10 Best Bike Touring Saddles of 2021 [For All Types of Riders]

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When you go saddle shopping, think of it as a bed. When you look for a bed, the first thing that comes to your mind is a mattress. Do you want adequate support, some firmness but also a little cushion? You spend hours of your life sleeping on your bed. Hence you want to buy one that is going to provide you with a good night’s rest. But also ensure that you don’t get unnecessary soreness when you wake up the next morning. When you are cycling, you support your entire body weight on the saddle. The saddle needs to provide sufficient support to your body when you ride for miles.

Your seat is supposed to be compatible with your type of riding style & body structure. The faster that you tend to ride, the more narrow should be the saddle that you choose, an ideal choice can be a racing-style saddle. This is primarily because as you tend to ride at a faster rate your riding position also while sitting on your bike shifts forward. Therefore, this causes more weight to be placed on both your hands & feet.

Hence, a significant amount of weight is reduced as you remain seated on the bike’s saddle. Furthermore, while you proceed with pedaling more urgently, while you spin faster. So, you wouldn’t want any obstruction from either side of your seat.

Buyer’s Guide for touring saddle

1. The width of the seat

Bike saddles tend to come in a wide range of widths. If you’re sure as to which saddle would be better suited to your style of riding, then, the selection process should be pretty straightforward. However, you should keep in mind that different styles of saddles tend to be sold that consist of distinct widths. So, the width of the one that you choose primarily depends on the distance between your sit-bones. All you need to do is, measure this, then, you should be able to know for sure as to which model of the saddle would be best suited for you. Measuring the distance between your sit bones is quite straightforward. Most bike shops tend to have a handy tool to help you out during this process.

The width of the saddle

Image Source: livetoplaysports.com

2. Position of the seat

You need to make sure that your saddle is positioned horizontally. So, if its nose isn’t pointing either too high up or down. Because if it, in that case, you may end up experiencing unwanted discomfort in your sensitive regions. On the other hand, if your saddle tends to be either too far in a forward direction or maybe too far backward, then this may result in problems with your neck, arms, or lower back. Moreover, if you can proceed with setting both of your bike’s pedals in a horizontal position, then you’d be required to drop a plumb-line from your knees. Your bike saddle should be in a good position when this plumb line results in running past the shaft of your bike’s pedals. This may then cause you to be able to play around with its settings, either forwards or backward. However, we advise you to not make too drastic changes, you can simply make minor tweaks to your positioning.

Position of saddle

Saddle position should result in a knee angle of approximately 30°.

3. Type of rail

The rails within this saddle consist of tubular bars that have been designed right underneath this saddle. It clamps onto this seat’s post-clamp. You’d be getting numerous options when it comes to the rail materials, such as magnesium, carbon, or titanium rails. The major difference between them is the weight. A carbon-made rail of the saddle would be marginally lighter compared to an aluminum-made one. Steel-made alloys tend to be used more commonly on bike saddles. As for the premium option of bike saddles, these happen to be designed for providing enhanced performance. This type of saddles features titanium for more stiffness & for reduced weight. However, you need to take into consideration that a carbon-made rail may not be able to be fitted in your regular bike saddle’s clamp. These rails tend to be an integral portion while you remain seated. Strength, cost & material of the rail vary between saddles of different designs.

Type of railType of rail

4. The shape of the seat

No two people are the same. This is why there are so many different saddles available. In the first place, the shape of your saddle depends on your gender. Usually, ladies sit better on a wider, specific female saddle. But the shape of your saddle also depends on your type of cycling. Do you race under extreme circumstances or simply use it for touring. In that case, you will need a different kind of saddle than a mountain biker who prefers lightweight more than comfort. So when looking for the right saddle, it’s important to find one that fits your discipline. A pear-shaped saddle has more width giving optimal cushioning for the touring rider. The T shaped saddle has a wide rear, narrow mid, and a narrow front section for a higher intensity ride that offers support but reduces chafing.

Shape of the saddle

5. Sit bones

The most important measurement when determining the correct saddle width is the distance between your sit bones. The sit bones are the two bones at the bottom of your pelvis. These bones support your weight while you ride, and the distance between the two varies from person to person. Additionally, there is a distinct difference between men and women. On average, men’s sit bones are placed closer together than women’s sit bones. This is why women’s saddles are wider than men’s saddles. If your sit bones aren’t properly supported you will sit next to your saddle instead of on it. This will result in pressure points and discomfort in all the sensitive places. It’s one of the main causes of saddle sores.

Sit bones

6. Shell

The saddle’s shell is considered as its heart. The type of performance which you’ll be able to get out from a saddle depends on the shell. It gives any saddle a basic shape & helps in flexing its characteristics. A vast majority of the lower to mid-range tier saddles consists of a nylon-made shell along with sufficient carbon reinforcements. However, premium-quality saddles tend to have a fully carbon-fiber construction that is capable of offering you optimal efficiency & a minimum flex.

Shell

7. Padding

Padding within bike saddles ensures the distribution of the pressure from your buttocks right into the surface. The polyurethane foam that is used generally comes in a wide range of densities. This would serve you with the feel of either a firm or soft bike saddle. A saddle that is softer is designed to be the perfect option for your long duration rides & touring. Moreover, it’ll offer you more flexibility but offers lesser efficiency.

