Home Cycling Best road bike saddles 2021 | Top bike seat recommendations

Best road bike saddles 2021 | Top bike seat recommendations

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If you’re a cyclist who likes to pedal long distances, getting a bike saddle that is comfortable and durable is crucial to your enjoyment of the sport. No matter what type of saddle you choose, it should also be compliant and slip resistant. When choosing a new saddle, think about how often you’re going to be riding. For instance, if you’re getting a bike for commuting to work or to the gym, a more comfortable saddle may be less important, since you’ll be sitting on it for shorter periods of time. But if you’re getting a bike for a sport or a leisure activity like touring or mountain biking, you’ll probably want a saddle that will last longer.

A bike seat is the part of your bike that touches the saddle and rests your butt and bones. It’s a big part of the biking experience, which is why you want the best road bike saddle out there. That’s why we’ve done the legwork for you and searched the web and compiled a list of the best road bike saddles out there. Whether you’re looking for a luxury road saddle, a budget road saddle, a road bike saddle with a nice rise, or a low rise road bike saddle, we’ve got your bases covered.

When choosing a new bike seat, you’ll want to choose a saddle that’s comfortable, which can be a challenge when you’re choosing between two different saddles that each fit a different type of ride. The most important thing to consider when buying a new saddle is what kind of riding you’ll be doing with it. Road cycling saddles are designed to work best for road riding, mountain biking saddles are intended for mountain biking, and so on.. Read more about best road bike saddle for long rides and let us know what you think.

When it comes to comfort, the saddle is arguably the most essential component on your bike. Because everyone’s anatomy and riding style differs, it’s also one of the most personal options.

However, this raises a variety of issues. There are problems unique to the road, such as how aggressive your posture is and the fact that you may have to sit on something for many hours at a time. But, most importantly, how are you meant to figure out what is best for you?

In fact, the best way to find out is to try each alternative until you reach nirvana, but that is clearly not possible. It’s more practical for us to put those choices to the test for you, so that’s exactly what we’ve done.

Our team of professional testers has rode a wide variety of saddles in a variety of shapes and sizes, and we’ve compiled a list of the most comfortable bike seats for road riding.

While this guide will not be able to replace firsthand testing, it will help you narrow down your options and make a better educated decision on your next buy.

In 2021, the top road bike saddles will be

  • £60, €80, or $80 Elite Flat Fabric Line-S
  • $130 / £120 SR Pro Ergonomic Seating
  • £130 / €170 / $180 / €170 / $180 / €170 / $180 Pro Fabric Scoop
  • £130 / €140 / $150 / £130 / €140 / $150 / £130 Tempo Argo R3 Fizik Fizik Tempo Argo R3 Fizik Tempo Argo R
  • £105 (€130) / $160 (USD) for a Expert in Specialized Power
  • £220 / €240 / $300 Carbonio Superflow Selle Italia Novus Boost Kit
  • Elaston Specialized Power Pro: £275 / £190 / €240
  • £170 Stratum Tioga Stratum Tioga Tioga Tioga Tioga Tioga Tioga Ti
  • The Aeolus Elite by Bontrager costs £90, €100, or $150.
  • £165.00 / €179.00 / $199.00 Fizik Aliante R1 Open Fizik Aliante R1 Open Fizik Aliante R1
  • £190 / €210 / $199 Aliante R1 vs. Evo Fizik Aliante R1 vs. Evo Fizik Aliante R
  • £90, €99, or $99 R5 Fizik Fizik Fizik Fizik Fizik Fizik Fizik
  • Dimension Nack by Prologo: €195 / £200
  • €159 / £165 Tirox CPC Prologo Dimension NDR
  • £120 / €135 / £120 / €135 / £120 Scratch M5 Prologo
  • Elan Scicon: £180 / €199
  • £120 / €140 / $170 / €140 / $170 / €140 / $170 Selle Italia SLR Boost TM Selle Italia SLR Boost TM Selle Italia SLR
  • £225 / £175 Power Arc Pro is a specialized product.
  • £135 / €164 / £135 / €164 / £135 Tofino Syncros 1.0

Fabric Line-S Elite Flat

Best road bike saddles

The Line-S is designed to be a comfortable saddle by minimizing pressure on soft tissue when riding aggressively. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • £60 / €80 / $80
  • Excellent condition and excellent comfort
  • Exceptional value

Fabric has once again shown that cheap cost does not have to equal poor quality when it comes to saddles.

