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The Best Road Bike Saddles of 2024

Staying comfortable on the bike is critical when riding on the road, so we tested 14 of the best road bike saddle on the market to help you find the right model to suit your needs and meet your budget.

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When it comes to comfort, your road bike saddle is arguably the most critical contact point on your bike. When road cycling, we spend lots of time sitting on our saddles, so finding the right one for riding style, body position, and, most importantly, that fits you properly is of the utmost importance.

By positioning and supporting the pelvis – the control center of the pedal stroke – the saddle influences the movement and comfort of the entire body, from the knees all the way up to the neck and shoulders. Finding the ideal saddle shape can be a process of trial and error, but by reading this guide, we hope you can hone in on suitable options and find your ideal saddle more easily.

We gathered a diverse group of 14 road bike saddles from well-established industry leaders, to lesser-known innovators, and tested them each for several weeks of daily riding. Review author, Bennett Shane, personally tested each saddle in this buyer’s guide, swapping between models for months while putting in miles and assessing factors like design, shape, comfort, pressure relief, and weight.

Our top picks are listed below along with the best of the rest that are all worthy options to consider. To view the specs of the models we tested at a glance, check out our handy comparison chart. If you need help deciding what’s right for you, our comprehensive buying advice is a great place to start, and our FAQ section provides answers to common questions.

Editor’s Note: This review was updated on February 27, 2024, with the addition of the adorable Ritchey Comp Cabrillo to our lineup, and to ensure the accuracy of the information provided for each product and in our buying advice.

The Best Road Bike Saddles of 2024


Best Overall Road Bike Saddle

Specialized Power Pro with Mirror

Specs

  • MRSP $325
  • Measured Weight 247g
  • Width Options 143mm, 155mm
  • Width Tested 155mm
  • Length 240mm
  • Material 3-D printed liquid polymer upper, nylon injected base
  • Rails Titanium, 7x7mm
Product Badge The Best Road Bike Saddles of 2024

Pros

  • Unbeatable comfort
  • Proven shape
  • Easy to position

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy for the price
The Specialized Power Pro with Mirror road bike saddle mounted on a test bike
It’s not the lightest, but the Specialized Power Pro with Mirror saddle is still one of the best on the market. (photo/Bennett Shane)
Best Value Road Bike Saddle

Prologo Dimension Space

Specs

  • MRSP $139
  • Measured Weight 225g
  • Width Options 143mm, 153mm
  • Width Tested 153mm
  • Length 245mm
  • Materials Nylon base, EVA foam, microfiber cover
  • Rails Titanium alloy, 7x7mm
The Best Road Bike Saddles of 2024

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Excellent perineal relief
  • Promotes an aggressive position
  • Wide enough!

Cons

  • A tad heavy
The Prologo Dimension Space road bike saddle
The Prologo Dimension Space saddle delivers comfort and performance at a reasonable price. (photo/Bennett Shane)
Runner-Up Best Road Bike Saddle

Fizik Vento Argo 00 Adaptive

Specs

  • MRSP $400
  • Measured Weight 188g (150mm, carbon rails)
  • Width Options 140mm, 150mm
  • Width Tested 150mm
  • Length 265mm
  • Material 3-D printed liquid polymer upper, carbon fiber base
  • Rails Carbon fiber 7x9mm
The Best Road Bike Saddles of 2024

Pros

  • Supportive and comfortable in both upright and aero positions
  • Looks great on a race bike

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • A little heavy for the price
Detail view of the Fizik Vento Argo 00 Adaptive road bike saddle
The Fizik Vento Argo 00 Adaptive is an elegant saddle that features a carbon fiber base and rails topped with a 3D-printed upper. (photo/Bennett Shane)
Best Endurance Road Bike Saddle

Brooks Cambium C15 Carved

Specs

  • MRSP $130
  • Measured Weight 435g
  • Width Options 140mm
  • Width Tested 140mm
  • Length 283mm
  • Material Vulcanized Rubber
  • Rails Aluminum, 7×7 round
The Best Road Bike Saddles of 2024

