How to Make Your Bike Ride More Comfortable - Seatposts & Suspension Seatposts

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Few topics are as sensitive as the connection between you and your bike's saddle. The right seatpost can change a stiff, rigid bike frame into a more forgiving comfortable ride, dampening bumpy roads and potholes or smoothing an off-road trail. There's a significant impact force transmitted up from the road through the frame and seatpost into your body along with a downward compression force from your weight, gravity & body's reaction as you ride over a rough road. As important as your saddle is to an enjoyable ride, without the right seatpost for your riding style, you're missing out on an important part of the picture of what makes a bike ride great. An uncomfortable rigid seatpost can negate all of the positives of a steel or titanium frame or wider tires.

The most important factors when considering a seatpost are it's damping and flex ability. Damping is how quickly the seatpost flexes, reducing the vibration coming through a bike's frame up the seat tube. Flex is the total vertical and horizontal movement of the post in response to bumps on a road. So a seatpost with a higher damping & flex rate will respond faster to a road's unevenness with more of the vibration absorbed.

A straight seatpost without any offset is the roughest ride with little damping ability. However, with a moderate setback and different materials like carbon fiber, a rigid post will have a more dynamic and responsive ride; much better than aluminum alloy or titanium seatpost. There's wide variation between brands, performance and prices of carbon fiber and setback seatposts, so take that into consideration, too. Ultimately where you ride and your body build will help decide the best seat post for you.


Take it to the next level and you have suspension seatposts that can make a simple straight post with an adjustable elastomer or spring insert into a more comfortable ride. These are generally inexpensive and are a reasonable choice if the roads aren't too pitted. Most have a simple hex head adjustment at the base of the post to create a softer or more firm response. This is important since a larger rider could bottom out or have a bumpier ride if the suspension is set too soft.


The ultimate suspension seatposts combine a setback with adjustable elastomer pads or springs depending upon the post to make it a custom setup for each rider. With the Cane Creek Thudbuster, you benefit from both vertical and horizontal damping with good flex and a choice of elastomer pads to help create the optimal ride. It can move about 14mm vertically and up to 20mm horizontally. Great at smoothing big hits, particularly for riders with lower back or spine issues. Downside: pricier, much heavier post that can't be lowered quite as much as a non-suspension post to accommodate a shorter rider. Check out this review of the Thudbuster for more details.


Cirrus Cycles created another seatpost system, the BodyFloat Kinect, that isolates vertical movement and vibration damping without affecting horizontal motion. It has a pair of springs that can be adjusted specific to a rider's weight and the road conditions, making it an optimal choice for riders who pedal over long miles of rough road. It's a more expensive suspension seatpost but the perfect solution for some people who wouldn't be able to ride otherwise. Similar issues as the Thudbuster for smaller riders.


For mountain bikers, a dropper suspension seatpost gives the rider more control over body position, allowing them to shift their weight lower, particularly important for a rapid downhill descent over rocky terrain. A dropper post will have a lot of vertical travel, possibly up to 125mm with adjustments to accommodate different rider's weight. A small trigger button on the handlebars let's you rapidly activate the seatpost drop during a downhill run and pop it back up afterwards.


Besides your seatpost, lowering the tire pressure a few psi (keep in mind the minimum recommended pressure listed on the side of the tire to prevent a Pinch Flat) will create a more cushy road feel as will wider tires. We'll cover saddles and handlebar grips & tape in the next guide to keeping your bike ride comfortable.
This was my first time replacing the original saddle on my Teo Fat Bike that made me cry after every 20 km ride no matter how many times I tried to re-adjust it although others have had good experience with it, so I picked this one on Amazon since others had positive things to say about it, once I got the right adjustment dialed in my tushy was very happy,no more crying even after 85 km ride and it also matches the bikes colors. Like it very much.
One day perhaps when i can afford it, like to get the Suntour NCX .


