You can try just some of the modifications described elsewhere on this site, or you may want to try an approach described but change it slightly to suite your particular needs. For example, instead of using two 1" pieces of foam to build up the nose of your seat, you may feel that only one piece is necessary. Also consider that foam is available in thicknesses generally ranging from 1/2" to 4", though 1/2" and 1" pieces are easier to cut and shape. And remember that you can always laminate 1/2" and 1" pieces together as necessary to achieve any desired thickness.

Add A Gel Pad

A lot of riders like gel pad inserts, though as usual, how well they work varies from person to person. If you do want to use a gel pad without adding additional height to the seat, the basic steps are as follows.

These steps also apply if you want to insert a foam pad that provides more padding and/or support than the stock foam (e.g., good polyurethane open-cell foam, memory foam, etc.).

  • Cut the gel pad to a size and shape that will provide support for the area of your buttocks that makes the most contact with the seat. In other words, your sitting bones should not be halfway on the gel pad and halfway on foam. Note that the sitting bones are relatively close together, so you don't need to have a really wide (and expensive) piece of gel to help support and distribute the lion's share of your weight. I'm 6-4 and 215 lbs, and you can see in the picture below where my sitting bones lie on a 10" x 9" piece of gel. Note: Remember, you usually can easily bond one or more pieces of gel pads together if you do want a bigger piece. Typically, no adhesive should be necessary... just clean off the cut edges that you want to bond. Then press the sticky edges together.
  • Trace the outline of the gel pad so that you know where to cut (shown in the picture below). Again, the placement of the gel pad is critical. Make sure the gel pad is located so that it supports the areas of your buttocks that bear the most weight.
  • Remove a section of the stock foam equal in shape and depth to the shape and thickness of your gel pad. There are a number of ways to cut out the section in which the gel pad will fit.
    • First, make a clean cut on the outline mark. One way to do this is to use a sanding wheel attached to a drill (shown in the picture below). You could also use the side of your grinder wheel, or anything else that allows you to cut a smooth ditch along the outline. Because this method makes a clean cut line around the perimeter of the gel pad area, it helps minimize the space between the sides of the pad and seat foam. Cut out a clean groove at least as deep as the gel pad is thick.
    • Once you've completed this outline, use a grinder to grind down the foam inside the outlined area. Again, remove an amount of foam equal to the thickness of the gel pad so that the gel pad, when placed in the foam, will be flush with the surface. Remember, it's easier to remove a bit more foam than it is to add foam. So, be patient and smooth with the grinder, occasionally seeing how the gel pad fits into the space you're making.
    • Place the gel insert into the cutout shape, using spray adhesive to make sure that it's secure. A 1/2" piece of open-cell foam over the top of everything will smooth out any surface imperfections and reduce the amount of heat buildup in the gel pad on sunny days. The pictures below two examples of how this might look: one version with a nose buildup and one without.

The possibilities are endless. Below is picture of just one other idea. It shows a shape for the gel pad cut completely through a 1" piece of foam. If the gel pad is 1/2", you can use a piece of 1/2" thick foam the same shape as the gel pad to place under the gel pad. This will all the gel pad to sit flush with the top layer of foam. This is easier way to make a place for the gel pad than grinding 1/2" of foam through the 1" top layer of foam.

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The BOTTOM LINE—use your imagination, try different approaches, and test them out. You will eventually come up with something that's just right for you!