Padding

8. Cutouts

Numerous saddles consist of cutouts that serve the purpose of working as channels for relieving pressure. It helps in eliminating the pressure that might have otherwise been exerted on your soft tissues. The centermost section of a saddle tends to be responsible for serving you optimal comfort. There are some saddles that also have grooves or cutouts within the center-most part, this ensures very good ventilation & helps in alleviating pressure from being exerted on your sensitive nerves & veins.

Cutouts

9. Cover material

This portion of the bike saddle tends to take a vast majority of the abuse. Such as constant pressure, friction, moisture & sweat. It always tends to get exposed to various types of elements. Therefore, it’ll be required for you to invest in a bike seat that is capable of taking all sorts of abuse. A majority of the saddles covers these days are manufactured using a synthetic-made blend of either rubber or plastics along with foam. Whereas, the premium quality saddles consists of firm leather-made covers. Bike saddles for touring generally do not need to take too much abuse. Hence, the usage of moderate materials does the job quite well.

10. Weight

Conveniently lightweight saddles are more preferable. The heavy ones will add to the weight of the bike when you push it around or have to lift it. Higher quality saddles will generally use exotic materials that do not compromise with weight. As high performance becomes more important the weight should be less.

Our Top Pick

Touring is supposed to be fun, not painful. That is why we came up with a list of the 10 of the top bike saddles to give you the ultimate experience for touring. Many people accept discomfort believing it’s simply an inevitable part of their journey. But this is far from the actual case. After hours of thorough research, our team of editors chose Ergon – ST Core Prime as our “Overall Best Choice”. So let’s discuss why we chose this product and how it will benefit you.

Ergon - ST Core Prime Saddle

Combines ergonomics, pressure relief & movement support | Overall best choice

With Ergon – ST Core Prime Saddle, you will be getting supreme levels of shock absorption. This is because of its sandwich construction. Hence, you’ll be able to have unlimited fun during your cycling escapades. This saddle’s dynamic core consists of a very distinct construction compared to the gel saddles. It mainly stands out because of its higher level of vibration, resilience, shock-absorption & perfect hold.

  • The large relief channel does an excellent job of keeping pressure away from the perineal area.
  • The core absorbs bumps on the road and keeps the ride very comfortable.
  • The Twin Shell technology works because the saddle adjusts itself to every pedal stroke.
  • Due to the revolutionary construction of this saddle, your rear end will be supported and your sit bones won’t face any discomfort.
  • It will last miles of riding in all sorts of weather. 
  • You can wear all types of clothing while sitting on this saddle, which makes it super versatile for touring.
  • This saddle is perfect for weight distribution and efficiency in performance pedaling.

The lowermost supporting shell is attached to the rails & it is also quite firm. Whereas, the uppermost portion offers good levels of flexibility. The shell holds this saddle’s ergonomically designed seat padding using a relief channel. This helps in relieving pressure from your sensitive regions, making this saddle ideal for your upright or moderate sitting positions even during long hours.

 

A quick view of selected 10 of the finest saddles that would be an ideal choice for your touring bike:

SaddleDimension (mm)Our Ratings
Ergon - ST Core Prime271 x 18496
Fizik Aliante R3275 x 14390
Selle Italia Max FLX270 x 16274
Fabric Scoop265 x 14298
ISM195 x 17582
WTB Rocket Comp262 x 14288
Selle Anatomica X1294 x 14586
Brooks B17275 x 17594
Brooks C17283 x 14090
Brooks Saddles B67260 x 20594

How our selected bike touring saddles compare

SaddlePreviewGenderDimensionsWeightRecommended useSizePaddingCoverPressure relief
Ergon - ST Core PrimeErgon - ST Core Prime Bicycle Saddle | for Hybrid, Commuting and E-Bikes | Mens | Two Sizes | Two Color OptionsMen’s271 x 184 mm440 g (S/M), 460 g (M/L)Urban cyclingS/M ,M/LOrthopedic Comfort FoamMicrofiberRelief channel
Fizik Aliante R3Fizik Aliante R3 K:Ium RailsMen’s275 x 143 mm215g (regular) / 220g (large)Road cycling, off-road, triathlonLarge, RegularSaddle padThermowelded MicrotexCentral cutout
Selle Italia Max FLXSelle Italia Max FLX Gel Flow SaddleUnisex270 x 162 mm485 gCycle commuting, Cycle touringRegularGel paddingSyntheticCentral cutout
Fabric ScoopFabric Scoop Race Radius Saddle: BlackMen’s265 x 142 mm[flat] 238g, [shallow] 254gRoad cycling, mountain cyclingFlat, shallowFoam cushioningMicrofiberNone
ISMISM Touring Saddle, Hybrid Commuter Bike Seat, Foam Padding Bundle with a Lumintrail Red Bike TaillightUnisex195 x 175 mm458 gHybrid, Police, City, and Commuter bikesStandard60-series foam paddingSyntheticNose-less
WTB Rocket CompWTB Rocket Comp 130 Black SaddleMen’s262 x 142 mm286gRoad and mountain cyclingRegularFoamMicrofiberNarrow nose and midsection
Selle Anatomica X1Selle Anatomica X1Unisex294 x 145 mm515 gDistance, offroad, touringMediumNo cushioningLeatherCentral cutout
Brooks B17B17 Carved BlackMen’s275 x 175 mm520gUrban cyclingMediumSaddle padVegetable tanned leatherCentral cutout
Brooks C17C17 Black All WeatherUnisex283 x 140 mm432gRoad, mountain cyclingRegularSaddle padWaterproof and weatherproof nylonNone
Brooks Saddles B67Brooks Saddles B67 Bicycle Saddle (Men's)Men’s260 x 205 mm850 gCity & TouringMediumGel cushioningTanned leatherSpring system

