We asked which bike saddle was the most comfortable for cycling and you responded with a big range of different brands and models!
If you’re considering a new saddle for your bike and read this list, you’re going to have a lot of choices to suffer over before you make a decision. Heck, I’m eyeing several of them and I like my saddle!
Did we leave out your favorite? Hit reply to the RBR newsletter and tell us about it, or leave a comment on this post so we can add it to the page.
Bisaddle Adjustable Bike Saddle
The Bisaddle is a noseless adjustable saddle. Expert coach and bike fitter Rick Shultz highly praises this saddle, which avoids genital pressure and also allows full adjustability so that you can get the width of the saddle exactly how you like it. I’ve been using it on my smart trainer, and it solved all my discomfort issues there, and now I only need to wear a single pair of cycling shorts instead of doubling up. Read our full review of the Bisaddle here. See the manufacturer page.
I love the Kontact Saddle. I discovered through RBR and finally tried it last year. I absolutely love and just got a second one for another one of my road bike.
It is the one created by Joshua Cohen who did an ebook for RBR. I read the ebook first and some of the info on the Kontact website. I appreciated the research that went into it and figured I would give it a try.
I had been using the same type of saddle for a long time. San Marco Concor. Which at some point started to not feel as good as it used to. The Kontact was definitely a different feel, but at the end of long rides I was feeling really comfortable still. I really could not believe it. Used it for century a few months after getting it and have never felt that comfortable after such a long ride ever.
Seat – Meld 3D. I’ve used about 6 different saddles over the years, tried at least another dozen for a day or more. This is by far the most comfortable of all.
The customization process was very easy. Yes, I was concerned I might spend money on a saddle I might not like. As soon as I sat on it, I was reassured it was money well spent. The saddle before that was my second Selle SMP – sized properly to fit, also quite comfortable. But in A-B-A comparison, the Meld is much more comfortable. My riding buddy got himself one after my positive review. He also had gone through a number of saddles trying to get a good fit. He has the same + experience with Meld.
I have a Meld bicycle saddle. You guys did an article on it a while back. 2 friends and I have bought the Meld saddle. It’s the best saddle I have ever owned by far. It’s literally molded to my ass!
2 friends had bought the Meld seat so I was too worried. Also, a decent seat costs about the same and there’s no guarantee that I would like an expensive stock saddle.
I liked the saddle right from the start, but after a few rides I knew there was no comparison to my older seat. The only bad thing was my favorite bib’s seam was at a contact point on the seat, so now I no longer wear those bibs. The seat is great with all my other bibs.
Our own John Marsh also reviewed the Meld saddle in detail for Road Bike Rider.
Favorite saddle-Brooks B-17 Cambium
Brooks B-17 forever! Fortunately, the B-17 fits me straight out of the box. I do retention and use Profide occasionally and carry a seat cover. The weight is not an issue for me.
Brooks Cambium C-17, I’ve used the C-15, the C-17 with the Cut Out, but the regular first the C-17.
I’ve also ridden Advocet III, Selle San Marco (another favorite), Some no names
4 years ago I went to buy a used Brooks B17 for my aluminum Trek hybrid commuter and ended up buying the entire ’80’s model Fuji that came with it for $130! Since then I’ve purchased a Gunner Fastlane which I supplied with a Brooks Pro: it wears in slow but wears like iron! And very comfortable. I just bought my second Pro, a titanium model, and moved the ‘old’ one to my Fuji. Life is good for my butt…
Road Bike Rider has also reviewed the Brooks B-17 in detail.
Fizik Saddle (Multiple Models)
When I first got into long-distance cycling, a couple of local bike shops had several brands of loaner saddles and during an entire summer, I lost count of how many I tried. My fanny hated each and every one. Then a friend who is a professional bike-fitter recommended the Fizik Aliante. Having already tried the Arione from that company without success I was skeptical but one ride on the Aliante was INSTANT RELIEF. I have several bikes and each now has that saddle.
I agree with Layne – the Aliante saddles have worked for me. They have three classes of saddle, depending on your “Spine Cocept” ie your flexibility and position on the bike:
Snake: High body flexibility and no pelvic rotation whilst pedaling. You need a flat saddle.
Chameleon: Medium body flexibility and low pelvic rotation whilst pedaling. You need an in-between saddle.
Bull: Low body flexibility and high pelvic rotation whilst pedaling. You need a waved saddle.
I bought a Bull saddle online (ie. without trying it) and it IMMEDIATELY improved my comfort. I now have these on both of my bikes. It’s allowed me to ride longer and further.
