Bike seats are meant to be comfortable. This is important, especially if you’re a new cyclist and have yet to find the most comfortable riding position for you. That’s because a comfortable seat will ensure long hours of pedaling and really good exercise to keep you healthy. When you ride your bike, you are putting your entire body weight pressure on your sit bones. You’ll feel each bump and dip depending on what’s underneath your bike seat cover.
There are some guidelines to follow before buying one bike seat or another. Here are some guidelines on finding the most comfortable bike seat.
Top 5 Best Bicycle Seat Comparisons
OUTERDO Bike Saddle
Bikeroo Bike Seat for Men
TONBUX Bike Seat
Giddy Up! Bike Seat
Sunlite Cloud-9 Bicycle Suspension Cruiser Saddle
The first and foremost issue that needs your attention is determining what type of rider you are. If you ride your bike for recreational purposes, a cushioning saddle is the best choice for you. In general, these types of saddles have springs or plush padding (or both) and a short nose. If you want to add more comfort to your riding, you can also opt for a seat post with springs.
Riding your bike on longer roads will require a performance saddle. A performance saddle has minimal padding and is long and narrow. That’s because you are putting little pressure on your sit bones and, since you are pedaling in a tucked position, you need less material resting between your legs. This leads to maximum power transfer and a smoother ride. The same principle applies to those that use their bikes for touring purposes. Spending a lot of hours on your bike means that you need a performance saddle.
Mountain biking enthusiasts can opt for a saddle that is specifically designed for such purposes. That’s because you will be changing positions frequently. Sometimes you’ll be bent over or standing up on the pedal. Mountain saddles have good padding for the sit bones, while the cover is durable and the saddle’s shape is streamlined. It helps you get performance and power while riding the trails.
There are also saddles specifically designed for female riders because women have wider hips and different bodies. So be sure to note which is best for women when looking.
Materials & Cushioning
Seats are one of the most important bike accessories out there. But to find the best seat, look at what it’s made of.
There are generally two types of the best bike saddle cushioning and each of them will react differently when you sit on them. Foam is one of the best bicycle seat cushion choices and is very responsive, and can regain its natural shape the minute you get up. It’s mostly preferred by those who like to take on longer rides, but firmer foam is recommended for those who are heavyweight or have healthy sit bones.
The other type of saddle is made with gel cushioning and provides a higher comfort level compared to foam. It is, however, preferred by commuters or those who ride their bikes for recreation. Since it’s plushier, it will get compacted quicker and, for longer road, foam is a much better choice and makes the best bicycle seat for overweight or heavy riders.
If none of these two types is comfortable enough for you, you can purchase an additional saddle pad. However, be aware that this add-on is prone to movement and will not provide the same stability as your actual saddle does. If you like to take on recreational rides, this won’t be much of a problem, but when you’re cycling on longer distances, this may cause some discomfort, in which case it would be better to opt for specially padded bike shorts. For additional comfort, try wearing cycling shoes to improve your pedaling.
So, what are the most important things you should look out for when shopping for a new bike seat?
- First of all, there’s the shell. The shell is the skeleton of your bike seat, which determines how springy it is and the saddle’s basic shape. Depending on the manufacturer, some shells are made from nylon, while others have carbon reinforcements. Shells come in different lengths and widths to ensure a size out there for every type of rider.
- Next, you have the cover. Expensive bike seats have leather covers, but cheaper ones are made from synthetic blends. No matter which type of cover material your bike seat has, it’s important to make sure there won’t be any chaffing along the seams. With mountain bike seats, it’s all about having a hard-wearing cover, as you are more exposed to uneven roads and possible crashes.
- The padding of your bike seat determines how comfortable it will be when you’re riding. Padding is what helps the saddle evenly distribute your weight across its surface. As we mentioned above, foam and gel paddings are the most common types.
- Cutouts or grooves are important if you like to ride your bike for many miles at a time. They help dissipate heat and provide airflow, which is especially important when you’re riding in high temperatures. Even more, these grooves will reduce the pressure caused by several hours of seating on your saddle.
