10 of the Best Road Bike Saddles

Posted On February 10, 2022 / Gear Tips, Lifestyle

By: Drew Hincapie

Rider out of the saddle

The best road bike saddle fits you so well it’s hardly noticeable while cycling. Finding the most comfortable bike saddle varies by cycling disciple, riding style, gender, and, most importantly, your sit bone measurement. No two road bike saddles are alike, and no road bike saddle is best for everyone. Which bike saddle is best for you is a decision only you can make, but we’ll give you a list of great options to choose from. Whether you’re experiencing discomfort in your current saddle, just beginning cycling, increasing your performance, or just looking for something fresh, our tips and top 10 bike saddle picks will help you know what characteristics make a great road bike saddle and get you on the road to finding your favorite saddle. 

What to look for in a road bike saddle 

Each cycling discipline has different bike saddles that suit it best. Road cycling saddles are designed for performance, with distance, aerodynamics, or racing in mind. Here are a few criteria to keep in mind while shopping for a road bike saddle. 

  • Cycling position: Your position is determined by your style of riding. Cycling for leisure or endurance leads to a more upright position in the saddle, while a more aggressive racing position is arched forward. 
  • Saddle shape: Saddles for more upright riders or cyclists who don’t move much in the saddle are flatter. Faster, performance-focused rides require saddles with more curve to support movement and the forward position. 
  • Saddle weight: Weight may be important to you if you’re focused on speed and aerodynamics. Carbon saddles are the lightest but also the most expensive. Some saddles are full carbon, rails and all. Others may have a carbon core or be made of another material entirely. Titanium is not as light as carbon but another, less expensive weight-saving option. 
  • Padding: Thick padding may be found on leisure bike saddles but not most road bike saddles. More padding does not equal greater comfort. In fact, extra-thick padding is less comfortable on longer rides because it compresses in the wrong places and creates additional pressure. A good road saddle should be firm but flexible and responsive. 
  • Gender: Many saddles are unisex, but most top saddle brands also offer women-specific saddles to account for the differences in male and female anatomy. Women may be slightly wider in the sit bone region and have different pressure points than men. 

What causes saddle discomfort? 

Too much pressure in any place can lead to saddle discomfort. Pressure points in your saddle change depending on how far forward you lean. Sitting upright, you place more pressure on the sit bone area. Crouched forward, you place more pressure on the perineum for men or the pubic bone arch or soft tissue areas for women. You may experience pain or numbness in any of these areas if your bike saddle isn’t sized properly. If the nose of your saddle is too wide for you then you may also experience chafing. A new saddle takes time to adjust to, but if you’re still experiencing discomfort after more than a couple of weeks in a saddle, then it’s probably best to explore other options.

Choosing the right saddle size and fit

Measuring the distance between your sit bones is one of the best ways to determine your saddle size. You can measure at home or go to your local bike shop for a professional measurement. Learn how to measure your sit bone width. When you start your search for a new saddle, think about what you didn’t like about your last saddle. This will give you a good idea of what you’re looking for. And make sure you’ve tested saddles before making a final decision. You won’t fully know if a saddle suits you until you ride in it because every person’s anatomy is unique, so look for saddles that offer returns or allow you to test drive it. 

10 best road bike saddles 

1. Fi’zi:k Antares Versus Evo 00 Adaptive–Best bike saddle for comfort

Fizik Anterares Verses Evo 00 Adaptive Saddle
Image of Fizik Anterares Verses Evo 00 Adaptive Saddle courtesy of @vivavelobali // Instagram

This Fizik saddle is a brilliant, innovative creation, made of 3-D printed padding. Fizik invested years of research on pressure patterns to design this sleek and comfortable saddle. The saddle is expensive, but it’s a reflection of the rigorous research and form-fitting comfort and is worth every penny. The padding is soft in some spots and firm in others to give and hold right where the pressure requires. For the amount of cushioning this saddle provides, its lightness is shocking. The Antares Versus Evo 00 Adaptive has a traditional shape and nose and a deep relief channel. Cleaning it only requires a quick hose down.

2. Specialized S-Works Power–Best lightweight bike saddle 

Specialized S works saddle
Image courtesy of Specialized
  • Cost: $325
  • Weight: 158g
  • Colors: Black, red, or charcoal

The S-Works Power is made of a carbon shell and rails and is the lightest saddle on our list. Its wide sit bone area is made from a shock-absorbing EVA foam for consistent comfort through miles on end. The saddle’s Power Arch is designed to encourage the most hip movement and a forward pelvic tilt for greater glute activation. The central cutout provides excellent relief, though some may find it too narrow. The saddle has two threaded holes to attach an optional gear holder for purchase. 