The comfort and performance are on par with much more expensive saddles, and there’s even an option of widths (145mm or 155mm) so that more individuals may find a good fit.

This is one of the most affordable short nosed saddles on the market, costing just £60.

Ergon SR Pro

Best road bike saddles

The seat is light thanks to its carbon composite shell and TiNOX rails. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • £120 / $130
  • Designed specifically for women
  • Many different riding types may be accommodated.
  • For the price, it’s very light.

Ergon’s SR Pro saddle is designed specifically for women. Because women’s pelvises are more flexible than men’s, the cut-out is positioned farther front on a women’s saddle than it would be on a men’s saddle.

It has a little broader nose than others, but this did not bother our tester.

It’s a millimeter or two longer than some’short’ saddles, but it nevertheless performed well for our tester while riding in aggressive positions, at 261mm in length.

Fabric Scoop Pro

Best road bike saddles

The large cutaway nose doesn’t limit your pedaling options. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • £130 / €170 / $180
  • Saddle has a classic form that is both comfortable and stylish.
  • A variety of profiles are available to suit various roles.

The Scoop Pro comes in three distinct profiles, each of which caters to a particular riding posture, ranging from upright to average to aggressive.

Its 282mm length provides enough of space for maneuvering, and it’s reasonably priced, especially given the carbon rails that help keep weight down.

It has a conventional design with no pressure relieving channel, but we didn’t notice any difference in performance. It is, nevertheless, a very comfortable saddle.

Fizik Tempo Argo R3

Best road bike saddles

Fizik’s new Tempo Argo saddle is a somewhat longer, short-nosed saddle designed for endurance riders. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • £130 / €140 / $150
  • Padding is excellent.
  • For individuals who like a fixed posture, this is ideal.

The Tempo Argo is a short nosed saddle with a large cut-out and a bit of additional length targeted for endurance riders.

It features firm, supportive cushioning that is somewhat thicker than Fizik’s racing saddles and is excellent at absorbing road vibrations.

It provided great comfort and had enough flex in the wings to allow for natural movement, according to our tester.

Selle Italia Novus Boost Kit Carbonio Superflow

Best road bike saddles

The Novus Boost Kit Carbonio Superflow saddle from Selle Italia. Immediate Publication

  • £220 ($299.99) / €239.90
  • It’s spacious and comfortable, with lots of room to walk about.
  • The ID-match fit system assists you in determining the correct size.

The Selle Italia Novus Boost Kit Carbonio Superflow is a very comfortable saddle that’s particularly well suited to aggressive riding postures. It’s not cheap, and it has a simply absurd name, but we really liked it.

Our tester was able to easily locate the correct size thanks to Selle Italia’s ID-match fit system, and if the price of this top-of-the-line model is too much for you, the Novus Boost begins at £79.99 / $109.99 / €89.90.

Specialized Power Expert

Best road bike saddles

It’s firm enough for those who want to push themselves, yet it’s also comfortable enough to spend several hours on board. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • £105 / €130 / $160
  • widths to choose from
  • It’s ideal for riding aggressively.

The Power Expert is a stubby, broad saddle with a deep center cut-out that was one of the pioneers of the short saddle trend.

Everything is intended to alleviate strain on soft tissue, making riding in demanding postures more pleasant.

It also accomplishes so very effectively, garnering positive feedback from both male and female testers. The medium-grade cushioning is constant without being excessively mushy, and the shell is flexible enough to allow for natural pedaling motion.

Elaston is a specialized Power Pro.

Best road bike saddles

Specialized’s designers chose a bold callout of the Elaston material, clearly proud of their saddle. Immediate Media / Thomas McDaniel

  • £190 / €240 / $275
  • Anatomical features that are incredible
  • Extremely relaxing.

The Specialized Power saddle has been around for a while and is well-liked, but the inclusion of Specialized’s Elaston technology is a game changer — it looks like a bunch of small pillows on the saddle’s surface, and to be honest, that’s how it felt in usage.