Pros

  • Classic looks
  • Firm and comfortable
  • Easy to position
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Cutout feels superfluous
The Brooks Cambium C15 Carved road bike saddle
Brooks saddles are renowned for their impressive comfort, and the Cambium C15 Carved continues that trend. (photo/Bennett Shane)
Best Road Bike Saddle for Racing

PRO Stealth Team

Specs

  • MRSP $220
  • Measured Weight 167g (142mm, carbon rails)
  • Width Options 142mm, 152mm
  • Width Tested 142mm
  • Length 255mm
  • Material Carbon reinforced polymer, EVA foam, carbon rails
  • Rails Carbon fiber 7x9mm
The Best Road Bike Saddles of 2024

Pros

  • Great support and comfort in aero riding positions
  • Looks great on race bikes
  • Lightweight
  • Reasonable price for carbon rails and low weight
  • Comes in "curved" version as well as "Performance" version with INOX alloy rails

Cons

  • None
Detail shot of the PRO Stealth Team road bike saddle.
With Stealthy looks, lightweight, and excellent comfort in aggressive riding positions, the PRO Stealth Team is a great racing saddle. (photo/Bennett Shane)
Another Good Value Road Bike Saddle

Bontrager Verse Comp

Specs

  • MRSP $100
  • Measured Weight 312g
  • Width Options 135mm, 145mm, 155mm, 165mm
  • Width Tested 145mm
  • Length 270mm
  • Materials Nylon base, EVA foam, microfiber cover
  • Rails Chromoly 7x7mm
The Best Road Bike Saddles of 2024

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable shape
  • Minimal branding
  • Integrated accessory mount

Cons

  • Heavier weight
The Bontrager Verse Comp road bike saddle with Blendr mount
It comes with a slight weight penalty, but the Bontrager Verse Comp is reasonably priced, super comfortable, and comes with the useful Blendr accessory mount. (photo/Bennett Shane)
Best Road Bike Saddle on a Tight Budget

Ritchey Comp Cabrillo Saddle

Specs

  • MRSP $60
  • Measured Weight 266g
  • Width Options 146mm
  • Width tested 146mm
  • Length 260mm
  • Material Nylon+glass fiber base, Air foam, microfiber cover
  • Rails Chromoly, 7×7 mm
The Best Road Bike Saddles of 2024

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable
  • Stylish
  • Reasonable weight for the price

Cons

  • Only available in one width
Best of the Rest

Fizik Vento Argo R3

Specs

  • MRSP $160
  • Measured Weight 220g
  • Width Options 140mm, 150mm
  • Width Tested 150mm
  • Length 265mm
  • Materials EVA foam upper, polyurethane base, Ki:um rails
  • Rails Ki:um (proprietary alloy), 7x7mm
The Best Road Bike Saddles of 2024

Pros

  • Minimal aesthetic
  • Reasonable price
  • Generous cut-out

Cons

  • Edges of cutout can create pressure ridges

Prologo Scratch M5 Space

Specs

  • MRSP $139
  • Measured Weight 230g (TiRox alloy rails)
  • Width Options 147mm (Space), 140mm (PAS)
  • Width Tested 147mm
  • Length 250mm
  • Material Carbon reinforced polymer, EVA foam, TiRox alloy rails
  • Rails TiRox alloy 7x7mm
The Best Road Bike Saddles of 2024

Pros

  • Great support and comfort in aero riding positions
  • Looks great on a race bike

Cons

  • Heavier weight

Trek RSL Bike Saddle

Specs

  • MRSP $315
  • Measured Weight 172g
  • Width Options 135mm, 145mm, 155mm
  • Width Tested 145mm
  • Length 250mm
  • Materials Carbon base, EVA foam, microfiber cover
  • Rails Carbon fiber 7×9
The Best Road Bike Saddles of 2024

