Bike Saddle Buying Guide

Supporting you to get the right solutions for comfort on your seat so you can smile when you ride

Answer the following questions and/or think through the points.  This will help you make the correct bike saddle choice.

What is the position you ride in or your riding angle?

Bike saddles are designed to match the body position you ride in and the type of bike you have.

  • Upright or very close to having a straight back (common position on town or cruiser style bikes
  • Slightly tipped forward or forward bent (common position on trail, commute and mountain bikes)
  • Aggressive forward bend or dropped handlebar position (common on road riding bikes)

Choose your type & time…

The shape of the saddle is designed to match the type of riding you do.  By this we mean where you ride most often –  town, commuting, bike path/trails, mountain bike trails, touring, or road riding. For example, a pear shaped saddle has more width at the rear of the saddle giving optimal support directly under the sit bones for the upright town rider.  Contrast this with a T shaped saddle.  It is still wide at the rear but narrows quickly to the front section, for a higher intensity ride that supports repetitive pedalling and will eliminate the likelihood of chafing.

The padding and cushioning should then match to the time spent on the bike – recreation (usually under 2hrs), endurance (usually 1-4hrs).  It will also be influenced by how regularly it will be used – 2/3 times a week versus most days.

Choose a saddle that reflects the type of riding you do most often.  For big days or special trips add endurance padding in the form of a chamois (Padded Bike Pant range) and/or add a gel seat cover.

Saddles are gender specific

To be comfortable on your seat you need a seat that matches the width of your bony structures and the soft tissue you have. Women’s saddles are wider and shorter to match our physical structure. Making sure you get the support and cushioning in all the right places.  Most women will benefit from using a gender specific saddle but there are exceptions to this rule, you will probably be aware if you are a women with narrow hip structure.

Do you suffer from a specific issue?

Sit bone ache: Is the width of your saddle supporting your sit bones correctly?  Is the level of padding you have correct for the riding you are doing?  Read our story Sit Bone Aches & Pains

Soft tissue compression: A cutout (hole) in the centre of the seat will relieve tenderness and reduce pain. Generally the wider the cutout the greater the relief. All the women bike saddles we sell have a cut out for comfort and relief.  Read our story Soft Tissue Compression on your Bike Saddle

Tailbone discomfort: The shape of the rear of your saddle (inverted V gives space for your bone) and the strength of your abs, failing to work as you tire, are the two most important factors here. Read our story Tail Bone Discomfort when Riding

Chaffing or saddle sores: Again saddle shape is really key here.  Your sit bones must be correctly supported and your legs need room to pedal.

Types of cushioning

What is the padding on the saddle made of? Different materials used offer different benefits.  Foam is the most common padding and it comes in different types of density.  The higher the density the better over time (for longer rides/endurance saddles). Don’t be fooled into thinking that a squishy soft saddle will solve your discomfort it will quickly collapse and you will be left sitting on the seat shell!  It is better to add gel than add cheap soft padding. There is a balance you must get right between support and cushioning.  Learn more about these features of a saddle…

Quality materials

Higher quality saddles will generally use higher quality materials that do not compromise and will last you through years of riding.  As you ride more regularly the durability of your saddle should match to the high use.  Invest well now and you will have a saddle to use for years to come. Your saddle should ideally be 500gms or under.  

Recreation Solutions – Upright to Mid Bend Riders

Womens Upright Town/Trail Saddle
Saddle
Type of Rider
Town rider/short distance, commuter, fitness. Low back pain but choosing to be active.
Riding Position
Upright rider set up. Riding angle 90-60 degrees.
Features
Wide and soft, seamless cutaway, tailbone relief. If comfort is your prority then this is the saddle for you.
Cost

$105.00

SHOP
Womens Recreation Saddle
Saddle
Type of Rider
Fitness/Recreation on bike paths, cycle ways, groomed trails
Riding Position
Mid to upright rider set up. Riding angle 45-90 degrees.
Features
Comfort and protection for the social, recreation rider choosing easy to intermediate trails. Cut out.
Cost

$132.00

SHOP
Unisex Upright Bike Saddle
Saddle
Type of Rider
Town, short distance, urban E-Bike.
Riding Position
Upright riding 90 degress, straight back.
Features
Biofaom layers for soft comfort, simple suspension for bumpy surfaces
Cost

$104.00

SHOP
Unisex Upright 'Sofa' Saddle
Saddle
Type of Rider
Town, urban, short distance, heavier, someone who needs extra support.
Riding Position
Upright rider, straight back. Riding angle 90 degrees.
Features
Widest saddle, non slip synthetic surface.
Cost

