Cycling is fun and thrilling, whether you do it for leisure or as a sport, and whether you have taken on mountain biking or simple cycling. That is, it’s fun until your crotch hurts so badly or you experience numbness frequently, and you begin to wonder whether you want to keep riding.
Several studies show that bike noses cause excessive pressure in the groin area, leading to health issues such as erectile dysfunction. As such, noseless bike seats, also known as noseless saddles or no-pressure bike seats, are better for your overall tailbone and prostate health. Since a noseless bike seat does not have the protruding part that presses on your perennial nerve, weight is distributed throughout your pelvic bone.
This article will provide a research-based overview of why noseless bikes are better, review some of the best noseless bike seats, and provide buying advice and tips for using noseless saddles for a comfortable riding position with breathable material. Lastly, it will answer some of the most common questions about noseless bike seats.
- 1 Why opt for a noseless bicycle seat?
- 2 8 Best Noseless Bike Seats
- 3 Buying Guide: Factors to consider when choosing a noseless bike seat
- 4 Tips for a more comfortable sitting position on a noseless bicycle seat
- 5 Conclusion
- 6 Noseless Bike Seats FAQs
Why opt for a noseless bicycle seat?
Over the last two decades, there has been increasing concern about whether the conventional bicycle saddle could be causing major groin, pelvic, and spine related issues to cyclists. One of the most commonly reported issues is numbness and pain in the groin.
Numbness in any part of the body typically results from constricted blood flow to the blood vessels and nerves in that area. When cycling, numbness in your groin area is evidence that blood flow is restricted. This can result in a wide range of health issues, including prostate health issues and erectile dysfunction, among others.
In 2008, research was conducted by Dr. Schrader, featuring police officers who spent most of their day on their bicycles patrolling the city. The research linked nose bicycle seats to increased risk for erectile dysfunction. During the study, some police officers opted for a no-nose saddle. After six months of continued cycling with a no-nose saddle, they found a 65% incidence rate of erectile dysfunction. Following these findings, the International Police Mountain Bike Association recommended noseless bicycle seats in their newsletter.
The anatomy of your pelvis on a nose saddle vs noseless saddle
Both the nose and noseless bicycle saddles are designed to support your pelvis as you ride. However, the protruding part of a nose saddle puts pressure on the pubic arch and perennial nerve. If you ride for, say, 30 minutes per week, you may not notice any unpleasant signs that this is happening. However, if you ride for longer periods, and consistently, you may notice warning signs such as fatigue, numbness, pain in the groin area, and in some cases, lower back pain or fatigue.
Since a noseless bicycle seat does not have a protruding part, there is no direct pressure on the pelvic arch and perennial nerve. As such, noseless bike saddles offer adequate support for your pelvis, as you ride without causing harmful pressure to your pelvis area.
8 Best Noseless Bike Seats
The range of noseless bike seats on the market is quite limited. Below is a review of some of the noseless bike seats available in the United States.
The Maxmart Noseless Bike Saddle is ergonomically designed to offer a comfortable ride that is safe for your tailbone and groin. It is suitable for men, women, and children as well.
The seat cushion is made of thick padding, strong spring elastomer suspension, and PU leather. The memory foam padding is densely packed for a soft yet supportive texture. The leather cushion cover offers a durable elastic non-slip feel.
The bike seat has an armless front side design which allows your thighs free movement without rubbing against each other. It has an airflow vent in the middle for proper ventilation and heat dissipation, even when riding for long distances in hot weather. This helps keep your bottom cool and dry and your lower body relaxed. The rear part of the seat is wide to offer ample seating space and adequate pelvic support.
This noseless saddle seat is designed for an easy fit for most types of bicycles. It is compatible with most sport, racing, touring, electrical, stationary, and mountain bikes, among others. However, it is not compatible with bikes that have a wide saddle post.
