The saddle is one of the most important parts of the bike - you only touch three points on the bike: the pedals, the grips and the saddle, and it's the saddle that is the most obvious in terms of your comfort. As with bikes, saddle innovation and design has come a long way and there is no now reason to suffer seat discomfort on a bike.
Size: Don't assume that a large, wide seat equals comfort. Sometimes a large seat is too wide and after riding for 30 minutes or more it will begin to feel uncomfortable. The saddle will be between your legs and the larger it is the more of it will be rubbing against your inner thighs.Most road bikes seats are narrow and while mountain bikes seats are a little wider, the narrow profile will be more comfortable if you are riding for a long period of time.
Padding: Most saddles now have padding, either foam or gel. The gel saddles are more expensive, depending on the quality of the gel used but also retain the comfort factor longer. Gel saddles were very expensive but recently prices have dropped to the £20 price range.
Leather: We at Roy Pink Cycles truly believe the Brooks saddle is the best money can buy, not only is the price great but the comfort once you have worn it in is truly remarkable. If you're thinking about purchasing one, let us recommend the classic B17, a world class favorite.
Cut-outs: Many saddle designs now incorporate a cut-out section towards the front, or nose, of the saddle. This to take pressure off sensitive body parts and while originally confined to women's saddles, has now been adopted in men's saddle design as well. At the lower price range many saddles have incorporated a groove down the centre of the saddle which serves the same purpose and adds to overall comfort.
Saddle position: The positioning of the saddle is important in terms of your cycling efficiency in addition to comfort and fatigue. When pedalling, at the bottom stroke of the pedal your knee should be slightly bent.
Make sure the nose of the saddle is close to level and does not point down otherwise you will become tired as you work to stop yourself sliding forwards on the seat. When setting the saddle height you should wear the shoes you normally ride in otherwise the saddle may be too high or low. Similarly, when riding in the winter you are likely to have an extra layer of clothes on and this may change the distance between your saddle position and the pedals.
Weight: If your objective is to save weight, rather than looking for a minimalist saddle (less padding and body), save it with lighter, high-tech rails ranging from CroMoly to titanium.
Women's saddles: Women should buy a saddle designed specifically for women - these are shorter and wider than men's saddles and are usually of the cut-out design.
There is now a large range of women's saddles for both mountain and road bikes and for all budgets. Ask us to show you the range of saddles available. A number of women's saddles can be seen by looking at our accessory section.