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Tom, the Suntour NCX seatpost is another great option that can be dialed in for each rider's preferences. It's also less expensive than the BodyFloat or Thudbuster; about $80 to $100.
They use a range of springs. I always add an extra to my orders. I'm a hard shopper and usually find them for $70 delivered with spare spring. Many reviews of the Thudbuster by riders also owning the NCX call them a wash. I found that to be true.
Thanks Ann for this useful information.
I'd like to expand on your topic a bit to include seat comfort for those of us with vascular problems. Many riders, including myself, can't ride a horned bike seat without numbness due to nerve and / or circulatory issues. At one point, my doctor advised me to give up bicycling due to this condition.

Fortunately, there are a host of "noseless" seats on the market which can remedy this malady. Over the years, I've tried many including:

The Hobson Easy Seat:

The Spongy Wonder:


The Ergo Ultimate:

and the Schwinn Ultra QR2:

Some other more bizarre models I have yet to try are:

The MoonSaddle:


and the ISM Touring saddle:

Touring web-2.jpg

So far, the most comfortable combination of seat and post I've found are:

The Spiderflex:


Coupled with the Thudbuster ST:


Obviously, this is a personal preference but I'm curious what other riders with this condition are using?
I purchased the ISM Turing saddle for my wife with our his/her Radrovers. She is 4'11" and had a hard time straddling the ebike at stops because the nose of seat pushed her too far up the down tube (had the Cloud-9 12.5X11.5 Cruiser seat also). The ISM saddle solved the straddle issue; but, this saddle was so much smaller and harder compared to the Cloud-9. ISM saddle felt like you were sitting on a large leather wrapped roll of duct tape. She was too short for a suspension seatpost on the hardtail Radrover.

She stopped riding because of not finding a good saddle for the slightly over sided Radrover. Wasn't until the Radcity Step-Thru became available for her size I was able to add the Bodyfloat v2.0 350mm suspension seatpost with purple springs and Cloud-9 12.5X11.5 cruiser seat on her bike. Much better upright riding position on the Radcity with adjustable swept back cruiser handlebars.

I like the extra large Cloud-9 12.5X11.5 size because I sit on my butt cheeks and no contact with the sensitive areas. Because of my MTB biking shorts, I do sometimes slide down to those sensitive areas on occasions if I'm not paying attention. I also wear spandex and padded shorts everytime I ride.
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Thanks for your advice on the ISM saddle. It did seem like it would be a bit small. The MoonSaddle looks interesting but I don't know anyone who has tried one. It's a bit pricey to take a chance.

My brother likes his Cloud 9. I'm not sure which model he has but I'll have to give it a try.

I have padded spandex shorts but unfortunately, they don't help me much.

Thanks for your post.
I choose two very different solutions. I’m very happy with the Suntour NCX seatpost, but decided to try a saddle i’d Not ridden on in 40 years. Brooks leather, but a springer version. More to come.View attachment 23395View attachment 23396
I have the exact same setup on my ebike. Makes it nice and comfortable.

I’ve found though that for even more comfort, switching to tubeless tyres and then running lower psi makes such a difference
Looks like I'm overdue on getting my companion article about saddles on the site, everyone :eek:. Thank you for your input; I've seen product here that has never crossed my path and yet may be someone's best solution. Saddles can be overwhelming because of the selection!
This is a great article and something I have been researching all week. On my first long ride on a new ebike, discovered that the seat is too hard for me. I have a very bruised and painful tailbone for the past 4 days. I was sent over to a sports medicine and biking enthusiast doctor. he had me bring my bike seat and stem. I learned a lot from him during my appointment and that not all seats are created equal nor are bike seats gender universal. For the female rider, he said to get a seat with a deep center back groove. Women have a longer, more flexible tailbone than men. I ended up purchasing a Bikeroo seat for women. As soon as my tailbone returns to normal, I will let you know how it feels.

Now for the bike stem, has anyone looked at the kickstarter for the ShockStop Seatpost? Its clean lines look like it would fit great with my step thru where I have a lower placed seat and rack and from all the videos, it doesnt appear that it would take up much space. Current price 159.99 with delivery for Nov.
I have a ShockStop on order. Should have it next month. The videos and info look promising.