What is the Best Road Bike Seat for Men?
Road bicycles can be expensive. Made of lightweight materials, high-tech components and state-of-the-art technologies, each part is designed to make your rides more efficient and enjoyable. But no road bike trip is enjoyable if your seat is uncomfortable. The best road bike seat for men combines proper fit, features and material.
The best road bike seat for men starts with fit. Road bikers prefer narrow seats because they allow for high cadence, or pedaling speed, without rubbing against the inner thighs. But narrow seats can be uncomfortable if they are not fitted properly. The relatively wide back of a road bike seat is meant to contact your ischial tuberosities. These are the two hard bones you feel in your posterior when you sit on a hard surface. Choose a bike seat whose padded rear section fits the width of your ischial tuberosities.
Even with a proper fit, you may find that the narrow seat puts pressure on your perineum, the area of soft tissue between your legs. If you experience pressure in this area, look for a road bike seat that has a center channel carved out or removed along the length in the middle of the bike seat. This removal of material will help relieve pressure and provide a more comfortable ride without sacrificing support or fit. Additionally, you may find that road bike seats with shorter nose sections are more comfortable than those with long, protruding noses.
Materials and Padding
Most road bike seats are covered with either leather or synthetic material. Each material offers different advantages. Some materials provide waterproofing, so your bike seat won't get soaked in wet conditions. Other materials provide increased breathability, which increases air circulation to your posterior and decreases sweat production. The padding on road bike seats is usually thin and made from high-density foam. To choose the padding that is best for you, ride on several different bike seats to get the feel of each type of padding. Avoid inadequate padding tests, such as depressing the seat with your finger to test comfort.
The best road bike seat for men will never provide adequate support or comfort unless it is adjusted correctly. Road bike seats adjust in four ways: height, pitch, forward and backward movement, and left to right angle. Adjust the height so your legs are slightly bent when fully extended on the pedals. Adjust pitch so the seat is comfortable. Start at a neutral, level angle; then adjust the nose up or down if necessary. Adjust forward position so you can reach the handlebars comfortably while riding. Finally, adjust the left to right angle so the nose of the seat lines up with the bike frame.
- Chris Stowers/Dorling Kindersley RF/Getty Images