ALTHOUGH small and relatively inexpensive, a bike saddle is easily one of the most important components on your bike.
It’s so key because, in tandem with your shorts or bib shorts, it’s the main point of contact between you and your bike.
Ultimately, your bike can be as flash and expensive as you want, but if the saddle isn’t comfortable, it could be unrideable.
Finding the right saddle for you, therefore, is crucial, and because everyone’s shape and build is different, each person will have a different preference.
Riding style also comes into play, with someone who rides on the drops of a road bike’s handlebars wanting something different to a person riding in the upright position typical of a hybrid bike.
As a result, there is a wide variety of saddles available, with differences in material, shape, padding and whether there’s a cut-out (a hole in the middle of the sear) or not.
If you get the right mix for you, saddle discomfort could soon be a thing of the past. Read on to find some of the best bike saddles on the market.
1. Fabric Scoop Shallow Elite Saddle
- Scoop Shallow Elite Saddle, £44.99 from Tredz – buy here
The Scoop from British brand Fabric comes in a variety of builds, ranging from the £45 Elite up to the £200 Ultimate.
It also comes in three shapes; the road racing focused ‘Flat’, the ‘Shallow’ endurance platform, and the trail-absorbing ‘Radius’.
The entry-level Shallow Elite is a worthy upgrade to most saddles that are included on complete road, hybrid or endurance-focused mountain bikes.
Although it is streamlined and looks perfect for a slick road racing machine, it can also hold its own on the mountain bike trails thanks to lightweight foam and a waterproof microfibre material that is easy to clean.
2. Fizik Arione Classic
- Arione Classic, £69.99 from Wiggle – buy here
Fizik is renowned in the world of road cycling for high-quality saddles, and its Arione platform is suited to those taking on longer weekend rides or sportives.
It has a special technology called ‘Wing Flex’ that allows the saddle to adapt and bend slightly on its edges while riding, meaning the saddle both supports you when you’re seated and moves with your pedal stroke, rather than fighting against your thighs’ movement.
The shell is a carbon-reinforced nylon and it’s built for years of heavy use, while the rails that connect it to the seat post are lightweight, strong and resistant to the elements.
3. Brooks B17
- B17, £69.99 from Tredz – buy here
If looking for an all-rounder, then the B17 from British brand Brooks is something of a classic.
The saddle has been around for more than a century in one form or another and is still the company’s best seller – and for a number of good reasons.
Not only will it make any commuter, road or mountain bike look great, but it will leave you with a comfortable ride too.
The leather cover improves with use, and becomes unique to you and your riding style once broken in after a few journeys, while its high-quality construction in Birmingham will outlast the included 10 year guarantee.
It’s also available in a women’s specific build.
4. Specialized Henge Comp
- Henge Comp, £84 from Evans Cycles – buy here
If there’s a discipline of cycling where a saddle can make all the difference to a day on the bike, it’s mountain biking. And the Henge Comp by American brand Specialized manages to do just that.
Perfect for both cross country or all-out downhill mountain biking, the saddle has extra padding to help dampen vibrations, while its low-friction cover will make moving around on the saddle pain-free.
What’s more, the saddle is lightweight-yet-durable, meaning it can withstand even the toughest trails and the odd spill.
5. Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow Vanox
- Diva Gel Flow Vanox, £76.37 from Tredz – buy here
Everyone’s build is different, and this is most obvious when it comes to the difference between what comes into contact with a saddle with men and women.
This makes women-specific saddles crucial, and the Diva Gel Flow by Italian brand Selle Italia is the best of the bunch.
The inclusion of a cut-out helps relieve stress on delicate areas, and should help to improve comfort over long rides.
An additional gel insert under the cover boosts overall rideability, helping to keep you out on your bike and in the saddle for longer.
MORE FROM SUN SELECTS HEALTH AND FITNESS
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