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Minimal branding
  • Firm but comfortable
  • Blendr accessory mount

Cons

  • Expensive

Selle SMP Dynamic

Specs

  • MRSP $269
  • Measured Weight 292g
  • Width Options 138mm
  • Width Tested 138mm
  • Length 274mm
  • Materials Leather/Microfiber upper, nylon base, Ti rails
  • Rails Titanium 7x7mm
The Best Road Bike Saddles of 2024

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • Remarkable fore/aft pelvic stability

Cons

  • Heavier weight
  • Heavy branding
  • Polarizing aesthetics

Selle Italia SLR Boost TI 316 Superflow

Specs

  • MRSP $319.90
  • Measured Weight 168g
  • Width Options 130mm, 145mm
  • Width Tested 145mm
  • Length 248mm
  • Materials EVA foam upper, Fibra Tek cover, Ti rails, Nylon Shell
  • Rails TI 316, 7x7mm
The Best Road Bike Saddles of 2024

Pros

  • Light with metallic rails
  • Excellent build quality

Cons

  • Requires perfect setup
  • Hard to find the sweet spot
  • Expensive

Fabric Scoop Elite

Specs

  • MRSP $80
  • Measured Weight 263g
  • Width Options 142mm
  • Width Tested 142mm
  • Length 282mm
  • Materials Nylon, EVA foam, waterproof cover
  • Rails Chromoly, 7x7mm
The Best Road Bike Saddles of 2024

Pros

  • Classy aesthetics
  • Easy to Clean
  • Good support in more upright riding positions
  • Very reasonable price

Cons

  • Poor finish quality on rails
  • No cutout
  • Only available in one narrow-ish width

Velo Prevail TT

Specs

  • MSRP $198
  • Measured Weight 203g
  • Width Options 143mm
  • Width Tested 143mm
  • Length 244mm
  • Materials Ti Rails, EVA foam upper, polymer base
  • Rails Titanium 7x7mm
The Best Road Bike Saddles of 2024

Pros

  • Comfortable shape
  • Minimal branding

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Build quality could be better

Road Bike Saddle Comparison Chart

Saddle ModelMSRPWeightWidth OptionsLengthRails
Specialized Power Pro with Mirror$325247 grams143, 155mm240mmTitanium 7 x 7mm
Prologo Dimension Space$139225 grams143, 153mm245mmTiRox 7 x 7mm
Fizik Vento Argo 00 Adaptive$400188 grams140, 150mm265mmCarbon 7 x 9mm
Brooks Cambium C15 Carved$130435 grams140mm283mmSteel 7 x 7mm
PRO Stealth Team$220161 grams142, 152mm255mmCarbon 7 x 9mm
Bontrager Verse Comp$100312 grams135, 145, 155, 165mm270mmChromoly 7 x 7mm
Ritchey Comp Cabrillo Saddle$60266 grams146mm260mmChromoly 7 x 7mm
Fizik Vento Argo R3$160220 grams140, 150mm265mmKium 7 x 7mm
Prologo Scratch M5 Space$139230 grams140, 147mm250mmTiRox 7 x 7mm
Trek RSL Bike Saddle$315172 grams135, 145, 155mm250mmCarbon 7 x 10mm
Selle SMP Dynamic$269292 grams138mm274mmTitanium 7 x 7mm
Selle Italia SLR Boost TI 316 Superflow$319.90168 grams130, 145mm248mmTitanium 7 x 7mm
Fabric Scoop Elite Shallow
$80
263 grams142mm282mmCro-mo 7 x 7mm
Velo Prevail TT$198203 grams143mm244mmTitanium 7 x 7mm

Why Should You Trust Us?

For over a decade, the team at Bikerumor has been reporting on the latest cycling news, technologies, and products. Our crew of passionate cyclists spends lots of time on the bike, whether testing new bikes, components, accessories, or apparel, training for the next race, or riding just for the fun of it. All that time spent in the saddle has taught us the importance of having the right tools for the job, from finding the best handlebar tape to getting the right saddle so we can be comfortable for hours on end. We also know just how tough it can be to find the perfect one.

