As a cyclist, it is not uncommon to need to change your bike seat for comfort or better sizing. It helps to know which seat you need, and if bike seats are universal.
Changing a saddle may be necessary if yours gets worn, or if you are looking for additional comfort.
Modern bike seats are designed to be universal. They can be interchanged across bikes with different seat posts. The only times a bike seat will not be universal is if you have older equipment or a specialized bike.
With so many styles of bikes, it may seem strange that bike seats can be universal. The bike frames and seat posts may differ from a BMX, touring, road, or mountain bike, but the seat or saddle that is attached can be made to fit all of these.
With a standard bike that has no customizations, you can find a universal bike seat. When you find a seat you like it helps that it is universal so you can ride in style and comfort.
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Are Bike Seats Universal Size
Bike seats come in different sizes for different styles of riding. But this does not mean they are not universal. You can have your choice of seat size, shape, and cushioning for any bike.
You just need to have the right pole and adapters to make sure the seat can attach. That being said there are specific seats you want to look for depending on the bike you have.
While saddles can be interchangeable, the seat posts for bikes are not always universal. There is more variability in seat posts in terms of diameter so you may need an adapter to properly attach a seat to any bike.
Be sure to check the number of rails and the rail width for your seat and find the correct adapter to make sure it will connect properly.
While the saddles may be interchangeable, each type is designed specifically for a style of riding.
For example, a seat on a mountain bike is designed to give the most comfort and efficiency with off-road cycling. It may not be comfortable for longer rides on a touring bike.
For that reason, you may not want to use every seat universally. Within each type of bike, the seats should be universal and suitable for bikes within that class.
To make a seat universal, you need to have the appropriate mounting system.
Are Mountain Bike Seats Universal
When mountain biking, you tend to stand more on the pedals, perched way back. Or you will be crouched or hovering over the saddle. You may not actually sit on the seat very often.
Mountain bike seats are narrow, lightweight, have a shaped rear and not much padding.
The padding is placed where you will be sitting, and it is streamlined to help you maneuver more efficiently when you are hovering or crouched over the seat to tackle rough terrain.
A mountain bike seat can be used on any mountain bike so in that sense they are universal. You may be able to attach a mountain seat bike to another bike with the right adapter and seat posts.
However, you may not want to because this style of seat is not going to be comfortable or efficient for long-distance riding or racing type bikes.
The SGODDE Universal Bike Seat is a great example of a universal mountain bike seat. It comes with a double rail universal mounting system, so it can be attached to any mountain bike.
Many mountain bikes come with wider seats, but if you are serious about your off-road adventures, this narrower style is better, and you will be glad it fits mountain bikes universally.
Are Touring Bike Seats Universal
Touring bikes are designed to go long distances, so comfort is essential. A narrow and minimally cushioned saddle from a mountain bike will not work.
Touring bike seats are typically wider and do not have a slope.
This is because you sit upright when riding leisurely and not hunched over the handlebars. These seats also typically have more cushion than other bike seats.
Because everyone has different comfort levels, having a touring bike seat that is comfortable will vary.
This makes it almost essential to be able to find a universal seat so you can get the exact level of comfort you want.
If the touring bike you have does not have a seat you like, look for a universal seat that better suits your needs
These comfort saddles are wide with larger amounts of padding but are also designed to ensure pedaling is easy. They are often designed to absorb some of the shock and vibrations from country roads.
A good universal touring bike seat is the Giddy Up! Bike Seat with Universal Fit, found for an affordable price on Amazon.
The universal mounting kit makes it easy to install on any bicycle, even your mountain or road bike.
Are Road Bike Seats Universal
Almost every road bike saddle is exchangeable and those that are not are usually customized or part of a specialized bike.
If you buy a new saddle, chances are you can use it for your road bike, even if it is marketed as something else.
Typically, road bikes come with harder saddles and they can take some getting used to. This is why many look to exchange the seat for more comfort.
Road bicycle seats and racing seats are similar. They are thinner, harder and lighter. The idea is to give you the most amount of movement and reduce chafing.
A road bike is designed to go fast so you should not plan to sit for long periods of time.
However, if you want a more comfortable seat or one that accommodates a wider pelvis, then you will need to look for a universal seat.
The universal seat from BLUEWIND can be used for almost every bike and will give a little extra cushion for a road bike.
Are BMX Bike Seats Universal
BMX bike seats are designed to look similar to those for mountain bikes, but they are mounted differently.
For that reason, BMX bike seats are not typically interchangeable with other bikes. But they can be universal across BMX bikes.
BMX bike seats are pivotal which means they require one-bolt mounting and angular adjustment.
The specific mounting is designed to keep the seat positioned at an upward angle. This prevents the cyclist from sliding forward when performing tricks and jumps.
For a universal BMX seat, I recommend the Alta Vinyl Diamond Pattern Vinyl BMX Bike Saddle that comes with standard rails that fit most BMX bicycles.
Are Cruiser Bike Seats Universal
Cruiser bikes are similar to touring bikes in purpose. You want to ride for a long time, at a leisurely speed, in comfort.
This means you want a seat that is wide, cushioned, and comfortable.
Most cruisers will come with seats like this but if you want more or less comfort, then you can find universal seats for an exchange.
Cruiser or comfort saddles can come with more cushion than you like, and this can cause chaffing.
This is a top reason why people look for universal seats to attach to their bike instead, such as this option from Amazon.
Hybrid bicycles are often seen with comfort seats as they are typically used for longer rides too.
Any universal seat that fits a cruiser or touring bike should also fit on a hybrid so long as you have the right attachment kit or adapters.
Are Racing Bike Seats Universal
Racing bikes are similar in style and design to road bikes. They are lighter with narrow wheels, designed specifically for speed.
Seats will also be lighter, narrow, and harder. Not ideal for comfort, but they will not get in the way or cause chaffing so you can pedal at maximum speed and efficiency.
In the same way that you may want to replace or exchange a road bike seat, you can get a universal option for a racing bike too.
Because the frames for road and racing bikes are significantly different to those of mountain bikes, it is not likely that the seats will be interchangeable for these bikes.
A good universal seat for racing bikes or road bikes is this soft cushion universal fit saddle on Amazon.
Universal Bike Seat Sizing
|Sit Bone Width||Touring/Cruiser||Mountain/BMX||Racing/Road|
|70-100 mm||145 mm||130 mm||130 mm|
|100-130 mm||155 mm||145 mm||145mm|
|130+ mm||155+ mm||155 mm||145-155 mm|
Helpful Tips To Know If Your Bike Seat Is Universal
Before buying a new or replacement bike seat, you need to make sure that it is in fact universal. While many seats and modern bikes today are made with universal seating, this is not always the case.
Any bikes that have had customization, may not work with universal seats. Before you buy, keep these tips in mind:
- Check the saddle rails on your bike and match to a universal seat that works with those rails
- Make sure the new seat has a universal mounting system
- It is also not advised to attach a bike seat from a different type of bike (for example putting a mountain bike seat on a racing bike).
The saddle of the bike is important in terms of comfort, but it also needs to be out of the way for certain types of cycling.
With the different styles of bikes available, many cyclists wonder if bike seats are universal.
The good news is that many are, especially on modern bikes. If you are looking to change comfort level, position, or efficiency, you may want to look into a new seat.
So long as your new seat comes with a universal mounting kit, you will be sitting pretty with any new saddle.