seat / comfort for heavy rider


New Member
I'm a solid 330 lbs, and riding tends to be quite painful. I understand that there's adjustment and commitment required, but surely there are ways to compensate for poor core strength and a tendency to rest all my weight either on my butt or my hands.


Shut Up Legs

Down Under Member
I'm a solid 330 lbs, and riding tends to be quite painful. I understand that there's adjustment and commitment required, but surely there are ways to compensate for poor core strength and a tendency to rest all my weight either on my butt or my hands.

There are a few things you can try to make the cycling a bit more comfortable:
  • get padded / gel handlebar tape, so the impact on your hands is reduced.
  • get the bike adjusted so that you have a more upright riding position. This generally means changes such as (a) more handlebar stem spacers below the stem, (b) an angled (e.g. 35°) stem. There are more changes, and if you need expert advice, no doubt one of the other forum members could provide it, or if you can afford it, get a bike fitting session done by one of your local bike shops.
  • wear padded lycra cycling pants, to ease the saddle-related pain. Also, any decent bike fitting session should also include saddle adjustments (or even replacements) as part of the session.
I can't think of any others right now, but that's a start, at least. Best of luck with the cycling, @dxlusby84 :smile:. I hope it goes really well. With time, your weight, strength and stamina will increase, but it will take months, so just be patient and stick with it. I can guarantee you that if you cycle regularly, i.e. at least once every few days, and ride as far as you can manage (without doing any injury, of course), then you will lose weight. It worked for me about 6 years ago, although I didn't have as much weight to lose.


--- Victor.

welsh dragon

Thanks but no thanks. I think I'll pass.
Hi. Welcome to the forum. :welcome:. If you havn't been on a bike in a long time it would be worth going to your local bike shop and getting theyre advise. If they recommend a saddle, ask them if they will take it back and exchnge It for another if it doesn't suit you. They can do a fitting for you.

start off slowly spending say 20 minutes at a time on the bike. Slowly getting used to the saddle. Padded shorts will also be a big help. Again you can ask your local bike shop for advise. Buying the most expensive does not guarantee more comfort. Its a case of trial and error. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend in the saddle, suffice to say the more time you spend on your bike, the sooner your bum will adjust. Try not to tense. Keep your hands loose. Relax.

And of course a change of diet would also help. at first maybe ride your bike one day and walk a couple of miles the next, gradually building your general fitness levels. Don't become obsessed with speed, distance, and times or heart rate or cadence. Just enjoy riding your bike. If you get tired, there Is nothing wrong with getting off and walking. Enjoy. Have fun. And good luck.


Rural Kent
Hi @dxlusby84! This truly is a sympathetic forum, that earlier brief reply is really atypical here, especially to a new member. There are loads of people who have come on here asking for similar advice and if you use the search facility at the top right of the webpage you are sure to find a few useful threads.

I do find that it is very easy to come home from a ride and eat a mahoosive slice of cake on the grounds that I just earned it by cycling, and this is really something to avoid! But with the suggestions above about bike fit and padded shorts etc you should be able to get comfy and up the miles. NB if you are self-conscious in padded shorts (which a lot of people are) you can always wear something over them, lots of people do. You are supposed not to wear underwear with them but you can always cover them up!


Rural Kent
Also I should just mention that in my mind a recumbent bike is far more comfortable but that's a whole new kettle of bananas...


Middle Earth
I used to wear baggy MTB shorts over my lycra ones.
4 stone lighter, and I don't bother now. I like to show off my fine, fine bootay to the boys :laugh:

Seriously though, padded shorts, a good saddle and a well adjusted bike, will help you to keep going when you feel like giving up!
My ex now cycles...he has lost a massive 8 stone in under a year! We often go out together and although I can hold my own with him on the flat, he leaves me standing on the hills!
Well done for taking the first step! Keep at it and let us now how you're getting on - because we've all been there!


Bionic Subsonic
I'm a solid 330 lbs, and riding tends to be quite painful. I understand that there's adjustment and commitment required, but surely there are ways to compensate for poor core strength and a tendency to rest all my weight either on my butt or my hands.

Hi and :welcome:

Some of what you are describing will be adjustment, but it helps if the bike is properly fitted to you which should make things comfier. You want to make sure that the saddle is at the right height, the bars are the right distance away from you and that you are sitting in a comfortable position. Do you have a bike shop near you that could help with that? If not, have you any cycling friends who could help?

If not then as a rule of thumb, set the saddle at a height where your leg is straight when the heel is on the pedal at the bottom of the pedal stroke and the bars in the comfiest position you can get, preferably not so low that you are leaning on them too much. Take a set of tools out with you on a test ride and keep stopping and adjusting things until they feel 'right' to you. If your saddle is too low you will feel it on the top of your thighs, whereas if you feel like you are rocking in the saddle then it's a bit high. Also try setting the saddle flat front to back, too far forwards and your weight is all on your arms, whereas too far back and the nose is sticking in somewhere tender :smile:

Then there's options for replacing/adding bits which may make things more comfortable. Padded shorts are good, partly for the padding, but also because they are designed not to have seams that rub when you are riding. Bar ends can be a good investment for flat bar bikes as they give you more hand positions (for racer style drop bars I find spinning them back a bit is more comfortable).

Also one person's comfy saddle is another persons instrument of torture. A comfy saddle should support your 'sit-bones' rather than the softer stuff in between. You can get some bike shops to measure this, or do it yourself by sitting on some aluminium foil on a cushion and measuring between the dimples left when you stand up. As a good starter, many people find the Charge Spoon (mens) and Ladle (womens) saddles a good starting point, but as I said it's a very personal preference.

Best advice of all though is to get out there and enjoy it. Don't push too far to start with, and slowly work up the distance. You'll be finding it easier and more fun quite quickly as you improve and your body adapts. Have fun :smile:
I didn't originally quote Dirk, but did after it turned out that Victor's post intervened, and it looked like I was tearing a strip off Victor.

Anyway, deleted the quote. And I bet at 330lb, the OP has "the obvious" stated many times per day.

This is a nice forum, I agree. But the best help the OP is going to find is from other people of a similar weight. and, as screenman notes, he's probably American. So I stick with my bikeforums recommendation

@dxlusby84: a STONE is 14 pounds. Yeah, weird I know. So the 8 stone loss is over 100lbs. Or for those living in a time > 20th century, over 50kg. Spectacular. And, dammit, more likely to happen via cycling for men rather than women.

Edit: One more thing - I'm a huge fan of Brooks saddles. They are not for everyone, but lots of us love them. They're expensive, but there is a US shop that offers 6 months return policy, so there's no real risk involved. And you definitely need to try a Brooks for a while. It will feel uncomfortable at first if you are moving from a padded seat.
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I am guessing the guy is in the USA I wonder what serviced the lbs offers out there, compared with here.
It depends. The LBS I use most frequently offers bike fitting and evaluation,and sells shoes for both running and cycling, as well as a truly good repair service, with wheelbuilding and all you would expect from a cycling shop. as does another in town, which does that as well as having teams and events and group rides. A third has none of that at all. As I have said before, we do not have a C2W scheme over here, so sales of new bicycles may not be what you would see in Britain. But there are a great many bicycles on the road, commuting to work and errand running. A much larger number than say about 6 years ago. But you will also see a lot of 30, 40, and 50 year old bicycles as daily riders.
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