For our road bike saddle buyer’s guide, we tapped frequent Bikerumor contributor, Bennett Shane, to test and compare the 14 models included in this review. Bennett has been road cycling for over two decades and in that time has spanned the spectrum of riding disciplines. Though he hasn’t lined up for a race in a few years, he spent quite a bit of time rubbing elbows in crits and pelotons. These days he prefers to put in big miles on epic rides throughout the Pacific Northwest near his home base near Portland, OR. On top of his cycling experience, Bennett spent years working in the cycling industry for several prominent brands. This experience has given him unique insight into the product lifecycle as well as the design, materials, and construction of products spanning from apparel to components. When considered together, his experience in the industry and as a rider/consumer gives him an understanding of products from the inside out, and he has developed a keen ability to discern the performance differences in the products he tests. This year alone, Bennett has applied his testing expertise to several other categories including protective cycling helmets, the best road bike shoes, and cycling bib shorts.

After researching the best and most popular road bike saddles on the market, we rounded up 14 models for side-by-side testing and comparison. After weighing each model for comparison to the manufacturer’s specs, they were mounted up on Bennett’s small fleet of boutique road bikes and taken for numerous rides to get a feel for their shape, comfort, padding, anatomical relief, and most importantly, how they stack up against each other. After a couple thousand miles of testing, we honed in our favorite models and those that excel in specific ways compared to the rest.

Weighing the Prologo Scratch M5 Space road bike saddle
In addition to testing them all in the real world, we weighed all the saddles for consistency and comparison to the manufacturer’s specs. (photo/Bennett Shane)

Buying Advice: How to Choose a Road Bike Saddle

A good road bike saddle is critical for your comfort on the bike. With so many models, sizes, materials, and designs to choose from, finding the right saddle isn’t the most straightforward thing in the world. There’s a lot to consider when choosing a new saddle, so here we break down the most important factors to help you make a more informed purchase decision.

What Type of Riding do You do?

The type of riding you do, and most importantly, your body position while riding, plays a major role in the saddle that will work best for you. Racers and aggressive riders tend to lean forward more which results in more forward pelvic rotation. Often, riders in these powerful positions tend to prefer saddles with short lengths, flat side-to-side profiles, flat tip-to-tail profiles, and effective anatomical relief in the form of a cutout or channel. Riders who ride more casually or simply prefer a more relaxed body position for endurance riding may benefit from a somewhat rounded side-to-side profile and a slightly cradled tip-to-tail profile that provides more support. That said, there are no hard and fast rules, and the saddle that works best for you is the one that fits you well and provides long-term comfort.

Review author Bennet Shane road biking action shot
Finding a road bike saddle that fits your anatomy and suits your riding style and body position is critical for long-term comfort. (photo/Ben Guernsey)

Width and Sizing

Our bodies are all different, so finding the correct saddle width to suit your anatomy is one of the most important things you can do for comfort. Many people don’t realize that road bike saddles come in varying widths to accommodate different-sized and shaped bodies to get an ideal fit. The distance between our sit bones in particular is very important to consider as that is where the majority of our weight rests while seated. A saddle that is too narrow doesn’t provide enough support for the sit bones and can result in excessive pressure on the perineum or pubic bone arch and sensitive soft tissues. Likewise, a saddle that is too wide can cause discomfort by pushing outward on the hips or digging into your inner thighs and negatively impacting the pedal stroke.

Saddles range in width from around 125mm up to 160mm, generally speaking. Many saddles are offered in several different width options across this spectrum while others are available in only a single width. While many riders associate narrower sizes with reduced friction, an appropriately sized saddle can actually reduce friction and many other issues by promoting greater pelvic stability. Thankfully, you don’t have to guess your ideal saddle width. Most bike shops offer some type of measurement of the sit bones, which will tell you which saddle width is ideal for your anatomy. It is also possible to take this measurement at home, and you can easily find instructions on how to do so online. Many shops also have test saddles so you can try them before you buy to make sure they work for you. Several brands also offer comfort guarantees so you can try a saddle risk-free and send it back if it isn’t the right fit.

