ABR’s resident expert of everything bikes answers your questions…
I have recently given a tired old Honda CRM250AR a new lease of life, with hours of TLC, new parts and lots of heart and soul, I love riding it so much, however as it was more designed for short rides or competitions, the seat becomes somewhat uncomfortable after an hour of riding.
Without upgrading to a larger more comfortable adventure bike, is there a way of modifying the seat to make it more comfortable?
Thanks for writing in, Phill, before we do anything, allow me to congratulate you on acquiring one of the best relatively unknown trail bikes about.
While you ask specifically about the seat let’s first look at the minor details that can be easily adjusted to help you get comfortable on the bike. Changing handlebar and footrest position can alter the comfort on any bike quite a bit and sometimes making these small changes will affect how you sit on the bike, taking some of the pressure off ya bum.
Moving the bars closer or further away, raising or lowering them, either by changing for a different bend or using bar risers of some description is a good start. When it comes to footrest position, try out different positions, like higher or lower, or moving them forward or backwards. Subtle changes like these make the bike fit you, rather than you adapting to the way the manufacturer has set it up for Mr Average.
Back to the seat changes then.
There are various products that have been designed with the purpose of adding comfort. Some of these may not be suitable for a trail bike though. Sheepskin is a favourite but can get very soggy if you’re out in the rain or riding lots of wet ruts.
Inflatable pads that fix to the seat and can be very easily adjusted are a well used and well-liked method of preventing numb-bum and improving long-distance comfort. In the same vain, gel pads that strap on to the seat can be comfortable and easily swapped to other bikes. A great solution if you’re planning on getting a second steed for different occasions.
The more permanent way of improving comfort though is to take your seat to an upholsterer and either have the type of foam changed or better still get a gel pad inserted. This may cost a little and be difficult to alter once set up if it isn’t spot on, but if you get it right it can make a world of difference.
My other suggestion is to try some padded shorts from your local cycle shop. It might sound a bit strange at first, but I know many people that swear by this, and it’s a great way of improving comfort without making any changes to the bike. Alternatively, nick a cushion from the sofa and tie it on with a bit of string, job done!
Read more about Phill’s Honda CRM250AR custom build on page 152.