Bike seat pain and discomfort while indoor cycling can be a serious pain in the butt!
All corny jokes aside, I receive a comment or message almost daily about bum pain during indoor cycling. If this is something you struggle with, you are not alone! I will share some common causes and the solutions for indoor cycling bike seat discomfort. Let’s talk about the 3 common causes of bike saddle discomfort while you are riding!
The Culprit: Improper Bike Setup
Proper bike set up is the first thing to look at if you are experiencing pain in your behind during and after your ride. Before we dive into this, let’s talk about where you want to position yourself on the seat. The best place to position yourself is as far back on the saddle at the widest point. Make sure to take this positions as you make bike adjustments and during your rides. There are 3 main points to examine in this situation. First, check your seat height. If your seat height is set too high or too low, this can cause too much pressure on your bum. The reason being, your legs aren’t able to take on the proper load while pedaling if they over or under extended. The second thing to examine is saddle fore/aft. If your saddle is not positioned correctly forward or back, this can cause a misaligned pedal stroke, in turn creating more pressure in the saddle area. The third check to make is your handlebar fore/aft. Your handlebars should be set at a position that doesn’t make you feel like you are reaching too far forward for your handlebars or sitting up too straight. When you are sitting up to straight or reaching for your bars, your positioning is shifted in the saddle and can cause added pressure in unwanted areas! The goal when determining handlebar positioning is that sweet spot for you. The ideal torso angle is between 40 and 60 degrees.
The Solution: Determine the Best Adjustments for You
The first thing to do is check for proper bike setup, you can find a step-by-step guide to help you do just that here! Another minor adjustment that isn’t discussed too often in indoor cycling is your bike’s seat angle. Some bikes allow you to adjust the angle of your seat up or down, this can also be adjusted to best fit you. If you are in an in-person indoor cycling class, ask the instructor to help you get your bike just right for you!
The Culprit: Not Enough Resistance
Another common cause can be riding with too little resistance. If you have worked out with me before, you know I am constantly reminding you to keep enough resistance on your flywheel This is to protect your knees and make sure you are doing the work and not the bike but also, even if your bike is set up properly and you go for a sprint or even ride at a moderate pace, your bum will start to bounce around in the saddle which not only causes extra friction, but also more force on those sensitive areas. OUCH! While it’s happening you may not even realize it because you are focused on your ride, but afterwards you will feel it.
The Solution: Turn Up Your Resistance!
Having enough resistance is key to a safe, effective, and comfy indoor cycling workout. You always want to feel a little something under your feet, if it feels like the flywheel is taking you for a ride, you need to bump it up a notch!
The Culprit: Not Enough Time in the Saddle
The final reason we will discuss is simply, not enough ride time on your bike. When you first begin an indoor cycling regimen or you’ve been out of the saddle for a few months, it takes time for the ol’ tush-a-roo to build up sitting on that saddle. It can take up to a couple of weeks for this to happen. For myself personally it talks about 10 days of consistent riding to no longer have discomfort after my ride.
The Solution: Hop on Your Bike and Ride
The more time you spend on your bike at a consistent rate, the quicker the pain will dissipate. Side note to this is include standing positions. If you’ve joined me for an indoor cycling class, we do incorporate jogs and climbs. Giving your bum a break from that seated position every once in a while can really help to minimize soreness and discomfort. Of course, be sure to check bike set up and resistance first, before assuming it is saddle time.
A few final tips for bike seat pain during indoor cycling are if you find that you’ve tried all of the above, padded bike shorts and/or a padded bike seat cover. These are great and affordable options to try! Padded shorts and a seat cover can make a big difference and help you have an overall better riding experience. You can find some great options for seat covers and padded bottoms here! A final alternative can be trading out your for current saddle for a professionally fitted bike seat from your local bike shop. Most bike shops have the technology to measure your sit bones and provide a seat that is ideal for your anatomy. A new bike seat can be a bit pricey, so ensuring you’ve tried all other avenues is best before jumping at this option.
Saddle discomfort during your indoor cycling workout can be very frustrating and rather annoying. Don’t let it get you down, try these simple tips to make your workout the best it can be!