The large cutout of the Fizik Vento Argo R3 road bike saddle
Many road bike saddles, like the Fizik Vento Argo R3 pictured here, feature large cutouts intended to relieve pressure on sensitive parts of your anatomy. (photo/Bennett Shane)

Anatomical Relief

While road riding, we spend lots of time seated and pedaling with most of our weight resting on and around relatively sensitive parts of our anatomy. Almost every saddle being developed now will feature a central cutout or pressure relief channel of some sort. These cutouts or channels are intended to take pressure off of the perineal area which can help to increase comfort, maintain blood flow, and reduce the chances of numbness, irritation, and other issues that may arise. The idea is pretty simple, but the execution varies greatly from brand to brand and saddle to saddle. Some cutouts feel like little more than decoration, while others deliver legitimate pressure relief hour after hour of riding. Along with a good, well-fitting saddle, a quality pair of cycling bib shorts is an essential piece of kit that can enhance comfort over the course of your rides.

The side to side profile of the Trek RSL road bike saddle
The Trek RSL Saddle is a good example of a relatively flat side-to-side profile. (photo/Bennett Shane)

Saddle Profile: Side to Side

A saddle’s profile – the shape of the saddle from side to side across its widest part – is a key factor in comfort. Much like the width of a saddle, different profile shapes, typically flat or curved, may work better with people’s unique anatomies and different riding styles. Profiles vary from brand to brand and model to model, and some saddles, like the PRO Stealth Team, are even offered in both a regular and a curved version. Traditionally, saddle profiles were more rounded, as it was thought that a gradually curving profile would be more accommodating to the sensitive tissue around the pelvis. While this may still work for some riders, profiles have trended flatter in recent times. Flatter profiles promise to enhance lateral stability of the pelvis, which in turn takes pressure off the lower back, and encourages activation of the gluteal muscles during the pedal stroke. Another important benefit of a flat profile saddle is that it allows for more effective cutout designs. Cutouts in combination with a flat profile remove significant pressure from soft tissue and encourage a more even distribution of pressure across a wider section of the pelvis and surrounding muscles and soft tissue.

Also, it is important to bear in mind that a saddle’s profile can play a role in the effective width and where your sit bones rest on the saddle. A saddle that has a more rounded profile will effectively be narrower than its measured total width, while a flatter profile will be much closer to the actual width.

The tip to tail profile of the Selle SMP Dynamic road bike saddle
Tip-to-tail profiles vary significantly from flat to the heavily cradled shape of the Selle SMP Dynamic. (photo/Bennett Shane)

Saddle Profile: Tip to Tail

Another factor to consider is the profile of a saddle from tip to tail. For the most part, saddles are either fairly flat or have a slightly cradled shape. In general, a flat tip-to-tail profile is better suited to more aggressive, powerful, or aerodynamic riding positions with more forward pelvic rotation. Racers, powerful riders, and those who tend to move around the saddle typically gravitate towards a saddle with a flat profile. Saddles with a cradled profile typically lend themselves better to more neutral or relaxed body positions with less forward pelvic rotation. If you mostly ride from the hoods or the tops or go on long endurance rides, a saddle with a slightly cradled tip-to-tail profile may be the best option for comfort and support. An example of a cradled saddle is the Selle SMP Dynamic which has a relatively dramatic curved shape that locks the rider into the sweet spot for static seated pedaling.

