A Guide to the Best Padded Bike Seats of 2022
If you enjoy bike riding outdoors, or if you use an indoor exercise bike, you’ll want a seat that provides comfort and ease of movement. Or maybe you’d need a wider or narrower seat than what you have on your bike presently. In either case, there is a wide variety of padded bike seats available, from many different materials, ranging from memory foam, gel, or a composite of several layers of padding. They’re specially designed so that you don’t feel numb after sitting on them for long periods of time. Even the most sophisticated models can be attached in just a few seconds. And you can adjust the height and angle of the seat so that it’ll be exactly the way you’d like it.
We’ll go through some of the best padded bike seats available, taking note of how you attach them, their composition, and other features that may tip the scales in favor of one model over another.
Types of Padded Bike Seats
We can distinguish between padded bike seats by the manner that you attach them:
Slip-on bike cushion: These are attached to your existing bike seat by means of a drawstring. Since it’s so easy to attach and remove, you can use it on an indoor or outdoor bike. An example is the Bikeroo Bike Seat Cushion. It’s made of padded gel and is suitable for both men’s and women’s bikes.
Bikeroo Bike Seat Cushion
Attaches with mounting tools: There are also padded bike seats that require mounting tools, like an open-ended wrench or Allen wrench (with a hexagonal head). An example is the Giddy Up! Comfortable Bike Saddle. It uses memory foam padding and is suitable for Peloton bikes, exercise bikes, and outdoor bikes.
Giddy Up! Comfortable Bike Saddle
You’ll also see that padded bike seats vary in their cushioning material:
Gel: We already saw that Bikeroo makes a gel slip-on bike seat cover. Gel has the advantage of not retaining heat, which is a drawback of memory foam.
Memory foam: Many bike seats employ memory foam because it shapes itself to the body’s contours. This offers more support, even though it has the drawback of keeping in the heat. That might cause you to perspire if you bike for long periods of time.
What reviewers say
Here are some pointers and caveats that people mentioned about their padded bike seat:
Width: People with a wider frame look for a wider bike seat. Bikeroo makes an oversized bike seat, which is 10.2” wide. Their indoor bike version uses elastomer springs, while their outdoor bike version uses steel springs. One customer said that they succeeded in riding for 90 minutes, without any pain or discomfort!
Can also help with back issues: Surprisingly enough, a more supportive seat can also help people who have lower back pain when riding. People who bought the Schwinn memory foam seat gave them relief from a pinched nerve in their lower back.
Note how it attaches: Some customers had the unfortunate experience of having their seat break! They said that it’s preferable that the seat be attached by means of two points of contact, instead of a single nut and bolt. Being attached in two places will distribute your weight more evenly.
Here are a few features and specs that can help you decide when purchasing a padded bike seat:
Compatibility: You’ll want to make sure that your bike seat is compatible with the bike you intend to ride. The Bikeroo Memory Foam Bike Seat has a universal adapter, so it is compatible with mountain bikes, road bikes, hybrid bikes, and Peloton and other exercise bikes. However, some customers who bought their extra-wide seat noticed that it was not compatible with a NordicTrack exercise bike. So, a “universal” seat may not match every type of bike!
Bikeroo Memory Foam Bike Seat
Taillight and reflective stickers: There are padded bike seats that use reflective stickers, or even a battery-operated LED taillight. This adds to your safety and visibility when traveling at night. The Giddy Up! Gel Padded Bike Seat can light up either as a strobe light or as constant, solid light.
Raincover: Some bike seats come with a rain cover as well, which will protect the seat from the rain. Besides protecting the seat from water damage, it will be a lot more comfortable for riding if the seat isn’t sopping wet!
Ventilation: You’ll notice that some padded bike seats have an open slot in the middle. That cutout will help distribute the seat’s weight evenly, as well as reduce sweating and avoid skin chafing.
Shock absorbing: Besides padding, you’ll see bike seats with some sophisticated features to absorb the shock of a bumpy ride. They can either employ steel spring suspension, such as the Bikeroo Oversized Bike Seat, or shock-absorbing balls, as in the Tonbux Bicycle Seat.
Bikeroo Oversized Bike Seat
We saw some of the Best Reviews Guide offerings on the best padded bike seats. While there are large variations in the widths and materials of the seats, the comfort that people experienced was a bit subjective. The best advice is to look over our pointers here, as well as customer reviews. You’re sure to find a bike seat that’ll make your workouts feel effortless!