Jump on the bike and go to the nearest store for some crisps and a drink, or get geared up, drive 20 miles out of the city, and take on a mountain biking trail that no one knows exists. Either way, you’re going to have to use the seat that your bike has, with many quickly coming to complain that some part of their seats is hurting them. When you do go to buy a new seat, you’ll be surprised to see that they are separated between women’s seats and men’s, but does it matter?
A man can easily and comfortably use a women’s bike seat on his bike, and many men have found that after testing, they prefer to use the women’s bike seats. You will find the opposite also true, with many women preferring to use men’s seats as they are much more comfortable for them to use. Overall, a bike seat cannot be defined as made for women or made for men. Instead, all seats rely heavily on how comfortable you feel on it.
There are some differences between the designs that have made many people get into heated arguments and debates about the seats. Each person naturally starts learning what they like, the shape, curves, and cushioning of their seats. You need to know what these all are and how they will affect the ride you have with your bike.
What is the difference between the seats?
This is where many riders, builders, designers, and internet warriors will pull their information from as there are some design differences between seats designed for men and women. Knowing what these are will mean you are capable of arguing with others when they start making claims about your seat being the wrong one, despite the love you may already have for it.
While there are cushioning differences, material differences, and color differences, these are varied across all seats. More expensive seats will always have better materials than the normal ones you can get with most bikes. The same can be said for colors and the cushion thickness. The main differences that manufacturers make to these seats are the size and shape of the seats.
A bike seat typically meant for men is longer and thinner, with the back end flaring out to a controlled curve, usually with a thin piece that stretched a bit longer. Whereas a bike seat meant for women are much shorter overall, with the rear end flaring much more dramatically, making for a seat that is a lot more present. Both of these seat types have their purpose, and many that have tried both types have learned that there are advantages to using either.
However, it should be noted that while one shape is marketed towards women and the others is marketed towards men, many believe that this is wrong. Depending on how fit you are, the things you are doing with your bike, and how long you will be riding on your bike, you may find that smaller sizes are better for you. Usually, those doing mountain biking prefer to have larger seats, as they provide more comfort.
This is arguably the biggest difference that you will see between the seats as seats meant for both sexes can come in every size needed, while the shapes of the seats will be different. A normal seat meant for men to use a thinner back area, shapes to be sat on, and not hurt when leaning forward. Women’s chairs are a lot thicker at the back, meant more to be sat on top of like a stool, with the tapered end being shorter.
There are myths that this is because people that first made bikes were scared that normal seats would be dangerous for women’s chastity, though this is next to impossible to prove. Instead, we can believe that designers thought one seat type would be more comfortable for one sex than the other. However, as with all things, it became pointlessly gendered, and almost everyone chooses the most comfortable seat for them, regardless of the shape or what the label says.
How do you choose a bike seat?
This is a question that many bike lovers face early in their bike riding careers, with many being put off entirely because of the seemingly complex choices and options that are out there. The truth is that when you are choosing a seat, you simply need to look for one that will be comfortable for you to sit on. Bike seats are something that no one else can choose for you, even the experts knowing that they should not recommend without having someone test the seats.
When you are out choosing your seat, you should not be doing so when buying the bike unless you already know that thinner seats will not be for you. Choosing a bike seat is about knowing what hurts you when riding on longer trails through mountains or what sits more comfortably when going on the road. To choose a seat, think of what you will be doing with the bike, how long you will be sitting on it, and how you will be using it.
While you can go with some recommendations for the popular bike seats, it should be noted that you will probably go through three to four bike seats before you find one that is comfortable. It may take even longer before you find the seat that you would buy repeatedly, but once you have a seat that you like, it won’t be easy to find one that can replace it.
Why does it not matter which seat is used?
Many believe that you must get a gendered seat for your bike because of body shapes, hip sizes, lengths, and blood flow. However, with repeated uses, it has been found that it should be fine as long as the seat is comfortable for you. Since most bike riders start living active lives, it is more important to do stretches before and after riding to induce blood flow.
This has meant that the seats you choose do not affect the overall health of your body unless you are using a completely uncomfortable seat and not usable. Instead, it is vital that you instead have something that is just as comfortable after 10 miles as it is after the first mile. It is an easy mistake to choose a bike seat because it says it is meant for men, when in reality, what your body shape needs are a wider seat.
Further, many women that become super thin and healthy thanks to their active lifestyles prefer bike seats meant for men, as these seats are not as hard on the hips as the wider seats are. At the same time, men that are a bit more plumber and have less muscle development prefer to have wider seats. This is why it does not matter what type of seat you are getting, as long as the seat is comfortable for you to sit on.
The best bike seats are always comfortable seats for you to sit on for longer periods. A lot of companies want to push their seats towards a specific group of people. However, most elite bike riders will know that these are just marketing tactics. You must learn which bike shapes are more comfortable to you, and as you become more fit and strong, it will help you try different seats.
Just, please, don’t sit on a bike seat that is so thin and small it disappears underneath you. Even a small rock will cause more than a slight discomfort at that level!