The carbon fiber saddle rails on the Fizik Vento Argo 00 Adaptive road bike saddle
The material used in the rails of a road bike saddle is one of the biggest factors in both weight and price. The carbon fiber rails on the Fizik Vento Argo 00 Adaptive are 7 x 9mm and require a compatible seatpost or adapter. (photo/Bennett Shane)

Rail Material

Saddles are often offered in several versions with one of the main differentiators being the material used for the rails. Rail material plays a large role in overall saddle weight and price with lighter and more exotic materials commanding a higher price. The most common types of rails are steel, Chromoly, titanium, and carbon fiber (in order from heaviest/least expensive to lightest/most expensive). As an example, the Fabric Scoop Shallow comes in 5 versions, Sport (steel), Elite (Chromoly), Race (titanium), Pro (carbon fiber), and Ultimate (carbon rails and base). Not only do the different versions range in price from $42 (Sport) up to $285 (Ultimate), but the weights follow suit at 338 grams down to 162 grams, respectively, with the other versions falling in between those extremes.

Another factor to consider with rail materials is their size. Most metal rails are round and have standard 7 x 7mm dimensions that will work on virtually any seatpost. Carbon fiber rails allow saddles to cut upwards of 100 grams of weight but usually have 7 x 9mm rails. Carbon fiber rails may not be compatible with all seatpost clamps (or saddle bags for that matter), or you may need to get a special adapter to make them fit. If purchasing a saddle with carbon fiber rails, we recommend making sure that your seatpost is compatible. Carbon rails can also make saddles feel stiffer, which may or may not be desirable. Titanium rails achieve decent weight savings compared to chromoly or steel rails, will work on virtually any seatpost, and tend to give the saddle a bit more forgiving feel than carbon fiber rails.

The 3D-printed Specialized Power Pro with Mirror road bike saddle
3D-printed saddles are relatively new to the market and allow manufacturers to create interesting new designs and cushioning. The Specialized Power Pro with Mirror is one of the best saddles we tested. (photo/Bennett Shane)

3D Printing

3D printed saddles represent a significant step forward in saddle technology, by shifting away from traditional design which sandwiches foam between a plastic or carbon fiber base and a synthetic cover. Instead of bonding several layers, 3D-printed saddles are made of a latticework of liquid polymer that flexes precisely to the shape and movement of each rider’s unique anatomy and pedaling motion. Not surprisingly, two 3D-printed saddles received top honors among our test group, the Specialized Power Pro with Mirror and the Fizik Vento Argo 00 Adaptive. 3D-printed saddles are examples of true innovation in the cycling industry, and while they are more expensive, we feel they are worth the investment. In addition to the two models we tested, there are a number of other 3D-printed models from Specialized, Fizik, Selle Italia, and others.

A side view of the Bontrager Verse Comp road bike saddle that shows the adjustment markings on the rails
There are several ways to adjust your saddle to optimize its comfort including sliding it fore and aft on the rails, angling the nose up and down, and, of course, setting it at the right height. (photo/Bennett Shane)

Adjusting Your Saddle

Some fine-tuning of saddle position is almost always necessary to achieve the proper position and optimize comfort for your anatomy and riding style. Adjustments include tilting the nose up and down, sliding the saddle fore and aft (within the adjustment range of the rails), and adjusting the height by telescoping the seatpost in the bike frame. A great place to start is with the saddle clamped in the middle of its rails, and perfectly level, then make adjustments as needed. You can use a spirit level or eyeball it with a ruler. Keep in mind that not all saddles have the same amount of stack (the vertical distance between the rails and the top of the saddle), so if you change saddles, you may also need to adjust the saddle height slightly. If you’re unsure of how to adjust your bike saddle, a professional bike fit can be a great way to dial everything in on your ride.

Women’s Saddles

All of the saddles we tested are unisex and are used by both male and female riders. There are a number of women-specific saddles on the market, however, that are designed to work better for female riders. While many female riders get along fine with the dimensions, shapes, and profiles of unisex saddles, some ladies may benefit from a women-specific model. While they look essentially the same as unisex models, many women-specific saddles are offered in wider widths to accommodate wider sit bones and some may also have larger cutouts to enhance comfort for the female anatomy.

