When Bicycle Saddles Wear Down - What You Need to Know

When you bike, you take great caution in making sure all points of contact are adequately covered: you wear gloves to protect your hands, sturdy shoes to shield your feet, and breathable biking clothes to keep your body well-ventilated. However, protecting the sensitive area down there is entirely different, particularly when sitting on an uncomfortable bike saddle.

Despite bicycles being over 200 years old, the saddle has remained largely unchanged. While other individuals got creative by reinventing the bicycle saddle, the basic triangle design continued to reign supreme. While it offers cyclists support when sitting up, they have complained about the eventual numbness they feel in their genital area. 

Here’s what you need to know about saddle breakdown and the best way to maintain a comfortable bicycle seat:

Changing Out Your Saddle

A bicycle saddle contains foam and gel to provide cyclists with as much comfort as possible when riding. However, these materials start to break down after 12 months of regular use, which means you’ll have to replace them every year or so. However, many manufacturers recommend changing a bicycle saddle at least once every two years, the same way runners change their shoes every six months to a year. 

For you to ensure maximum comfort, be sure to check the manufacturer’s label on your saddle for the best time to swap it out. Ultimately, if you feel like your saddle is starting to sag and begins to be uncomfortable, it may be time to replace it.

The Contributing Factors to Saddle Breakdown

Saddles wear out due to the constant friction between your perineal area and the seat’s outer surface. When combined with your sweat, sunlight, and even water, the saddle breaks down even faster. Sometimes, the seat’s design is also a contributing factor to the breakdown; for instance, if a saddle was specifically designed to support the cyclist’s pubis rami bones, these areas will deteriorate much faster than other saddle types. 

However, cyclists often cannot tell their saddle is breaking down until the seat starts to get uncomfortable. The only time you can confirm the interior gel and foam’s state is by taking the saddle apart, although by doing this, you have no choice but to replace it entirely.

When Saddles Wear Unevenly

Some saddles don’t wear all-around at the same place; sometimes, the way you sit wears out a part of the saddle faster than the other. If one of your legs is shorter than the other, it will contribute to one side deteriorating more swiftly. Fortunately, you can correct this by using a shim between the cleat and the show. You can also swap your current saddle out for a wide bike seat if you find yourself constantly shifting in place due to discomfort.

Conclusion

Just like everything else you use regularly, your bicycle seat will break down at some point. Depending on your build, how often you ride, and other factors, your saddle can start deteriorating anywhere between one to three years, which will contribute to numbness and pain in your perineal area. Your comfort is always the most crucial aspect to consider when biking, so it may be best to buy a new, more supportive bike seat cushion to ensure long, enjoyable bike rides.

Cushbike is the leading provider of comfortable bike seats in the UK. Our sturdy and supportive bicycle seats are easy to install, providing enough flex to enjoy bike rides all over the country. Check out our catalogue today to buy your next bicycle seat!