3. Fi’zi:k Vento Argo R3 Race Edition–Best ergonomic bike saddle 

Fizik Vento Argo R3 Race Edition
Image courtesy of Fizik

This Fizik saddle ranks for most ergonomic saddle because of its central cutout design based on pressure-mapped data with input from medical experts. Fizik understands your cycling pain points in the saddle and has designed the Vento Argo R3 to eliminate them. The short nose and wide shape are intentional for excellent support and power. The Vento Argo R3 is for the aggressive cyclist who leans forward and places more pressure on the nose of the saddle. The saddle alleviates pressure from sensitive tissue, and the slightly curved shape keeps you stable as you lean forward. The Fizik Argo racing saddle is a special edition, but the standard Vento Argo R3 is also available.  

4. Selle Italia Novus Boost Evo Kit Carbonio Superflow–Best racing saddle 

Selle Italia knows how to make a great racing saddle after over 120 years of bike saddle craftsmanship. The padding is thicker than many performance saddles, but Selle still keeps the weight off. This saddle is their lightest short-nose option. It’s encased in a waterproof microfiber that prevents abrasion, and the carbon rails are scratch-resistant. This saddle is slightly curved for great stability in the saddle. The entire middle section of the saddle is almost entirely cut out, so you have no need to worry about too much pressure in the wrong places. 

5. Bontrager Aeolus Elite–Best bike saddle to prevent numbness 

Bontrager Aeolus Elite Saddle
Image courtesy of Bontrager/Trek
  • Cost: $159.99
  • Weight: 219-22g
  • Colors: Black, red, or silver

The nose of the Aeolus Elite is short, but not as short as it is on many other saddles. The length is perfect for those wanting the benefits of a short-nose saddle but preferring the look and feel of traditional saddles. This saddle doesn’t leave your bum numb. The nose is wider than average, which prevents discomfort from bumping up and down a rough road. This Bontrager saddle also has a full cutout to eliminate as much soft tissue pressure as possible. The saddle is on the heavy end, but it offers good support and flexibility. 

6. Fabric Scoop Pro Flat–Best versatile bike saddle 

  • Cost: $175.61
  • Weight: 176g
  • Colors: Red/black or black

 The Fabric Scoop Pro Flat is made of waterproof microfiber with great flexibility. This saddle is suitable for all disciplines and comes in different types for different riding styles. The Scoop Pro Flat is firm and offers no relief channel, yet it’s incredibly comfortable because of its bonded cover with lots of flex. The scoop, or upward tilt of the tail, supports many saddle positions well. It’s also one of the easiest saddles to clean after a rugged ride. 

7. Pro Stealth Saddle–Best short-nose bike saddle 

PRO Stealth Saddle
Image courtesy of Shimano

This incredibly versatile saddle is a short-nose saddle that supports aerodynamic positioning. This saddle keeps you stable at incredibly fast speeds and steep downhills. The short nose stands out because of its width which enables a more comfortable, stable position in any cycling situation. The wide cutout relieves pressure, and the smooth material prevents chafing. The Pro Stealth is a great unisex saddle for hardcore men and women cyclists who love both speed and long distances. 

Best women-specific bike saddles 

8. Selle Italia SLR Boost Lady Superflow S

This Selle Italia saddle’s most notable feature is its wide central cutout, which eliminates the potential for pressure on soft tissues. This saddle is designed for the high-performance female cyclist. It’s firm but responsive and incredibly comfortable. 

9. Fi’zi:k Luce S Alloy

Fizik Luce S Saddle
Image courtesy of Fizik
  • Cost: $99.99
  • Weight: 250-255g
  • Colors: Black 

This well-researched Fizik women’s saddle is intentionally narrow for less friction on the thighs. The comfort in the sit bone region because of the IschialFlex wings that flex with movement make this a great endurance saddle. Despite its firmness, this saddle is extremely comfortable for long rides. 

10. Velo Angel TT

Velo Angel TT Saddle
Image Courtesy of Velo Saddles
  • Cost: $198-290 
  • Weight: 196g
  • Colors: White, black, or oil slick

The Velo Angel TT is an excellent choice for comfort and performance, and not just for time trialists as the name suggests. It has a short nose for enhanced performance and minimal chafing, and a central cutout for pressure relief. The dense foam padding is very comfortable, and the Angel TT’s unique mounting is designed for shock absorption. 

It’s not the saddle’s sole responsibility to give you a comfortable ride. Cycling shorts with a good chamois work with your saddle in providing comfort. You’ll want to test your saddles in padded bike shorts for an accurate feel. Shop our pro-cyclist-approved men’s cycling shorts or women’s cycling shorts.  

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