It is crucial to find the right saddle for your road bike. However, this is often forgotten. You might have a broken or worn-out seat, or maybe you don’t like the way it feels so you decide to buy a new one. While you might be able to afford a top-of-the-line road bike, you will not notice how uncomfortable the saddle is if it’s used with the wrong saddle.
We decided to compile a comprehensive guide that included the top saddles on the market. The right choice can make the difference between a great ride and a struggle to get comfortable on a chair.
However, saddle buying can be subjective. One rider’s experience with a saddle will not be the same for another. This is our simplified advice: If your old saddle was comfortable, you can get a new one that has the same design. You can always change your saddle if you don’t like it.
Shimano Pro Stealth Saddle
The Shimano Pro Stealth Saddles are designed for comfort on aerobars and in drops. They also provide an efficient and aggressive performance, making them ideal for road races and trials. These saddles are extremely well-made, with a relief channel and a wide cutout. This allows cyclists to use more of their front while remaining on the TT bars or drops for longer.
Many riders love the comfort of padding on the saddle. It is firm but not too hard. It is not too soft that it impedes your bike’s ability to move. It is slightly rounded when viewed from the front or rear, making it a comfortable riding surface.
Pro saddles are lightweight and well-known for their comfort. They can be used on drops, aero bars or on the hoods. The genius saddles’ paddle positioning makes these amazing benefits possible. Shimano also incorporated strengthening bridges into its one-piece carbon reinforced base to ensure the product’s stiffness. This allows for great power transfer.
Riders can mount race number mounts and an action camera with the included mounts. The Shimano Pro Stealth saddles are unisex, making them suitable for both men and women. We have heard that the saddle is most comfortable to cyclists who prefer to sit in the middle of it.
The Charge Spoon Cromo Saddle
Spoon is an affordable aftermarket roadbike saddle. This saddle is what you would get if your goal was to replace an existing saddle or upgrade to a more powerful model. It is not a replacement for a stock saddle, but it does perform.
It is made by British bikemaker Charge and costs around $35. With some adjustments, it can fit most modern road bikes. It’s lightweight and affordable, features a pressure relief channel, and is suitable for all riders. The synthetic fabric is very durable and does a great job at staying dry. This seat comes in a stiff, hard shell when it is first purchased. It will be uncomfortable for the first 10-15 rides. However, once it starts to soften up, it will be much more comfortable than the price suggests. This saddle should not be used before you go on a long century ride or similar. This seat is an excellent replacement for the high-quality upgrade seats on most bikes.
Fizik Arione Saddle
Fizik, pronounced “physique”, has a great reputation on the market because they only make excellent bike accessories, such as saddles and bar tape. Fizik makes high-end saddles, some as expensive as $400. However, the Arione is their entry level saddle. Fizik doesn’t make starter saddles, so we take the term “entry-level” with caution. Their entire lineup is high quality, and they often offer an upgrade to the stock saddles on bikes. The Arione is a great saddle that retails under $100. We have found them to be great replacements for saddles on Felt bikes due to their similar design. The Arione is a great choice for road cyclists and triathletes, who often use aerobars or drops. The seat has enough cushion to withstand long rides, but the padding is not too firm. We rode this saddle for
about 80 miles and had no problems with break-in. This saddle is a great choice from the beginning.
Selle Italia SLR Kit Carbonio
Selle Italia is the oldest saddle-maker in this list, having been in business for over 120 years! The Selle Italia saddle is lightweight at 130g, durable, and offers exceptional aerodynamics. The Carbonio is a great choice for gear-lovers who want everyone to be ultra-lightweight. This saddle is an upgrade for most bikes and will be a favorite of riders who prefer a stiff and narrow saddle.
You will feel extraordinary comfort with the Selle Italia saddle due to its unique shape, EVA foam padding and other features. This makes it an attractive choice for pros and amateurs alike. It has titanium rails and high flexibility. It is relatively flat from front to back, which allows for the anatomic cut-out to relieve pressure down the middle. It is crucial to get the tilt right for this saddle. If it appears flat, it can cause you to want to slide forward. This can be easily fixed by a slight tilt-back adjustment.
Guide to Buying Road Bike Saddles
When searching for the ideal road bike saddle, the comfort is the most important thing to consider. You will forget about your saddle while riding. Look at reviews and consider the opinions of others who have used the saddle. Also, take note of saddles that you’ve liked in the past. There are only 3-4 main saddle designs on the market. You should know which ones work and which ones don’t.
Let’s now talk about sizes and shapes. Everybody is different, so make sure you choose the best product for your needs. The narrow, flat saddles will work well for you if you are riding in a long, low position with your back flat. Wider, curved saddles will be a better choice if you prefer to sit higher and push the seat back. It has been proven that men can experience a link between cycling and their sexual health. Avoid high-end racing seats with long noses if you have a tendency to feel numb or impotent after cycling. Instead, choose a seat that is more comfortable and has a wider weight distribution. If you are concerned about impotence or numbness, a design such as the one found on
Shimano Pro Stealth with the relief channel (above) is a good choice.
You can measure your sit bones width to make sure the saddle you’re buying fits your sitting position. Your sit bones (everyone does). They should be positioned so that they are perfectly flat on the saddle surface. For example, a saddle that is too narrow might make it difficult for your sit bones align properly. A saddle that is too wide can cause a problem with smooth pedal strokes.
Make sure to pay attention to the seatpost that you’ll be attaching. It is important to make sure that it all works together. You should also consider small details, such as if your tube and seatpost are angled or if you intend to use a trailer with your bike. These seemingly small things could play a role in your decision. Particularly when pulling a trailer, a stronger seat might be required at the cost of adding weight. Use a torque wrench whenever you attach a saddle to a post. Today’s bicycles are made of carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is extremely strong but can be cracked by overtightening the seat.
We recommend comfort over the components or weight of your saddle. However, we also know that some people are very into the design. Carbon shells can be lighter than those made of polymer or stronger plastics and absorb road vibrations. You need to ensure that your rails are compatible with your seat clamps when you make your purchase. Avoid rough patches and seams when looking at covers. These can cause discomfort and even create holes in your clothes. It is essential to have padding. Many road bike saddles have complex, thin padding. However, there are some riders who prefer more rigid saddles with less padding.
Remember that the saddle is only one part of the comfort equation. Many people are convinced their new saddle is not right for them. However, they later discover that it was the angle or positioning of the saddle that caused the problem. It is a good idea to take pictures of your saddle while it is still attached to the bike and from different angles. This will enable you to replicate the position of your old saddle with your new one, assuming that you are comfortable on it. You can feel a huge difference in how the saddle feels by making a small adjustment to its position, pitch, or forward/backward alignment. Before you give up on buying a new saddle, adjust, refine, then repeat until you feel satisfied.