10 best bike saddles that you can buy today for touring

1. Ergon – ST Core Prime saddle

Combines ergonomics, pressure relief & movement support | Overall best choice

Ergon - ST Core Prime
  • Saddle Type: Touring, Performance Comfort
  • Gender: Men 
  • Dimensions: 271 x 184 mm
  • Weight: 440 g (S/M), 460 g (M/L)
  • Recommended Use: Urban cycling
  • Color: Black
  • Shape: Arione shape
  • Size: S/M, M/L
  • Shell: Nylon Composite
  • Padding: Orthopedic Comfort Foam
  • Rail: CroMo
  • Cover: Microfiber
  • Pressure Relief: Relief channel

Features & Considerations
  • Design and construction: The new ST Core saddle is tailored in detail to the needs and requirements of touring around the world. 
  • Shock absorption & reduces back-pain: The specially designed layered design along with its BASF Infinergy foam-made core makes sure that this saddle follows a more natural pedaling motion. In a wide range of directions. More importantly, it helps in effectively soaking in shocks & reduces any backache.
  • Relief: This saddle has especially been designed for men & placed for efficient support of your perineum & genital region.
  • Eliminates pressure: There are comfortable channels for offering relief. It helps in eliminating stress & numbness in your sensitive & soft-tissue regions.
  • Comfort: TwinShell design delivers a unique floating effect while pedaling to provide unprecedented cycling comfort.
  • Responsiveness: The core consists of Infinergy, the latest E-TPU material bringing state of the art technology in responsiveness and damping.
  • Suitable for long-distance: The ergonomic saddle revolution for touring bikes ensures maximum long-distance comfort.

Some Weaknesses
  • The saddle is a bit pricey and on the high-end side.

 

Ergon is renowned for manufacturing some of the best bike saddles you’ll find out there.  The ST Core Prime Saddle isn’t any different. It has been manufactured using a pioneering design principle known as TwinShell Technology. Therefore, you’ll be getting a dynamic saddle that consists of an ergonomic core. Its two shells work autonomously consisting of a sandwich design. In-between each of these shells there is a floating high-efficiency material made from foam. This has been developed by BASF to primarily act as a damper. As there is decoupling of this bike saddle shell from its support shell, so, the saddle itself will follow your typical pedaling motion in a range of directions.

One of the major advantages is it ensures relief for your sit bones & perineal region. It will be able to offer you exceptional vibration & shock absorption, effective pedaling ergonomics & offer protection for your back & spinal cord. Also, the very firm supporting shell ensures in bearing your load, while its cushion rests within the uppermost flexible shell of this saddle ensuring an efficient bearing of your load. This sets the Ergon ST apart from many of its competitors. Moreover, there is an elastic shock-absorbing ergonomically-designed core. The Ergon Core plays the crucial role of protecting you from bumps & unevenness within the road, it helps in filtering vibrations that are accumulated from the direct seating region & also helps in supporting your natural movements of the pelvic.

BASF’s innovative material helps in setting new standards when it comes to shock absorption. The suspension within this saddle consists of thousands of light-weight & supremely elastic foam-particles. Its higher levels of elasticity primarily compensate for the bumps within the roadways. While the pressure-impulse subsides, its core comes back to the original shape, spontaneously. At the same time, this saddle ensures optimal durability that too with its minimal material weight, even after it is exposed to a constant load. Any possible numbness & discomfort as you remain seated are efficiently prevented, this is due to its substantial relief channel.

Ergon - ST Core Prime Bike Saddle

Ergon – ST Core Prime Bike Saddle

2. Fizik Aliante R3 seat

Impressive stiffness & low weight

Fizik Aliante R3
  • Saddle type: Touring
  • Gender: Men 
  • Dimensions:  275 x 143 mm
  • Weight: 215 g (regular) / 220 g (large)
  • Recommended Use: Road cycling, Off-road, Triathlon
  • Color: Bianco
  • Shape: Arione shape
  • Size: Large, Regular
  • Shell: Composite Glass co-injected Nylon TwinFlexTM
  • Padding: High-density padding developed by Fizik
  • Rail: K:ium
  • Cover: Thermo-welded Microtex
  • Pressure Relief: Central cutout

Features & Considerations
  • Easy to clean: Easy to clean microtex cover protects saddle’s internals.
  • Stiffness: The K:ium rails deliver impressive stiffness and low weight.
  • Responsive: Fiberglass injected nylon shell blends flex with responsiveness.
  • Affordable: Get a comfortable, light saddle without emptying your wallet.
  • Best performing: Through physiological research, anatomic studies, and advanced technological development, manufacturers are successful in creating the best performing saddle.
  • Lightweight: The extremely lightweight saddle is a great choice for professionals and newbies alike.
  • Titanium alloy for strength: Significantly higher strength to weight ratio than aluminum
  • Made for less flexible Bull riders within Fizik’s Spine Concept.

