10 Best Bike Saddles Reviewed & Compared

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The bike saddle is an essential part of the bicycle—its’s where most of the weight and friction is held during your rides. Choosing the wrong one may lead to discomfort and may also negatively affect your overall performance.

Different riding terrain has different demands, so just because one saddle works for one rider doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. In order to pick the right one for you make sure to consider the saddles core attributes–weight and padding—as well as your body type and how much comfort it provides you .

Below is our list of the top 10 best bike saddles currently available, we hope we help you on your search for your next seat!

Last Updated: July 14, 2018
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By Giselle Killebrew:

We have replaced a couple of previous recommendations with highly recommended options that many cyclists highly recommend. Make sure to take a look at other sections on our page to learn how we make our decisions and what to look for before making your purchase.

Fabric Line Race
  • Fabric Line Race
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Waterproof cover
  • Price: See Here
Zacro Gel
  • Zacro Gel
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Budget Price
  • Price: See Here
Planet Relief Saddle
  • Planet Relief Saddle
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • SuperSoft Padding
  • Price: See Here

 

10 Best Bike Saddles

1. Fabric Line Race

1.  Fabric Line Race
The Fabric Line Race bike saddle is a great waterproof saddle that also provides just the right amount of cushioning you need during your rides.

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Material
The rails of this bike saddle are made of titanium alloy, the shell uses PU foam, and the cover is made of waterproof microfiber material.

Shape

This is a slim saddle that is lightweight and better for those of you looking to improve your speed.

Padding

It features a blend of cushioning for sufficient padding to increase comfort and reduce fatigue and provide shock absorption.

Weight

At 13.4 ounces this saddle is pretty lightweight but definitely not the most lightweight option out there.
Pros

• Durable

• Waterproof cover

• Pressure release channel

• PU foam

• Lightweight

• Allows for full range of motion

Cons

• Pricey

• Not suitable if you need a wide seat


2. Selle Royal Respiro

2. Selle Royal Respiro
This saddle is specifically made for women and is extremely lightweight, comfortable, and flexible. It has several color options and features a sleek design.
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Material
This one is made of highly breathable and lightweight materials that will keep you cool and dry during your rides.

Shape

It features a slim fit, but not as slim as those built specifically for speed.

Padding

As far as padding, this one provides you with the necessary amount but nothing more. It also has an active ventilation system for maximum breathability.

Weight

This one isn't super lightweight, but it won't weigh you down either.
Pros

• Great price

• Comfortable

• Lightweight

• Breathable

• Active ventilation system

Cons

• Narrow fit

• Lightweight but not built for speed


3. Planet Relief Saddle

A popular bike saddle with a pressure relieving cut out and an affordable price tag. The material covering the saddle feels nice against the skin and the padding is comfortable yet supportive. The saddle comes in three design options and is a made to fit a man's body.
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Material

The bike saddle is covered with a soft material that is gentle on the skin. It's also resistant to tearing.

Shape

The shape of the saddle is meant to accommodate a man's body and features a groove to support and relieve pressure on the male anatomy.

Padding

SuperSoft padding is used to ensure the rider is comfortable sitting on this seat. Some users did mention that they would have preferred the seat to be a bit softer. Still, the seat provides a supportive ride to cyclists.

Weight

The saddle is fairly lightweight but all types of riders found it made their ride more comfortable. When it comes to road biking, it's a particularly great option for indoor training throughout the winter months.
Pros
  • Anatomically design to accommodate men's bodies
  • Pressure relief cut out
  • Well-padded 
  • Supportive
  • Covering feels soft against the skin
Cons
  • Padding issues for some reviewers (too hard / too soft) 

4. Fizik Arione

4. Fizik Arione
The Fizik Arione R5 K:ium is a saddle best situated for those who are more keen on road biking then other forms of cycling. Specially designed for long distance road riding and with the riders comfort in mind, built to ease the pain of long stints in the same position.
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Material:
The Fizik Arione R5 K:ium is made from a carbon reinforced nylon so that the seat is both comfortable but also sturdy, the carbon contributing to the seats noteworthy durability.

Shape:
This Fizik saddle is long and thin with flexible edges to allow it to conform to the riders motions without restricting the riders legs and thighs. The main length of the saddle is also flexible to make any motion while cycling easier on the riders body. This saddle is very thin, though, and would be difficult for a heavier rider to use.

Padding:
The Fizik Arione R5 K:ium is best suited for long term riding, the padding of it being firm but forgiving so that the rider is comfortable and not sore after cycling for long distances.

