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The seat that my wife uses on her BMX bike is uncomfortable for her and it affects her enough that it limits her riding.

What attributes in a bike seat should she/I look for that could provide her a more comfortable ride so she can enjoy riding more? Any suggestions for how to approach this issue?

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    No one can answer this question for you. Bike-saddle preferences are extremely personal. Also, specific product recommendations go against this site's purposes.
    – Adam Rice
    Nov 8, 2022 at 15:54
  • If bike seats are really a problem, recumbent bikes and trikes are the solution. But many people can find a less extreme solution.
    – Willeke
    Nov 8, 2022 at 18:40
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    From what I understand about BMX bikes they are only intended for a very narrow use case where you need the saddle mostly to control the bike, not to sit on it. They are not intended to ride on roads or go a long distance.
    – Michael
    Nov 9, 2022 at 10:41
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    Further (@Michael) BMX seats are normally too low for sensible pedalling, and that won't help the comfort
    – Chris H
    Nov 9, 2022 at 13:24

3 Answers 3

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It might be the case that simply putting a comfortable seat (There are many to choose from. Most any ladies touring saddle is better than any stock BMX seat.) would solve the problem.

It also might be the case that solving the seat problem would expose the problem that the BMX bike is too small for comfortable riding.

BMX bikes are made for doing tricks or for a specific kind of racing. They are not designed to be a comfortable ride. When racing or doing tricks little time is spent sitting down. BMX seats are generally the least comfortable on any bike.

It takes trial and error to find the right bike, and the right seat. She has to decide what meets her needs and feels right.

Finding a bike that fits her and has a seat appropriate for the task might help. If there is a bike shop you can visit they will let her try different bikes and find one she likes.

If there are no bike shops you might have to get creative and ask friends what bikes they have and could loan or possibly a bike rental place would let her pedal around the parking lot on different bikes.

A final thought - does she really want to go bike riding? If she does it's worth the effort to solve the problems at hand.
If she doesn't and the bike will just sit around and collect dust and spider webs no matter how comfortable it is.

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A seat is one of only few parts of the bicycle where "male" and "female" matters. The bones are wider. Try to get a female seat as a first thing to try.

This may be the problem of the whole frame rather than just a seat (too small, too large, otherwise wrong, etc). Maybe some bicycle fitter may help, or you can also try to rent different bicycles for checking that fits.

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    I'm not saying you're wrong, but equally people shouldn't get hung up on labels. While there are obviously important anatomical differences near the saddle, the sit bones aren't really one of them - variation between individuals is greater than between the average for each sex. Other saddle contact is more of an issue on longer rides and even then cutouts or recesses designed for one may work for the other
    – Chris H
    Nov 9, 2022 at 20:11
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Also remember: when resuming riding after a long break, your ass is supposed to hurt. That's just how the thing is, even if you have a perfect saddle set at perfect height and otherwise perfect bike fit. Few short rides at first, few long rides then, and with a perfect saddle and fit the pain goes away.

Now, of course I'm not sure what kind of saddle a BMX bike has. Probably something far from optimal. I recommend using a saddle slightly wider than men's saddles for a woman. In fact, I'd also recommend not using a BMX bike for non-BMX riding.

Excessive padding on a saddle is usually a bad idea, though in saddles sold in a real bike shop you won't see excessive padding. Ideally a saddle would of course have some amount of reasonably firm padding, some racing specific saddles have been designed in such a manner that the padding is actually in the bike shorts since nobody weighs clothes but everyone weighs bikes with their saddles. That's of course just a trick to make the bike look lighterweight than it actually is.

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    There's no inherent reason for it to hurt more than your muscles, at least with suitable clothing (mainly no seams in the wrong place, but even the cheapest bike shorts can be a great help against chafing). And if you're thinking that pain is OK you should distinguish between pressure and chafing - the latter is more avoidable
    – Chris H
    Nov 9, 2022 at 20:14
  • You keep repeating the false statement that chamois replace padding in saddles. They don’t. They exist to wick moisture away from the skin and prevent chaffing.
    – Paul H
    Nov 14, 2022 at 19:05

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