The Specialized Power Pro Elaston, according to our tester, was “as near to perfection as he’d ever encountered” – high praise indeed.

So why not give it a five-star rating? The price is a little expensive, and the design isn’t our favorite, but if none of those things concern you, this might be the last saddle you ever purchase.

Tioga Undercover Stratum

Best road bike saddles

It’s uncommon to find a saddle that is comfortable for long periods of time. Caudery, David

  • £170
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable ride

The web-like shell of the Tioga Undercover Stratum saddle is coated in thin X-Pad SL closed-cell EVA foam.

The vibrations are handled by the foam layer, while the shell’s job is to bend under pressure, which it accomplishes admirably.

Comfort levels are excellent, thanks to a generous center cut-out, and it’s a very light saddle at just 145g.

If the expensive price deters you, cheaper versions with CrMo or titanium rails are available.

Bontrager Aeolus Elite

Best road bike saddles

The Aeolus Elite is a short saddle for male and female competitive riders. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • / / / / / / / / / / / /
  • This is a fantastic choice for both men and women.
  • The cut-out is almost the whole length of the saddle.
  • Padded generously

The Aeolus Elite is a short saddle with an upswept back and a large cut-out for competitive riders of both genders.

The cushioning is plentiful, and the shell is adaptable. It offered a very comfortable base for our female tester, particularly while riding in aggressive postures.

Fizik Aliante R1 Open

Best road bike saddles

The Aliante R1 Open saddle from Fizik has a central channel and cut-out. Immediate Publication

  • £165 / €179 / $199
  • Excellent condition
  • The central channel provides excellent pressure relief.

Fizik’s upgrade to the popular Aliante saddle is the Open. The channel isn’t as deep all the way down as it is in Aliante Versus models, but the hull does have a hole at a critical spot.

These modifications combine to provide the traditional Aliante form – with its kicked-up rear portion giving a little of additional climbing leverage – but with much less pressure on your sensitive areas.

The carbon railed version is also fairly lightweight, weighing just 196g, making it an ideal complement to a racing bike.

Fizik Aliante R1 Versus Evo

Best road bike saddles

The Aliante R1 Versus Evo from Fizik features a lot of cushioning. Immediate Publication

  • £190 / €210 / €199 / £190 / €210 / €199 / £190
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable

The Aliante R1 Evo has a more flexible carbon hull and more extensive cushioning than the Open version.

It’s intended to be the perfect Aliante for endurance riders, but we found it to be excellent if you spend a lot of time pounding away in the drops, sitting forward on the saddle’s nose.

The substantial padding and channel there alleviate strain on your soft tissue while yet providing a solid foundation to apply force.

It’s also very light at 188.7g, making it ideal for such a pillowy saddle.

Fizik Luce R5

Best road bike saddles

The Fizik Luce R5 is the result of considerable study regarding female riders’ requirements. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • £90 / €99 / $99
  • Designed specifically for women
  • The nose is narrow and the length is conventional.
  • widths to choose from

The Luce R5 is a women’s saddle with a 280mm length and flexible wings to avoid thigh friction. If you’re the kind of rider that loves to move about a lot while riding, this will come in handy.

Although the center cut-out is smaller than others, it nevertheless reduces soft pressure tissue. It also comes in two widths to accommodate various sit bones.

It may be too stiff for some since it is designed for racing, but our tester found it to be quite comfortable even on extended rides.

Nack Dimension Prologo

Best road bike saddles

Dimension of Prologo The pressure-relief duct on the Nack saddle is very big. Immediate Publication

  • £200 / €195
  • Excellent condition
  • Comfort and rigidity are in a good balance.

The Prologo Dimension Nack is one of the lightest short saddles we’ve tried, weighing in at 157.6g. It features a wide pressure-relief channel, high-density cushioning, and a stepped nose, similar to the Specialized Power seat, which makes riding in an aggressive posture extremely pleasant.

When it’s dry, the printed texture of the cover works well to hold you in place, but it’s less effective since it’s wet – this isn’t ideal when the saddle is intended to keep you in one position all of the time, but it wasn’t a big problem.