Some Weaknesses
  • Not the lightest in its price bracket.

 

It is quite lightweight, comfy & cost-effective. Moreover, it doesn’t come within the same packaging. However, Fizik has been able to bring both of these together right under the same emblem of Aliante R3 K:Ium. The R3 is hugely popular amongst touring riders for many years now. The manufacturers have used affordable materials that consist of advanced technology. 

The R3 features a double-layer TwinFlex shell. That has a stiffer outermost layer for handling efficient power-transfer & a well-designed center which flexes imperceptibly for serving you with long-term comfort. Fizik’s exclusive K:ium rails offer you durability. These are considerably lightweight platform this will help you during challenging riding sessions. This mysterious titanium-made alloy ensures lightweightness compared to the more robust titanium-made ones. Moreover, it boasts a significantly higher power-to-weight ratio than that of the aluminum-made ones. This anatomically adaptive saddle surface is ideal for men while performing extensive studies & during on-road tests. 

Fizik Aliante R3 Bike Saddle

Fizik Aliante R3 Saddle

3. Selle Italia Max FLX saddle

Large anatomical cutout in the center for pressure release

Selle Italia Max FLX Gel Flow Saddle
  • Saddle Type: Touring
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Dimensions: 270 x 162 mm
  • Weight: 485 g
  • Recommended Use: Cycle commuting, Cycle touring
  • Color: Black
  • Shape: Arione shape
  • Size: Regular
  • Shell: Nylon
  • Padding: Gel padding
  • Rail: Steel alloy
  • Cover: Synthetic
  • Pressure Relief: Central cutout

Features & Considerations
  • Comfort: The shape of the paddle is great for people with medium width sit bones at 162 mm wide and 270 mm in length.
  • Great padding: They have incorporated a generous amount of medium density padding in the area where your sit bones rest just in front of the widest part of this saddle.
  • Release pressure: There is a large anatomical cutout in the center which does a great job keeping the pressure off that sensitive part of the body.
  • Performance: The saddle’s shape makes for an unencumbered pedal stroke, and the medium density doesn’t take energy away as you mash on the pedal. 
  • Balance: The synthetic seat cover has a good balance of slip and grip, and it is easy to move around on this saddle.
  • Durability: The seat cover is quite durable and is made of one piece that wraps around and is attached to the shell under the saddle.
  • Versatility: For extended periods of riding, this versatile saddle can be used for different types of cycling.

Some Weaknesses
  • Only available in wide widths

 

Selle Italia Max FLX Gel Flow Saddle has suspension at the base of their steel alloy rail. There are biobased gel inserts in the padding and the saddle is drawn together with a supple synthetic cover. The overall impression is one of quality. It’s not a saddle that looks like it should be lightweight, and indeed it’s not. At a bit less than 500 g, it’s not especially lardy though, and if you value comfort overweight then the Selle Italia Max is definitely worth a look.

There is plenty of giving from the frame and the padding, but it never feels sloppy, just accommodating. The giant cutaway gives good pressure relief and also ventilation. On long rides, it provides great comfort. You don’t need to stand up every time you look for relief after long hours of riding. It’s a fine choice for riders who appreciate a litter wider base and padding. It’s a seat that you can expect to turn out to be a pretty long term investment.

Selle Italia Max FLX Gel Flow Saddle

Selle Italia Max FLX Gel Flow Saddle

4. Fabric Scoop Race saddle

State of the art saddle design builds comfort to every ride

Fabric Scoop Race Saddle
  • Saddle Type: Touring
  • Gender: Men
  • Dimensions: 282 x 142 mm [shallow]
  • Weight: [flat] 238 g, [shallow] 254 g
  • Recommended Use: Road cycling, Mountain cycling
  • Color: Black, Black/Blue
  • Shape: Pear-shaped
  • Size: Flat, Shallow
  • Shell: PU foam
  • Padding: Foam cushioning
  • Rail: Titanium
  • Cover: Waterproof Microfiber
  • Pressure Relief: None

Features & Considerations
  • Performance: You would be able to enjoy unmatched comfort & performance while you use this saddle. The manufacturers have shaped this saddle so that it is ideal for you.
  • Design: This saddle is available in 3 different profiles, it solely depends on riding style. This groundbreaking saddle design has caused reinvention. This saddle happens to be very responsive, lightweight, comfy& durable.
  • Built-in comfort: Their state of the art saddle design builds in comfort to every ride.
  • Removes tension: Their unique three-part construction strips away the compression and tension found in traditional hard, stretched cover saddles.
  • Flexibility: The manufacturers bond a waterproof microfiber straight onto a flexible base, allowing you to get a softer foam.
  • Durable: Their unique saddle design has a bonded cover and is super easy to clean, with smooth lines and superb durability.
  • Personalized: Whatever your style, there is a Scoop saddle for you. Try their “flat” profile if you like to get low and cheat the wind, and place less weight on the saddle. “Shallow” is if you need the saddle for all types of riding, balancing comfort and movement with a slightly curved profile, flexible base, and low-density foam.

