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. Obviously, this pressure will be felt differently depending on what’s underneath the cover of your bike’s seat. Just as with every other product in the world, there are some general guidelines that you need to follow before buying one bike seat or another. That’s because there are certain things you need to understand and pay attention to before starting to spend your money.
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 as well.
Riding your bike on longer roads will require a performance saddle. The characteristics of such a saddle are minimal padding, plus long and narrow seating. 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.
Bikers that are very fond of mountain biking can opt for a saddle that is specifically designed for such purposes. That’s because you will be changing positions frequently, as sometimes you’ll be bend over and other times you will be standing up on the pedals. Mountain saddles have good padding for the sit bones, while the cover is durable and the shape of the saddle is streamlined.
There are also saddles specifically designed for females, because they have wider hips and require a different type of support due to their smaller bodies. So be sure to note which is the best bicycle seat for women when looking.
Materials & Cushioning
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 for those who are heavyweight or have healthy sit bones, firmer foam is recommended.
The other type of saddle is made with gel cushioning and provides a higher level of comfort 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 special padded bike shorts.
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 what’s the basic shape of the saddle. Depending on the manufacturer, some shells are made from nylon, while others have carbon reinforcements. Shells comes in different lengths and widths, to ensure there is 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 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
One of the best bike seats for a big man, the OUTERDO bike seat opens today’s series of reviews, as it is one fine looking saddle! Available in 6 different color combinations, it looks elegant and feels amazing. Since it has a center cutout that provides both ventilation and anatomic relief, the seat is great for mountain bikers that need a saddle which offers perineum comfort. The foam padding falls a bit on the firm side, which is good because long-road cyclist can’t afford to have a seat that’s too plushy, since they will often switch positions while riding and the seat should have good response rather than sink in.
Its design is long and narrow, which guarantees there won’t be unnecessary materials cramping up between your legs. To cover the high-density foam padding, the manufacturer has added a leather cover that’s both waterproof and sweat-resistant.
Bikeroo Bike Seat for Men
This is another good example of a mountain bike seat that’s designed to be comfortable. The length, center cutout and narrowness of the design are aimed at providing support for the biker in a sense that it’s looking to distribute back pressure evenly on the surface of the saddle. 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 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.
TONBUX Bike Seat
TONBUX is committed to delivering a very high quality and comfortable seat that seems to be great for all kinds of bike riders. Is it, though? The nose of the saddle 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 which should provide the rider with the much-needed airflow, while making sure that heat is dissipated and sweat won’t become uncomfortable on long summer rides.
The surface of the seat is made of microfiber artificial leather that promises to be resistant to wear, but also to any scratches. The ends of the seat are rounded, in order 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 padding of the seat is thick enough to provide support for the rider. The package includes the tools needed to mount the seat, including a wrench for proper fixture.
Giddy Up! Bike Seat
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 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 which actually makes the saddle look more expensive than it really is.
There is a shock-absorbing ball that’s 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 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 and Allen key and a wrench, a reflective band and the waterproof protective cover.
Sunlite Cloud-9 Bicycle Suspension Cruiser Saddle
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 just the right amount of 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 on 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 eliminating pain that’s often caused by using a bike seat that is not compatible with your body’s configuration or your type of riding.
It’s important to mention that a common complaint is that this saddle adds a lot of height to the bike. If you feel that’s the case, you should return the product, as it is never recommended to ride on a seat that’s too high. This causes your body’s weight to shift from side to side, which often leads to irritations and discomfort in the perineal area.
The Bottom Line
In the end, it all comes down to how often your 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 product that’s best for you, you will need to pay attention to the materials of the cover, the shape and width of the seat, the padding, but also the rails. While most of the bike seat in this review are compatible with a wide range of posts, inspecting the rails is an important step prior to the actual purchase of the seat. The seat’s rails are the 2 bars which are used to attach the saddle to the bike post. The most affordable seats have chromoly rails, but performance cyclists prefer titanium, as it 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-building are examples of factors that are heavily reflected in the price tag of a bike saddle. In the end, 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.