How to choose bike seats and saddles as plus-size cyclist

Megan Smith
 min read

You might not realize it, but bike seats come in various sizes. So how to choose bike seats as a plus-size rider?

how to choose bike seats and saddles as plus-size cyclistHow will you find your ultimate bike saddle?

We’ve got you covered and it can be pretty straightforward.

You just need to take the time to measure your sit bones and then choose a great saddle.

How to choose bike seats as plus-size rider: Introduction

To choose the best width for your new bike seat, you need to determine the distance between your two sit bones from your hips and the back of the seat.

A bike seat which is too narrow won’t support you enough.

On the other hand, it will rub against your thighs if it is too broad and cause chafing besides interfering with your pedaling motion.

Although you might be impatient to start, you’ll be glad you took the time and effort to find the correct measurement.

How to measure your sit bones

Knowing the width of your sit bones is essential for choosing a good saddle.

Always determine the width of your sit bones in an upright sitting position, with your feet slightly elevated.

Take a piece of thick cardboard or, for example, a foam camping mat or foam rubber.

Do not forget to have a tape measure, chalk or ruler helpful. You also need something to raise your feet on.

Put the cardboard on a flat surface and sit on it. Sit down and push your sit bones securely into the piece of cardboard or foam rubber.

Next, raise your legs and bring them to rest on something, just as if you’re pedaling. Now we need you to consider your riding style.

If you’re an aggressive cyclist, lean forward. If you’re a casual one, sit up straighter.

Done? Good. Now stay in the same pedaling position for 20 seconds. You’ll notice two curves putting pressure on the cardboard underneath you.

Then stand rapidly and measure the distance of the two deepest cores of your print.

So, measure heart-to-heart (the range from center to center is how large your bike seat needs to be).

Selecting a comfortable bike seat is really easy as soon as you have determined your saddle width.

How to find a suitable bike seat

To find your best fit, you need to follow some strategies.

We thought of the most essential points you should consider:

  • Choose a bike saddle that can guarantee flexibility and stability.
  • You should find a saddle in the proper shape. Different genders will need different seats, so do factor this in. A bike seat for an obese female differs from a bike seat for an obese male. Tip: Check our article Can you lose belly fat by cycling? for more information about cycling to lose weight as a plus-size or obese individual.
  • Your seating position on the bike is essential.
  • The best saddle allows you to ride easily without chafing or interference with your motion. Tip: Discover more tips on comfort on the saddle by reading our article Why does my bike seat hurt?
  • Bike seats are available in a range of widths. By determining the approximate width of your sit bones, you’ll make a much better choice. If you have taken the trouble to do what we have explained above, you’re guaranteed a great fit.
  • Saddle height needs to be set in a horizontal position. Too far forward or backward, and you’ll encounter severe neck discomfort. Make sure that your bike seat is set at a convenient height.
About Megan Smith

Megan has been fighting overweight and her plus size since her teenage years. After trying all types of remedies without success, she started doing her own research. Megan founded Plus Size Zeal to share her findings. She also developed various detailed buying guides for plus-size people in order to make their lives easier and more comfortable. Read More