The following is basically just a guideline to show that it IS possible to improve on the stock seat of most bikes. In my case, I just couldn't find an aftermarket seat that I really liked. The closest thing I found was a Corbin but at almost $800.00 for the drivers seat, passenger seat, and backrests, it just didn't appeal to me all that much.
The material that you use will be a matter of personal preference. I looked at at lot of different materials including everything from carpet pad, chair cushions, gel pads, you name it and I probably considered it. What I finally decided upon was something that I ran across at my local Walmart store. It is probably available at many other places also. This thing was called a "Step Soft" and it was in the Sporting Goods department. It is actually a block of very high density foam rubber that is intended to be used as a stepping block for doing arobic exercises and etc. It is very lightweight and yet extremely dense and has a remarkable ability to rebound to it's original shape after being compressed. Price was about $15.00.
This resulted in a much harder seat than the factory padding but offers much better support for the long hauls. It is my opinion that the problem with most stock seats is that they are TOO soft. They feel good initially but cause me much pain after a few miles. The material I used does give adequate padding but also seems to relieve the pressure points that caused me so much problem.
For a smooth top seat, you should also consider a gel pad. I don't like a pad sitting on top of my seat but I think it would work great to embed one of the pads into the cut-out foam of the seat just as I did my high density foam. My reason for not trying the gel pad was that my particular seat has a button and tucked type design. The buttons are fastened by inserting all the way through the padding and fastening on the bottom side. It requires holes through the new pad and I just don't think it wise to poke holes through a gel pad. The gel pads are available from several aftermarket sources. They come in various sizes and are priced from about $40.00 - $70.00.
At any rate, this project took me about two hours to complete. Not near as difficult as I had expected. I now have a very comfortable seat for a total cost of $15.00 bucks and about 2 hours labor. Much better than $800.00.
1. Remove seat:
2. Remove cover from seat:
3. Use a sharp knife to cut out the foam:
4. Cut out a rough shape from the new block:
5. Trim sides and back for a closer fit:
6. Split to a thickness more than you will need:
7. Sit over cut-out and mark exact size:
8. Use a sharp knife and sandpaper to finish:
9. Reinstall cover:
Submitted by Don Nelson