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I havent ridden a bike since I was a kid. And now I just purchased a second hand one to go to and from work and I found the seat like sitting on a block of wood. It was horrible! What is the best seat to get? I was going to get a large padded one but now after reading some posts saying they were no good, i dont know what to do. I know nothing about this. Please help me. Thanks!

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How much have you ridden the bike? I wouldn't run out and buy a new seat just yet. If you haven't ridden a bike in a while it can take a little with for your muscles and other tissues to get used to being on a bike seat again. Also, there is no right answer for this, as everyone's opinion is different. –  Kibbee Sep 23 '12 at 23:43
    
Hardly at all. didnt want to get back on it after how much it hurt the first couple of times!! The bike is not the best quality either. There is no padding on seat at all, just rock hard. –  Ashleigh Sep 24 '12 at 0:41
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If you're not a purist, there's nothing wrong with having some padding in the seat. But you generally won't do as well with a super-wide, super-padded seat as with something a bit narrower and only moderately padded. But for starters, look for a padded cover for your existing seat -- many bike shops and dept store bike departments have these. –  Daniel R Hicks Sep 24 '12 at 0:51
    
Thank you Kibbee and Daniel R hicks. I will keep trying to ride and i think i will get a padded cover. Thanks so much for your help –  Ashleigh Sep 24 '12 at 1:29
    
Welcome to Bicycles! Can you tell us more about your bike? The model and make would work, or just a picture of the bike. Best of all would be a picture of you riding the bike. Also, how long is your ride? –  Neil Fein Sep 25 '12 at 6:48
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4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

As @Kibbee stated give a little time. Don't expect to be able to do a one hour ride and be painfree the next day. Try to increase your saddle time gradually over a couple weeks. You can do several short rides a day to toughen-up the sore spots. The saddle may not be the only issue. Did you consult with anyone about bikefit? The bike may need some adjustments to fit you correctly. If after a few weeks your body is still complaining take your bike to your local shop. Have them look at your bike and the saddle. Explain to them where the pain is and ask for help in choosing a saddle that fits your body. Most shops will give a fit or comfort guarranty for a certain number of days.`

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No didnt consult. just wanted a bike to get to and from work, didnt realise it was so complicated now!! haha. Thanks for your help i guess i will have to suck it up and keep trying!! thanks :) –  Ashleigh Sep 24 '12 at 1:02
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@Ashleigh - Bike fit may seem complicated, but it's really a matter of sliding the seat forward and back, up and down; and doing the same with the handlebars. There are recommended ways to adjust things that help make it easier, and there's some trial and error involved. –  Neil Fein Sep 25 '12 at 6:47
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The answer depends on how much you ride and your position on the bike.

If you only take short trips and sit upright on the bike, then get a plush big comfy saddle.

If you intend to go on longer rides (1+h), you have a sportier (leaned forward) position on the bike, and want to ride often, then give your current saddle another chance. If your bum is not used to sitting on a bike, it will get sore during the first few rides. However, gradually you will build up more muscles in your bum and legs (taking weight off your bum) and the harder saddle will actually be more comfortable than the plushy one. The reason is that the harder, more minimal saddle will only put pressure on your sitbones, where you contact the saddle. The plushy saddle will deform under your weight and put pressure on your soft tissue.

Leather saddles (like Brooks) are very hard initially, but soften gradually only where your sitbones put pressure on them. Thus, when they're broken in they give support for your sitbones without putting pressure on your soft tissue.

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Do you ride with padded bike shorts? This is a very worth while option to consider. You can get "baggies" (like MTBers wear) if the tight lycra look does not suit you fashion sense - don't worry - despite what roadies tell you it is NOT illegal to wear baggies while riding on the road :).

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And, despite the upturned noses of the purists, many relatively experienced riders wear underwear of some sort under their bike shorts (just in case you're uncomfortable "going commando"). Just be sure it's something that won't bunch up. –  Daniel R Hicks Sep 26 '12 at 11:29
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Big fat padded seats do work well and can be had rather cheaply.

I have recently fallen in love with a Brooks leather saddle. It is basically a leather hammock built in the shape of a seat. They are expensive, so see if you can find someone's you can try before you buy. I stumbled into mine by accident but I know I will never ride on anything else.

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Big fat padded seats are comfy for a little while, but when the padding wears out, they're not so comfy. Brooks saddles are awesome - I have two bikes with B17s - but I don't think the OP is going to go out and buy a $100+ saddle. –  Neil Fein Sep 25 '12 at 6:45
    
+1 because this answer doesn't really deserve a negative score. "Buy a Brooks" is pretty much the canonical answer. Even though it's impractical for someone just getting back onto a bike, it's definitely something for them to know about for the future. –  Stephen Touset Sep 25 '12 at 19:59
    
@Stephen Thanks! Didn't realize that "Buy a Brooks" was a canonical answer. If so, then it is definitely a "correct" one. Was just trying to provide the two options that I was aware of... one that was cheaper and one that wasn't. I was trying to leave it to the OP to make the decision on her long term level of commitment and budget constraints. –  D. Woods Sep 25 '12 at 22:09
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