3 Best Bike Saddles
There’s nothing like sitting in the saddle for hours on end training for a century ride to give you serious backside pain! I started my 100-mile ride training sitting on the standard saddle that came with my bike. It actually looks quite cool and has sort of “go faster” suede stripes down it. “Go faster” I did not………I came home from one long ride with bad chafing and a burning numb sensation right where I really didn’t want it!
So, I realized it was time to man up, get my bottom measured and invest in a new saddle. As ever I pored over the internet for several hours before deciding on where to spend my hard-earned cash. I even tried to measure my own sit bones at home (not really recommended!) before coming to the conclusion that the best course of action was to just go down to my local bike shop, get measured and take their advice on what to buy.
So, as the purchase of a saddle is such a personal thing my best recommendation is to go to a good bike shop. They will measure you and also match the type of saddle to your riding style as well. Many bike shops will even allow you to try a saddle for a while and, if it isn’t comfortable, bring it back.
Before I decided to buy mine in the shop I came up with a shortlist of three possible contenders – you can see them below. If you do buy online make sure that you know your sit bone measurement and also that you buy a saddle suitable for your riding style.
Brooks Cambium C13 Saddle
Why? Well, the thing just looks absolutely gorgeous. I’m also a sucker for buying quality brands like this where there is a bit of heritage and history involved. Brooks are well known for creating traditional, high-quality leather saddles – you know, those heavy, creaking creations with the horse and cart springs!
Well, it turns out they also make the state of technology road bike saddles as well. Rather than using leather, the Cambium saddles use organic fabric and vulcanized rubber sitting on top of carbon rails. They need zero wearings in (unlike leather) and are said to be supremely comfortable.
Fabric Scoop Elite Saddle
Again I read fantastic reviews about the Fabric range of saddles and the Scoop fabric saddle is reported as being extremely high quality and comfortable. The fabric also have a very user-friendly and cool-looking website which always helps! You can match the size of the saddle and your riding style in quite a lot of detail and there is a wide range of saddles at different price points and made with differing materials.
Selle Italia Gel Flow Saddle
Again a supremely well made saddle with the added advantage of gel flow technology. They actually had this saddle in the bike shop when I went to buy mine. The Selle Italia Gel Flow Saddle did actually look more comfortable than any of the others due to it’s gel padding, it also has a leather cover. Sadly there is a price tag to match and, in the end after much thought I went for a Specialized Toupe saddle.
I’ve been really happy with my new purchase (as has my backside!) and I can definitely recommend putting some time, effort and money into investing in exactly the right saddle for you. It is, after all your primary contact with the bike and comfort in this area can either make or break a long ride!