Recumbent seat pads

Seat Pads and Hardshell Seats

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.

recumbent seat pad

Two different kinds of pads for your recumbent

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 recumbent 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. 

For those who still want the ventilation of the Ventisit pad, for a $20 upgrade, we now offer the Ventisit Soft pad. This combines the Classic Ventisit ventilation with a soft pad sandwiched in the middle.

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!

Recumbent seat pad choices

Dana Lieberman|

Dana has been riding recumbents for 25 years. Whether bicycle touring, racing, commuting or just riding with the family, he has ridden almost everything out there and has no problem telling you what he thinks! Owner of Bent Up Cycles and Bacchetta Bikes, Dana is passionate about turning new riders on to the joy of recumbent cycling. He also enjoys reading SciFi, hiking in the SoCal mountains and sipping a Chai Latte at the local coffee shop!
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I have a CT2 Bacchetta trike. I would like to know if there is a more comfortable seat pad available for this trike. I would also like to know what accessories are available.


My "euromesh" seat is wrapped around the frame on my Catrike Explorer. In the mildly cold San Francisco Bay Area winters, I just push a tyvek envelope inside to block the wind and I'm good down to about 50F. Below that, I threw a closed cell foam "pad' on top from a random shipment, and I'm good down to about 40F. Below that, I have serious problems, but in my extremities which isn't helped by more torso insulation.


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