and get a cushion that supports pain in that area. I’ve also written a comprehensive buyer guide on choosing the best gel seat cover you can see here.

Wear Padded Cycling Shorts

Wearing padded cycling shorts is almost the same as installing a gel seat cover on your bike. Cycling shorts are designed with compression materials that add padding to the sensitive areas (butt, perineum) and offer a little more protection from bodily harm during impactful activities like mountain biking or dirt jumping.

While cycling clothes have gotten skimpier over the years, it’s still important for cyclists, in general, to wear padded shorts even indoors on a spin bike. With good cycling shorts, you can greatly improve the comfort of your spin bike seat.

It’s important to note that you don’t want to wear shorts with too much padding because it will be difficult for the saddle and sit bones to make contact, leading to numbness or pain in these areas over time. This difficulty is a common problem with padding, as many people often put on thicker pads than they need.

But personally, I rather numbness that can reduce by shifting positions on the seat than the pain in my butt from an uncomfortable exercise bike seat that hurts every time. So I highly recommend getting yourself good padded shorts and pairing them with a saddle replacement or gel cover.

Fix Your Riding Posture

Correcting your riding posture will improve the comfort of your spin bike seat. The reason is that incorrect posture will result in imbalanced pressure and put stress on the wrong muscles. As a result, you’ll often find that you are sitting in the wrong spot on your saddle, so your sit bones don’t receive adequate cushioning.

So simply correcting and maintaining proper riding posture will allow you to sit exactly where you get the most cushioning on your stationary bike seat.

Fixing your riding posture requires you to focus on a few things:

  • You should be sitting back on the saddle, so your butt is a little bit off the seat. Doing this will allow your sit bones to make contact with the thickest part of the saddle.
  • Maintain a straight but relaxed spine while leaning forward slightly from the hips. Your spine shouldn’t be bent.
  • Your elbows have a slight bend in them.

Adjust your seat and handlebar position.

Like any bike, adjusting your seat and handlebar will greatly affect how comfortable you’ll be when riding. If your seat height is correct, you’ll be able to sit at just the right spot while pedaling. The same goes for the handlebars, as both go hand in hand with where you will end up sitting on the bike saddle. Depending on your height and the adjustability of your bike, you’ll want to ensure that they’re correctly positioned.

Wrapping Up

Riding a Stationary Bike is one of the best ways to improve your health at home, but it can be difficult if you have an uncomfortable bike seat. Having a spin bike seat that hurts will only worsen with time and cause more pain as you continue exercising.

So knowing how to make your exercise bike seat more comfortable early on is crucial in allowing for daily exercise routines. Many solutions should help make your spinning experience much more comfortable. I’ve found the two most effective fixes were getting a gel cover or replacing the bike seat entirely (we recommend doing both). If these don’t work, try padding up with padded cycling shorts, correcting your posture while riding, and adjusting the handlebar height according to preference.

If you’ve done these things, I can almost say for certain that you’ll no longer have a stationary bike seat that hurts your butt.