It comes with an extra seat cover and a saddle clamp. The seat cover is dust and water resistant, which prevents the seat from soaking up sweat when it’s hot or water on rainy days. Furthermore, it has a reflective strip at the back for visibility in the dark.
At the bottom, the seat is fitted with a repair tool kit that consists of a slotted screwdriver: a Philips screwdriver specifically. There is a sleeve extension rod, a 8/9/10mm socket hex wrench, a 8/10/15mm/14GE flat wrench, and a 2/2.5/3/4/5/6 mm inner hex key wrench. The manufacture offers a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee, whereby you can return the saddle seat for a replacement or a refund if you are dissatisfied.
- Great value at an affordable price
- Ergonomic design for a comfortable and supportive seating position
- Water and dust resistant seat cover
- Breathable and ventilated
- High-quality build
- Reflective strip for enhanced visibility in low-light conditions
- Comes with an extra seat cover, saddle clamp, and bike repair tool
- Manufacturer offers a satisfaction guarantee
- Too small for taller and bigger riders
This soft cushion seat works adequately as a noseless bicycle seat. It has a PU leather cover (not synthetic leather) which is super-elastic and wear-resistant. The cover has a double layer design which offers support and shock absorption. It is easy to install and to release on most bikes, including mountain bikes and folding bikes.
- Ergonomic, simplistic design
- Compatible with most bikes
- Wear resistant cover
- Easy to install and release
- No cons observed so far
This noseless cushion seat is designed for a frictionless, no-pressure riding position. It is made of high-elasticity polyurethane and a premium quality PU leather cover for comfort and resistance to wear and tear. The cover has a double layer design, offering adequate shock absorption and powerful support. It has a concave shape to avoid rough impact when riding on a bumpy road.
The saddle has a universal fit which is compatible with most types of bicycles, including spinning bikes and side bikes. It installs easily, like a regular bike seat. There is mounting hardware at the bottom of the seat which you fix on your bicycle. However, you’ll need an extra bike clip to fit it on a spinning bike. The cushion is available in 3 colors: black, black and red, and black with blue.
- Offers a comfortable, frictionless sitting position
- Shaped design for a comfortable ride on bumpy roads
- Compatible with most bikes
- Available in 3 color options
- Wear-resistant cover
- Some people find it too small
The Hosbon dual pad is a noseless bicycle saddle built for comfortable riding. This unisex saddle is designed with two independent seat pads which have adjustable widths. There is a thumb wheel at the middle of the seat pads, which you can use to adjust the width of the seat. The base is made of nylon and glass while the pads themselves are made of rubber. The product is compatible with most exercise bikes and touring bikes and comes with a standard mounting bracket. The manufacturer offers a 1-year warranty.
It can handle up to 450 lbs! The manufacturer recommends riding with it in an upright position with the handle bars elevated. To reinforce comfort and support, add gel pads on this seat.
It’s worth noting that this was the first noseless seat on the market. It was also Hosbon’s earliest bicycle seat, which was invented in 1982. Over 800 thousand pieces have been sold ever since.
- Easy to install
- One-year warranty
- Adjustable width
- Compatible with gel or foam pads
- Requires adjusting to find the right position for a comfortable seat
This 9 x 6 saddle has a unique shape and is designed to offer a comfortable ride by removing pressure from your groin and distributing it to sitting bones. It is a gel seat that is covered with lycra for adequate cushioning. It’s great for riders who don’t enjoy the synthetic leather feel. The gel padding absorbs shock and dissipates vibrations while riding.
It comes with standard rails that mount easily and fit well with most types of bikes. The manufacturer offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. It is wider than most noseless bike seats for adequate support, comfort, and grip. Its shorter-than-usual length offers non-restrictive, friction-free access to the pedal. It has reflectors at the back for enhanced visibility.