Which saddles do I think are the most comfortable? Obviously everyone will be different but for my regular road bikes I really like the Fizik line, I have both the Arione R3 and the Aliante Gamma and like them equally well, but I also have a Specialized Phenom Expert with ti rails and it’s also nice. For my touring bike I only use the Brooks B17 with ti rails, it works very well in a more upright riding position. I have other saddles too that are older which are no longer and I don’t ride the bikes their on as much buy they all work great.
I ride the Selle Anatomica leather saddle. this is the most comfortable saddle I’ve had since my Wright Saddle that I rode in the 70s. I don’t get any numbness, and I can adjust the tightness of the saddle as the leather stretches. I only have to use chamois cream on rides over 50 miles.
Selle anatomica X series Watershed
I’m a Randonneuse and ultra-endurance racer, so long-distance comfort is key!
Terry Fly Ti saddle
I use Terry saddles Fly Ti on my road bike and the Liberator on my touring bike. I have ridden self supported cross country and the Pacific Coast NO PROBLEMS!
This reader has developed his own saddle, and is trying to get it manufactured!
“As I recall, thinking about sit bones (ishial tuberosity) was what first prompted me to develop a saddle. For bio-mechanically, paired sit bones equally bear sitting weight. But what hit-me-like-a-brick was that pedaling raises only one leg at a time into a sitting-like position! So might each bone then bear excessive weight? And if so, shouldn’t some means of dynamically displacing and re-balancing that weight be the solution? …My first test was to half-fill an old-fashion water-bottle, place it on top of my Brooks, and precariously feel what it was like. The result? Ooh yeah, you’ve really got to try it! :-)”
David Porter, saddlebones.com
Specialized Power Saddle
I’ve struggled with saddle discomfort for a long time. After testing many saddles it became clear that I need two features in a saddle: a center cutout to relieve pressure and a wider than normal width even though my sit bone spacing measures in the ‘normal’ range for typical saddle width. All my bikes currently run the Specialized Power saddle as it offers me both of those features and I find it quite comfortable. The shorter length certainly has an odd and polarizing look, but it works for me.
Until recently, I pretty much rode what came with the bike. Only exception was my road bike, but even then, I just went with a relatively stock Specialized saddle to replace the original.
I’m in N+1 mode with a Seven on order, so I wanted to saddle it up right.
My first choice was the Brooks Cambium C15. I liked the ride, but it was way too heavy.
Next, I tried the Brooks Cambium C13. Acceptable weight, but at 130mm, too narrow.
The Cambiums interested me for appearance reasons. I was looking for classic to go with titanium. But neither worked, so I turned elsewhere.
Selle Italia Flite TM: ride was good, but graphically too busy.
Fizik Antares (I think): looked good online, but odd fabric/plastic hybrid looked goofy in person. Ride was okay, not as good as the Selle.
Fabric Scoop Flat: good look, good ride, have a couple of mixed terrain efforts under my belt. Sticking with it … until something better comes along.
I ride an SMP Composite. I’ve ridden somewhere around 200,000 miles since I was in my 30’s on various seats. The SMP just seems to fit me perfectly. This is my second go around with this seat. a I tried it 6 or years ago and rode for about a year, at which point I decided it was just too hard. The advent of modern shorts has made it very ridable though and I have them on both the tandem and my single bike. The first time I tried one, I said “wow, that’s a great fit”, but after a few miles my butt said ‘what’s wrong with you”. It’s pretty unrideable for me without a good chamois.
I have ISM saddles on my road bike, tandem and spinner. I tried a couple of SQLab saddles but wasn’t able to adjust them so that they felt as comfortable as the ISM saddles. I used to stand up every few miles with my older saddles to keep from going numb. I don’t have to stand up with the ISM saddles. I had a Brooks Pro on my road bike back in the 1960-70’s and thought it was comfortable at the time. I should have kept it instead of selling it with a bike.
My Saddle(s) – ISM model PL 1.0 – Why…? The saddle is designed quite differently than most others… Focus is on your ‘sit bones’… In three years of riding these saddles I have never experienced numbness in one’s private parts that all other saddles often cause…
The biggest challenge to using a ISM saddle is getting the saddle adjusted correctly. Most people when they replace a saddle measure from the nose to handlebar. The ISM saddle with a shortened nose means you need to work from where your sit bones are relative to the down tube. Essentially what it takes is a few rides with an ‘Allen Wrench’ and a few stops along the way adjusting height, angle and reach until you get it right..
There is enough of a nose on an ISM saddle that the shorter nose does not affect your handling of the bike… Once I installed the saddle, I never looked back or had the desire to return to a previous regular saddle.
There are many variations of an ISM saddle with regard to width and padding levels… The company offers the local bike shops demo saddles… I tried three or four before I found the right saddle for my butt and ride style. About a year later I bought a second ISM saddle with less padding (30 vs 40)… I then installed the original 40 saddle on my back up bike… I liked the 30 level padding better and purchased a second PL 1.0 saddle for it, as I ride it about 25% of the time…
For your question about game-changing saddles: the InfinitySeat has been a game-changer for me. Absolutely no discomfort now. Rode an Ironman on this saddle in tri shorts and had a happy bottom the whole way.
