The best bike saddles to ride in comfort wherever you go


When it comes to cycling, there is nothing worse than an uncomfortable bike saddle.

You know the type; the ones that leaves you in pain post-ride and may even deter you from climbing back on for another cycle. But it can be much more serious than that and could lead to longer term injuries.

But, like a tailored suit, the best saddle choice will vary from person to person depending on the type of cycling you do – whether that’s a leisurely cycle around the park or London to Brighton – as well as your anatomical set up and your ride style. You need to invest the time into sniffing out the optimal saddle for your rear.

Men have different issues to women when it comes to choosing the right saddle, and don’t be fooled into thinking a ‘larger posterior’ means you’ll need a larger model – regardless of this, our ‘sit-bones’ are what we should be looking to accommodate for, with the right match reducing discomfort around this area. Ensure you measure this as accurately as possible (your local cycle shop will be able to help you with this) as this will make the biggest difference. Most saddles come in two or three sizes so ensure you tailor your measurements accordingly – you wouldn’t wear size 8 shoes if you are a size 10.

Gels and padding are effective. So are counter sections in the centre of the saddle that aim to reduce prolonged pressure in the perineal area. The materials used also play a major role but, most importantly of all, it’s all about finding the right shape over anything else. This means that you don’t necessarily have to pay over the odds for the latest technology – if you’re savvy, you can save yourself some cash.

As word of warning… padding can feel really comfortable at first, especially if you’re hopping on a sample saddle in your local cycle shop BUT they can cause pressure over time so, again, be mindful of your cycling style and type.

So, with this review being all about getting bums on seats, our two resident cyclists (one a road bike user and the other favouring MTB) take a look the saddles that enhanced the cycling experience.

Bontrager Verse Comp Bike Saddle


Comfort rating: 9/10

Weight and size: 307g / 270 x 145mm

Best for: Performance Road

Proclaimed as the brand’s ‘most versatile performance saddle’ to date, the Verse Comp is suitable for both sexes with a full cut-out to minimise soft-tissue pressure. This provides lasting comfort and in turn, a better performance for multiple discipline cyclists.

I tested this saddle on both my road bike and MTB and both types offered a very comfortable ride for an hour duration on both road and trail routes.

Available in four sizes and made using very lightweight materials, it offers balance of weight and feels sturdy and reliable.

The saddle rails are longer than normal which enables you to tailor the fit and the integrated mount on the back enables you to attach a tail light. Neat.

The amount of padding feels ample enough to ensure a comfortable ride and rear post-cycle but not enough to incur the dreaded chaffing.

– PMBuy now £54, Sigma Sports

Specialized Power Expert


Comfort rating: 9/10

Weight and size: 233g / 143mm

Best for: Commuter, Road and Endurance

This superb unisex saddle is durable and water-resistant. The short nosed seat delivers all-round excellent performance. It particularly excels and comes into it’s own while you are in a more aggressive position thanks to it’s totally gorgeous geometric design.

Specialized has produced a fabulous lightweight yet very supportive ride here which features lab-tested proven blood flow, pressure mapping and the brand’s very own medium-grade Level Two PU padding, which results in a comfortable (medium to firm) all-day experience.

So, if you are looking at an enjoyable extended tour on your two wheels on top of commuting, or a bit of MTB, this is the bees knees.

The Power Expert saddle is available in three different sizes and although it usually clips in at over the £100 mark, in our estimation, its worth every penny.

This seat was tested on a Giant FastRoad SL2 during a series of weekly 45 minute commutes, as well as a a decent tally of 2/3 hour endurance runs at weekends.

– GRBuy now £88.99, Rutland Cycling

Selle Italia S5 Superflow

Selle Italia

Comfort rating: 9/10

Weight and size: 325g / 160 x 255mm

Best for: Urban road cycling

Selle Italia, a brand synonymous with innovation, is developing new construction techniques and exploring new materials. The label has a long history of cycle saddle creation dating back to the late 1800s when bicycles were the main mode of transport.

The designs have evolved over time and you can sense the incessant strive for improvement with each evolutionary step. This S5 Superflow is no different. A short saddle with a waved shape, it is designed to help you find you optimal seating point and enhance performance.

Whilst peddling a 10-mile route, I found that the saddle maintained its comfort around the perineal and pelvic area and didn’t chaff due to the gel inserts within the padded outer back edges. This is due to the SuperFlow technology. It also absorbs a lot of road vibrations.

The finishing touch of hi-viz graphics on the back is a welcome addition for increased visibility levels at night. Easy installation with FEC Alloy rail.

It was tested on Hybrid bike on a 10-mile road and gravel cycle.

– PMBuy now £39.80, Amazon

Mafia Bike Kill Your Ego Wheelie Seat

Mafia Bike

Comfort rating: 9/10

Weight and size: 1.58kg / 16 x 25cm

Best for: BMX bandits

Hands up who still has a BMX hiding away in the shed, or perhaps a child who loves nothing more than wheelies and bunny hops?

A padded and comfy seat is essential when mastering these tricks so look no further than Mafia Bike. The brand was formed in 2009 by a crew of passionate bike enthusiasts and riders, and has trailblazed through the BMX world ever since. It offers the ultimate accessories to pimp up your bike with flashy designs at very affordable prices.

