"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I've owned a number of racing bicycles over the years and even more racing bicycle seats. They LOOK uncomfortable and frankly they are to a greater or lesser degree. But it is the narrowness of the seat ( which is inherently uncomfortable ) that makes it possible to sit atop it for hours at a time without destroying the flesh of one's inner thigh.  They are far more comfortable than they used to be and a good expensive seat uses high tech materials to both give and hold shape conforming to the rider's buttocks.  If you find a comfortable seat, you'll hold on to it as long as you can.  But eventually they lose their elasticity, become ever more uncomfortable until you give up; go to the local bike store and plunk down a hundred or so samolians in the hopes of buying a little more comfort.  ( You can't buy a quality bike seat at Target or Walmart.  Ain't gonna happen.)

Over the years; you adapt.  I no longer know what a truly comfortable seat is like because on racing bikes, they don't exist.  You simply become accustomed to permanent discomfort and reach the place where you simply don't think about  the pain unless you're on a several hour ride.  Then you just live with it.

Two items that are immensely helpful are the black, spandex biking shorts with  an insert in the crotch.  A couple of decades back, the shorts were made of wool and had a real, honest-to-goodness chamois in the crotch.  You can still buy them but they are mega expensive. But now the spandex shorts come with just some synthetic fabric that is a figure 8 shaped pad of sorts.  ( No, you don't wear underwear under the shorts.  Underwear has hems, which can chafe you, and are  also likely to become creased, which can also chafe you. It's just you, the insert and the spandex.).  The pants make a HUGE difference in the comfort level of the ride.

A second helpful item for the long rides is something called "Butt-R."  It's a lubricant that theoretically keeps the pain down.  It works for awhile.  I always found the name quite clever.  "Butt-R" indeed.

So there you have a brief post on the seriously uncomfortable, but totally necessary, narrow bicycle seat.

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