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What’s the best gel seat cover?

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What’s the best gel seat cover?

Old 06-15-18, 10:48 PM
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What’s the best gel seat cover?

Hey All,

Today I completed my first ride on my first bike, a Canondale 105. I went 4.2 miles up and down the hills of western PA. I’d estimate about immediately after I started riding my crotch started to hurt from the hardness and perhaps angle of my standard road bike saddle. I see in the World Wide Web that there are gel saddle covers available for pretty cheap. How effective are those? Is there something else you’d recommend to remedy my issue?

Sorely Yours,

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Old 06-16-18, 03:45 AM
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Generally speaking, gel seat covers don't work. Basically, the gel gets pushed aside and you wind up sitting on the hard shell of the saddle anyway but in addition, you've got the build up of gel between the pressure points which just makes it all worse.

If the bike has a racing saddle, it will have been designed to be used with bike shorts that have built in padding. Riding without that padding will be okay for, say, half a hour, but after that you'll become sore. So you may be in the market for bike shorts.

Having said that though, not every saddle suits everyone and nearly everyone on this forum has gone through a number of saddles trying to find one that works for them. Some bike shops have test saddles you can use to find one that works for you though be aware that it is very bad form to use this service and then buy your saddle elsewhere.

Finally, this was only your first ride. Your entire body, and that includes your rear, will need to become accustomed to the new demands placed upon them. You shouldn't be in pain but expect to have some soreness while your body adapts. Of course, if you don't start seeing improvements, you'll need to start looking at saddles and clothing.

You'll find lots of threads addressing this issue on this forum and a read of some of them may prove useful... it could equally lead to confusion and despair as competing egos try to outdo each other.

Personally, I use Brooks leather saddles because they suit my rear (but not every one) and I can ride them without specialist clothing (which is important to me).

Best of luck and welcome to cycling.
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Old 06-16-18, 05:07 PM
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moved here from Long Distance.
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Old 06-16-18, 05:50 PM
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None. Gel covers are junk and never stay put. They're very popular with local de-horsed people (no car due to DUI/DWI, or can't afford cars and the city buses don't run late or early enough for them to get to and from work). I see lots of those gel covers around the hospital parking lot and downtown and they all slip around and tear up quickly.

Try a Serfas Tailbones or other brand saddle with Lycra fabric over dense foam. Don't go overboard with the wide comfort hybrid bike type. Doesn't take much to be comfortable. They're also available with recesses or cutouts to relieve perineum pressure. The Lycra fabric over foam serves the same purpose as padded bike shorts -- it's breathable so sweat doesn't cause chafing.

After a few months you'll probably want to try your original saddle again with padded shorts. By then your legs and arms will be stronger so you won't be sitting so heavily in the saddle.

Then you can save the comfort saddle for an indoor trainer or hybrid, or give to a friend or family member who's just starting out cycling and having the same problem.
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Old 06-16-18, 08:28 PM
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Measure your sit bones and get an appropriate-width Ergon saddle and some padded shorts or liners.

Produkte ? ERGON BIKE


Last edited by Cuyuna; 06-16-18 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 06-16-18, 08:49 PM
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I have one of those, which I use on my bike when on the trainer. Trainer sessions are so much more uncomfortable than being on the road. But I gotta say, those gel pads are terrible. Completely changes the shape and height of the saddle. You'll have to adjust the height of the saddle, which is not that big a deal. But I've also found that the amount, and location of the gel within the cover totally changes the feel of the saddle. Feels like I have to tilt the saddle nose way way up. Probably because the back of the cover has a lot more gel than the nose. And then I end up feeling like I'm sitting *IN* my saddle, not on it. Just a bad idea all around. I'm assuming you are a woman, based on your name? If so, look for a women's specific saddle, also some high quality cycling shorts. My girlfriend just purchased a Sella Italia Diva saddle, which she likes very much. So there are options, not as cheap as one of those gel covers, but vastly better options are available.
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Old 06-17-18, 07:13 AM
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I've been riding with gel covers for decades. I mostly commute, so my saddle time averages 45 min twice a day. I take longer rides on the weekends, and my butt is good for about 4 hours before it becomes sore. My main ride is a 2015 Charge Plug. On my old 1984 Nishiki roadbike I actually have two thin pads. On my 1997 Nishiki Blazer MTB-based commuter I used the same seat that came with my previous 1988 bike. It was a wide-ish, short-nose sprung saddle with a thin layer of foam. Three years a go it finally wore out and I replaced it with a similar, but longer nosed saddle Which is better for more aggressive forward position riding, but allows me some but cushioning when shifting to a more upright position.

I wear un-padded synthetic golf/coaches shorts and chafing has never been a problem.

Been reading bikeforums for 9 years, and bike magazines for decades before that. There is a general accepted practice on how to do all things bicycle, and then there is what works for you. Usually, it is the general accepted practice, but sometimes it is not.

Find what works for you, then "ride your ride".

With that in mind, just as seat shape is rather personalized depending on your anatomy, so would gel seat cover type.

