Whether you are out on a 30 minute leisure ride or on your road bike, headed on a century ride, you will know how important overall comfort is. While you might get stiff and sore muscles during your ride, or occasionally run short of breath, these are conditions that are simply a side effect of embarking on the sport cycling. However, while physical pain can emerge from pushing your workout, you never want that pain coming from your bike. Uncomfortable bike seats, improper cycling gear, and poor posture can ruin a good ride rather quickly.
Chafing, bruising, inflammation and irritation: these will sour the best of moods during a ride and ruin even the best of chairs for the days to come. Simply to avoid these painful outcomes, there are countless benefits of having comfortable bike seats, padded riding apparel, and riding with the proper posture.
Comfortable Bike Seats
Wading between the various types of bike saddles can prove to be difficult, just because there are so many comfortable bike seats available in the market. However, the key to finding the right bike seat for you comes from finding the the right fit for your body type. With different saddle widths, it’s recommended that you find a saddle that properly fits your body’s sitzbones — the part of your pelvis where your butt and leg join together.
Once you find the perfect width, it then becomes a question of how/where you’ll be riding your bike, as well as how much cushioning you want. A road bike is going to be a v-shaped, long and pronounced seat; an enduro bike will similarly be v-shaped, but it will be more rounded and shorter than a road bike’s seat; a mountain bike will be pronounced like a road’s bike, but it will be t-shaped rather than v-shaped (particularly for control while climbing).
Once you find the seat with the right shape, it becomes a question of how much padding you want. While there are common recommendations for the thickness, this decision lies upon how much padding or gel a rider wants in their seat. By finding the right width, shape, and thickness, you can define the ideal comfortable bike seats that you can choose from in the market.
Similar to finding the right choice from a market flooded with comfortable bike seats, finding the right type of bicycle shorts can prove to be difficult. There are a variety of styles tho choose from, from spandex road shorts to commuter shorts, mountain bike shorts to men’s cycling shorts. However, even if you’re just starting out biking and unsure of just what type of shorts you should be wearing, simply owning a pair of cycling shorts will provide an endless amount of benefits:
- An elastic lining will ensure shorts don’t bunch up or move around while riding (reducing chafing)
- Anti-chafe material can abrade the skin without actually causing any major chafing
- Most, if not all, feature shock-absorbent padding sewn into the saddle, so to prevent bruising on the perineum
- Microfiber technology will allow for sweating in hot weather, all without clothing becoming as wet and scratchy as cotton
If you’d like a better idea of just what shorts to wear, visit your local cycling shop and talk with the staff. They’ll be able to show you the various shorts available for your riding needs and comfort.
As important, if not more, than comfortable bike seats or padded cycling gear is riding with proper posture. Riding in a relaxed, neutral position is necessary in ensuring that you have a comfortable ride. While there are other techniques of proper posture to ensure pain from emerging in other areas of your body (relaxed shoulders, alert head, bent elbows, and proper knee tracking over foot/pedal), your primary focus to relieve booty pain is through maintaining a neutral spine.
Keeping your bike relaxed and maintaining a straight line between your shoulders and hips will ensure that your core is engaged. By using your abdominal muscles, your relieving an unnecessary amount of work from being loaded onto your spine. By keeping a proper posture, you can protect your crotch and the rest of your body.