SQ Lab 612 Ergowave Active S-Tube Saddle
Just got a new bike a couple weeks ago. On recommendation, I put a SQ LAB 612 ERGOWAVE ACTIVE S-TUBE RAIL saddle on it. I’ve only done 4 rides of +/- 20 miles each, but so far it’s the most comfortable saddle I’ve ridden. All the pressure’s on my sit bones and everything else feels great! I’m looking forward to the time and weather to do longer rides on it. Before this, I rode the Selle Italia Lady Gel Flo on all my bikes for years and years. I’d recommend that saddle as well, but I think the SQ Lab saddle is going to be more comfortable over distance.
For your readers: New cycling saddle technology – shows LOW to NO perineum pressure issues. The V-o2 bike saddle.
Coach Rick Schultz
You might also be interested in these other great related articles:
Which Saddle Will Stop Crotch Pain?
Search for the Ultimate Saddle
What’s the Trick to Nixing Crotch Numbness?
RBR Favorites: The Seat Bags We Use
Cycling Aches and Pains Part 1: A Pain in the Butt
David Frost says
I ride asymmetrically – my right Ischial Tuberosity is lower than the left – so every plastic base saddle that I’ve tried gets uncomfortable after about 30 miles. I tried a Selle An-Atomica, but it’s more triangular shape (looking down) chafed my inner right thigh (related to that same asymmetry), and have had several Brooks B-17 and Pro over the last 35 years. But I love my Gilles Berthoud Aravis (over 8000 miles of use) and the Rivet Independence Allroad (non-slotted version with 1000 miles). They’ve broken in to my asymmetry, and the forward portions are kind to my thighs. I would have two Aravis, but one bike needed the slightly longer rails of that Rivet model.
David Le Fevre says
“I ride asymmetrically – my right Ischial Tuberosity is lower than the left”
I had the same problem for almost forty years. An X-ray had confirmed it. My left ischial tuberosity was lower than the right one, and so I had to fit wedges under the right saddle rail.
And despite that, it transpired that my pelvis WASN’T inherently asymmetric, merely misaligned. Seven years ago, pelvic alignment cured the problem. Without it, I would no longer be riding (due to the pain).
I’m not a doctor, I know nothing about your case. However, it sounds remarkably similar to mine.
Might be worth contacting a pelvic alignment guy? My guy is in London, and I assume that most people commenting here are in US.
Fizik Arione, especially, Arione Versus
Yeah the Fabric Scoop flat is awesome. I use one on my commuter bike too, and it’s perfectly comfortable wearing any type of pants. Excellent design, by far the most comfortable saddle I’ve ever used (I have dozens of rejects in the garage). Durability has also been excellent.
I’ve tried a few “hole in the middle” saddles (e.g. Specialized, Selle Italia) and they were universally excruciating, the specialized was the most uncomfortable saddle I’ve ever experienced.
Dr. Ted Trout-Landen says
After 20+ years and many a “butt” pains later, I came across the Infinity saddle through the I Love Road Cycling fb group. What a game changer! Prior to this I was in real pain on my Ischial Tuberosities, couldn’t ride more than 30 miles. Now I am totally relieved of pain – wow!
Bill Wightman says
I have to agree and the Infinity is probably where I will stop. The ISM seats were 80% of the way there and the Infinity solid plastic with a thin seat cover is essentially perfect for my anatomy. My solid plastic Infinity seat does not appear to wear over time as there is no upholstery. I have used a generic seat cover for about 2 years and it is doing some minor foam oxidation and cracking. The Infinity seat requires that you be more cradled fore and aft than most saddles. It seems to operate on the idea that the common pain surfaces (most of the center) could be (and have been) deleted from the saddle, and a small margin of surface area has been added back along the outside. This makes the saddle feel initially bigger but with missing support in the middle (which you get over quickly when you realize that nothing ever hurts after a long ride). I put the cover on simply to make the saddle look more normal.
Andrea s says
Too bad we don’t have more women commenting on saddles. Our anatomy and comfort issues are very different from men, in my opinion. I have yet, after 30 years riding, to find a consistently comfortable saddle. I have about 7 different makes and models that are each comfy for maybe 1,000 miles. So, i change them out regularly. This helps saddle sores and other issues.
Road Bike Rider says
We would also love to hear more feedback from women and add it here. So far, both the Selle Anatomica and the Infinity Seat have recommendations by women.
Sheri Rosenbaum says
I use Specialized Lithia Comp saddles on all four of my bikes. I’ve tried at least 30 other saddles and keep coming back to this one.
