When looking for the best road bike saddles for long rides, some bikers simply settle for anything that they find appealing and suits their budget. Sure, the design and the price of the saddle are important considerations, but there are more important factors that you also need to consider.
So, before you get too excited to purchase the first saddle that will come up on your search, you might want to read this article first. We’ve featured a list of the best saddles that we believe are perfect for long bike rides. We also included a short review of each of these saddles to help you make the best decision.
Of course, we’ll also teach you how to choose the right saddle and what are the important factors to consider. Other than the price and the design, we believe that comfort should also be given priority.
Best Road Bike Saddles Reviewed
Here’s our list of the best road bike saddles for long rides. These saddles have earned high ratings from customers who bought them online.
If they were happy with their purchases, we have every reason to believe that you’ll love these saddles as well.
It’s very important that you’re comfortable sitting on the saddle of your bike, especially during long-distance bike rides. When it comes to comfort, we would highly recommend getting the Selle SMP Pro Saddle.
You’ll extremely feel comfortable sitting on this saddle, thanks to its gigantic width. It keeps the soft tissues in your nether region from bearing the entire weight of your body, which is why you won’t feel any discomfort even when you’re sitting in it for too long.
The SMP Pro Saddles are equipped with a shell that’s made from carbon-reinforced nylon. Furthermore, the rails are made of steel alloy, which offers stability and stiffness. The saddle also comes with foam elastomer padding that makes it even firmer by supporting the saddle’s unique shape.
The seat cover of the saddle is made from Primo Fiore leather, which gives off a nice luxurious feeling, thanks to its soft and smooth surface. This allows the user to slide comfortably on the seat and accommodates repositioning without squeaking or sticking. You get to choose from different color options, however, only the black comes with a leather cover. The colored ones are made of Lorica Microfiber.
Another great product that promises extreme comfort to the user is the Scoop Pro Flat. In fact, this product belongs to the higher end models of saddles. This saddle does a great job at providing the biker extreme comfort while riding his road bike.
Offering a decent amount of padding, this saddle is equipped with a shell that would flex enough to help you easily position yourself on your bike. Even though the padding that it provides is pretty minimal compared to the other bike saddles in this list, its flat rear platform has the ability to spread the load pretty nicely, which minimizes the pressure that it applies on your sit bones.
The shell flexes noticeably, yet its firm and stable when used on rough roads. It won’t bounce at all, which enhances user experience. This saddle has a flat profile but with a slightly upward flare at the tail.
For those who would prefer for their saddle to have thick and luxurious padding that’s gentle enough to sit on, then this might not be a good choice for you. However, if you need something that you can use on long-distance road bikes and you tend to be a bit more aggressive in your riding position, then this definitely will work for you.
If you were to ask a bike enthusiast for a recommendation on the best bike saddle for long-distance journeys, one of the products that he will most likely recommend is the Fizik Aliante Road Bicycle Saddle.
Indeed, this saddle is designed for bike riding enthusiasts, although it can also work best for your everyday commute. It’s comfortable and lightweight and has an ergonomically designed platform.
The rail is made from a combination of certain types of metal alloys. It has a unique tubular design that has a special coating and helps to improve fatigue performance in any type of rail surface. Compared to solid titanium, the metal alloys have an 8% weight reduction.
The shell of this saddle is made from a carbon-reinforced Nylon that’s essential for providing maximum comfort to the biker. It’s surrounded by a stiff texture, which offers a seamlessly integrated and more flexible sweet spot around the middle. This results in the proper distribution of pressure, which makes your journey even more comfortable
If you prefer a stylish saddle that can provide an optimum level of comfort as you ride your bike, the Leggera Carbon Fiber Road Bike Saddle is worth giving a try.
Featuring a stylish European-inspired design, this saddle complements well with any style of bike. By getting this bike saddle, you’ll be able to enjoy an excellent aerodynamic performance with striking aesthetics. What’s even great is the fact that it’s being sold at such a reasonable price!
The Leggera Carbon Fiber Saddle has undergone third party testing in order to comply with the CEN and ISO Standards. This saddle has been rated to withstand up to 100 kg of weight and can be used in all types of riding conditions, including gravel and off-road.
The sculpted rear and center channel offer enhanced blood flow at the nether regions that you will feel like your sit bones are being cradled. Therefore, you won’t experience any discomfort when sitting on the saddle even for a long time.
The WTB Speed Comp Saddle is another great choice of a saddle for longer bike rides, especially in terms of comfort. This saddle has wide padding that’s not very soft or firm.
It also comes with an anatomical groove in the middle that offers significant relief from pressure. Raising the rear slightly will result in a pleasant platform that will provide extreme comfort on the rider while biking down the road. With a width of 140 mm, this saddle can comfortably accommodate different body sizes.
