My seat is uncomfortable

People often times say things like, “I love to ride but after about 45 min I want to get off and walk” or “I didn’t go because my butt couldn’t take that long of a ride” or “I love my bike but I hate my seat”. So this blog posting is dedicated to seats and how they affect you and your posture which can equal comfort or pain.

Most people get a bike for a variety of reasons: looks (high on the list), speed, affordability, it was a husband hand me down or loyalty to a make/model. Whatmost people do not first look for are the ergonomics of a bike and whether or not it actually fits them.

There are four factors that come into play when it comes to how comfortable a bike will be after say, one hour of riding.

  1. Handle bar position
  2. The position of your mirrors
  3. Location of your feet
  4. Your style of seat.

The best position for a cruiser is sitting up right like you are in a chair with a fairly straight back, flat bottom to the seat and your feet slightly in front of you. This alleviates any pressure on your tailbone because the spine is straight not rolled under. However, cruiser people tend to slouch and chopper people tend to REALLY slouch! Sport bike and dual sport folks …..I’ll cover you in another article but don’t go away.

You see can spot the cruiser folks rolling down the road with our feet up on our highway pegs, our backs and shoulders rounded, looking somewhat “comfortable”.

However what this does to your spine is cause the lower back to roll under you placing pressure on your spine, which places pressure on your tail bone, WHICH sends pain down your legs etc.

There are a few styles of seats out there that, unfortunately, make it VERY uncomfortable for a man. The seat style look somewhat like a sling, up in the front and the back. Sadly enough our man tries to get away from the pain by scooting up or back and in some instances riding on the back of the seat smashing it down, all the while attempting to lessen the torture. Need I say more?

For those of us with uncomfortable seats, after a while, you may start to find yourself doing the “left-right cheek dance” during which time you’re hoping to find a comfortable position. What our brain fails to tell us is that the pain in our legs is not coming from our legs. Pain seems to show up away from where it starts.

What to do:
My first recommendation is to ride and think about your butt. Wait for the discomfort to start and 9 out of 10 people will find that the pain/discomfort starts in the area of your tail bone, hips or lower back. This is why the rider will find him or herself constantly repositioning their feet; its basically the only thing we can ajdust while riding.

Next look at your seat, if your seat is styled to be more of a slope than a chair, then you are in a position that will eventually place pressure against your tail bone and this will cause you to slump, adding insult to injury. Your next step is to have your seat adjusted by a qualified person who knows motorcycle seats, but first there are a couple of adjustments you can make on the bike itself that won’t cost you a dime or possibly less than a seat make over and can possibly solve your issue.

  • Raise or lower your handlebars. This can make a world of difference.
  • Check your mirrors. You shouldn’t have to move to see directly behind you. Do not set them to see the corner of your shoulders. Have someone stand about 15 feet behind your bike and then set your mirrors.
  • Sit on the bike and see where your feet are, under you, behind you or in front of you.
  • See if your foot pegs have an alternate position which you can move them to or consider purchasing floorboards. These provide a flat surface thus eliminating any points on the bottom of your feet. Floorboards can be pricey however, on a long trip they’re awesome.
  • Is your windshield line above or below your sight line? In other words; are you looking through the windshield, over it or is the edge right in your way. If the top edge of your windshield is in your field of vision, looking into lowering it or having the windshield cut by someone who knows how to cut Plexiglas.

Now your have some homework. Feel free to email me at nanci@shasta.com if you have any questions. Ride safe!

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