Does your kid hate bikes because the overall cycling experience is harrowing for him/her?
Does s/he despise sitting on the bike even if s/he loves the fun of cycling because the bike seat is not comfortable?
As a parent, you are not alone to see your child complaining about the discomfort caused by the bike seat.
The soreness and inflammation in the area of his/her body that comes in contact with the bike seat while riding is a painful experience for every rider, not only for kids.
In such a situation, you might either want to stop them from cycling or look for ways to make the bike seat more comfortable.
I chose the latter for my kid, who also used to experience a lot of seat pain.
With a few DIY tricks, I have changed my child’s cycling experience from a painful one to a comfortable one.
Wearing a comfortable pair of cycling shorts, using padded and quality seat covers, and cycling in the correct position are some of the tried-and-tested tricks that will make the bike seat comfortable.
Check out in detail 10 of the best easy ways to make the bike seat more comfortable for your child who loves to ride across all kind of terrain:
1. Adjust the Seat Height for Easy Cycling
One of the most important things you need to consider to avoid your child’s bike seat pain is to ensure that the height of the bike seat is suitable for the child.
Whether the seat positioning of the bicycle is too high or low, there will always be a painful experience while riding the bike. Therefore, you should set up the height of the bicycle seat to fit the rider’s body.
Here is one of the most common techniques bikers use to adjust the seat height.
You can ask your child to place his heels on the pedal of the bicycle. Then tell him to pedal backward so that it reaches the 6 o’clock position.
While doing so, the knee of the rider should be straight. If the knee is bent, it means the height needs to be increased.
On the other hand, if the heel cannot touch the pedal, the saddle needs to be lowered.
A bike seat with the correct height will help prevent the pain.
Therefore, it is a must to adjust your child’s bike seat before letting him/her ride it so that the kid will find the bike seat comfortable.
2. Adjust the Seat Distance for a Comfortable Ride
The distance of the seat is another determinant of how comfortable your bike seat will be as you ride.
Hence, if you have made up your mind to help the child struggling with an uncomfortable bike seat, check this aspect:
Notice the position of the knees and toes of your child while s/he is pedaling. You should check if his/her front knee is stacking above the ankle or going past his/her toes.
If the front knee is not stacking up on the ankle or going over the toes or even past the toes, it is an indication that you should adjust the seat distance.
If this is the case, move the seat back far enough to allow the action mentioned above. Otherwise, the child will struggle to pedal quickly, and the bike seat will add to the woe by creating more friction at the bottom.
Therefore, adjusting the seat distance is directly related to the comfort of the bike seat.
3. Make sure your child can reach the Handlebars with ease from the Bike Seat
Understanding the distance of the seat from the handlebars is also essential to ensure that the bike seat is comfortable.
When you inspect the seat distance from the handlebars, always use the rule of 3 o’clock rotation.
To put it simply, as your child rotates the pedal, and it looks like it is in a 3 o’clock position, notice if s/he can reach the handlebars of the bike comfortably or not.
If it is not comfortable to reach the handlebars or say, they are too far or too near, you must adjust the distance.
In case, it’s not easy for you to check using this method, you can ask your child to stand as s/he rides. If s/he finds it difficult to stand or reach the bars, it means the seat is far back from the handlebars.
S/He will be able to stand up without pulling or pushing on the handlebars if the bike seat is in the correct position.
So, check the seat distance from the handlebars, and adjust the space accordingly.
4. Always use a Thin Seat Pad
Seat pads are beneficial for all riders, including those with pain in their spine or lower back.
The cushioning in the padding makes the bike seat comfortable. Therefore, you can buy additional padding for the bike seat.
However, always remember to choose the seat cover with thin padding over thick padding. Cycling enthusiasts recommend thinner padding as it makes the bike seat sturdier, giving you the feel of plushness.
Also, the cover widens the bike seat to an extent, reducing the pain caused by a thin bike seat where your child’s bottom may not have rested while sitting.
5. Your Child Must Dress up Appropriately while Biking
If you are a bike rider yourself, you must have experienced friction between your skin and saddle while cycling wearing loose clothes. Wearing jeans and other rough materials also add to that.
Not wearing proper clothes can chafe your skin over some time, causing soreness and different painful sensation.
Wrong clothes always mean an increase in the pain caused by bike seats while cycling.
Therefore, wearing the right clothes before biking is a must if you want the bike seat to be comfortable. So is the case with young children.
For this, all you need to do is wear tight cycling shorts and make sure your children also follow the rule.
It is recommended that you invest in good quality tight-fitting shorts for your kid. The good news is such shorts are available with padding too.
If you want your child to ride the bike regularly, buying them padded shorts is a must. The padding will prevent soreness caused by an uncomfortable bike seat.
Lastly, ensure those shorts are always clean and dry — wearing damp clothes and not cleaned or not air-dried properly can cause infection adding to the soreness and other problems.
6. Ensure the Saddle Angle is Apt
After you buy a new bike, you can adjust your saddle angle to give you a comfortable ride.
Cyclists recommend a seat with a slight downward tilt. If you tilt the seat downward, it will make the seating comfortable, unlike a saddle without a tilt — this can cause soreness on your bottom.
However, make sure the inclination is very slight only. Otherwise, all the weight of your body will rest on your wrists, causing pain on the wrists.
This formula is true in the case of children’s bikes too. So, adjust the saddle of their bike that gives the riders needed comfort.
7. Teach your Child to Take up the Whole Seat of the Bike while Sitting.
If your child sits forward in the bike, then s/he will be seated on the thinner part of the seat throughout the ride.
It is more painful to sit on this skinnier part because it does not have the needed cushioning for the butt.
If s/he learns how to take up the whole seat, it should provide him/her more cushioning, ultimately reducing some of the pain caused by the bike seat.
8. Check the State of the Bike’s Tire
The secret to a comfortable bike seat is also associated with tire pressure.
A tire with low pressure saves you little when riding on bumpy and gravel roads.
If the tire has the correct pressure, riding becomes more comfortable when you are on the bike’s seat.
That is applicable in the bikes your children ride, too. So, ensure your child is always riding a bike with apt tire pressure.
9. Choose a Comfortable Seat for your Child
When you buy a new bike for your child, the bike seat may not always be comfortable. At the same time, you might not know which seat will be more comfortable for your child.
If you face this type of problem, search for offers like ‘Try Before You Buy’. Many bike stores put forth such offers.
It allows your child to ride the bike before buying it, like a test ride.
A test ride will help you determine which seat suits him/her best.
Along with that, the type of seat can be different based on gender as the pelvis of males and females are different.
Some seats meant for females have a hole — it helps reduce the discomfort of soft tissue while riding. Therefore, you can choose the bike seat accordingly for your girl child.
Also, check if the bike seat has worn out. It tends to wear and tear if your child has been riding the bike for a long time.
Check the cushioning of the bike seat and if you find it uncomfortable, change it into a new one so that the bike seat becomes more comfortable.
10. Skin and Weight Care Help to an Extent
Reduction in friction means a reduction in the pain the bike seat might cause.
Bike seats can be uncomfortable if your child is overweight. Losing some extra pounds will help your child have a less painful experience with bike seats.
Read More about how to choose the most comfortable bike seat.