Choosing a seat pad for your performance recumbent seat can be a more difficult choice than you might imagine. Depending on where you live and your personal needs, you may have more factors that influence your decision than you realize. We hope that this article will help you figure out the ideal pad for your recumbent bike.
Two different kinds of pads for your recumbent
A performance recumbent tradition
In the past, the most common pad you would see on hardshell and Euromesh seats were the basic filter foam pad. These pads are popular because they provide cushion and a textured surface that prevents the rider from sliding up or down in the seat. The downsides are that they do not ventilate, can be abrasive against cycling clothing or bare skin, and collapse to be essentially flat when used by heavier riders. Additionally, on a Euromesh seat, they remove what we believe is one of the key features of the seat design - ventilation. Because of these downsides, we are now offering a variety of pads for your recumbent.
Cooler, not cushier
Living in warmer climes makes the traditional foam pad quite uncomfortable when the heat is on, so we prefer the Ventisit pad for those locations. The Ventisit recumbent seat pad is available in two thicknesses - 2cm and 3cm. The 3cm pad, while dubbed the “comfort” pad, does not, in fact, make the pad any cushier. Rather, it ventilates more. The pad is made from a woven mesh that does not collapse under the recumbenr riders' weight. So, for riders in hot climates, we generally recommend the 2cm pad. For riders in hot and humid locations, we recommend the 3cm pad as it will allow more air to flow along your back. The only downside to these pads is that they are not “cushy”.
A good compromise
For those recumbent riders who want a cushier ride, we now offer as standard the foam cushion with a lycra cover over it. You will get the cushiness of the foam without the abrasiveness against your skin or expensive cycling jersey. Note, however, we recommend that you recline the seat more to ensure you don't feel like you are on a slip-n-slide!
We hope this helps clarify seat pads on your performance recumbent. For some, like those who live in areas with “real” seasons, it may mean owning two pads - a foam pad for the winter to help you keep warm and a Ventisit for the summer to help you keep cool. In either case, the seat pad can play a pivotal role in ensuring you are comfortable riding your recumbent in any condition.
Please let us know if you have any questions!