Bicycle seats also known as saddles are shaped as they are because of the dynamics involved as they are meant to support active motion rather than rest.As a cyclist, you will need to pedal at some stage,and both legs will be in action reciprocating up and down.And pedalling efficiently requires alot of leg muscles to work in unison that includes the glutes(butt muscles) as they are considered the most powerful muscles in the human body.
So why are they small?
They are slightly narrow because they are meant to just support the sit bones(ischial tuberosities).And that helps in riding the bicycle more comfortably.And if you notice that after riding you feel pain in your groin area, it means the seat is of the wrong shape or it's placed in the wrong angle.Moreso, narrow seats are meant for fast riding while the broader seats are for casual riding.
Why are the seats hard?
Padding traps heat,an insulator whether foam or gel.Now remember you are exceeding, may be even hard, or getting hot and sweaty.The sweating impairs circulation, compresses the nerves and leaves no place for sweat to go to.And that's why you hear people complain about sit bones paining.Another thing is that with time the padding will wear out after constant use making you feel more uncomfortable as you ride as more pressure will be distributed to the sit bones.So it's more recommend to wear padded shorts rather than having padded bicycle seat.
Lastly, when shopping for a bicycle it important to know your anatomy, your sitting position, and your cycling style with regards to getting the best sit.Remember everybody's shape is different and you also need to enjoy riding your bicycle be it for sport or leisure.Thank you.
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