Some Weaknesses
  • No anatomical relief.
  • Only available in one width

 

Fabric Scoop Saddle for racing is a moderately priced all-around version in their line of saddles. It features their “shallow” profile that is designed for a more neutral riding position that most people have on a touring bike. It is relatively comfortable with excellent shape and medium-density padding. On the bike, it allows for a very clean and powerful pedal stroke as well as great freedom of movement.

They also feature a clean look, quality construction, and solid all-around performance. Its comfort is primarily due to its shape, with 142 mm width, rounded side profile, and slightly scooped tip to tail profile. This shape supports the rider’s weight comfortably on the seat bones while allowing for an unencumbered pedal stroke. At this price range, it is an excellent value for the money. The shell is a single solid piece as well with the sturdy Titanium rails pressure fit into it. The rails are straight with no complaints of any noises coming from them while riding. 

Fabric Scoop Race Saddle

Fabric Scoop Race Saddle

5. ISM seat

Nose-less & designed to remove pressure from soft tissue

ISM Touring Saddle
  • Saddle Type: Touring
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Dimensions: 195 x 175 mm
  • Weight: 458 g
  • Recommended Use: Hybrid, Police, City, and Commuter bikes
  • Color: Black
  • Shape: Sloped front
  • Size: Standard
  • Shell: Nylon
  • Padding: 60-series foam padding
  • Rail: Satin Steel
  • Cover: Synthetic
  • Pressure Relief: Nose-less

Features & Considerations
  • Healthy for the body: The saddle is nose-less and designed to remove pressure from soft tissue, ensuring maximum blood flow, no genital numbness, and a healthier more enjoyable ride.
  • Comfort: Slightly wider than other models and uses foam padding and satin steel rails.
  • Supportive: With its ideal blend of supportive yet comfortable padding, they are an amazing choice.
  • Great dimensions: The dimensions fit most riders of all weight ranges.
  • Superior shape: Offering a classic shape with an anatomical pressure relief groove, the reputable manufacturers have made it stand out among competitors.
  • Affordable: They are fairly priced and worth your hard-earned money.
  • Versatility: This versatile saddle is bought by police, riders for daily commute as well as for touring purposes.

Some Weaknesses
  • Sometimes the horn digs into the underside of your thighs on the downstroke.

 

The ISM saddle specially designed for touring remains a popular saddle for uprights and a popular choice for policemen. Several police departments around the country use these. They spend on average more than 25 hours a week in the saddle. So you can rest assured of how comfortable they are. Professionals and amateurs both find riding and competing enjoyable, due to such a comfy bike seat. They are a great investment as you don’t need to replace them every few months or years.

ISM’s award-winning design will ensure that you can achieve an increased hip-rotation. Thus, this will decrease your aerodynamic drag & help in opening up the diaphragm for more comfortable breathing. There are times when cyclists complain about an increase in wattage, this is specifically due to the enhanced & aggressive positioning. Sloped front-end arms help in providing additional relief for the superficial perineal-space. From the very beginning of your ride, until you’ve reached your destination, you should be able to fully enjoy every moment. The bundle consists of a Lumintrail LTC-15 Taillight. If you happen to be on the lookout for something edgy but at the same time, quite unique then this is the perfect bike saddle for you.

ISM Touring Saddle

ISM Touring Saddle

6. WTB Rocket Comp saddle

Microfiber material for smoothness and performs better in wet conditions

WTB Rocket Comp Saddle
  • Saddle Type: Touring
  • Gender: Men
  • Dimensions: 262 x 142 mm
  • Weight: 286 g
  • Recommended Use: Road and mountain cycling
  • Color: Black
  • Shape: Pear 
  • Size: Regular
  • Shell: Flex-tuned
  • Padding: Foam 
  • Rail: Carbon
  • Cover: Microfiber
  • Pressure Relief: Narrow nose and midsection

Features & Considerations
  • Smooth: The cover is a microfiber material for smoothness and performs better in wet conditions.
  • Lightweight: This saddle is extremely lightweight, giving you a faster ride. 
  • Ease in riding: The Rocket has an anatomical relief channel, and a comfort zone cut out on the nose.
  • Good shape: The shape has a more pronounced rise in the rear which is great for your seat bones.
  • Performance: Due to firm padding and a stiffer shell, you are guaranteed overall good performance. 
  • Durability: The synthetic cover and heavy-duty fabric on the corners can endure rough riding and last for a decade.
  • Prone to abrasion: It does have a good deal of exposed stitching that is prone to abrasion.

Some Weaknesses
  • Some riders found the saddle to be too narrow; hence it is not a good choice for riders who like to move around a lot.

 

WTB Rocket Comp is renowned for being capable of providing a premium-quality & comfy saddles for your wide variety of touring bikes. It consists of a uniquely contoured-pad, the shape helps to increase the power output by ensuring that your sit bones are properly angled. Moreover, it also happens to be the saddle of preference for cyclists who are into pro downhill racing. This saddle would be ideal for a range of different trail conditions, this includes fast, technical singletracks, smooth & flowy conditions. It features a narrow nose, that spreads back towards a lipped & contoured rear-end. This enables you to have multiple seating-positions depending on how you plan on riding. Furthermore, the narrower front-end made steep incline makes it easier for you to get the weight forward & on your knees. Whereas, the bigger rear-end is capable of providing you a comfy resting spot.

