How to Choose the Right Bike Saddle

When talking about bicycles, the saddle is one of the most important components, as it supports the most delicate parts of the cyclist's body. Choosing the right saddle may seem like an easy task, but it is not, since every single cyclist is different and with their specific needs (two cyclists with very similar physique may end up buying a completely different saddle). Furthermore, the market offers a huge variety of saddles, and sometimes one could find themselves a bit lost and confused by all these options. Therefore, choosing the right saddle is a hard task, but it is necessary to do it well to get the best out of the cycling person's experience.


  1. Image titled Choose the Right Bike Saddle Step 1
    Focus on what kind of cyclist you are. This is an important step to help you determine which saddle best suits your needs.
    • Do you use the bike for short rides on a mainly flat itinerary, i.e. for commuting or just for recreational use? Or are you a more professional cyclist? And if the latter is your case, do you prefer road cycling or mountain trails?
    • Do you do very long rides, or do you prefer short ones? Identifying what kind of bicycle rider you are will help you choose the best saddle for you.
  2. Image titled Choose the Right Bike Saddle Step 2
    Choose the cushioning. Depending on what kind of cyclist you are, you can choose between various types of cushioning. The most common are the following:
    • Foam: It is flexible, but at the same time, it gives support. There are various saddles depending on the foam's density. Generally speaking, longer rides require harder foam, while it is better to choose a softer saddle for short rides.
    • Gel: It is comfortable, absorbs shocks and vibrations and adapts to your body, but it also weights more than foam. In addition to this, gel can lose its softness with time and become hard.
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    Choose your saddle type. Now that you know everything about cushioning, you can move on and choose the saddle. Each one has its own characteristic, and each saddle is best suited for specific rides:
    • A general rule is that the more upright you are riding, the wider the saddle should be. Riding hunched over the bars on a wide saddle will cause much more pain than riding in the same position with a narrower saddle.
    • Racing saddle: It is narrow, tapered and quite hard. It's designed in order to avoid irritation, and to let the legs move freely. This kind of saddle shifts most of the cyclist's weight to the arms and legs. It is chosen mainly by professional cyclists going for long rides.
    • Comfort saddle: These saddles are much wider than racing ones and are softer, thanks to a more generous padding. They are designed to absorb shocks and let the cyclist ride comfortably. It is a good choice for recreational cyclists.
    • Cruiser saddle: Since cruiser bikes force you to maintain an upright position, these saddles have to bear most of your body's weight. For this reason, they have a great amount of cushioning and are wider than the previous two. In addition, they are suitable for occasional cyclists going for slow rides without too much effort.
  4. Image titled Choose the Right Bike Saddle Step 4
    Decide whether to use a standard saddle or a special one. This choice depends entirely on you, since each one of us is made differently. Some cyclists prefer nose-less saddles to standard ones, because they reduce irritation during long rides; others go for a saddle with a softer channel in the middle or even with a hole. These options are intended to reduce pressure on the most delicate parts of the body, i.e. the perineum and genitals.
    • If you are a woman, consider the possibility to purchase a specific woman saddle. These are generally wider because women tend to have wider hips than men. Finally, there are high-quality saddle retailers, where professional cyclists can purchase custom cycling saddles specifically designed following their specifications.
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    Try it. This guide may have helped you decide what kind of saddle may suit your needs, but the most important step to take is to try the saddle yourself. This is fundamental, because it is the only way in which you can realize if the saddle fits your body properly.

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Categories: Bicycles