- Suitable for both men and women
- Has gel padding for advanced shock absorption
- Comfortable to sit on
- Wide seating area and narrow length for easy pedal access
- Not durable
The Shni padded bicycle cushion works adequately as a noseless saddle. The top of the cushion is made of waterproof PU leather for a smooth and comfortable feel when you sit down. The double layered leather is elastic and wear-resistant, offering excellent shock absorption even when riding on bumpy roads.
The interior of the cushion is padded. Beneath the padding, there is a metal that enables the cushion to take the shape of your bottom while still remaining sturdy. The padding is soft, breathable, and elastic.
This unisex, noseless bicycle seat is compatible with most types of bicycles, including mountain and folding bikes. Its dimensions are 26 x 17cm, and this provides an ample seating area for most people.
- Comfortable to sit on
- Breathable padding
- Shock absorbing, wear-resistant cover
- Compatible with most types of bicycles
- Difficult to install
The Spiderflex noseless bicycle seat is designed to support a comfortable and ergonomic riding position. Its design includes two separate pads that are 1.25” apart, with the width of the gap tapering down to 0.75” toward the back end.
The seat pads are made of a weather-resistant and tear-resistant polyurethane material. They are held together by a polished stainless-steel frame. The pads are molded directly into the wire foam beneath. Each pad has a seat slot that cradles your ischial tuberosity, for an ergonomic seating position while providing ventilation. The seat has a width variance of 3.5” to 7,” offering an adequate sitting area for most people.
One of the outstanding features of the Spiderflex noseless bicycle seat is that its makeup incorporates a suspension system. The preloaded shock absorbing system consists of a heavy duty die spring, housed by a polypropylene casing. This suspension system is designed to absorb all the hits and vibrations when riding on a bumpy road.
- Seat slot offers pressure relief on your pelvis while biking
- Comfortable seating position
- Adjustable seat width
- High-quality build
- Adequately ventilated
- Unique suspension system
- Not comfortable when descending on a steep trail
The Spongy Wonder noseless bike saddle is designed to promote your perennial, tailbone, and prostate health. It is made in Canada using American standard materials. It has an adjustable, dual platform design. This design includes two separate, triple layered sitting pads that are joined by a metal frame. The gap between the pads is adjustable to a preferred seat width. The pads can be replaced with new ones when needed, rather than needing to replace the entire seat. The neoprene cushion cover is weather-resistant and durable. This pressure-less bike seat is compatible with most types of bicycles, including racing, touring, commuting, and exercise bikes. The biking cushions are available in only one size, small-medium, and the manufacturer offers a fifteen year warranty.
- Adjustable seat width
- Replaceable cushions
- High quality build
- Fifteen year warranty
- Too small for people with a larger build
Buying Guide: Factors to consider when choosing a noseless bike seat
Below are some factors to consider when choosing a noseless bike seat.
Saddle rail material
The saddle rail is the frame upon which the seat attaches to the seat post on the bicycle. The material used to make the saddle rail determines the durability, weight, flexibility, and sturdiness of the noseless seat. The most common materials for saddle rails are steel, carbon, titanium, aluminum, and manganese. While carbon fiber is lighter and sturdier, saddles with this kind of rail are more expensive. Titanium is more affordable and offers mid-range performance biking and durability, but it is less common. Steel is sturdy, yet heavier and prone to rusting.
Seat cushion design
Most noseless bike seats are designed with a PU leather or polypropylene cover and gel or foam padding. The cover should be wear-resistant, sweat-wicking, and weather-resistant. It should also be elastic, to allow the cushion to conform to the shape of your sit bones. Some cushions have a metallic part beneath to reinforce sturdiness. Others have holes in the middle for enhanced ventilation.
You may think that the best noseless saddles have as much padding as possible, for cycling as well as mountain biking. While more padding may feel comfier when the seat is new, it tends become compressed over time, making the seat feel sloppy and less comfortable. Ideally, go for an adequately padded seat which is made of padding material with a lower deformation rate.
