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As far as bike accessories go, few are more essential than bicycle seat covers. Many laymen have the misconception that these seat covers serve no purpose other than to make the seat more aesthetically appealing.
In fact, they have not one, but two practical functions – to increase rider comfort, and to protect the bicycle seat. This makes them an indispensable asset for serious cyclists and given their relatively low prices they are a value-for-money investment as well.
The Uses of Bicycle Seat Covers
- Cycling can cause incredible soreness in your buttocks and thighs, especially over long-distances. If you’ve ever been on a long cross-country bicycle ride, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Bouncing around on your bicycle seat for prolonged periods causes chafing and muscle aches.
- Bike seat covers make for a more comfortable ride by providing additional padding to help absorb the frequent shocks caused by cycling over uneven terrain. The padding provided by thick bicycle seat covers also helps to cushion your butt and legs which can be a real lifesaver if you have one of those unyielding and unforgiving bicycle seats.
- Muscle aches may be bothersome, but they will eventually fade away. Spinal injuries, on the other hand, can be a good deal more problematic.
- If you often cycle over rough terrain, your spine will be subjected to frequent shocks as your bicycle bounces over rocks and brush. In the long-term, this may cause spinal injury. Seat covers help to reduce the risk of spinal injury with their shock-absorbing properties.
Protection for Your Bicycle Seat
- Good-quality bicycle seats made out of leather are very expensive to replace. If you want to get the most mileage out of your bike seat, you need to protect the leather from your sweat which can cause your bike seat to become dry and smelly.
- Bicycle seat covers act as protective layers between your skin and your bicycle seat to prevent your perspiration from damaging the leather.
- If your sweaty thighs are slipping and sliding over the bike seat, your performance will surely be affected. Slightly “sticky” seat covers help to prevent this.
- If you want to jazz up your bicycle, a decorative seat cover with vivid colors and flashy designs is an excellent way to do it. If you get bored of the current design, you can always switch to a seat cover with different decorations.
Tip: Wash your seat cover after every ride.
Whether you're using a foam, gel or Lycra seat cover, you need to give your seat cover a good scrubbing-down after every ride. Otherwise, accumulated sweat and dirt can cause the seat cover to give off a nasty odor.
It can also cause the cover to stiffen and crack over time. Use a wet cloth to wipe down your seat cover, leave it to soak in a bucket of soapy water and then hang it out to dry.
Common Types of Bike Seat Covers
There are many different kinds of cycling seat covers to choose from. Here is an overview of the four most common types. To a certain degree, all of them provide shock absorption and moisture protection, but some types of bicycle seat covers accomplish these objectives better than others. I have noted the most outstanding pros and cons of each type of seat cover for your easy reference.
- Waterproof and weatherproof
- Relatively affordable
- Available in many colors and designs for decorative purposes
- Relatively thin, so may not provide as much cushioning or shock absorption
- Waterproof and weatherproof
- Improves your grip on the bike seat because it is slightly "sticky"
- Less durable because the gel padding may change shape over time and need to be replaced
- Provides the most efficient shock absorption as it molds to your body shape over time
- Helps to correct poorly-fitting bicycle seats for greater comfort
- Excellent moisture absorption to protect your bike seat from your perspiration
- Made out of amino acids which have anti-bacterial properties to eliminate odor from your bicycle seat cover
- Traps dirt and grime
Tip: Use padded seat covers if you haven’t ridden in years
Most people who are trying to get back on a bike after many years of not cycling, a padded seat cover will make riding more comfortable and reduce the chances of suffering a sore bottom.
My Recommended Cycling Seat Covers
This seat cover has a layer of anti-slip material on the underside to ensure maximum grip on bike seat for a more stable ride. Its "deep relief zone" relieves the pressure on your nether regions so your privates won't go numb after a few hours of riding.
Moreover, the thick and comfortable "GelFusion" gel is situated directly under your lumbar spine to provide optimal shock absorption for this sensitive area and help prevent spinal injury.
This seat cover lives up to its name with a deep center recess for effective anatomical protection. The soft Lycra cover is gentle on the skin and prevents chafing or saddle sores.
This bicycle seat cover is also thin enough to allow the cyclist to really "feel" the bicycle seat and thus maintain great control over his bicycle.
This product was designed with plus-size cyclists in mind. The ultra-thick padding provides maximum shock-absorption for your spine and buttocks and the wide seat cover ensures that larger riders will not slip or slide off when they cycle.
It's rare to hear any bicycle accessory described as "luxurious", but this one surely deserves that label.
If you're having trouble finding a bike seat that fits you properly, this memory foam seat pad is an ideal solution.
Over time, the seat pad will adapt to the unique contours of your body, ensuring that it provides pressure relief and impact absorption at exactly the right spots for maximum comfort.
This is the best bicycle seat cover for cyclists involved in high-impact activities like spinning.
It can be difficult to find seat covers for cruiser seats, so this one is a real gem. Like cruiser bikes, this seat cover is no-frills and practical. It greatly improves your grip on the bike seat, even when your thighs are slippery with sweat. This makes it easier to hit the high cruising speeds you've always dreamed of!
Buying Bicycle Seat Covers Online
Last Word About Bicycle Seat Covers
A reliable seat cover deserves a place in your collection of bicycle accessories. Select your seat cover carefully according to your needs and you'll enjoy a better ride!