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Biking & Accessories

Best Bike Seat

When it comes to bike seats, or what we call “saddles,” there is no way to tell someone what will work for them. Your body is unique and finding a saddle that is comfortable for you will be a matter of choice and at times trial and error. What feels good to me may leave you feeling the pain and depending on the saddle you may not feel the pain until much later.

A new saddle is one of the easiest and at times the least expensive way to upgrade your bike. Although choosing a new saddle is a personal decision, these lists were compiled to take some of the guess work out of narrowing down your choices.

These lists will give you a great starting point, your local bike shop will help you find the proper fit for your riding style and body type. They can also set up your saddle in the exact positioning you need for the most comfortable ride and the greatest performance.

Whenever possible, always opt for checking out your choices up close and in person. You put a lot of thought into what bike to buy; your saddle is just as important.

Specialized Expedition Gel Bike Seat

Specialized Expedition Gel Bike Seat

The Expedition Gel is comfortable right out of the box. The patented Body Geometry design has a V-design for keeping the pressure off all those critical areas where blood flow is key. This saddle is perfectly designed for a beach cruiser or commuter hybrid with a more upright seating position. The gel padding adds even more comfort to your ride. This seat is an extremely inexpensive upgrade to your bike. Around a $40 price point, this is affordable to most anyone. More padding doesn't always equate to more comfort, but the Specialized Expedition Gel is the perfect amount of padding to keep it just right as you roll out for your next leisurely ride.

Serfas RX Cruiser Saddle

Like a few of the other bikes on this list, the cut-out design is perfect relief from unwanted pressure on soft tissue. The base is a dual-density construction with equal parts foam and gel. This construction equation will keep the seat from creating a foam wedgie after long hours in the saddle. Like most any comfort saddle, it is designed for an upright position and most any comfort bike. This seat has a higher price than some on this list but generally speaking, comfort seats all tend to be budget friendly and worth the price you pay for a comfortable ride on your cruiser or hybrid.

Electra Ergo Bike Seat

Electra Ergo Bike Seat

Electra bikes have a great retro look and feel. The same can be said for their saddles. If you are looking for a seat that is comfortable and has classic styling, the Ergo is a seat to look at. It is worth looking at any of the Electra line if you simply want to smile. These seats are comfortable and fun. As with most comfort saddles, the Ergo is great for hybrids and cruisers. As the name would imply, it is ergonomically designed for a more upright seating position. Electra uses elastomers and not springs to add to the shock absorbing comfort. This seat is a bit more pricey than the top pick on the list but still comes in as budget friendly at around $50.

Planet Bike A.R.S. Classic Bicycle Saddle

Not every manufacturer pays attention to the anatomical issues that can create problems when you ride on a comfy seat with added cushioning. Planet Bike cares and they make a men's and women's version of this classic. The Anatomic Relief Saddle has a full length recess to keep pressure off those critical areas where blood flow is crucial. You might think that all that technology and comfort has a higher price tag, not so. The A.R.S. Classic comes in at an extremely budget friendly price. This saddle will fit most any comfort style bike.

Planet Bike Comfort Gel Bike Saddle

Another great option from Planet Bike, the Comfort Gel has a recessed center and not a full cut-out but will still keep the pressure off soft tissue. Unlike the A.R.S. that has SuperSoft padding the Comfort Gel has the SuperSoft padding with the addition of gel for added cushioning. The generous 6-inch width and 10-inch length make it ideal for most anyone. This seat will also fit most cruisers or hybrid style bikes. The Comfort Gel is also easy on the wallet with a $30 price tag.

Specialized Henge Expert Bike Seat

Specialized Henge Expert Bike Seat

You want a saddle that can handle the ride and keep you as close to pain free as possible. The Henge Expert features the patented Specialized Body Geometry design and has been lab tested for blood flow to these crucial areas prone to injury from long hours in the saddle. The anti-snag, rounded tail keeps your baggies from getting caught up in the seat. The carbon reinforced shell gives you just the right amount of flex and the EVA cushioning is great for longer rides. Ultimately a bike saddle is a personal choice and depends on your body. The Henge Expert is great for XC and All-Mountain riding and the size works for most body types.