Shape of the seat
There are a wide range of noseless seat shapes on the market. While some may look just like a regular nose saddle without protruding parts, others are semicircular. The choice really depends on your preference.
Experts recommend that the width of your bicycle saddle be 2 cm wider than your sit bone. Smaller ones will leave part of your pelvis hanging, while bigger ones have too much space. Some noseless bicycle seats have an adjustable width which can help meet your needs.
Noseless bike seat manufacturers design seats with an easy-to-mount rail or clamp that’s compatible with most modern bicycles. However, some companies indicate that the seat is only compatible with specific types of bikes. Check the product description of the saddle you are considering to ascertain that it is compatible with your bicycle type.
If you ride bumpy roads often, a noseless bike seat that has an inbuilt suspension system will offer great shock absorption for a comfortable ride.
Tips for a more comfortable sitting position on a noseless bicycle seat
One of the most common complaints regarding noseless saddle seats is that they are not as comfortable to sit on as conventional bicycle seats. While it takes some getting used to, below are some tips to help you find a comfortable sitting position on a noseless bike seat:
- Reinforce cushioning with gel pads. If you find that the particular noseless saddle seat is too thinly padded, place the gel pad on top for better cushioning.
- Experiment with the saddle seat tilt. Perhaps a tilt to the front or back will offer a better position and improved grip relative to your height and weight.
- Sit as far back as possible on the seat. Most noseless seats are widest at the back. Ensuring that the larger part of your pelvis is on the wider part of the cushion will encourage a more comfortable and supportive sitting position.
- When riding, put more pressure on the pedal. This lessens your body weight’s load on the seat.
- Until you get used to a noseless seat, it is best to avoid riding with a heavy backpack on, as this adds an extra load on your pelvis. If you haven’t yet found a comfortable, breathable sitting position without carrying extra load, then the seating position will only become more uncomfortable with that extra weight.
- When riding downhill, shift your weight as far backward as possible. Even with a nose saddle seat, your weight and ultimately your body position tends to shift forward. However, since there is no nose to help your grip and prevent you from sliding, riding downhill on a noseless saddle can feel uncomfortable.
If you experience groin pain and soreness during or after riding, it is important that you switch your nose bicycle seat with a noseless one. Although there are a limited variety of noseless seats on the market, you can find one from those reviewed above. Consider your must-have features and order one that has the features and is within your budget. There is a need for more research regarding nose vs noseless saddle seats and whether a nose seat can truly lead to long-term pelvis and back health issues.
Noseless Bike Seats FAQs
Here are answers to some of the most common noseless bike seat FAQs.
Why do bicycle seats have a nose?
Most people considering a noseless bike seat wonder whether the nose in the conventional seat has any purpose, and if a lack of it will negatively impact their riding experience. The nose may offer certain advantages, such as better side-to-side control and prevention of excessive forward sliding. However, this advantage could be outweighed by its negative effect on your pelvic and sexual health. More research is required to determine the pros and cons.
Are noseless bicycle seats comfortable?
Noseless seats are designed to be comfortable and supportive. However, since most people who switch to noseless seats were accustomed to seats that have a protruding part, these new, non-pressure seats may feel uncomfortable at the beginning. With proper seat adjustment, positioning, and riding style, the noseless seat should feel comfortable.
Are there any disadvantages associated with noseless bicycles?
Noseless seats have been controversial among cycling experts. Those who do not approve highlight the following disadvantages:
- The no-nose design compromises side-to-side control
- The most comfortable position offered has the seat angled forward, which causes the rider to slide off the seat. Furthermore, leaning forward too much puts more pressure on the wrists and neck.
- If the seat is angled backwards, then depending on the seat’s width, it may interfere with the rider’s ability to cycle effectively.
Do women need noseless bicycles seats?
Yes. Noseless seats are beneficial for women as well. Women also experience groin soreness and numbness, and a noseless seat may help alleviate these symptoms and prevent long-term tailbone and pelvic issues.