Recreational & Family - Selecting bike seat for my wife
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03-26-09, 09:15 AM
I am setting up a free Craigslist bike (80s vintage Sears Free Spirit) for my wife as a bike path cruiser. The original vinyl covered sprung seat is rather rigid and uncomfortable, so I am looking for a good replacement seat.
She hasn't biked since she was a kid. We purchased a bike trailer for our 18-month old son (cheap Craigslist find) and are getting the rest of the gear together for some family rides this summer. I have visions of all-day excursions, but that may be unrealistic. I want to make our first rides of the summer go smoothly so that this is something she enjoys doing regularly.
She is drawn to the large, well-cushioned, gel-filled monstrosities. I'm trying to convince her that she wants something a bit smaller. She is approx 170 lbs and 5' 8''.
Budget is tight ($30 max) as we still need to select helmets for her and our son.
What seat would you recommend?
Will the LBS measure her sit bones and fit her to a seat at that price point?
Is a womens-specific seat necessary?
03-26-09, 10:00 AM
With all due respect, I think that your basic premise (Selecting bike seat for my wife ) is wrong.
Would you want her to choose what kind of seat would be suitable for you? :-)
Other than that, I wish you all the best with your project.
03-26-09, 10:56 AM
Find the shop that will let her try different models until she gets one that fits. You should have no trouble finding one between $25 and $40.
03-26-09, 03:51 PM
My wife liked this one (http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_175611_-1_200413__200413)a lot on her 20 yr old road bike. It was the skinny tires that did her in.
04-26-09, 07:41 PM
i got the schwinn "nose-less" saddle for my pedal-forward bike and can ride it comfortably for hours.
04-28-09, 10:17 AM
Would you stay away from the walmart seats, and stick to the bike shops? Or not?
04-28-09, 12:41 PM
It's more about long term comfort than where you purchase the saddle. That said, I am not comfortable on the saddles that they offer at Walmart. But Walmart does not market to the style of riding I do.
My point is, don't cheap out on the saddle. It can make riding miserable, especially for women. Spend what you need to have her be comfortable. If she rides, saving $20-30 won't be worth it in the end.
Do yourself a favor and let your wife choose the seat/saddle she likes and feels comfortable with. That's the only opinion that counts and you don't have to hear about it (for years).
Sprung saddles are fine and have been the standard for years. Gel seats are just an attempt to replace the sprung saddles and has had marginal success in doing so and may cause more uncomfort/pain. Most saddles have some kind of padding except for Brooks and other traditionally built leather saddles. But everybody and body is different and some may find an inexpensive saddle works best for them...it's a matter of finding the right one that right 'for you' or 'your wife' in this case. Forget about looks or size, she has to ride the bike and be comfy riding it.
For example, my GF loves her $15 schwinn pillow top sprung saddle. It really isn't soft as a pillow but has just enough padding to be comfy and is stiff enough not to be squishy and fits her sit bones. Effective seating area is about 7" wide and the seat measures about 8" wide x 10" long but she can ride all day long. Even I can ride her bike without a comfort problem.
04-28-09, 09:07 PM
I've heard a lot of negatives about the "gel" seats. I personally use a big cruiser seat, which a lot of people don't like, but it's not one of the gel seats, either.
This may sound like a stupid idea, but if budget is critical, and you want a cruiser-type seat, you might just try putting an ad in Craigslist looking for free seats. I've got a couple in the garage I'm not using, likely other people do, too, and you can't sell 'em for anything, and hate to throw a good one away. You might be able to pick up a couple for nothing and see how they work.
I find the big cruiser seats very uncomfortable. I personally use a much narrower seat. But that's me. The best option is to let your wife choose.
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