As mentioned above, leather saddles are the most expensive types of bike seats, but they have come to be widely appreciated by those that seek true comfort when riding and are not afraid to spend a bit more to get it. Why are leather seats so comfortable?
Because of their construction. After taking the bike out for a spin for more than 200 miles, the leather on the seat will mold to your natural body shape and, while it may be uncomfortable at first, you will see that true comfort will make its presence felt in time. Even if these seats are comfortable, they are not water-resistant, which means you have to be extra careful with applying a special leather conditioner. This will also help protect the seat against harmful UV light.
And, just to note, changing out your old seat for a new one should be an easy task, especially with a handy bike tool kit.
Top 5 Best Bicycle Seat Reviews
OUTERDO Bike Saddle
- Dimensions: 10.5 x 10.9 inches
- Weight: 0.72 pounds
- Suitable for: mountain bikes, fitness riding
One of the best bike seats for a big man, the OUTERDO bike seat opens today’s series of reviews. First, it’s a great-looking saddle! Available in 6 different color combinations, it looks elegant and feels amazing. Since it has a center cutout that provides ventilation and anatomic relief, the seat is great for mountain bikers that need a saddle that offers excellent comfort. The foam padding falls a bit on the firm side, which is good because long-road cyclists can’t afford to have a seat that’s too plushy, since they will often switch positions while riding. The seat should be responsive instead of sinking in.
Its design is long and narrow, which guarantees there won’t be unnecessary materials cramping up between your legs. The manufacturer has added a leather cover that’s both waterproof and sweat-resistant to cover the high-density foam padding.
- Features high-density foam padding.
- Anti-sweat and water-resistant leather cover.
- Available in red, yellow, blue, white, and green.
- Center cutout provides good airflow and relieves perineum pressure.
- Recommended for mountain biking, but suitable for all types of bikes.
- Not suitable for heavier riders.
- Causes discomfort to casual riders.
Bikeroo Bike Seat for Men
- Dimensions: 10.2 x 7 x 3.9 inches
- Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Suitable for: mountain biking
This is another good example of a mountain bike seat that’s designed to be comfortable. The length, center cutout, and narrowness support by distributing pressure evenly on the saddle’s surface. Upon ordering this bike seat, you will receive a complete kit that makes mounting easy and doesn’t require any additional tools. Inside the package, you will find the saddle, a waterproof rain bike cover, mounting tools, and a sheet of instructions, plus a saddle adapter.
The bike seat itself features thick foam padding, which is a common trait of saddles designed for long rides. Even if the seat is covered in plenty of artificial leather (no need to tell you how much stuff made of real leather costs), the cover seems to be of high quality. Even if this artificial leather cover is water-resistant, the manufacturer recommends using it with the included waterproof cover.
- Ergonomic shape.
- Suitable for long rides.
- Center cutout that provides airflow and better sit bone support.
- Made with foam padding.
- Comes with all the tools required for mounting.
- Comes with a waterproof cover.
- Not made of actual leather.
TONBUX Bike Seat
- Dimensions: 10.1 x 8 x 4.8 inches
- Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Suitable for: off-road biking
TONBUX is committed to delivering very high quality and comfortable seats that seem to be great for all kinds of bike riders. Is it, though? The saddle’s nose is long enough to be suitable for all male riders, while being able to transition to the bottom support without obstructing thigh movement. There is an air vent located in the middle to provide you with much-needed airflow and dissipate heat.
The surface of the seat is made of artificial microfiber leather that promises to be resistant to wear and scratches. The ends of the seat are rounded to make sure that the saddle can absorb shock. This feature is particularly useful when you find yourself on bumpy roads that tend to get a bit uncomfortable. The bottom of the cushion features a shock-absorbing ball, while the seat’s padding is thick enough to provide support for the rider. The package includes the tools needed to mount the seat, including a wrench for the proper fixture.
- Wider compared to other seats.
- Comes with reflective tape.
- Includes a wrench for easier mounting.
- Designed to absorb shocks.
- Seat is a bit firm, and some people may find it uncomfortable.
