Gel Vs Memory Foam Bike Seats

December 3, 2021

We have talked about bike seats before and how weird it is that the narrow, hard models usually feel best for long rides. We’ve previously alluded to the fact that the best position on the seat is to put most of your weight on your feet and the pedals, instead of the seat. This will take your biking to the next level, making sure you get home with no pain in your back or your bottom.

However, some riders enjoy the comfort of a good bike seat. Beginners don’t have enough stamina to ride while balancing their weight by leaning forward, which is why they want to relax and sit on the seat. On the other hand, experienced riders sometimes enjoy lazier rides too and will make more use of the seat just to relax.

Today we discuss the pro’s and con’s of the gel seat and the memory foam one. We suggest you check our list of the most comfortable bike seats on the market. Let’s get right into it.

Gel Seats

Gel seats are usually better for beginners and casual riders. They look a bit more squishy, and many say they feel comfier when you touch them. Many riders enjoy gel seats because gel’s very flexible, and you can expect the seat to change shape and support your bottom in a more hugging way.

These seats are usually better for people who like to embark on short rides and those who bike just for fun. They are a great choice for kids, teens, and the elderly, as well as those who are getting their first electric bike, especially when you’re developing a new hobby, comfort is very important.

One of the downsides of gel seats is that these are not meant for long rides or rides on difficult terrain. The gel will wear down quickly if you move around, especially with impact, which is very common when riding on tricky terrain. Depending on the type of gel, the warmth of your body might make the mixture slightly thinner and runnier, although it will cool down and become thick again when you are not on the bike.  The problem with this is that the gel does not redistribute well throughout the whole seat.

Memory Foam Bike Seats

When you see a memory foam bike seat, you won’t be too thrilled about the squishiness or the comfy look. However, these are really great for biking enthusiasts who enjoy riding for longer periods or need better support. In addition, heavier riders, specifically those over 200 pounds, will experience much greater comfort with a memory foam bike seat than they would with the gel one.

However, to use memory foam-covered seats, you’ll have to show some enthusiasm - they’re a little bit tougher to get used to, and it’s very important to get a seat that fits your bottom well. Of course, you can always go to a local bike shop and ask the sales consultant for some  info about their products.

Another great thing about memory foam seats is the fact that they last a lot longer than gel. Warmth and friction have very little impact on these, which means that you are getting the best bang for your buck. You can expect lots of rides and very little wear and tear.

memory foam bike seats

FAQ

Should I Get A Gel Cover Or A Gel Seat?

If you have been searching for a gel seat on the Internet, the chances are that you have run into gel covers as well. The difference lies in the way they are attached to the seat. Gel covers tend to move around a little more, but they are cheaper, and they’re easily replaceable. However, if you are doing any non-casual biking, we do not suggest getting a gel cover. These will move around and annoy you, especially if you are riding over lumps and bumps. In that case, neither gel covers nor gel seats do a good job, and you should get a memory foam seat or a non-cushioned one.

Read more: Why Are Bike Seats So Uncomfortable

What About Seats That Are Not Cushioned?

Non-cushioned seats have been talked about a lot, as they are often used on sports bikes. When we say they’re not cushioned, we do not mean that you sit on a piece of plastic or wood, and there is usually a little bit of fabric and a little bit of cushioning on these, too. However, nothing as squishy as the previous choices. If you are an experienced biker, someone who knows how to balance their weight by leaning forward and shifting their mass to their feet, you should get one of these seats. A great choice would be a seat with a cut-out in the middle, as this will be great for your nerve endings as well.

Which Seat Should I Get?

If you are a beginner or someone who does not embark on long rides, or you’re buying a bike for a teen or a child, as well as an older person, we definitely suggest you get a cushioned seat. If you plan on casually biking to the store and the playground, a gel seat might be the most comfortable choice but not the most economical one. We suggest memory foam seats for those who engage in longer rides but won’t ride over very difficult terrain. In the end, it’s all about personal preference, and it would be best if you could try out a few bike seats that your friends have or the ones in the store. Some people pay for regular replacements of their gel seats as they prefer to have the comfort this seat provides.


Conclusion

Choosing the right bike seat might seem like a superficial thing to worry about, but it’s very important to know what you want. We suggest you begin by determining your budget and heading online to see what the available options are. We’ve discussed the differences, pros, and cons between gel and memory foam seats. You can now make an informed decision about which one fits you best. Of course, we hope you find the right one immediately - happy biking!

About the author

Emma was born and raised in the UK, studied in Amsterdam (where she discovered her passion for biking), and is currently living in Ohio. Her main passion is cycling, that's why she is always looking for an amazing new e-bike to make her journey even more unforgettable!