It’s not uncommon for customers to walk into a bike shop and request the “most comfortable saddle” available. Clearly, they’ve suffered long rides perched on whatever torture device disguised as bike seat they’ve been using and have had quite enough. From a bicycle shop employee’s perspective, directing one towards the perfect saddle is an art in subtle information gathering. The Holy Grail equivalent of a bike saddle for one person could be a painful ride home for another. The main thing to consider when choosing a saddle is:
How is your body positioned on the bike?
If you are sitting in a upright position on your bike as on a cruiser, an old city bike or a hybrid, you should likely look for something adequately padded to compensate for the direct pressure you’re putting on your sit bones.
On the other hand, if you are riding more of a performance oriented bike such as a road bike, mountain bike, or road hybrid and your weight is distributed over the frame, a heavily padded saddle usually isn’t necessary. That being said, the narrow, lightweight saddles that you see on many road bikes are intended to be used in conjunction with cycling shorts that incorporate a chamois pad sewn in to protect delicate areas.
There are many saddles on the market utilizing all kinds of technology: gel padding, relief channels, carbon fiber rails, etc. There are advantages inherent to all of these but one thing is certain; the general level of quality, comfort, and aesthetics in bicycle saddles has gone up, resulting in a wide array of good saddles at affordable price points. Currently, we have a great selection of saddles in stock from the super cushy to traditional tensioned leather to ultra light performance. Stop by and check them out. We’ll be posting some of our favorites here.