The significant clearance in-between this saddle’s rails & its ensures easy insertion of the seat post-plates for attachment. This process should be quite easy for you. The Rocket weighs at around 286 g. It happens to be very lightweight given its size. It features substantial padding & material. Furthermore, this saddle happens to be lighter compared to the vast majority of its competitors. This saddle’s padding depth ensures comfort even during your long & grueling rides. Also, it works really well for technical climbs. However, the rigid nature of its padding helps in keeping you positioned comfortably on this seat. Hence, you won’t be feeling any unnecessary sinking feeling of sinking into a pillow. Lastly, this saddle features a well-designed centermost cut-out channel. This will enable in preventing any unwanted pressure to be exerted on your buttocks. More importantly, blood circulation won’t be cut off to crucial sections of your anatomy.

WTB Rocket Comp Saddle

WTB Rocket Comp Saddle

7. Selle Anatomica X1 seat

Dual laminate design with full grain leather top

Selle Anatomica X1
  • Saddle Type: Touring
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Dimensions: 294 x 145 mm
  • Weight: 515 g
  • Recommended Use: Distance, Offroad, Touring
  • Color: Black Gunmetal
  • Shape: Slot
  • Size: Medium
  • Shell: Nylon
  • Padding: No cushioning
  • Rail: 4130 chromoly steel
  • Cover: Leather
  • Pressure Relief: Central cutout

Features & Considerations
  • Tension system: The tension system is very easy to use.
  • Flexible: The saddle allows for flexible, free pedaling motion.
  • Healthy: Patented slot works to create a dual hammock for your sit bones.
  • Trustworthy: The manufacturers have been in the business for decades so their products are reliable.
  • Superior design: Dual laminate design with full-grain leather top.
  • Appearance: Great all-around looks with real copper rivets, matching copper, and gunmetal nameplates.
  • Support: Comfort and support from the first ride, across long rides and different types of riding.

Some Weaknesses
  • Weight significantly more than most modern saddles.

 

Selle Anatomica X1 is unlike any other saddle that we have come across. Effectively, the patented slot creates a 2-part saddle, with each side working like a hammock to support your sit bones individually and allow each side to flex independently. They also provide the front to back support for the rest of your soft tissue while taking pressure off the perineal area. They work equally well for men and women. The comfortable nature of the leather makes the saddle equally comfortable for both genders. 

You will be happy to know that there is no break-in period. The seat is comfortable from the first ride. There is no need to suffer through a period in which you have to break it in to reach that desired level of comfort. It’s a function of the design with the rails fastening to a C-shaped piece of metal at the rear undercarriage for support. On the performance side, the saddle doesn’t restrict movement in any way when it comes to fast riding and high cadence pedaling. 

Selle Anatomica X1 Bike Saddle

Selle Anatomica X1 Saddle

8. Brooks B17 saddle

Traditional touch to your touring bike

Sale
Brooks B17 Carved
  • Saddle Type: Performance
  • Gender: Men
  • Dimensions: 275 x 175 mm
  • Weight: 520 g
  • Recommended Use: Urban cycling
  • Color: Black
  • Shape: Flat
  • Size: Medium
  • Shell: Unicanitor
  • Padding: No padding
  • Rail: Steel
  • Cover: Vegetable tanned leather
  • Pressure Relief: Central cutout

Features & Considerations
  • Traditional: It gives a traditional touch to your touring bike.
  • Comfortable: Wide, supportive sit-bone area is ideal for comfort.
  • Keeps you fit: Conforms to your anatomy and keeps you fit.
  • Great for long-distance: The B17 is a favorite of tourists and long-distance riders around the world for more than a century.
  • Long-lasting: The leather will last for a lifetime if you use it with proper care.
  • Natural ventilation: The pores of the vegetable-tanned leather give the B17 natural ventilation, keeping you cool throughout the ride.
  • Strength: The chrome frame, stainless steel rivets, and black steel rails make its strength outstanding.

Some Weaknesses
  • It is quite heavy
  • Needs a lengthy break-in period.

 

Brooks England B17 uses extra tough organic leather. The material comes from herds that are fed organic food which makes them tougher and long-lasting. Its wider shape and slim, short nose make it ideal for more upright rides, and especially touring bikes. We are aware that it is pretty heavy compared to modern saddle standards, but its comfort is worthwhile and makes up for the extra mass. 

The saddles are handmade in Britain and you will fall in love with the hand-hammered brass rivets that hold the leather skin to the steel base. With its natural pale leather and distinctive appearance, it’s of a kind saddle. The value is justified for its vintage style and design. The tensioned leather will withstand harsh weather environments, and protect you from feeling uneasy. Cyclists who ride long distances love this equipment.

