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CitySeat makes pretty bike seat covers so you don’t have to share sweat

Riding a Citi Bike with a “Kaleidoscope” cover. (Photo: CitySeat)

When you think of dozens of New Yorkers sweating all over the same Citi Bike seat one after the other on any given day, “clean” is not exactly a word that comes to mind. (Headline: Can you get ebola from a bike seat?)

So one group of city cyclist entrepreneurs has come up with a innovative way to share bikes without sharing perspiration germs: CitySeat.

CitySeat, which just launched in October, is a portable, sweat-proof bike seat cover you can throw in your purse or pocket, and it comes in a variety of pretty prints that will dress up your ride—like street-grid inspired Avenues and emoji-decorated Messages.

“Spokes” and “Fractals.” (Photo: CitySeat)

“It’s a really New York problem and a really New York solution,” says co-founder Chelsea Petrozzo, who came up with the idea on a non-New York trip to Switzerland, which has a thriving bike share program. “We kept noticing men and women in really beautiful suits and dresses riding these bikes with plastic bags over the seats,” she says.

Petrozzo, a full-time preschool teacher on the Upper West Side, teamed up with product designer friends, Colin Touhey and Hal Ebbott, and they set out to create a better cover.

Founders Colin Touhey, Hal Ebbott, and Chelsea Petrozzo. (Photo: CitySeat)

CitySeats are made with fabric that creates a solid barrier between your bum and the bike seat, and they roll up into a tiny two-inch triangle for easy transport. They’re sized to fit share ride bikes perfectly (most bike sharing programs in cities around the world use the same model). But since they’re stretchy, they can be used for other purposes, too, like mushy bike seats in your spin class, maybe?

Petrozzo, for one, is a SoulCycle addict, and she puts her pretty CitySeat on her yellow bike before settling in for tap backs. “I watch them clean the seats, and it’s like one Clorox wipe,” she says. “I know how much I sweat at SoulCycle, and I don’t want to imagine the person doing that ten minutes before me.” Maybe they could create germ-proof foot covers for putting on still-wet spin shoes, next? —Lisa Elaine Held

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