Weight:
The Arione R5 K:ium weighs 205 grams, or just under half a pound, and is considered a bit heavy and is one of the heavier seats in the Fizik line.
Pros
  • Very flexible 
  • Durable, with a carbon reinforced nylon shell
  • Firm but still comfortable
  • Good for long rides
Cons
  • A little heavy for some tastes 

5. WTB Speed Comp

5. WTB Speed Comp
This bike saddle is made for fast riding. It's lightweight, won't break the bank, and will stand up to the test of time.
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Material

The bike saddle is made with quality materials that won't break down easily. Reviewers felt they got plenty of value for their money.

Shape

Reviewers liked the shape of the saddle which is appropriate for distance riding and most other types of biking. A cut out helps eliminate pressure points.

Padding

The bike saddle is padded but there's also plenty of firm support for riders who need it. Reviewers found the seat quite comfortable. It's suitable for long rides. It's rigid feeling but there's plenty of cushioning to pad your butt during a ride.

Weight

The bike saddle weighs about 370 grams. It's not the lightest option out there but it's certainly a contender but reviewers felt that it delivered value and comfort and the extra weight wasn't such a big deal.
Pros
  • Well-padded 
  • Durable covering 
  • Great price
  • Supportive
Cons
  • Heavier than some expected 

6. Brooks England

6. Brooks England
This retro looking bike saddle is the perfect option for the aesthetically driven bike rider. The seat comes in three style choices and is sure to make you look great while you ride. The handmade seat is made of quality leather and has been sold for over a century to style-oriented cyclists.
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Material

The bike saddle is made of high-quality leather using traditional methods. The rails on this saddle are constructed using copper. Because leather is porous, it will allow the rider's butt to breathe even when it's hot and clammy out. To ensure this product lasts a long time it's important to give it a bit more care than other bike saddles considering its handmade leather construction.

Shape

The shape is meant to accommodate riders going the distance or those taking their bike to the trails.

Padding

The stiff saddle is composed of padding that molds to your posterior. It's supportive but forgiving. Reviewers liked that the saddle conformed to their bodies.

Weight

This bike saddle is not appropriate for road cyclists who are looking to lighten the weight of their setup. It's a bit heavier than other models but it's super comfortable and durable.
Pros
  • Very attractive design
  • Comfortable
  • Long-lasting
  • Molds to the body
  • Does not catch on clothing 
Cons
  • Non-adjustable 
  • Heavy 

7. Fabric Scoop Pro

7. Fabric Scoop Pro
The Fabric Scoop Pro Saddle is a thin tight piece of equipment for the invested cyclist. Its compact design helpful for promoting posture but doesn’t take away from the riders comfort.
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Material:
This saddle is constructed from a shell of nylon and padded with PU foam for comfort. The rails are constructed from carbon fiber, which means the saddle will be incredibly strong as well as lightweight.

Shape:
The Fabric Scoop Pro is a thin and long shape, designed such so that a rider can easily position themselves properly. In turn, it would be more difficult for a heavier rider to sit comfortably on the Scoop Pro, since it is so thin, but on the other hand very few riders report any discomfort. The Scoop Pro is also very flexible and accommodating to different riding styles.

Padding:
This saddle is efficiently padded for comfort. Most report the Fabric Scoop Pro as being comfortable with little to no break in time after first installation and use.

Weight:
The Fabric Scoop Pro is made, through shape and material, to be extremely lightweight.
Pros
  • Comfortable 
  • No break in needed
  • Flexible 
  • Carbon fiber rails
Cons
  • Pricey

8. Ergon SME3 Pro

8. Ergon SME3 Pro
Ergon’s SME3 Pro Saddle is a piece of bike gear ultimately designed with the ease of the rider in mind. So, if you are interested in a saddle that you won’t have to give a second thought to while riding, then the SME3 Pro is likely the right one for you.
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Material:
The Ergon SME3 Pro is made with a carbon shell which contributes to this saddles lightweight build. The carbon is also designed to be extremely flexible which allows for easy motion with and around the saddle.

Shape:
The shape of the SME3 Pro allows for a more diverse unrestricted range of motion without any sort of discomfort. Many of this saddles users also say that had little to no issues with their clothes snagging due to this saddles specific design. As it is a little wider, it should be able to accommodate a heavier rider more comfortably.

Padding:
This bike saddle’s padding is both comfortable and evenly distributed, riders reporting little to no discomfort in regard to the padding placement.

