Bicycle Seat Technology

Elements Of Comfort - Bicycle Saddle Cover Material



How to Choose a Bike Saddle Video - Cover Material

leather bicycle saddle
Leather Bicycle Saddle - PRS Alpha Red/White/Black

triathlon bicycle saddle
Lycra with Kevlar - Koobi Tri Bicycle Saddle

 

Bicycle Saddle Cover Materials

The aesthetic impact of a bike seat comes from the look and feel of the cover material. From sporty Lycra to textured leather, cover material may seem to be little more than personal preference. But if you consider the cover as an element of comfort, you’ll understand that beauty is more than skin deep.


Leather Bicycle Saddles: Durability and Beauty

A leather bicycle saddle is resistant to wear and tear and the slightly tacky texture reduces slipping. Because leather is breathable, this fabric does a good job of managing a moderate amount of moisture.

Koobi uses a heavy leather cover for the highest durability. Like a new leather shoe, the saddle feels firm to begin with, but after a few rides the softened leather customizes to the shape of the cyclist. It’s hard to beat the luxurious feel of a quality leather saddle.


Kevlar Bicycle Saddles: Tear Resistant

Known for its durability, Kevlar is useful in protecting leather from inevitable damage. However, because of its rough texture, Kevlar is not comfortable as an overall bicycle saddle cover. As a solution, Koobi designed the AU Enduro and PRS Enduro saddles with Kevlar along the rear corners, where it extends the toughness of the saddle but with minimal contact with your anatomy.


Lycra Bicycle Saddles: Moisture Control

Lycra is the best choice for triathlons and other high moisture situations, and gives the cover a soft feel similar to gel. Even dense foam will feel softer when covered with Lycra. However, since it is susceptible to tears, Koobi reinforces Lycra seats with leather corners to maximize durability.


Imitation Leather Bicycle Saddles: Lower Cost

Imitation leather’s primary advantage is its lower cost, and it may be an acceptable option for the casual or infrequent rider. Although it repels moisture better than other materials, keeping the internal components cleaner, high moisture can make imitation leather feel slippery or waxy, and affect the rider’s control.

 


Logos and Embroidery

Embroidered logos and fancy stitching have some aesthetic contribution to your saddle, and may even reduce slipping. However, consider how raised stitching may influence the way the saddle cover feels over a long ride.


Side Note: Cycling Shorts

Lycra shorts seem to get thinner every year. Although they are more breathable, rough or abrasive saddle covers, especially Kevlar, will wear through Lycra quickly. You may end up with more breathability than you bargained for.


More Elements Of Bicycle Saddle Comfort

Learn more about the elements of bicycle saddle comfort in this series of articles.