Bike Seats and Saddles Buying Guides

The bike seat is the main part of the bicycle that determines your comfort for the duration of your ride. Many people simply stick with the saddle that comes with their bike of choice, but getting something more personalized can help you go the extra distance. A common misconception among some cyclists is that seat pain is inevitable. But with the proper seat, you can be comfortable through all of your rides, whether they are 10 miles or 100 miles. This guide will help you through the buying decision and make sure you find the right seat for your biking needs.    

Tips for Ending Seat Soreness

Buying a New Seat

So you've gone through the checklist above and you are still experiencing discomfort during your rides. Now it's time to pursue buying a new saddle. First thing you can do is ask some of your biking friends what they like about their seats. While everyone's bum is different, this might help you determine what features to look for in your new seat. The next step is to go into a store and try out a bunch of saddles to see which feels best. Keep in mind there are lot of different options. Below are some things to consider before making your purchase.


The main debate in the bicycle seat arena pins leather against plastic, while the new gel options are beginning spice things up. Your choice will depend on how far you plan to ride and how sensitive you are to moisture. People tend to find a material that fits and stick with it.

Saddle Features

As you may have read or heard there are many reports that have come out discussing the impact of regular bicycle riding on impotence in men. There is no clear-cut answer one way or another in this debate, but men should keep an eye out for any numbness in the groin. To handle what may or may not be a growing problem, saddles today come with a variety of features to ease pressure and increase blood flow. It is important to test out these features in a riding situation to truly gauge how it will help. Most high-end bike stores will allow you to test the seat on a stationary bike to get a feel for the various features. Remember, though, you can't test for how the seat feels on bumps and rough terrain when on a stationary bike.


Many new cyclists assume that a narrow bike seat is synonymous to an uncomfortable one. This is not always the case. Many people liken this to how most people assume that soft mattresses are best, while most people prefer something firm. Most distance riders, whether racing or touring, find a the narrow saddles more comfortable than the wider ones. Wide saddles fix you in a position and that is generally where you stay. This keeps pressure on one spot. Width is another thing you should test out in a "real" riding situation. Ask your retailer if you can test different widths to see what works best for you. Ladies, don't forget that you have different needs than the men and most bikes come fitted with a man's saddle. The obvious truth is that a woman's pelvic bone is constructed differently than a man's, which definitely impacts the saddles you choose. Female-specific saddles take this gender difference into account. These saddles are wider in the back, shorter from nose to back and feature more pronounced cutaways at the sides.

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