Weight:
The SME3 Pro saddle is constructed from carbon in order to ensure that it is lightweight.
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Designed not to snag clothing
  • No uncomfortable designed aspects 
  • Materials allow for ease of movement
Cons
  • A little firm for some

9. Outerdo

This elongated bike saddle is offered in plenty of attractive color options. It features a cut out for pressure relief, a breathable covering, and comfortable foam padding. It's a great choice for both road bike riders or mountain bikers who want a supportive, good looking saddle.
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Material

Made of a leathery type of covering, the saddle is super durable. It won't easily rip apart and is able to wick moisture effectively. One reviewer did complain about tearing occurring but they were in the minority.

Shape

The bike saddle has an elongated shape and a hollow cut out to ensure pressure relief. The cut out also helps with ventilation. The slim shape also ensures that chafing doesn't occur.

Padding

The padding of this bike saddle is made up of foam material. It's super comfortable and ensures riders' bottoms can handle long rides. Some reviewers expected more padding but were surprised by how much they enjoyed riding with this saddle.

Weight

It's a lightweight saddle but not the lightest you can get. It's suggested use is with mountain bikes which don't necessarily require super lightweight components. A few reviewers actually found the seat was lighter than they expected.
Pros
  • Wicks moisture very well
  • Great air circulation
  • Well-padded with foam
  • Great for long rides
  • Excellent shock absorption
  • Budget price
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Some concerns about durability 

10. Zacro Gel

This bike saddle comes with a special cover to protect it for when you need to lock up your bike as you head into work or school. It's an extremely affordable option that's great for all types of bikes. The well-padded seat will help ensure riding remains a comfortable experience.
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Material

The bike saddle is made of a soft covering for added comfort. It also comes with a handy seat cover to protect the seat from the elements and dirt. The material is meant to withstand repeated use. Reviewers felt that they were getting a good quality saddle option.

Shape

A wider shape makes this a great option for riders who need a bit more impact protection as they cycle. It's a great choice for riders who want a comfort type seat for their commute.

Padding

Gel padding protects riders from the impact of riding. It's super well cushioned and riders love how well it protected them from bumps in the road. It makes riding a lot more comfortable. The padding does tend to compress after a while but at such a low price, this really isn't a big deal.

Weight

It's not the lightest out there but it's still suitable for really any kind of riding or bike.
Pros
  • Budget price
  • Comfortable gel padding
  • Comes with a protective cover
  • Quality design for the price
Cons
  • Some users had issues with adjustment 

Criteria We Used To Find The Best Bike Saddles

Material

What we’re referring to when it comes to material,  is the type of covering used on the saddle. Is the material soft or itchy? Does it cause chafing? Is it high-quality? We looked for models with coverings that reduced the potential for chafing, felt nice against bare skin, and were not prone to ripping or tearing. A durable covering will ensure you get the most value and use out of your bike saddle.

Shape

What kind of cycling will you be doing? What is your riding position? Riders who want to go fast will want a seat that features a slimmer profile so they can easily assume an aerodynamic riding position. For leisurely riders, a wider seat will ensure that upright riding feels comfortable. Pay attention to whether a particular saddle is made for men or women or is unisex, too. Bike saddles with cutouts can help reduce the amount of pressure put on the body during a ride and also help with breathability.

Padding

Padding provides comfort to the rider. But it’s not as simple as that. A generously padded bike saddle doesn’t necessarily translate to a comfortable ride experience. Some riders prefer firmer cushioning and others will choose softer padding for their behinds. That’s entirely up to you. Different types of padding materials will feel different on the body but it’s largely an individual preference. The options we chose to feature on this list all have some degree of cushioning and we selected models that deliver on their unique promises.

Weight

Weight is important if you’re interested in road racing. Sticking a clunky saddle on a carbon fiber bike is kind of counterproductive. If you’re looking to race go with the lightest option you can find. Some riders will end up choosing slightly heavier saddles and sacrifice overall weight to add a bit more comfort for their backside.

Other Important Factors to Consider

Price

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get yourself a quality saddle. Extremely lightweight models will cost more, as will vintage-looking seats made of leather, but otherwise, it’s all about what feels comfortable for your butt while you ride.

Types of Saddles

Depending on what kind of riding you’ll be doing, it’s important to note that there are different types of bike seats for different types of cycling scenarios. Road bike saddles tend to be lighter in weight and allow users to get into an aerodynamic position. For mountain biking, a saddle that allows you to easily maneuver your bike is important. If you want a mountain biking bike seat, go for more durable options. For leisurely riding, a comfort saddle is your best bet. These tend to be wider and have plenty of cushion for your underside.