The Prologo Dimension Space road bike saddle is a good value
Sure, you can spend $400 or more on a road bike saddle, but realistically, something like the $139 Prologo Dimension Space will serve most riders just as well. (photo/Bennett Shane)

Price

The cost of road bike saddles varies wildly from less than $60 all the way up to $400 or more. Spending top dollar on a saddle typically gets you fancier materials like carbon fiber, more advanced construction methods like 3D printing, and typically a significant reduction in weight compared to the least expensive options. In the grand scheme of things, the weight penalty of less expensive saddles isn’t that significant, and often they are just as comfortable as more expensive versions. A good example is the Prologo Dimension Space, which at $139 is 1/3 the price of the $400 Fizik Vento Argo 00 Adaptive. The Prologo Dimension weighs only about 40 grams more, has a great shape, a functional pressure relief cut out, and comes in two widths to suit your needs. Similarly, the Bontrager Verse Comp retails for $100 and provides a nearly identical level of comfort to the $315 Trek RSL, although it weighs 140 grams more. And, if you’re operating on an even tighter budget, the Ritchey Comp Cabrillo gets the job done for $60. So, unless weight is your highest priority, you don’t need to shell out the big bucks for the fanciest models on the market. That said, if you’re willing and able to afford the best of the best, we doubt you’ll be disappointed assuming the fit is right.

Frequently Asked Questions About Road Bike Saddles

How do I know what size saddle I need?

When we talk about saddle size, that is mostly related to saddle width. Road bike saddles come in a range of widths, from approximately 125mm to 160mm (give or take). If you already have a saddle that works well for you, it may be as simple as getting one that is roughly the same width. That said, getting your sit bones measured is the best way to zero in on the correct size to suit your anatomy. Most shops have sit bone measurement tools, and often they have test saddles that you can try out.

Which saddle is the most comfortable?

Saddle fit and comfort are highly subjective and depend on many factors. Everyone’s body is different, so the most comfortable saddle for you may be completely different than for someone else. Finding a saddle that is the right width and profile are two of the most important aspects when it comes to comfort. Adjusting it properly will also play a big role. Whenever possible, trying a saddle before you buy is the best way to ensure it will work for you. Or, if buying online, saddles with a comfort guarantee are a low-risk way to find your perfect match.

Why are some road bike saddles so expensive?

It really all comes down to the materials and construction methods. Saddles with carbon fiber rails, bases, and 3D-printed tops are expensive to produce and therefore cost more than models made with less exotic materials and simpler constructions. Like many things in cycling, spending more also equates to a reduction in weight which may be important to many riders and racers. Assuming you’re okay with carting around 100-150 extra grams, there are plenty of comfortable saddles that are a fraction of the price of the top-of-the-line models.

Do I need a saddle with a cut-out?

Full cutouts or channels are common on most road bike saddles these days. While many people can and do ride saddles without them, most people can benefit from having this feature. Cutouts and channels are designed to keep pressure off the perineum in men or pubic bone arch in women with the goal of enhancing long-term comfort, increasing blood flow, and preventing numbness and pressure-related issues that may arise. This is of particular importance for riders who spend lots of time in more aggressive riding positions with the upper body hinged further forward, as this rotates the pelvis forward and can result in more pressure on sensitive soft tissues.

How should my saddle be positioned?

Proper saddle positioning is critical for comfort and performance, and dialing it in perfectly is often a process of trial and error. While many people can find comfort with their saddle positioned perfectly flat and in the middle of the rails, others may need to shift the angle, height, and fore-aft position to optimize it for their body or riding style. Saddle height is generally fairly straightforward and is necessary to achieve proper leg extension during the pedal stroke. Sliding the saddle fore and aft on the rails can lengthen and shorten your reach to the handlebar. Adjusting the tilt angle of the saddle can help to optimize its position for the right amount of support for your body position while riding. When in doubt, consulting with a skilled bike fitter is a great option to get your bike dialed in.

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