Biking can be an excellent activity for seniors. Not only does it present less stress on your joints than other activities, but it can be a great way to spend some time outdoors or get the exercise you need if you are riding on a stationary bike.
The issue a lot of seniors run into isn’t with the activity itself, but the lack of comfort it provides. As you get older, a standard bike seat may not cut it anymore. While you may have been perfectly fine with the standard bike seat your bike came with in the past, you want something that offers superior comfort and support.
Believe it or not, a narrow seats can actually reduce blood flow to your sensitive areas by as much as 25% even in younger people. As a senior with decreased blood flow as it is, it’s recommended to take steps towards finding a seat that will not restrict blood flow.
In this article, I’ll be going over some of the main features that you should be looking at in a bike seat for a senior. Then, I’ll go on to give my recommendations as to what comfortable bike seats you may want to consider based on our research.
Video Guide: Bike Seats for Seniors
Here is a quick video summary of the information you’ll find in this guide. Keep reading for the details.
Features To Look For In A Bike Seat For Seniors
When shopping for a replacement bike seat for a senior, here are the key features you should look for.
1. Type – Look for a Universal Fit
When shopping for the right bike seat, you want to find something that is designed specifically for the type of bike you are intending on using it on. A bike seat that is designed for an indoor stationary bike is going to be different than one designed for an outdoor road bike.
If you are riding off road trails or a mountain bike, you will probably want a seat that has spring suspension. This suspension helps absorb the bumps you’ll encounter on a trail – or your neighborhood’s potholes!
Therefore, you want to figure out what your use-case is for the seat prior to purchasing one. There are some bike seats that are either designed to offer universal fit or that come with attachments that make them compatible with many bikes.
2. Cushioning – Lots of Padding and Support
If you are even looking to purchase a third-party bike seat, your included bike seat is likely not giving you the comfort experience you are looking to get.
Because of this, comfort should be prioritized when it comes to finding the right bike seat to replace it. In order for a seat to provide a comfortable rides, it needs to have ample cushioning. Look for seats with multiple foam layers or gel padding.
You want nice soft padding underneath your soft tissue right? Your sit bones will thank you too!
3. Width – Wider is Better for Comfort and Support
The width of the seat itself is one of the things that will dictate the comfort it provides the rider. For a senior, you should be prioritizing finding a seat that offers ample width. Having a wide seat will be much a more comfortable bicycle seat than a much more narrow seat.
Having a wider surface area to place your bum will allow the weight to be distributed much more evenly which can reduce the pressure on your spine, hips, and lower back.
4. Seats With Backrests – How About Back Support?
It’s a common complaint as we all age: it seems like the back is the first place that we feel it. So, if you have back aches, especially in your lower back, you may want to consider a bike seat that also offers some back support. Backs also tend to encourage senior riders to sit in a more upright position.
This type of bicycle seat is usually found on three wheel bicycle or adult trike styled bikes. Look for a back that hits you about the middle of your back and offers lots of cushioning. An adjustable height back is even better.
Breathable fabric is a good idea if you are a sweater.
5. Durability Matters – Read Reviews
When buying a more comfortable seat for your bike, read reviews and look for complaints about durability. You want a seat that is going to last especially if you are a frequent or daily rider.
Look for well constructed seams, thick fabrics and upholstery, and firm padding that gives a little. If you are likely to encounter weather on your rides, look for a waterproof cover. You can buy a separate seat cover too that serves the same purpost
6. Installation Method
Make sure you have a plan for trading our your bike seat. Most of these universal products are easy to switch out.
Generally, you loosen a clamp bolt and slide the existing seat rail out of the frame tube. Then slip the rail from your new seat where the old one was. Adjust it for proper height and then tighten the clamp bolt. It’s a relatively simple process and nothing to fear.
Best Bicycle Seats For Seniors | My Top Picks
Now that we have gone over some of the major features that you want to try to look for when you are shopping around for a bike seat for seniors, we will be going over some seats that fit these criteria the best. Consider choosing one of the bike seats below for better overall riding experiences.
This is one of the best seats that you can find on the marketplace whether you are looking for an indoor or outdoor model. Bikeroo offers both along with mounting tools and a universal fit saddle adapter for extreme versatility. This seat should fit whatever bike you are looking to use it on. Best of all, it is designed with seniors in mind.
Because of this, the bike seat features a wide surface area allowing for even weight distribution to minimize stress in the hips, buttocks, and the lower back. Also, its equipped with shock absorber springs suspension which makes it ideal for riding on bumpy pavement and for mountain bikers. Don’t let uneven surfaces get in your way of being able to enjoy yourself and spend time outdoors with one of your favorite activities.
This is another standout on the marketplace when it comes to the riding experience it offers seniors. This seat is purposefully named because when you sit on it, you feel as if you are sitting on a cloud. The seat itself features multi-stage memory foam padding. Meaning, when you sit down on the seat, it will evenly distribute your body-weight to avoid experiencing any discomfort in your lower back or tailbone.