WTB Speed V Progel Bike Saddle

WTB bike seats are for the budget minded rider who still wants a seat that won't leave them feeling the pain. The Speed V's indented design feature reduces pressure in all those places that you need the blood flowing. The gel padding throughout means you'll be sitting comfortably. It has hollow Chromoly seat rails to keep it light. The synthetic cover is not as good as some of the others on the list but for the price it is a good buy. The price-tag makes it an appealing option for the budget minded rider.

Serfas Stinger Bike Saddle

The Serfas Stinger appeals to the rider who is looking for a clean, simple saddle. This saddle has a cut-out design for added pressure relief. It comes in all-black and looks great on any bike. The titanium rails make it strong and lightweight. The mid-length and mid-width of this saddle will keep you comfortable while out on the trail. If you are looking for a saddle upgrade that won't break the bank and will give you a good seat for the money, the Stinger may be it.

Fizik Gobi XM Bike Seat

Fizik is best known for their custom "Spine Concept" saddles. The fit is based on the kind of rider you are. The Gobi XM is a Chameleon fit. Chameleon type riders are able to adapt and will instinctively adjust to the proper position for body weight and comfort. The titanium rails will absorb some of the vibration. The slight up-sweep in the rear keep it comfortable on uphill climbs. The nylon carbon reinforced shell gives you the flexibility you need. The Gobi XM has a long, comfortable profile.

Selle Italia Flite Bike Seat

Selle Italia doesn't make the cheapest saddles on the market but if price isn't the objective they make saddles worth looking at. The price you pay for this may be worth it if you consider the durability and how many years use you can get out of it. Lightweight titanium rails absorb some of the vibration. The leather cover is more durable than most synthetics and there are no uncomfortable stitches or raised lettering.

Specialized S-Works Toupe Bicycle Saddle

Specialized S-Works Toupe Bicycle Saddle

The S-Works Toupe is the best of the best from Specialized. The patented Body Geometry design is lab tested for maximum pressure relief on soft tissue. This saddle features the patented FACT carbon shell that offers the stiffness you need for the race. It has a flat profile and thin padding that make it perfect for explosive sprints to the finish. The cutout design is just one more bonus for keeping the blood flowing to all critical areas. It comes in two sizes and you would have a tough time finding a saddle that is lighter. Quality and performance comes with a price. At around $300 this seat isn't for riders on a tight budget. It is however worth the price for those who have the money to spend.

WTB Valcon Carbon Saddle

The Valcon is one of WTB's top racing saddles. It is designed to be rider friendly with a cutout to protect soft tissue. It was designed with the race in mind. It is shaped for max pedal performance with a narrow quickly tapering nose. It has a carbon composite shell for added stiffness and the carbon rails keep it lightweight. Add it to your list for comparison shopping.

Selle Italia SLR Tekno Flow Road Bicycle Saddle

Selle Italia has been making high quality saddles for more than a century. They have some of the lightest saddles on the market. The Selle Italia SLR Tekno Flow has an all carbon shell for racing stiffness and the carbon rails add to the lightness. The large flow cutout is perfect for protecting soft tissue and making sure you have proper blood flow where you need it. The Lorica cover provides durability and water resistance.

Specialized Romin Pro Road Bicycle Saddle

Specialized Romin Pro Road Bicycle Saddle

If you are looking for a Specialized saddle with a smaller price-tag than the number one pick on this list, take a look at the Romin Pro. This saddle is the perfect example of why it isn't always the padding the makes the saddle comfortable. This is one rock hard saddle but don't let that scare you away. The Body Geomtry design and shape provides a surprising amount of support and comfort for the seasoned rider. If you are new to a racing saddles, this may not be where you want to start. If you have been riding for quite some time, you will want to check this one out. The Romin Pro is available in four sizes and will save you $100 over the number one pick and still give you a great saddle.