Brooks B17 Carved

Brooks B17 Carved Saddle

9. Brooks C17 seat

Vulcanized rubber & waterproof nylon top saddle

Sale
Brooks C17 All-Weather Bike Seat
  • Saddle Type: Touring
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Dimensions: 283 x 140 mm
  • Weight: 432 g
  • Recommended Use: Road, Mountain cycling
  • Color: Black
  • Shape: Flat
  • Size: Regular
  • Shell: Fiberglass-reinforced nylon
  • Padding: No padding
  • Rail: Steel
  • Cover: Waterproof and weatherproof nylon
  • Pressure Relief: None

Features & Considerations
  • Waterproof: A vulcanized rubber and waterproof nylon top saddle with a carbon frame are suitable for touring.
  • Reduced weight: Weight reduction is accomplished through a continuous carbon saddle rail that eliminates performance resistant contact points.
  • Flexible performance: Finished with aluminum rivets in all black, this saddle offers flexible performance for immediate comfort and all-day weather protection.
  • Superior comfort: The Cambium All Weather naturally flexes for superior comfort.
  • Maximum durability: The waterproof nylon top with vulcanized rubber incorporated, ensures maximum durability.
  • Construction: From freezing rain to blazing sunshine, the solid construction of the seat will keep it intact in all weather.
  • Based on the models, they are available in 3 widths in both standard and carved versions.

Some Weaknesses
  • Flexibility is not its forte.
  • Not compatible with racing bikes.

 

Brooks C17 redefines priorities, putting performance on top by added comfort. This saddle has been designed to serve you with all-day comfort straight from the word go. The manufacturers have made use of a vulcanized rubber-made shell containing a cotton-made top portion. This has helped in producing an efficient & stylish saddle. The standout feature is its water-resistant nylon-coating. This is very desired amongst riders who are into touring especially during challenging weather conditions. 

Rubber has been used for making this flex quite well. This aids in recreating the renowned hammock style for Brooks leather-made saddles. Furthermore, it ensures optimal comfort while keeping you in proper contact with this bike saddle. Hence, you would not have to worry about bouncing around as you pass through rougher surfaces. You’ll come to realize how efficient this can turn out to be while you’re in an aggressive position within the road & your sit bones remain in an exposed position. Its steel-made rails mean, its weight gets compromised a bit. However, this helps in compensating for additional power transfering capabilities.

Brooks C17 All-Weather Bike Seat

Brooks C17 All-Weather Bike Seat

10. Brooks B67  saddle

Vegetable tanned leather give them natural ventilation

Brooks Saddles B67 Bicycle Saddle
  • Saddle Type: Touring
  • Gender: Men
  • Dimensions: 260 x 205 mm
  • Weight: 850 g
  • Recommended Use: City & Touring 
  • Color: Antique brown / Black / Honey 
  • Shape: Flat T shaped
  • Size: Medium
  • Shell: Nylon
  • Padding: No padding
  • Rail: Tubular steel
  • Cover: Tanned leather
  • Pressure Relief: Spring system

Features & Considerations
  • Natural ventilation: The pores of the vegetable tanned leather give them natural ventilation, keeping you cool throughout the ride. 
  • Superior construction: Crafted with all black steel, tubular steel rivets, and single rail design.
  • Micro-adjust pillars: The single rails can attach to a micro-adjusting seat pillar.
  • Versatile: They are most appropriate for cyclists who set their handlebars higher than their saddles.
  • Comfort: Due to the spring system, they are ideal for the comfort required for touring.
  • Reliable: The manufacturers have been in the industry for more than a hundred years so you can rest assured about their finest techniques. 
  • The B67 features a classically sprung saddle with a wider rear portion.

Some Weaknesses
  • The saddle is fairly heavy but not much more than a standard saddle with the added weight of a suspension seat post.

 

Brooks B67 utilizes time tested technologies to give you an incredibly comfortable and memorable ride. There is nothing quite like a sprung leather saddle to top off a nice touring bicycle. Tanned leather, classically designed steel springs, and durable brass rivets make this a seat that will last a lifetime with proper care. Brooks has been making saddles for over 100 years and their experience is clearly reflected in every product that they make.

The saddle will be comfortable from the very start of your journey. It soaks up road shock and favors an upright posture which is helpful for your back in the long run. Our suggestion is to definitely invest in this saddle for a safe and secure ride. You can go hundreds of miles with these reliable items. The saddle will instantly make your bike look more elegant and you will fall in love with it from day 1. There is also a women’s variant available of this wonderful saddle which you can find here

Brooks Saddles B67 Bicycle Saddle

Brooks Saddles B67 Bicycle Saddle


Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is the best saddle for long-distance cycling?

Ans.: ISM PL1.1 bike saddles have redefined their split nose design and are the best for long-distance cycling. It is designed for the performance rider so has some additional length to it. This means you have more space on the saddle to use when climbing or descending. The additional length also gives a more traditional look to the bike. ISM provides more padding and its broader tail section works splendidly for those who hips backward when climbing. 

Q2. Is a wide bike seat more comfortable? 

Ans.: A very popular misconception being that wide seats tend to be more comfortable than that of narrower ones. This mostly depends on your type of riding which you’re used to be doing. Racing saddles consisting of a sleek design would not necessarily be able to provide you with the necessary comfort. On the other hand, wider seats end up creating greater friction & chafing as you tend to do a lot of pedaling. Overall, the more time you spend riding & pedaling, the thinner & less obtrusive should the saddle be.

Q3. What is saddle soreness and how does it occur?

Ans.: Saddle soreness is a pain or discomfort felt in the areas of your body in contact with the saddle. This can be your sit bones, or in the case of more aggressive riding positions, the area between your genitals known as the perineum. It’s also possible to suffer from chafing of your inner thighs as they rub back and forth against the saddle.