Even better, it features both steel rails and elastomer suspension which can help to curb any vibration you would normally experience while riding on bumpy pavement. For seniors, this is a major feature because those bumps can really take a toll on your lower back.
The seat even features specially cutout portions to avoid placing too much pressure on your sciatic and perineum nerves. If you’ve ever experience numbness in your legs while riding, you will appreciate this feature a lot.
Lower back pain is a common complain of older adults and sometimes you feel it most when bent over riding a bike. But, this nice, wide saddle seat with an adjustable height back can really help this situation.
The seat has a nice width to it (11 inches), supportive and comfortable padding plus vented fabric areas to cut down on how much heat is generated while you are sitting on it. . It has a universal and will fit most bikes, cruisers, and trikes.
The backrest is adjustable for optimal placement and comfort so that you can get a more custom fit. Note, that the back is large enough to provide some support without getting in the way or being too bulky.
This seat offers a good riding experience for everyone, but it really delivers for seniors. The bike has a lot of the things that you look for in a seat for seniors, but it adds even more to it.
One of the unique things about this seat is that it features a built-in LED taillight and a reflective band to enhance a senior’s biking safety while out riding at night.
However, the seat really stands out in the various features to amplify the comfort you experience while riding it. For one, it uses memory foam material placed on top of shock-absorbing balls. Therefore, any bumps you experience while out riding is not likely to cause you any discomfort because the balls will soak up the bumps along the way.
The memory foam is thick enough to provide excellent comfort while riding and it is capable of distributing your weight evenly. The seat has a cutout in the middle to alleviate pressure on your sciatic nerve which means you won’t experience a loss of circulation or extreme tiredness and numbness during long, long rides.
This bike seat is uniquely large. It is oversized in order to provide extreme comfort during longer rides. With this bike seat, you get cushion made up of premium high elasticity and high-density memory foam with a layer of gel for even more comfortable riding experience. You also get sufficient traction for a non-slip grip.
Because the seat is extra wide, it is extremely comfortable yet doesn’t sacrifice leg movement with its wing shape. The seat is oversized and extra-wide allow it to distribute your body weight across a much larger surface area than most bike seats on the market. This can make it much more comfortable for heavier riders or riders who need a larger bike seat in general.
Giddy Up! Offers an oversized version of their padded memory foam bike seat. This bike seat comes with everything you need including a bike seat protective cover, reflective band, and a wrench to mount it.
The bike seat is extra wide for those who want and/or need a wider surface area. This can make sitting on the seat as comfortable as possible. Also, it features the same two spring suspensions underneath the bicycle seat in order to reduce bumps for mountain bikes and road bikes with occasional off-pavement riding. Because it features memory foam, it can form to the shape of your buttocks and provide you with long-lasting comfort during riding sessions.
Frequently Asked Questions / FAQ:
What is the most comfortable bike seat?
The most comfortable bike seat is generally going to be the one that matches your use-case the most. For most seniors, it would be a seat like the Cloud-9 which features ample padding and excellent suspension for a comfortable riding experience whether on smooth surfaces or bumpy roads. However, for those who desire a wider seat, they will find the oversized bike seats to offer much more comfort.
Is a wide bike seat more comfortable?
A wider bike seat will usually provide more comfort than a narrow bike seat for seniors. Not only does it evenly separate your body weight to avoid placing too much pressure on your lower back, but it can make contact with more surface area of your buttocks.
However, for those that ride long distances with a lot of pedaling, a narrow seat will hold the edge in the comfort department.
How do I make my bike seat more comfortable?
The best way to make your bike seat more comfortable is by purchasing the best bike seat for your intended use-case. As a senior, you are likely going to want to find one that offers an experience optimized for leisure riding like the Bikeroo Bike Seat for seniors (available at Amazon). This bike seat offers a good all-around experience for seniors.
However, there are certain things you can do to improve your current saddle. For one, you can adjust the height and tilt of it. Likewise, you can place more of your buttocks on the entire surface area of the seat to evenly distribute the weight.
How do I stop my bike seat hurting?
The best way to stop your bike seat from hurting your sensitive areas is to replace it with a brand new seat that offers an ergonomic design and a better and more comfortable riding experience.
Are Installing Bicycle Seats Difficult?
No. You can find bike seats with universal mounts making them capable of being used on a range of different bikes. Also, they typically come with everything you need for installation with instructions.
Choosing the right bike seat as a senior can really dictate the kind of experience you are able to have. By having a seat that is the right size, has a wide design, offers a comfortable ride, and extra padding, you will be much more encouraged to get out there and enjoy yourself.
Studies have shown that cycling can slow down or even reverse age-related muscle declines. Likewise, it has even shown to keep the immune system function at optimal levels. Therefore, a new bike seat is a small price to pay for all of the health benefits cycling offers seniors – especially if you can increase your time riding because of it!
Check out my recommended three wheel bikes for seniors too for more balanced, stable ride!