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    Best road bike saddle: the seats that can’t be beat

    Tom Owen
    Tom Owen
    Jun 4, 2024 9 min
    Best road bike saddle: the seats that can’t be beat

    What's the best road bike saddle? Ah, the saddle. Everyone’s least favourite pain in the ass. Saddles are arguably the most important touchpoint on your bike and the one that can cause the most discomfort if you do not find the right one for you. The most important thing to note is the use of the words “for you.” Saddles, as well as being the most important touchpoint on your bike, are also the most personal. Because of this, it can be the hardest one to choose correctly first time. But of course, you know that: that is why you are here!

    Best road bike saddle: Which is best?

    Best road bike saddle
    To remember: the saddles that we swear by might not be the ones that you swear by.

    Before we get started, here is something to remember: the saddles that we swear by might not be the ones that you swear by. No two people are built the same. We have made our recommendations with all preferences, budgets and riding styles in mind, but we cannot cover all bases at once. Our recommendations are also separated by gender, as many cyclists find this helpful. That being said, some women prefer men’s saddles and vice versa.

    Find our top three recommendations per gender below and head to the end for the answers to all your pressing questions. 

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    Best road bike saddle for men

    1. Specialized Romin EVO Comp Gel
    2. Fizik Tempo Argo R3
    3. Prologo Dimension Space

    While we may say road bike saddles for men, the truth is most bike saddles are designed with men in mind, or at least without any women’s specific features. We have put together these top three saddles with men in mind.

    Specialized Romin EVO Comp Gel

    Best road bike saddle

    Bucking the trend of short nosed saddles that have emerged in recent years, the Specialized Romin EVO Expert Gel saddle has a long thin profile. Made for performance and comfort in an aero position, the saddle has a firm base with minimal flex. The gel inserts will not make the saddle cushy by any means, but they do add padding for extra comfort and blood flow. 

    The Romin EVO Expert Gel is available in three widths (143mm, 155mm and 168mm) and comes in at $140 / £95 / €100. 

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    Fizik Tempo Argo R3

    Best road bike saddle

    The Fizik Tempo Argo R3 is a short-nosed road saddle for long rides, intended to be used by riders who want to take on long distances without dealing with saddle discomfort. It has a flatter shape than a typical race saddle, though that will not get in the way while you are in the drops. The saddle has a good amount of padding for long rides and a large central cutout. When they reviewed it, road.cc praised the Tempo R3 for its “great comfort and overall quality”.

    The Tempo Argo R3 comes in two widths (150mm and 160mm) and weighs in at 229g and 235g respectively. The saddle retails for $159.99 / £149.99 / €149. 

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    Prologo Dimension Space

    Best road bike saddle

    The Prologo Dimension Space is another short nosed saddle perfect for riders who ride in a more aggressive position or spend a lot of time in the drops. The saddle uses Prologo’s “PAS” channel, a central gap in the padding with a cutout that is designed to minimize the pressure on soft tissues. The Dimension space has firm padding for support and a slightly lower nose to accommodate aero positions. 

    The saddle only comes in one width (153mm) but two rail options, with the Tirox rails weighing in at 220g and the T4.0 rails weighing in at 237g. The two options retail for $139 / £119 / €136.72 and $115 / £99 / €113.11.  

    Best road bike saddle for women

    1. Bontrager Aeolus Elite
    2. Selle Italia Diva Gel Superflow
    3. Specialized Power Comp with Mimic

    Because of the previously mentioned lack of consideration for women in saddle designs, many women struggle to find a saddle that suits them. That is why most (but not all) of the saddles in this list are made with women in mind and have gotten excellent reviews from women for their female-specific features. 

    Bontrager Aeolus Elite

    Best road bike saddle

    The Bontrager Aeolus Elite is the one saddle out of these three that isn’t a women’s specific design. But don’t be alarmed! This one is on the list because of the long cutout, padding and flex in the wings. It is a saddle designed for racing performance rather than long days in the saddle and is a favourite of female and male racers alike.

    The Aeolus Elite is available in two widths (145mm and 155mm) and weighs in at 219g and 222g respectively. The saddle retails for $159.99 / £114.99 / €119.99 .

    Selle Italia Diva Gel Superflow

    Best road bike saddle

    For longer days in the saddle, the Selle Italia Diva Gel Superflow is a great women’s road bike saddle for long distances. It is a cushier saddle than most, so it will not be ideal for those looking for racing performance, but for touring or ultra endurance, this saddle is ideal. It also has a long cutout to relieve pressure, though it no longer has the distinctive pink of earlier models.

