This is a common question and concern when looking to buy a folding exercise bike.
Understandably, as you can spend a good amount of time on them to help with your fitness goals.
The answer to this is, it depends. Some bikes have more comfortable seats than others but even those that do have the most comfy seats can still be uncomfortable for some people.
This is because comfort is such a personal preference.
This is no different to any bike seat to a certain extent – what is comfortable to one person is torture to another.
No one wants it to be that when you exercise you can’t walk or sit down afterwards because of the seat.
It can be more of an issue to know if it is going to be comfortable when you can’t sit on the folding exercise bike before buying as is the case when buying online, and even if you can you don’t often sit on it for more than a few minutes.
Fortunately, there are a few options that can help in relieving the pain on your sit bones. Here are the most common options moving from least effective to more effective on the whole.
Towel/Pillow. Here you just use whatever you have at home – a small pillow/cushion or folded towel is put on the seat. It can work to add a little cushioning to the seat which sometimes can be enough. There is the issue that they can move around adding some discomfort or they might fall off. It does mean you may need to stop and get off the bike to readjust them.
Padded Bike Shorts. You may have wondered how those cyclists can sit on those little bike seat for so long. Apart from just getting used to it they wear padded bike shorts that can help reduce the pain. They come in sizes from X small to X-large. They are fashionable items!
They are convenient. However, if there is more than one person wanting to use the bike you do need to buy more than one pair – one for each of you – I can’t imagine anyone ever wanting to share!
Gel Seat Cover Or Sheepskin Cover. These stretch over the seat adding more padding to the seat. There is a choice of sizes so you do need to be sure to choose the right one for your bike. Providing you do that they fit on the seat snugly and they don’t move around as you exercise. The gel seat cover is the most common approach to sorting the painful sit bones problem. It certainly makes for a better experience.
Try A Different Seat. Changing a folding exercise bike seat is a little difficult because the seats use a 3 bolt or 4 bolt system to attach the seat to the seat post. This is not the standard bike seat fitting that you get on bikes and this is where the most choice.
The 3 bolt or 4 bolt system is not standard as each bike manufacturer has a slightly different arrangement.
The easiest way to change the seat is to use an Exercise Bike Universal Seat Adapter. This attaches to the seat post to allow you to fit standard fit bike seats. It has slots that accommodate the different sizing of a number of manufacturers folding exercise bikes. Attaching to the bike is straightforward and most people can do this in a few minutes. It does involve additional expense over and above the seat.
If you don’t want to do this yourself you can take the seat post to your local bike shop and they can modify the seat post for you so that it can take a standard bike seat. Or if you are particularly handy you could do it yourself.
Many folding exercise bike seats are uncomfortable, no matter what the listing says but it is possible to take action so that you can get up on the bike and exercise. You sit bones will thank you for it and you’ll be burning calories and getting in shape.