The goal is to modify your seat so that it's as comfortable as possible for YOU. Keep in mind that our bodies are all different. Riding styles affect the way a seat is most effectively modified. Different bike models have varying ergonomics, and certain modifications (such as aftermarket handlebar risers and rearsets) also can affect seat comfort.

What makes a seat nice and comfortable for a 6-4, 215 lb person very well might not work for someone else on the exact same bike. Experiment with the suggestions on to find the modifications that work best for you.

Knowing how to do this for yourself not only can be personally satisfying, but can save you a bundle of money, as aftermarket seats cost $350 and up. If an aftermarket seat (e.g., Corbin or Sargent) works for you, and you don't mind spending that kind of money, they certainly can be nice looking, well made products. Like mass produced bikes, however, aftermarket seats have to be made for the "average" rider. Personally, I have not been willing to spend almost $400, assuming that I would most likely need to make further modifications (given my history with seats).

Instead, I wanted to understand the concepts presented here on; pay far less to customize my seat for my body type, riding style, bike setup; and know how to tweak it again and again if needed.

I realized that my modified seat may not look as slick as the more expensive, nicely upholstered aftermarket seats. This is how I thought through that issue:
  • My bike is to be ridden, not shown or stored. So anything that keeps me from riding more and longer is something that needs to be fixed.
  • When I'm riding my bike, nobody can see the seat anyway.
  • If I really want to have that customized, fancy look, I'll take the seat to an upholsterer, but only after I get it shaped and foamed just right.
  • When I have more money to burn, and I really want to try an aftermarket seat, maybe I'll give one a try... but as a matter of self-reliance, I still want to understand how to modify my own seat.

So let's get to the nuts and bolts. Check out: removing the cover to get at the guts, understanding how to shape a comfortable seat, removing and adding foam for shape and comfort, re-installing the seat cover, and other ideas. You can click on the links in the previous sentence or in the "Modify" section of the top menu to go to each of these topics.

Not to belabor the point, but... take your time, be patient, and assume that you'll probably have to take some test rides and tweak your work a few times to get it just right for you.