The Rido rubbed me raw, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be the most comfortable saddle you ever ride. That’s why we’re reviewing it. You just never know when it comes to saddles. We all vary in body weight, butt padding, sit-bone width, riding style and posture.
Most of us are still searching for a saddle that “disappears” — that’s comfortable enough not to be noticed during rides, after them or even in bed, if you get my drift. No saddle is going to be right for everyone, which is why we uniformly rate them in the middle of our star range. Even if the Rido had worked great for me, it might represent perineal purgatory to you.
The Rido is marketed for men and women. It’s interesting for several reasons.
First, it’s unbelievably cheap. Marketed by a British company, it costs just 17.99 Pounds, which includes shipping. At the current exchange rate that’s about $33 USD. Second, it’s injection molded. A pliable material is bonded to a more rigid plastic “skeleton.” There’s no shell like under a conventional saddle. No gel or foam padding, either. Instead, the Rido attempts to support a rider comfortably by making some sections flexible while others are firm. The company terms this “pressure sensitive geometry.”
The Rido didn’t feel harder than a typical saddle, which is good. The manufacturer’s claims are tough to validate through butt sensations, but they go like this: “Pressure Sensitive Geometry is a very specific combination of radial and straight contoured planes [which] redistributes the downward pressure of the rider’s weight away from the perineum and onto the gluteus maximus (buttocks), providing a new and unrivalled level of improved cycling comfort with a completely free pedaling action.”
Whew! Nothing on me got numb, and there are lots of glowing customer testimonials on Rido’s website.
Cushioning. Sit-bone support notwithstanding, under my 195 pounds the Rido was unable to cushion hard hits caused by bad pavement. It may even have been bottoming out against the top of the seatpost. It was fine on normal road imperfections, but firm impacts almost hurt.
Appearance. The look is almost as unusual as the construction. The Rido resembles a pudgy Stealth bomber with a nose. The wide rear section is almost guaranteed to support sit bones no matter how wide or narrow they’re spaced. That was my first sensation — excellent support. The taper to the nose is acute enough to keep the saddle away from pedaling thighs. A slight dip in the center (when looked at in profile) helps you sit in the saddle so it doesn’t feel like you’re astride a log.
Too bad the saddle doesn’t look more conventional. Why couldn’t its features be built into a shape that wouldn’t clash with a fine road bike? On the other hand, you can’t see the Rido when you’re riding, and comfort is definitely worth more than sleek good looks. Fortunately, the saddle’s weight, at 360 grams, isn’t quite equal to its bulky appearance.
Grip. The biggest problem I had with the Rido is its grippy material. This saddle sticks to Lycra shorts like a cockle burr to wool socks. Sliding on it is impossible. If you happen to brush the nose as you go from standing to sitting, you’re stuck right there. You need to stand and try again. The company attempts to make this Velcro-like adherence a positive, but it’s not. You need to be able to slide on a saddle for three good reasons — backward toclimb, forward to sprint and throughout a ride to change pressure points.
This Super Glue-grip was more than a nuisance. It resulted in abrasions to the right side of my crotch during six consecutive rides, so I had to end the test. Because my Lycra shorts couldn’t slide against the saddle, my skin slid against the shorts, rubbing me raw. Admittedly, I have a leg-length inequality that causes me to sit crookedly. This likely contributed to the abrasion, so you might not have a similar problem. I switched to a seat with a slipperier top and got immediate relief.
I liked the Rido’s sit-bone support well enough that I wished I could keep it on my training bike, at least for a while. Although this unique saddle didn’t work for me, it might work for you.
Coach Fred Matheny is an RBR co-founder who has four decades of road cycling and coaching experience. He has written 14 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach Fred Matheny, including the classic Complete Book of Road Bike Training, which includes 4 eBooks comprising 250 pages of timeless, detailed advice and training plans. The Complete Book is one of the many perks of an RBR Premium Membership. Click to read Fred’s full bio.