The ‘Kill Your Ego’ bike seat affirms the brand’s ‘non-elitist’ ethos and is one of many funky saddles to choose from. It is made up of a suede cover, a silicon printed design for added grip and an embroidered logo to ensure everyone knows you’re riding on the coolest saddle on the market. You’ll be able to show off all your tricks (they’ll come back to you in no time – it’s just like riding a bike…) with the easy railed seat installation.

Tested on a BMX bike (so much fun) with a few bunny hops and wheelies.

– PMBuy now £27.95, Ama

Halfords Leisure Saddle


Comfort rating: 9/10

Weight and size: 459g / 198 x 270mm

Best for: Leisure and commuting

Seeking a sofa-like saddle at an affordable price? Halfords has just the answer in the form of its budget-friendly Leisure Saddle.

This charming chunky foam-padded saddle can be snapped up for under £20 and is a total bargain. It’s easy to fit – if you know what to doing or can follow instructions. You can always make friends with your local bike shop and ask if they would kindly install and size everything up properly.

We agree it may not be most aerodynamic or high performance offering – but that’s not what we are looking at here. It’s geared more towards the occasional cyclist with a short commute or those who opt for a quick circuit around the local park. This saddle should be your perfect partner to smooth out any bumps you might encounter along the way.

This seat was tested on a GT Pantera Mountain Bike during a casual pootle around the beautiful green spaces and river towpaths of Richmond-upon-Thames.

– GRBuy now £18, Halfords

Decathlon BTWIN 30degree Gel Cycling Saddle

Decathlon BTWIN

Comfort rating: 8/10

Weight and size: 475g / 130 x 290mm

Best for: Road, gravel and MTB

This 30-degree torso angled saddle option from Decathlon is geared towards those of us who undertake a longer and moderate intensity ride. There are 60 and 90 degree options also available.

However, it feels rather versatile and would perform equally well for shorter rides. The key though is in the angle in terms of your cycling style. This saddle is suited to a more ‘leaning into’ long ride, but its ergonomic so can suit all body types.

The gel padding ensures a comfortable rear and the central part is designed to relieve pressure on the perineum. I found the installation straight-forward (compatible with 7mm rail system) and for the price point it’s really good value for money.

It doesn’t quite have the same quality feel as some of the others, but with a chassis made of polypropylene and a 100 per cent steel handle, its durable and will serve you well. Overall, it offers a suitably comfortable two hour ride with no chaffing or pressure points building up.

Tested on a MTB for a 2-hour Sunday cycle.

– PMBuy now £24.99, Decathlon

Selle Italia Model X Green Comfort+ Superflow

Selle Italia

Comfort rating: 8/10

Weight and size: 415g / 145 x 245mm

Best for: Performance Cycle Touring

Fancy making your cycle buddies green with envy? Selle here has produced a entirely sustainable product.

The Model X Green Comfort+ Superflow is a rather sexy Italian made saddle boasting a short and contoured wave body shape that is very attractive to riders with a posterior pelvic tilt. It employs a sturdy but also flexible carbon-iron alloy rail. This will give you extra confidence when experiencing different terrains.

The central channel of the seat (that’s the hole in the middle folks) is part of the superflow technology which aims to reduce fatigue and prolonged pressure.

The entire saddle has gel padding which assists with comfort and shock-absorbing greatly.

The feel of the seat is tacky to keep you in good positioning. One thing to note, we found some reports suggesting friction can wear down your cycling attire to shreds – thankfully, this something I didn’t personally experience, but it’s good to keep aware of.

As bang for your buck goes, the Model X Green Comfort+ Superflow represents fabulous value and is definitely worth a spin.

This seat was tested on a Specialized Sirrus Hybrid Bike on a 10m work commute plus a good few two-hour leisure rides on weekends.

– GRBuy now £39.99, Wiggle

CADEX Boost Saddle


Comfort rating: 9/10

Weight and size: 138g / 149 x 246mm

Best for: Road bike long distance

The bike giant has been busy developing the CADEX saddle which is perhaps one of the most technologically advanced saddles on the market. The price point may leave you spluttering but for the more serious cyclists amongst you, this will be worth the investment. The ultralight saddle moulds to your pelvic structure and eases pressure points.

This is all down to the ‘Particle Flow Technology’ in the two separate pockets that utilise CADEX’s free-flowing particles. What’s more, the saddle’s Advanced Forged Composite Technology (a state-of-the-art high-pressure moulding process that produces complex-shaped carbon fibre components) creates a sturdy unique two-piece saddle frame that ultimately provides the perfect balance of support and comfort.

Tested on my GIANT road bike over a 20-mile route, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by both the comfort and lack of friction caused when powering along – all despite being incredibly lightweight.

The delicately shortened and dipped nose (reminiscent of Concorde) helped with that and contributes to the smartly designed aesthetic.

The integrated rail underneath – that was simple to install – also helped to reduce any road vibrations. The small dotted pattern in the rear padded sections allows the fabric to breathe and also aids grip.

– PMBuy now £249.99, Cadex


The Bontrager Verse Comp Bike Saddle is the one to get behind. It’s versatile through a range of terrain, a longer rail than most to tailor the perfect fit and uber-comfortable whether on short or longer bursts of cycling – a joy to saddle up on

A close contender, the Specialized’s Power Expert might cost you that little bit extra, but it ticks all the boxes in terms of comfort, performance across the board and with a solid recommendation from independent bike specialist Johnnie Weightman at Moores Cycles in Twickhenham – which backs it all up!

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