As far as keeping the cover in place, I found ditching the plastic "cincher" and just tying the thing works fine. I just replaced the gel seat cover on my main commuter and realized I could use this trim piece to hold it even better:

"Gel Seat Dressing"

Whether it's a better fitting bike, a better bike fitting, a better fitting seat, a seat pad, or padded shorts, consider it all, find what works best for you, then ride your butt off!
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Old 06-17-18, 10:54 AM
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A friend, an older anorexic, had little butt muscle,
so had a gel saddle with a gel saddle cover over it to ride anywhere, at all ..

reads like you got your first road bike and are new to the world of race bike saddles..

we have had hundreds of which saddle to buy , threads ,
it pretty much comes down to being a personal choice ,

and you just have to try a lot of saddles until you find one that works for you..


Last edited by fietsbob; 06-17-18 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 06-17-18, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Rochelle24 View Post
Hey All,

Today I completed my first ride on my first bike, a Canondale 105. I went 4.2 miles up and down the hills of western PA. I’d estimate about immediately after I started riding my crotch started to hurt from the hardness and perhaps angle of my standard road bike saddle. I see in the World Wide Web that there are gel saddle covers available for pretty cheap. How effective are those? Is there something else you’d recommend to remedy my issue?

Sorely Yours,

Welcome from another in Western PA. I will also say that generally gel covers often make the issue worse. They also retain heat so if it sits in the sun a while, you will have heat as well. Fit plays an issue as well as the seat itself, along with simply getting your own seat in shape for bicycling. I was slightly uncomfortable the first few real rides this Spring, but just the sit bone area. You sat "crotch," so are you referring to perineum pain? If so, that is generally related to fit, the way you sit on the bike and can be alleviated with adjustments, seat height, fore/back, and tilt. Reach plays a part as well. If all that is perfect, and most likely it isn't, then a different seat may be in order. Small changes make a pretty big difference, especially tilt. If you haven't, a professional fit can be very helpful. If you don't want to go that route, there are a lot of resources online that can help you.
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Old 06-17-18, 02:01 PM
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I can attest, in the context of a comment above, that when my fat to muscle ratio dropped, seating under many circumstances became more uncomfortable. When renting local bikes in travel, longer rides became unbearable, to the extent that I had to walk at times to let my bottom recover. In any case, I reviewed a number of seat cushions and ended up with an adjustable inflatable one, such as here or here. However, in my case the use of a cushion is incidental and I have no other choice. I agree with others that a cushion is not a durable solution for a specific bike. One should try seat adjustments and different seat types and better bike shops will let a customer try out different ones. Women usually fare better with wider seats.
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Old 06-18-18, 10:05 AM
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I've never used a gel seat cover (or a seat cover of any kind) but from all sources I've heard that they all have problems staying put and tend to slip.
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Old 06-18-18, 12:55 PM
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If it is your first ride on your first bike don't do anything with the saddle except:
  1. Ensure that your saddle is set to correct height.
  2. Ensure that your saddle has correct angle - that it is strictly horizontal .
This will be a good place to start. Don't buy a new saddle at this point - you need to get accustomed to riding first, it is normal to get some discomfort at first, it should pass. Buying good cycling shorts is a good idea - but this doesn't matter much until your rides will become, say, 2 hours long or more.
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Old 06-18-18, 02:24 PM
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Bought a sweet austro daimler mixte. It had a gel cover...removing it/it had ruined the leather on a woman specific avocet underneath. I HATE gel covers. Position the saddle nose up some if riding upright/level if riding drop style. Good advice presented with very litle specifics given.
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Old 06-18-18, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Rochelle24 View Post
Hey All,

Today I completed my first ride on my first bike, a Canondale 105. I went 4.2 miles up and down the hills of western PA. I’d estimate about immediately after I started riding my crotch started to hurt from the hardness and perhaps angle of my standard road bike saddle. I see in the World Wide Web that there are gel saddle covers available for pretty cheap. How effective are those? Is there something else you’d recommend to remedy my issue?

Sorely Yours,


It is your first ride on your first bike? One ride is not enough to judge. Give it some time. Forget about the "sit bones" junk. Buy a saddle that is comfortable for you. That might mean a hard saddle where you do get measured. Or it might mean a more cushy saddle or something in between. No one can really tell you what is good for you.

I have a Velo saddle that I love. Perfect for me.

But forget the seat cover.
A gel cover might worsen the problem.

First thing I would do is go back to the shop and make sure the saddle is properly adjusted for you. From the sound of it that is what it is. Explain your issues (don't be shy ). Hopefully your shop has a experienced female rider that might be able to help with your specific needs.

Where in western PA?

Last edited by spinnaker; 06-18-18 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 05-04-20, 05:09 AM
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I have bontrager wide gel seat and gel covering and it works well, ride hour+ each day sometimes more and never uncomfortable. If you are riding leaning forward in prone position that might cause problems with it it works better when you are riding upright. Some raised handlebars may help with that on many modern bikes.
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Old 05-04-20, 06:15 AM
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Gel slip on covers can slip and be awkward to use. Much better to seek a more suitable saddle in long run. If budget an issue ebay can help! Investment well worth it. Also time will help with most saddles
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Old 05-04-20, 06:19 AM
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Just buy a gel cover and try it. Places like Walmart usually sell.
You could ask here at BF how to make chicken soup and by the time your finished getting advice you'd have a bowl of chili.

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Old 05-04-20, 06:43 AM
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