It is normal to experience some discomfort after riding a bike for long. That is not to say that there is nothing you can do about it. There are many different types of bike seat covers which can turn a painful workout into a pleasurably comfortable one.
I have always loved riding. As I child I only got to ride my bike on the weekends and holidays. Now many years later I spend a lot more time on my bike because riding is not only for recreation but also part of my regular fitness routine.
The only trouble is that my bike seat is terribly uncomfortable and I dread taking rough, bumpy roads because my rear is left painfully numb. A friend recommended a bike seat cover for cushioning. There so many brands to choose from, all in different types, sizes, materials it’s difficult to know what to pick and why.
7 Best Padded Bike Seat Covers Comparison Table
11 x 7 inches
11 x10 inches
11 x 10 inches
Gel and foam
6.7 inches ( width)
SGODDE Memory Foam
10.6 x 9.8 inches
Drawstring and straps
11 x 5.3 inches
Super So Premium
11 x 7.1 / 11 x 10 inches
7 Best Padded Bike Seat Covers – Comparison Overview
The Zacro bike seat cover is a top selling product with thick gel padding to ensure comfort and durability.
- Dimensions: 11 x 7 inches
- Thick, durable gel padding
- Double shock absorption design
- Non-slip bottom
This cover is designed for narrow seats so it may not be suitable if yours is very wide. The thick gel padding makes it comfortable even after many months of regular use. A double shock absorption design makes sure you don’t feel the bumps even on a bumpy ride with the topmost thickness being 1.6 inches (41mm).
A look under the cover reveals a non-slip bottom which creates friction between itself and the saddle to make sure you never find yourself slipping.
Many riders leave their bikes out in the open and it ends up being rained on. This is why this manufacturer thought to include a dust and water resistant cover which you can slide on to protect the padded cover in case it starts to rain. This way you don’t have to clean or dry your padded seat often.
- Easy to mount
- Drawstring fastening
- High elasticity
- Comes with dust and water resistant cover
- Unsuitable for wide seats
The Zacro seat cover is a great choice for your bike seat. Thick gel padding incorporated into a double shock absorption build makes it efficient and durable. A waterproof cover is a welcome addition which comes in handy on rainy days.
These covers have silicone and foam padding which absorb shock to give you a comfortable riding experience.
- Dimensions: 11 x 10 inches
- Silicone and foam padding
- Anti-slip bottom
- Locking drawstring
Winningo bike seat covers are designed for wide seats on which many others covers have to be stretched to their limit. It. Most seats are smaller than this so locking drawstrings and a buckle are used to hold it in place.
To prevent sliding on the saddle, the underside of the cover is lined with anti-slip material to provide extra grip.
- Soft and comfortable
- Easy to install
- Light and breathable
- No sliding on saddle
- Straps easily pull out of the cushion
- Unsuitable for narrow seats
Winningo’s seat cover is a good choice for riders who have wide saddles and are looking for a breathable cushion free of the irritating slip-and-slide feel in some covers. Some users have complained that the buckle doesn’t hold securely but that has been found to happen with small or very slender saddles.
Wiki Ezvid Independent Research rated Bikeroo bike seat covers as the best gel seat cushions of 2018.
- Dimensions: 11 inches x 10 inches
- Padding material: gel and foam
- Straps for fastening
- Anti-slip skirt
With these you are assured of exceptional comfort thanks to a foam cover with silica gel inserts. These help to soften pressure and absorb vibrations on all kinds of trails. Crotch pain is a common complaint from riders and this coverâ€™s anatomical shape specifically targets this area to protect it from pressure.
It is wider than average and can be used on road bikes, cruiser bikes and even stationary bikes.
To hold the cover in place it has straps as well as an adjustable string to give you a snug fit. An anti-slip skirt prevents slipping during rides. You can get one in a variety of colors including black, red, blue and purple.
Bikeroo throws in a free e-book which is a guide to pain free riding.
- Crotch protecting anatomical shape
- Abrasion resistant fabric
- Available in different colors
- Fee e-book
- Unsuitable for narrow saddles
Bikeroo stands out because of a crotch friendly shape which reduces pressure on this sensitive part of your body.
With a name as reputable as Bontrager by its side, you are sure this product will live up to standards.
- Gel padding
- Underside is rubberized
- Drawstring and toggle closure system
- Weight: 3.53 ounces
The soft cushioning on the cover is achieved using gel padding which gives it a width of 170 mm. This protects you from pressure when on bumpy roads or the discomfort which comes from long rides.
To hold the seat in place after installing it there is a drawstring and toggle. This closure system ensures you never have to stop to fasten it again and is appropriately sized to fit both standard and hybrid types of saddles.
The underside of the cover is rubberized and this ensures it never slides along the surface of the saddle.
This closure system and rubberized surface makes installing the cover quick and easy. You can do it in seconds and be sure it is perfectly done.
- Smooth and sleek
- Fast and easy to install
- No slipping whatsoever
- Ineffective after long rides
If you are looking for a comfortable, functional seat cover which also adds a sleek look to your bike, the Bontrager Fitness seat cover is a great choice.
The SGODDE seat covers most unique feature is the padding material used. It has memory foam which is known to be effective in providing support and relieving pressure.
- Dimensions: 10.6 x 9.8 inches
- Memory foam padding
- Deep relief zone
- Fastening : drawstring and straps
The first thing you notice when you look at this seat cover is a ridge like slot at the center. This is a Relief Zone which helps to ensure air circulation as you ride to keep your rear cool and dry. The seat surface is made of lycra fabric which improves moisture absorption and increases breathability.
Another notable feature is reflective straps at the back of the seat. These make you visible to pedestrians and drivers at night.