Your Riding Position

How you ride your bike will depend on the type of bike you own, your handlebars, seat height, and the kind of riding you’re doing (Planning to go fast? Or are you enjoying a relaxed ride?). There’s a bit of personal preference involved, too. Choosing the correct saddle for your riding position is important.

Upright riders should opt for a wider seat with lots of padding. Since your body is upright, in this position you’ll be putting a lot of pressure on your backside. A generous amount of cushioning will help to ensure that rides in this position don’t fatigue your butt too much.

If you’re planning on riding a bit faster with a slight lean in your body then opt for a sport-type saddle. These are less wide, have a good amount of padding (but not too much) and these often feature grooves or cutouts for pressure relief.

If you need a bike saddle for racing, you’ll want the lightest option out there since you won’t want to weigh down your ride. These seats don’t have as much padding but they should still be comfortable for your body type.

Getting the Right Fit

It’s not just about riding position and matching your saddle to the type of riding you’ll be doing. Your body isn’t the same as another cyclist’s body. What works for you may not work for another. And, newsflash, your butt may be wider or narrower than someone else’s. How can you tell if a saddle fits correctly? Sit on the saddle you’re considering and make sure it supports your sit bones.

The Saddle Fits, Now What?

You’ve found the right bike saddle for your bum, it fits right, has the padding you want, and is the correct shape for the type of riding you intend to do. Great! That’s not the end of the story, though. You need to make sure your saddle is properly affixed to your bike. An improperly fitted saddle can cause discomfort so make sure you have it on correctly. Your saddle should be at the correct height for your body and some riders may need to adjust the saddle’s angle. If you’re unsure of the proper fit, just head over to a bike shop and get some help there.

Keep in mind, if you still feel uncomfortable with a correctly fitted saddle that’s been properly affixed, it might be you that’s the problem. Make sure you’re positioning yourself correctly when you ride. A few other things that might help alleviate butt numbness are a bike with a good suspension. if you’re not interested in swapping bikes, choose a bike saddle that comes with built-in suspension.

Women

Don’t settle for any old bike saddle. Opt for models that are specifically tailored to a woman’s body. A woman’s saddle is able to accommodate the unique mix of a smaller frame with wide hips.

Gel or Foam

These are the two most common types of cushioning found in bike seats. Gel is the softest of the two and is a great choice for leisurely rides. It’s less durable, though. Foam is able to bounce back after being compressed and is more supportive.

Style

Hey, let’s not forget the look of a bike saddle. It’s not going to make your ride more comfortable or enjoyable but there’s nothing wrong with opting for a saddle because it looks nice and makes your two-wheeled ride look super cool. Comfort and proper fit should be your primary considerations but it’s okay to want to match your saddle to your bike. A retro-looking comfort cruiser might benefit from having a sleek looking brown leather seat while a road bike might look a little weird with a big wide comfort saddle. If you need some styling tips, head over to Google image search for some inspiration.

FAQs

Q: Why does it matter what kind of bike saddle I get?

The wrong saddle for you will impede your their full range of motion as well as your ability to perform. It will also cause discomfort and may even cause unwanted aches and pains that will last a while–which it’s why it’s important to consider your specific needs before making your purchase.  

Q: What should I consider for leisure rides?

A wide seat is probably best for leisurely rides. The amount of cushioning will depend on what you like best, though.

Q: Does more cushioning means a more comfortable ride?

Not necessarily! Sometimes too much cushion can reduce the amount of support you receive. Just like a pair of running shoes, you want some cushioning to dampen your impact but you should also receive the stability and support you need as well.

Q: What’s the advantage of a wide bike saddle?

A wider bike saddle allows for additional positions and provides more comfort for heavier or wider riders.

Q: What’s the advantage of a leather bike saddle?

 Leather-made saddles don’t just look good, they are also much more breathable than saddles made from other materials.

Q: Should I try before I buy?

Absolutely, a bike saddle will feel different depending on the rider. Don’t just settle on an option because it works for them–try it for yourself first.

Sources

  1. Duncan Moore, Buyer’s guide: saddles, UK Cycling Specific Website, May 01, 2015
  2. Molly Hurford, Don't Make These Saddle-Buying Mistakes, Bicycling Magazine, Jul 19, 2015
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