Planet Bike A.R.S. Competition Bicycle Saddle

Planet Bike A.R.S. Competition Bicycle Saddle

This list wouldn't be complete without something for the budget minded cyclist. The A.R.S. Competition saddle is priced for any budget. Don't let the price fool you, this saddle will give you great value for the price. You get a narrow line, rear gel pads for comfort and although it doesn't have a complete cutout it does have a full length recess and partial cutout. If you are looking for a new saddle but you are on a tight budget, you can't beat the price.

Specialized Toupe Expert Bike Saddle

Specialized Toupe Expert Bike Saddle

Everyone in the cycling world knows that Specialized makes top-notch bikes. They put just as much research and forward thinking design knowledge into their saddles. The Toupe Expert saddle is a sleek, ultra-lightweight, performance saddle. The hallow titanium rails are durable and absorb road vibration. The EVA padding provides just enough added comfort for longer rides. The cut out in the saddle keeps the blood flowing to all those sensitive areas. The patented Body Geometry technology makes this a perfect road saddle. All that knowledge and technology comes with at a price. At around $130 this saddle is an investment that will pay for itself in pain free rides.

Brooks B15 Swallow Titanium Bike Seat

This list wouldn't be complete without a Brooks saddle. Brooks England has been making saddles and bags since 1866. You either love a Brooks saddle or you hate it. I ride a Brooks and love it. There is a definite break-in period with these quality leather saddles and the Swallow is no different. The B15 Swallow Titanium is perched on titanium rails to shave some weight but if having the lightest saddle on the market is your goal, Brooks is not the brand to be looking at. The longer you have a Brooks, the sweeter they become as they take on your exact shape. The quality is tough to beat and they will last for years on end.

Fizik Antares K:IUM Bike Saddle

The Fizik Antares is the newest in the newest addition to the road line and falls between two of Fizik's top sellers. The Antares saddle provides a larger platform and the perfect amount of flexibility in the carbon reinforced shell. The Antares doesn't have a cut-out in the center and has a flat profile. If you have ridden a saddle without the cutout, you know it is simply a matter of knowing how to position yourself for the best ride and most comfort. It is super lightweight with Fizik's patented K:IUM rails.

Terry Fly TI Gel Bike Saddle

The Terry Fly TI Gel Saddle has been around since 1999 and has plenty of loyal riders. Coming in at just over 9 ounces, it is super lightweight. It is completely cut away from nose to mid-section for the most complete comfort on soft tissue and no numbness after a long day on the bike. A quality leather cover will mold to your unique shape. The injection-molded foam and a thin layer of gel gives you more cushioning in the areas you need it most. This is not for the budget conscious shopper but if money isn't as important as comfort this is a seat to test.

Selle Italia Turbomatic Bike Seat

If you live and ride in an area where the roads aren't always smooth sailing, the Turbomatic is a saddle you should be looking at. The built-in Elastomer suspension at the nose and rear of the rails will soak up some of the rough spots and make it easier on your body. Add to that the gel layered on top of foam and the anatomical cutout and you are looking at comfort for the long haul. The Turbomatic also comes with a durable leather cover. It isn't the lightest saddle on the list but if you are looking for comfort on the rough roads, this is a great saddle.

I've been a cyclist since I was a child. I've owned as many as 5 bicycles at a time and all served a different purpose. I had a mountain bike for rough trails, a hybrid for on and off rail trails, a light weight racing bike for road riding, a modified mountain bike for longer distance riding, and a touring bike. I currently own the most compact folding bike available on the market. It's great for commuting and travel. I do the basic maintenance on them and I use a bike for travel purposes. I have had the folding bike down the east coast and from California to Maryland. I'm currently a staff writer for a NYC bike shop and enjoy seeing all the new equipment as it hits the store.
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