Whether you use an exercise bike in a gym or you'd rather take your bike into the great outdoors, long rides can be uncomfortable. The seat, sometimes known as the saddle, on most bikes lacks sufficient padding for some hardcore applications. By adding a gel pad bike seat over your current saddle, you might find that you're more comfortable on your bike. Before you purchase a gel pad bike seat, ensure that its application and benefits are right for you.
An avid mountain biker can tell you that with the sport comes a lot of aches and pains. Riding over rocks, tree branches and small gullies can have your lower back feeling painful. The original bike seat has only a little padding, which means when you come down on the seat, the shock is felt through your spine. With the placement of a gel pad bike seat, your bottom and back are cushioned, notes the book "Wear and Tear: Stop the Pain and Put the Spring Back in Your Body." The seat absorbs the bulk of the shock, so your ride is less jarring for your joints, which can be a problem as you age.
When you're in an hour-long indoor cycling class, there's a good chance you'll experience some discomfort from an unpadded seat. Indoor cycling takes a lot of endurance and power, which can be difficult to find when all you can think about is your aching legs and bottom. By investing in a good quality gel pad seat to use over the existing bike seat, you'll have a more comfortable ride that allows you to focus on your form, endurance and strength as you work out with your bike.
The material on most stock bike seats is usually a leather-like substitute that can stick to your legs and cause what is known in the sport as "saddle sores." These welts are a result of friction between your skin and the regular seat. Luckily, gel pad seat covers usually are covered with a silkier material that doesn't stick or get caught on your bare skin. The material is much more like your actual bike shorts and helps to protect your legs from saddle sores from friction, according to "Ultra Cycling" magazine.
The culmination of all of the benefits of gel pad bikes seats is a longer, more comfortable rides. With a gel pad bike seat, you'll spend less time worrying about painful rides and uncomfortable positioning and much more time enjoying time on your bike. Longer rides can result in better health, reaching your fitness goals and getting a competitive edge as a cyclist.
- "Wear and Tear: Stop the Pain and Put the Spring Back in Your Body"; Bob Arnot, Robert Burns Arnot; 2003
- Ultra Cycling: From the Field: Bike Set-up