The only major drawback is the cost of the carbon-railed version; but, if you don’t mind adding 20g in weight, you can buy a variant with ti-alloy rails for £80 less.

Prologo Dimension NDR Tirox CPC

Best road bike saddles

The titanium tubing used on the Dimension is referred to as Tirox by Prologo. Immediate Publication

  • £165 / €159
  • Comfortable
  • The CPC cover is very sticky.

The hull of the Prologo Dimension NDR Tirox CPC is made of carbon fiber with different thicknesses for tailored stiffness and flexibility throughout the saddle. This, coupled with the P.A.S. (perineal area system) channel’s large size and NDR high-density cushioning, makes it a very comfortable saddle.

The CPC cover is a huge plus. In both wet and dry circumstances, the small volcano-shaped rubberized tubes provide incredible traction and keep you securely grounded in the correct spot.

The only drawback is that it only comes in one width – 143mm – so if that doesn’t work for you, you’ll have to seek elsewhere.

Prologo Scratch M5

Best road bike saddles

Despite the lack of a pressure-relieving cut-out, this saddle was a pleasure to ride. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • £120 / €135
  • Padding with a twist
  • No chafing thanks to the narrow and flexible shell.

It seems to be of classic form at first sight, however it is just 250mm long. The reason for this is the small width of 140mm.

If this fits your sit bones, there’s minimal danger of anything irritating your thighs, and the cushioning is carefully placed to reduce soft tissue strain despite the lack of a cut-out.

Elan from Scicon

Best road bike saddles

Its ample padding and deep center contribute to a saddle that is very comfortable. Immediate Publication

  • £229 / £180 / €199
  • Exceptional comfort
  • Surface texture that is grippy

Despite the fact that the Elan is Scicon’s first racing saddle, it’s a fantastic start. The cushioning is thick, and when coupled with a big, central cut-out and a flexible shell, it makes for an extremely comfortable saddle.

Its short and broad shape is ideal for hunkering down in a combat posture, with the gripping surface texture preventing positional slippage, but it’s also comfortable for extended days out.

Our only criticism is that the bottom is a little sloppy, with a few wrinkles and exposed staples.

Selle Italia SLR Boost TM

Best road bike saddles

The full-length center channel is the saddle’s most notable feature. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • £120 / €140 / $170
  • Looks that are timeless
  • Saddle is firm and racy.

Selle Italia’s SLR Boost TM is a bit shorter and broader than before, in keeping with current trends. However, it is still a traditional saddle, as shown by the fact that it has a sturdier perch than others.

Even when tucked down in an aero position, the center channel is narrow, yet it functions far better than its look indicates, providing a supportive, pleasant seat.

Specialized Power Arc Pro

Best road bike saddles

The Body Geometry of the Specialized Power Arc Pro is more curved. Immediate Publication

  • £175 / $225
  • There are two width options.
  • Lightweight

The Power Arc Pro is a newer model in Specialized’s Power line. The proportions are the same as a conventional Power saddle, but the form is more curved. This, according to Specialized, provides the sensation of being “in the saddle” rather than “on the saddle.”

It was a really comfortable racing saddle for our tester, with a big, central cut-out that provided good pressure relief. It’s also nice that it comes in a variety of widths to accommodate various riders’ anatomy.

Syncros Tofino 1.0

Best road bike saddles

In all the appropriate areas, the cushioning is thick and fluffy. Immediate Publication

  • £135 / €164
  • Padding that is plush
  • Cut-out design that works

It’s somewhat longer and narrower than other short saddles, such as the Specialized Power, at 248mm long and 135mm broad, but the flat profile, big cut-out, and soft padding make it a very comfortable seat nevertheless.

The base and rails are both carbon, as one would expect for a saddle this price, and there are concealed mounting studs for a variety of attachments.

Take into account…

SPYD 2.0 Repente

Best road bike saddles

The SPYD 2.0 is unique in that it is made up of three distinct parts. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • £130 / €130 / £130 / €130 / £130
  • Covers that can be swapped
  • Lightweight and cost-effective

Repente’s SPYD 2.0 saddle system takes a new approach to saddles as a whole. The cover is removable, unlike most saddles, so you may change the color or padding level if the standard construction isn’t quite perfect (though this would come at an additional cost).