    The Diva Gel Superflow has two width options (135mm and 152mm), weighing in at 275g and 285g. It comes in at $139.90 / £114.99 / €124,90. 

    Specialized Power Comp with Mimic

    Best road bike saddle

    The Specialized Power Comp with Mimic may not be the saddle for everyone but it fills an important gap, quite literally. This is the only saddle on our list with no cutout. Instead, the center has Specialized’s Mimic technology, a soft memory foam that is designed to support soft tissue without applying any added pressure. If cutouts don’t work for you, then this may be the answer to your problems. 

    The Power Comp with Mimic comes in three widths (143mm, 155mm and 168mm) and is highly recommended by many women. It retails at $140 / £95 / €110. 

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    Road bike saddles: most commonly asked questions

    Best road bike saddle
    Discover some answers to the most burning questions that you might have!

    So, now that you have our top six best road bike saddle recommendations, here are some answers to the most burning questions that you might have. 

    What saddles do pro cyclists use?

    To show you just how personal the bike saddle is, it is one of the few things that professional cyclists can sometimes choose themselves, free of any obligation to ride the team’s sponsor’s products. So, what do they ride?

    Tadej Pogačar apparently swears by the Prologo Scratch M5, which was the saddle on his bike for his recent win of the Giro d’Italia. Demi Vollering, meanwhile, rides the Specialized S-Works Power saddle with Mimic already mentioned. 

    Often, the saddles of the pros are the top end model in a brand’s line-up, which are available to the public but at a price point that might make your eyes water. Soudal-Quickstep’s bikes are equipped with the S-Works Power and Romin saddles with Mirror technology, the 3D printed older siblings of the Romin and Power saddles that we recommended. 

    How to choose the right saddle for a road bike? 

    We have mentioned a few times how personal a saddle is, but we have yet to get into how you can find the perfect saddle for you. So, here are a few tips and tricks to help you find that saddle. 

    The first thing to do is to measure your sit bones to determine how wide your saddle should be. Luckily, this can be done quickly and easily at home. Get a piece of cardboard, place it on a hard surface and sit on top of it for a few minutes (making sure you have nothing in your back pockets or on your jeans that might make a false impression). Then, stand up and mark the two indents. Measure the distance between them, preferably in millimeters and add 20mm to get a guide for your optimal saddle width.

    The other element to consider is the geometry of your bike. If you are reading this article, then you most likely want a road bike specific saddle. The two main subsections of road bike saddles will be those intended for racing and those intended for long distance riding. If you have a road bike with a more racy geometry, then you will want a saddle designed for racing, because it will be more comfortable for your position. Likewise, if your road bike is an endurance fit, then a saddle made for longer distances will work best.

    What is the best road bike saddle for long rides?

    Known often as endurance saddles, the best long-distance seats are  made to keep you comfortable in a more upright position for those days where you are spending a bunch of time in the saddle. These saddles often have slightly more support, more padding and let you sit up a little more than you can with a performance saddle. 

    Of the saddles we have recommended above, the Fizik Tempo Argo R3 (for men) and the Selle Italia Diva Gel Superflow (for women) are the two best for long distance riding. The Tempo Argo R3 is designed with endurance riding in mind while the Diva Gel Superflow is perfectly suited for road touring.

    Best road bike saddle
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    What is the best saddle position on a road bike?

    In addition to the saddle itself, the position of your saddle is very important to ensure your comfort on the bike. You can have the best saddle in the world but it will not help if your position is wrong. 

    There are three factors to saddle position: height, fore-aft position and angle. You likely already have your height set but if you need a refresher, you are looking for an almost straight leg with your pedal at the 6 o’clock position. You can also read our article on saddle height.

    The basic fore-aft position is simple: you want your knee over your pedal spindle when in the 3 o’clock position. From there, you can tweak as needed.

    Lastly, set your saddle angle. To start, position your saddle so that the main body is flat. If you have the right saddle for your bike’s geometry, this should work well but can always be adjusted later. 

    What's YOUR best road bike saddle?

    Using the recommendations and tips in this guide, you should be able to find yourself  the perfect seat that can’t be beat. Remember that it’s a far more personal process than buying a new set of handlebars or a fresh cassette, because everyone’s butt is built a little differently. Many bike stores will carry some trial saddles so you can give one a try on your bike before returning it to make a full purchase (or try out a different option). Saddles are often one of the first things our customers choose to upgrade or switch after buying a secondhand bike from us, so don’t hesitate to refer back to this guide.

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