Brooks Flyer saddles.
No more low back pain from road shock and great up to 130 mile century rides so far.
Well worth the weight. Pays its way every gram.
I also ride in sneakers with MKS Touring rat traps on my road bike all distances. Eliminated foot and knee issues from clipless.
Henry Adams says
Fizik Aliante bull on the summer bike for longer distances and Selle Italia flite flow on the winter bike.
I ride montrose carbon very comfortable
Brian Nystrom says
I’ve been riding E3 (now called Kontact) saddles for many years and they’re by far my favorite, but I don’t use them as they come out of the box. I make two modifications:
– I find that the forward corners of the back of the back of the saddle are too pointed and dig into my legs. Using a heat gun judiciously, I warm the underside of the shell until it’s pliable enough to bend the corner downward slightly. This has the effect of rounding the corner and makes the saddle much more comfortable.
– I also remove the cover and sand a groove down the center of the saddle from the rear to withing an inch or so of the tip. This reduces pressure on the perineum and again, adds greatly to the comfort of the saddle. The cover glues back on easily with contact cement.
Check out John Cobb’s website cobbcycling.com
Lots of great info on saddles
alan lott says
For me a “most comfortable saddle topic” means nothing unless it is split into: “most comfortable width size(143-155mm) saddles” and “most comfortable width size/bar below saddle height, level with saddle and higher than saddle.” I have tried around 20 saddles and 12-14 manufacturers.
The most comfortable saddle I ever rode was over 20 yrs ago at that was the selle Italia Flite which to me is the most genius, comfortable design ever. Unfortunately, it was too narrow for me and pressed into my prostate. Brooks was wider, but no prostate relief. Sit bone measurement for me is 155. The Flite is 143, as well as Kontakt. The Aliante is wide but too hard for me, Terry too thick and narrow, Specialized power is correct width but not rounded off enough at the thigh. For the past 10 yrs I’ve been with Specialized, Ronin 155mm. It’s not the glove softness as the Flite, but works for me.
Eric Pedersen says
I bought the Meld saddle due to John Marsh’s review, but I am disappointed.
Meld got the fit right, but even tho I opted for the more padded of the two choices, the hardness of the saddle caused me soreness in the sit bones during and after long rides. It was like sitting on a board (and I am used to a Spec BG Toupe, not exactly a cushy saddle). Days after a long ride, just sitting at my kitchen table, my still-sore sit bones made me uncomfortable. Again, I am disappointed. And out $250.
What I hate the most about saddles is once I find a brand and model that I like, a few years go by and I need to replace it only to find out that the exact same brand and model the darn manufacture changes the models padding or something and it’s no longer comfortable! This just agitates the crap out of me!
Graham Read says
Buy two not one.
Anthony Filosa says
Like others, I found the Infinity seat a revelation, no soft tissue or sit bone pressure, absolute game changer if it fits you, just wish they were stronger so they don’t snap. Done 9000mls on three of these but all broken sadly. Hopefully Infinity is sorting this out so I can then buy another.
Brooke Willson says
I’ve tried many, many saddles, including a number of those above. I finally found the Ergon SMC. It is by far the most comfortable saddle for my 68 year old, 140mm wide sit bones. Rides of 2+ hours are a breeze.
Bruce Kearns says
It has been a few years since I was riding centuries regularly, but that was when I discovered the SMP designs. Love them still and they are on most of my bikes. During long stints in the saddle I love how the length and especially the elevation changes of these saddles allow me to shift positions and contact points, even if they are minor. Need power and drive? Slide forward. Wanna cruise within the pack? Shove back and relax a bit.
Previous to the SMPs I rode the Specialized generation(s) before the Power evolution. Really good saddles and they are still on a few of my bikes. You can move on them too but the contact points stay the same.
I have also experimented with the ISM saddle. Great concept which I really wanted to like. What is not mentioned in your comments though is that for these saddles to ‘work’ you need to have a wide inner pelvis. Narrow pelvises, me, just do not fit with the wide horns on the nose. The racer scuttlebutt was to use zip ties on the metal supports up front to pull the horns in a bit. I tried multiple times but never got the ISM to work out for me. Shame ’cause I really liked that saddle concept.
Paul Rerrie says
Most modern road saddles are basically a plastic shell with a bit of firm foam on the top – I can almost tell what they will feel like from looking at the pictures. Both my bikes (road and cross) have mk1 ti railed Fizik Aliantes – not only comfortable but very light as well. I can ride my cross bike without a pad and the saddle is still comfortable. As well as the soft-ish (but not too deep) padding, the old Aliante has a compliant shell under the padding.
Sometimes I would like a more modern/more ergo saddle (i.e. centre channel) with the same level of comfort, but I don’t think such a saddle exists.