It’s not too cushioned, and it has a long, thin form that’s quite conventional. If that’s what you’re looking for, it’s light and affordable, especially given the carbon rails.

When purchasing a road saddle, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Gender

Most road saddles are, however, built with male anatomy in mind by default.

That isn’t to suggest that a bike seat intended for males won’t fit a woman, but the facts of biology dictate that the fit needs will be somewhat different.

Don’t worry, BikeRadar has put up a handy guide to the best women’s road bike saddles, so if you haven’t found saddle nirvana yet, this might be a good place to start.

Shape

The form of a road saddle is the most essential factor to consider. Long, curved forms like the Selle San Marco Concor were popular in the 1980s and 1990s, followed by long and flat shapes like the Fizik Arione in the 2000s, and more recently, short and broad models like the Specialized Power.

Personal choice will always play a major part, so you should be able to test out a variety of bike seats before making a decision. However, it’s becoming more widely recognized that, for optimal comfort and performance, you should place pressure on your sit bones rather than any surrounding soft tissue, thus choosing a saddle that allows you to do so is frequently critical.

A decent bike fit from a reputed brand can assist you out here – all competent fitters should have a good selection of saddles for you to test out. You may certainly do it alone, but unless you beg, borrow, and steal from your riding friends, the trial and error process can soon become prohibitively costly.

If you compete in time trials or triathlons, you should consider using a saddle built especially for such sports, such as an ISM saddle. These saddles have more radical forms and designs, all with the goal of providing maximum soft tissue pressure alleviation when riding aggressively.

Width

The width is the next thing to consider once you’ve selected a form that works for you.

Some manufacturers place a more emphasis on breadth than others, but no one’s anatomy is the same, so it’s only natural that sit bone width varies from rider to rider.

For example, Specialized has an in-store technique of measuring the distance between your sit bones and calculating the “proper” width saddle you need. This variable would be taken into consideration in a complete bike fit.

Length

As previously stated, the current tendency is for shorter saddles that seek to keep you in a single posture while riding (i.e., with pressure on your sit bones).

However, this isn’t the case for everyone, and some riders like the additional space that a longer saddle offers. Longer saddles allow you to move your weight about throughout your ride rather than keeping it focused in one spot for the entire.

In theory, this sounds wonderful, but if you can’t get comfortable in any saddle and require additional length to move about and alleviate pressure on your undercarriage, there may be other fit problems at play, such as excessive saddle to bar drop.

In any event, if you’re having trouble, it’s always a good idea to get expert help from a respected fitter.

Padding

It may seem paradoxical, but less is frequently more when it comes to padding. Because shape is generally the most important factor in determining comfort, complete carbon saddles may be surprisingly pleasant.

However, most saddles have some kind of cushioning to guard against road vibrations and bumps. In general, though, we would suggest firmer padding for road cycling since a soft seat may frequently result in an uneven fit over the course of a lengthy ride.

If you’re experiencing pressure in certain places, it’s more than likely due to an issue with form or breadth, rather than a lack of cushioning.

Again, we must qualify this by stating that everyone is different, and that a proper bike fit is typically the most effective method of addressing any particular problems you may be experiencing.

It’s been a long time coming, but here it is: our recommendations for the best road bike saddles for the year. We keep hearing companies claim they have the best. Well, we’ve spent hundreds of hours testing and comparing them, and we’ve got the definitive list.. Read more about bicycle seats that protect the perineum and let us know what you think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most comfortable road bike seats?

The most comfortable road bike seats are those that are padded and have a gel-like cover. They also need to be wide enough for your legs to rest on, but not too wide.

Whats the most comfortable bike saddle?

The most comfortable bike saddle is the one that you find most comfortable.

What is the best saddle for long distance cycling?

The best saddle for long distance cycling is the Brooks Cambium C17.

Related Tags

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • best road bike saddle for long rides
  • best road bike saddle for heavy rider
  • best road bike saddle 2017
  • best road bike saddle
  • most comfortable bike saddle
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