A combination of pressure from your body weight bearing down on the saddle, friction from the constant pedaling motion, moisture from sweat, an increase in temperature, and reduced blood flow can produce discomfort and the formation of sores.

Q4. How do I stop getting a saddle sore when cycling?

Ans.: If you suffer from acute inflammation then it is possible for it to be treated using anti-bacterial cream. Also, you should take at least a day off. Although, if the sore happens to be quite serious, then chances are it would require attention from medical professionals. If the pain is unbearable, you should go and see your medical practitioner, he/she should prescribe you any necessary medications. For lesser urgent scenarios, you might consider swapping the shorts you wear during cycling or even your bike’s saddle that has a different shape. Experts also suggest that you should refrain from the removal of excessive hair in & around your intimate areas. This may end causing your hair-follicles to get inflamed & end up causing an infection as the hair begins re-growing. Many people more susceptible to saddle-sores more so that than others. This may not seem like the most ideal solution, but, if you try using chamois cream then it may often work surprisingly well. 

You can check out the video provided below for even more helpful methods –  

10 Ways To Avoid A Sore Ass When Cycling | Cycling Tips For Triathletes

Q5. Should the saddle on a touring bike be higher than the handlebars? 

Ans.: Handlebar height relative to saddle height varies with the rider. Saddle height will be dictated by the pedal stroke; the height where the rider can deliver the most leg power to the pedals over the longest period of time. Once the height is set, then the question of handlebar height is determined by rider comfort and objectives. If the rider is racing, then he or she might want the handlebar lower than the saddle to provide an aerodynamic position. But if the rider is a touring cyclist, then he will want the handlebar higher than the saddle for a more upright position that is more comfortable. It will also be easier on the neck and allow greater visibility. 

Different heights for different types of riding

This picture shows different heights for different types of riding

Q6. What can you do to avoid pain on sit bones?

Ans.: The plan for you should be to develop superior leg-strength. Rather than just being seated within your bike’s seat, you should consider balancing within it using a majority of your body-weight that is borne using your legs. It is undoubtedly another major advantage of strength-training during the winter season. However, you need to make sure to not over-do it, because, this might cause you to develop a potential injury that is known as a spring-knee. This primarily results due to the exertion of excessive amounts of load on your knees. 

If the pressure is applied to your sit bones, then it results in a significant reduction of blood-flow quite drastically. This is what primarily causes the injury. Irrespective of you having stringer legs or not. You’ll need to consider standing at least once, after a duration of 15 minutes, for a minimum of 30 seconds. This will help in relieving pressure from being exerted into your sit bones & result in more normal blood circulation.

Q7. How can I make my bike saddle more comfortable? 

Ans.: You can try the following ways –

      • Use thin padding: While thick padding may seem like the ideal way to avoid bum sores, experts insist that excessively soft, thick padding can increase more pressure on the sit bones, making your cycling experience a discomfort. Instead, go for thinner padding that will add more sturdiness, and add more plushness to your overall cycling experience. 
      • Take up the whole seat: Often, many cyclists sit too far forward on the bike saddle, leaving their bum to rest on the skinnier portion of the seat. But according to researchers, if you sit on the nose of the seat exert pressure on the perineum, compress the crucial nerves, restrict the blood flow, and can result in feelings of uneasiness and pain. Therefore, when saddling, think about taking up the whole seat and this will help reduce discomfort and pain.

Conclusion

To conclude, a vast majority of the manufacturers would be able to offer you their most popular seats, this is applicable for both men’s & women’s versions, there aren’t any significant differences between the two. This is because male & female pelvises vary significantly. Therefore, it is generally a very good idea for men & women to begin cycling using their individual design or type of saddles. Men’s saddle tends to be a bit longer & narrower as well, whereas, for the women’s variants it happens to be significantly shorter as well as wider in shape. The bike seat that you choose must be capable of fitting your distinct anatomy. Once you sit on a saddle, then, you would be able to have an idea of whether it is a good fit for you. All you’ll need to do is, sit on it just for a while, then, get off it instantly. You should look very closely at the rear of the seat’s topmost portion.

The saddle that you plan on buying would be right for you, if its rear-end is capable of supporting your sit bones, quite comfortably. The issue with the nose of a bike saddle is what might bother you, this is applicable for both men & women. This section of the specific bike’s seat is more likely to compress your nerves, cause irritation to soft tissues, resulting in chafing & may even end up causing injury to your body. Fortunately, you’ll find many models of saddle that are available for you, this will help in addressing issues for various sorts of innovations. Specific models of bike saddles will help in incorporating either a channel or a groove that is specifically centered-down along the length of a seat. Lastly, you’ll find some saddles that would be able to offer you a soft foam or gel on their nose & features softened bases, that will significantly help in reducing stiffness.

My name is Dion Lewis. I’ve been cycling since my childhood. When I was in high school, I started racing in our local competitions. In my college life, I took a part-time job in a bicycle shop and I learned how to repair and maintain bicycles professionally. Though I love racing, mountain biking is another thing I do frequently. My friends, neighbors, and colleagues treat me as an avid rider and take my suggestions while they plan for a new bike or bike gear.

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