A double fastening system with drawstrings as well as straps helps to hold the seat in place. This is further ensured by a non-slip material on the underside of the seat. Although the lycra seat dries quite fast, there is no reason why it should get wet because this seat cover comes with a waterproof cover.
One common complaint made about this cover is that the straps seem unnecessary. Once the drawstrings are properly tightened, there is no need for additional fastening.
- Anti-slip material on under side
- Comes with a waterproof cover
- Has reflector strips
- Straps seem unnecessary
This is a great seat cover for riders who ride long distances. Memory foam and a relief zone ensure comfort even after long rides. It is also ideal for night riding.
This bike seat cover from Diamondback gives you superior comfort thanks to extra thick gel filling.
- Dimensions: 11 inches x 5.3 inches
- Extra thick gel padding
- Contour design
- Drawstring closure
- Water resistant top
Padding is meticulously packed into a contoured design shaped to give you a perfect fit when in the riding position. Pressure on sensitive parts is relieved allowing you to cycle for long distances without aches and pains.
The top part of the seat cover is made of water resistant lycra, making it suitable for all weather rides. It will take a heavy downpour to get it soaked. The lower section which wraps around the saddle is made from soft but breathable fabric to make it comfortable in hot weather. It also helps to prevent chaffing of skin in along the inner thighs.
Fastening is done using drawstrings and a light buckle both of which can be tucked away under the seat when not in use.
It is unlikely that it would fail to fit on your bike because it is designed to fit most standard outdoor bikes and some indoor bikes.
- Very comfortable
- Prevents chaffed skin
- Easy to install
- Slips back and forth slightly when riding
All bike seat covers serve the same purpose but if you are looking for more than average cushioning, this is the bike seat for you.
Super So is a pocket friendly bike seat cover built by cycling enthusiasts. It features thick gel padding which absorbs road shock effectively giving you a comfortable ride even after several miles.
- Dimensions: medium – 1 x 7.1 inches / large 11 x 10 inches
- Padding: gel
- Textures interior
- Drawstring closure
The interior is textured to make it grip the seat and prevent slipping as you ride. Drawstrings are used to fasten it in place. You can use this seat for both indoor cycling like spinning as well as outdoor riding. It is available in two different sizes, a medium sized cover which fits small to medium sized saddles and a larger sized one designed for wide saddles.
Included in the package is a carry pouch which you can put the cover in when you go to the gym. A fun touch to it is that the pouch has a reminder message printed on it so you don’t forget to take it home. Also included when you buy the cover is a free e-book and a wristband.
A notable complaint made by users is that this cover can stain light colored clothes.
- Easy to install
- Comes with carry pouch, free e-book and wrist band
- Can stain light colored clothes
This seat cover gives you all the basics you would want in a seat cover at a friendly price. If you like little free add-ons you will enjoy an informative read and a witty carry pouch.
What to Consider When Buying the Best Padded Bike Seat Covers
The primary purpose of your bike seat cover is to provide cushioning. There are two main types of padding.
It is the most popular padding among cyclists. Gel quickly and easily conforms to the user’s body shape so there is no need for an uncomfortable break in period. The downside to this is that it loses its springiness quite soon. It is also a bit heavier than foam so the overall weight of the seat cover is higher than with other types of padding.
Foam and gel
It is preferred because it is soft and durable while remaining dense enough to give you all the cushioning you need. Users who want to keep their overall bike weight down will do best with this padding because it is light. It will be a long while before it gets compacted from use and starts to lose its springiness.
Every seat cover has incorporated into it a system to hold the cover in place when in use. Most covers have drawstrings which are effective because they help to adjust the size of the cover therefore making it usable with saddles of varying sizes.
Some covers have laces which are tied neatly under the saddle. Others have a combination of systems such as laces and drawstrings. The fastening system determines the ease of mounting. A simple system makes the cover easy to install and uninstall.
Although none of these systems can be said to be better than the other, experienced bikers tend to prefer systems which will stand the test of time. Knotted laces are unlikely to disappoint even after years of use. After continuous user, friction on the rope on drawstrings tends to wear out. The result is that fastened drawstrings slide off easily and loosen the cover.
Size and Fit
This is a fairly straight forward consideration. Different bikes have different sized saddles. You have to make sure the cover fits onto the saddle comfortably. It shouldn’t be too tight or too lose. Size is one thing while fit is another. A cover could be big enough for a saddle but doesn’t fit right because the saddle shape is different from what the cover was designed for.
It may not be obvious at first. After a few instances where you end up with a drenched seat cover you realize it should have been a consideration. Do you often ride in the rain? If you do, a water resistant seat cover is best because it will keep the surface of the seat dry even in the rain. It goes without saying that a wet seat means your cycling shorts get wet in the rear and that is enough reason to cut your ride short for the day.
Finding the perfect bike seat cover could be what stands between you and your fitness goals. You don’t have to wait until riding becomes completely unbearable. As long as you experience some discomfort on the saddle, you need a padded seat cover.
Although it seems quite convenient to just order one online and have it delivered to your house, remember that a seat cover is a very personal item. It is best to try out a few before purchasing so that you are sure you have one which fits your body shape perfectly and offers protective cushioning exactly where you need it.
It is fact that cycling is not the most comfortable activity but it need not be a painful one.
Do slim riders need more padding on their bike seat covers?
No. When you sit on the saddle you don’t sit with your entire rear, only the two sit bones. These bones are naked in everyone. It doesn’t matter how skinny or fleshy you are.
Are there different bike seat covers for men and women?
Most covers are unisex. The difference between men and women here is that women often feel more comfortable on wider saddles and covers because of their hip bone structure which is wider than men’s.
Can gel seat covers be washed?
You can wash a gel bike seat cover with warm soapy water. Rinse it thoroughly and dry it in room temperature. Don’t use a dryer or expose it to heat as this is likely to damage the gel.