$110.00

SHOP
Gel Seat Cover
Saddle
Type of Rider
Use to tranisition to longer ride times, return to riding, new to riding.
Riding Position
Helps with all riding positions.
Features
Gel, easy to attach pull string, use less as comfort improves.
Cost

$39.90

SHOP

Recreation Solutions –  Mid to Forward Bend Riders

Womens Recreation Saddle
Saddle
Type of Rider
Fitness/Recreation on bike paths, cycle ways, groomed trails
Riding Position
Mid to upright rider set up. Riding angle 45-90 degrees.
Features
Comfort and protection for the social, recreation rider choosing easy to intermediate trails. Cut out.
Cost

$132.00

SHOP
Womens Mountain Bike Saddle
Saddle
Type of Rider
Mountain biker - beginner to advanced intermediate.
Riding Position
All mountain bike set ups, exception downhill racing. Riding angle 15 degrees to 90 degrees.
Features
Sleek T shaped saddle, wide cutout, durable outer cover to match the rugged environment.
Cost

$160.00

SHOP
Womens Road Saddle
Saddle
Type of Rider
Road - beginner to intermediate. First use of road saddle or returning to road riding.
Riding Position
Aggressive forward bend. Riding angle 15-60 degrees.
Features
Sleek T shaped. Comfort and protection for enthusiastic road riders. Cut out. Rear inverted V for tailbone relief.
Cost

$145.00

SHOP
Gel Seat Cover
Saddle
Type of Rider
Use to tranisition to longer ride times, return to riding, new to riding.
Riding Position
Helps with all riding positions.
Features
Gel, easy to attach pull string, use less as comfort improves.
Cost

$39.90

SHOP

Endurance Solutions – 1 to 4 hour ride times

Womens Endurance/Multi-Environment Saddle
Saddle
Type of Riding
Mid to long distances, using one bike for everything, performance riding including road riding or multi day back country.
Duration & Frequency
Daily riding. Regular over 1-2 hours. Made for distance.
Riding Position
All riding set ups. Riding angle 15-90 degrees. Good shape for repetitive pedalling.
Features
Best performance gel saddle. Durable & strong will last for years. Designed for consistant, athletic riders.
Cost

$255.00

SHOP
Womens Touring/Regular Endurance Riding Saddle
Saddle
Type of Riding
Touring, long distance, regular commuter. Smooth to graded trails.
Duration & Frequency
Regular to daily rider. Will support greater than 1 hr ride times.
Riding Position
Mid to upright rider set up. Riding angle 45-90 degrees.
Features
Built up rear dense padding plus gel layer. Rear channel good for tail bone issues. Wide yet room for pedalling.
Cost

$145.00

SHOP
Mens Touring/Regular Endurance Riding Saddle
Saddle
Type of Riding
Touring, long distance, regular commuter.
Duration & Frequency
Regular to daily rider. Will support greater than 1hr ride times.
Riding Position
Mid to upright rider set up. Riding angle 45-90 degrees.
Features
Mens width, comfort for long distances, mens cut out, gel layer. Rear channel good for tail bone issues.
Cost

$145.00

SHOP
Womens Performance Racing Saddle
Saddle
Type of Riding
Racing - Triathlon, road or mountain bike.
Duration & Frequency
Training & Race days. Suits all levels of racing.
Riding Position
Aggressive forward bend, dynamic mover. Riding angle 15-45 degrees.
Features
Narrow width, sleek, short, minimal padding.
Cost

$190.00

SHOP
GEL Seat Cover
Saddle
Type of Riding
Use to transition increased time on bike or return to biking.
Duration & Frequency
All durations and frequencies.
Riding Position
All riding positions.
Features
Can be placed over most seats. Gradually remove/use less as comfort improves.
Cost

$39.90

SHOP

MAKE YOUR PURCHASE A SUCCESS…

Be comfortable at the contact point between you & the bike saddle.  There are multiple ways to improve your comfort on your bike seat.

Some key elements are:

  • Making sure you have the right saddle to match you and the type of riding you do.
  • Correct adjustment of the saddle – height/tilt/reach when you attach your saddle to the bike.
  • Padded bike pants with a sewn in chamois for added cushioning.  Personnel care by using a chamois cream correctly.
  • Ride well and be aware of the correct body position – Chi Riding.

 

Riding stories, support & solutions that will make you & your family SMILE.

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goRide supporting women and families to SMILE when you ride

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