Giddy Up! Bike Seat
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 4.3 x 11 inches
- Weight: 2 pounds
- Suitable for: off-road, mountain biking
There’s a lot to be said about the Giddy Up! Bike seat (and don’t even get us started on the name). The first and most important thing that we wanted to mention is the taillight pre-mounted in the bike’s seat. The taillight is there to give you peace of mind and notify the cars coming in from behind to know and avoid you.
Let’s talk about padding. This bike seat features memory foam materials which may not be as soft as gel, but the firmness it provides is good for people who like to ride on longer roads and switch positions often, therefore will feel uncomfortable on a seat that constantly sinks in under pressure. The seat itself is covered by a layer of artificial leather, making the saddle look more expensive than it really is.
A shock-absorbing ball is great for off-road riding because bumps in the road will leave you with sore body parts. Thanks to the universal fit, this particular seat should be compatible with almost every type of bike. Since it’s really easy to install, it’s preferred by a whole bunch of riders. There is also a cover included that should be mounted on the seat if you ever plan to leave your bike in the open air for longer periods of time. The cover itself is waterproof, which means that it would be a wise idea to have it with you at all times.
Inside the package, you will receive the bike saddle, as well as a battery for the taillight, a mounting set that includes an Allen key and a wrench, a reflective band, and the waterproof protective cover.
- Shock-absorbing design.
- Includes a waterproof saddle cover.
- Compatible with almost any type of bike.
- Falls on the firm side, which could be uncomfortable for some.
Sunlite Cloud-9 Bicycle Suspension Cruiser Saddle
- Dimensions: 9.6 x 9.6 x 6.3 inches
- Weight: 3.2 pounds
- Suitable for: commuting, recreational biking
We wanted to add a gel-based saddle into the equation and we found more than that: we found a bike saddle that’s praised by customers all over the world. Designed for recreational cruising, the Sunlite Cloud-9 saddle features dual-density gel padding that provides maximum comfort for the average bike rider. The benefit of using a gel padded bike seat is that the material is so soft, you can feel it sinking in simply by applying thumb pressure on the surface.
In addition to that, the product also features a chrome spring coil system suspension that makes it easy for you to cross over bumps in the road without cursing your eyes out. Thanks to the universal design, the seat should be compatible with just about any type of bike post. The product does a great job at replacing discomfort with relief.
It’s important to mention that a common complaint is that this saddle adds a lot of height to the bike. This causes your body’s weight to shift from side to side, which often leads to irritations and discomfort in the perineal area. If you feel that’s the case, you should return it for something lower down.
- Very comfortable for recreational rides.
- Easy to install.
- Fits on most bike posts.
- Comes with dual-density gel padding.
- It adds considerable height to the bicycle.
The Bottom Line
In the end, choosing the most comfortable bike seat comes down to how often you ride your bike, what roads lay ahead of you and how much you weigh. These factors are crucial in picking the bike seat that best suits your needs. All of the models we’ve reviewed today will do a great job as per their qualifications, but if you buy a mountain biking seat to use on a daily commute in the city, there’s no way you’ll feel comfortable with the firm build of the product.
To find the best product for you, you will need to pay attention to the materials of the cover, the shape and width of the seat, the padding, and the rails. While most of the bike seats in this review are compatible with a wide range of posts, inspecting the rails is an important step before the actual purchase of the seat. The seat’s rails are the 2 bars used to attach the saddle to the bike post. The most affordable seats have chromoly rails, but performance cyclists prefer titanium, as it’s stronger and flexible.
Of course, you will also have to establish a budget before shopping. As you can imagine, bike seats tend to be more expensive if they have high-quality materials. Customization and hand-built models can increase the price, as well. Finding comfortable bike seats also depends on personal preference.
Try different models so you can find one that fits just right. It’s vital to find what works for your riding style, especially if you’re riding your bike every day. Even if you buy a saddle online, it would be useful if you visited an offline store to test a similar model, just to see how it feels.
Looking for the right gloves? Bikemunk has you covered with our extensive guide on cycling gloves!