The saddle’s overall shape is moderately flat and has rounded sides that go towards the outside in order to minimize persistent contact with the thighs as you cycle. This road bike saddle is integrated with the Comfort Zone cutout at the shell, which is attached at the saddle’s nose.
Unlike the other bike saddles on this list, this isn’t a full cutout. Instead, the shell underneath the padding has been removed in order to give way to downward displacement. This is such a great feature as it minimizes the pressure applied on your sensitive areas, leading to optimum comfort.
The RockBros Mountain Road Bike Saddle is classy and strong, something that every biker will surely love. It’s one of the few saddles for mountain biking that’s made from synthetic leather. In addition, synthetic leather material makes the saddle look classy and unique. Of course, it’s durable as well.
Usually, when it comes to long bike rides, the biggest problem is the friction between the thighs. To address this, the manufacturer of this saddle utilized a slim design in order to limit the amount of friction on your thighs, leading to a more comfortable ride. The rail used for this saddle is made of steel. Even if you are a heavyweight, the seat won’t give up.
We included this saddle on this list due to the optimum comfort that it gives to the user. Furthermore, this saddle has an excellent design, which allows for anatomic relief as you ride your bike. It looks very stylish with its black and white stripes design, although you can also choose other color options.
The SGODDE Comfortable Bike Saddle features a unisex design, which means that it can work for both men and women who are looking for a stylish and reliable bike saddle.
It features a gel padding that’s made from an artificial gel that’s very elastic. The saddle offers a decent level of compression to prevent the build-up of pressure as you sit on your bike.
The SGODDE Comfortable Bike Saddle has a reasonably long nose with a hollowed area right in the center. A lot of customers love this design since it offers enough ventilation. However, some may find that its narrow shape will not offer much in terms of relieving pressure from your body as you bike.
It has a reflective striping at the rear and nose, which enhances safety when riding your bike in the dark. However, it’s worth noting that this particular model of a saddle is somewhat heavy, weighing at 500 grams.
The RX-921V Road/MTB Comfort RX Saddle is known for its striking design. When looking at it, you’ll notice that it looks like two different saddles that are stuck together. It’s designed that way in to enhance comfort and prevent the feeling of numbness, especially when riding your bike for a long time.
Therefore, when using this bike for long-distance cycling, there’s a lower chance that you’ll feel pain or numbness in your nether region. The main concept for this design is to distribute the weight among your sit bones instead of putting all the pressure on the surrounding tissues, which can be really uncomfortable.
Comfort is further enhanced in this saddle by incorporating an ICS system. With this system, different layers of materials are used, including gel, foam, and microfiber coating to provide a higher level of stability and comfort.
When it comes to comfort, you can never go wrong with the TAMEHO Adult Road Bike Seat Outdoor Comfort MTB Seat Bicycle.
Featuring an ergonomic design, this bike saddle has excellent shockproof features and the firmness is capable of relieving pressure on the sensitive areas of your sit bones. Therefore, this bike saddle will make you feel comfortable even during long rides.
Weighing only 218g, this bike saddle is super lightweight. As you’re riding your bike down the road, you will feel extremely comfortable since the seat seems to weigh nothing. In fact, some customers commented that it feels like sitting on a cloud.
Furthermore, this saddle will fit most types of bicycles. It’s made from ultra-fiber leather that’s wear-resistant and extremely comfortable to sit on!
Another comfortable saddle that’s suitable for cruiser bikes is the Planet Bike ARS Spring Bike Set. It has extremely thick padding that features an anatomical groove that runs through the saddle’s entire length and transitions into a full cut at the nose.
This padded saddle is specifically designed for upright riding. Since saddles with thick padding can be too much for longer rides, the Planet Bike ARS saddle is only recommended for a short and leisurely ride in the neighborhood.
The Planet Bike ARS Saddle has rails made of durable steel and the shell is made from hardwearing plastic. Unfortunately, the cover is made from Lycra. This fabric is highly vulnerable to abrasion and tears, which is not a good option. There’s also a tendency that the cover will get damaged as a result of the friction between the saddle and your clothing.
If you’re going to use your bike only for short journeys, then this product might be worth checking out. However, if you are fond of longer rides, you might as well go for the other saddles from this list.
How to Choose the Best Road Bike Saddles for Long Rides
So now that you know some of the best road bike saddles for long rides, we’ll talk about the most important factors that you need to consider when choosing the right one.
Usually, the less padding the saddle has, the better. This is because saddles that are highly padded put more pressure than the lightly padded ones.
When the saddle’s padding is thick, your sitting bones will more likely sink in it, which could cause more pressure leading to discomfort, especially during long bike rides.
Most bike saddles are designed with cutouts to minimize the pressure applied on the soft tissues, allowing for a more comfortable bike riding experience.
It removed the material from the saddle that’s responsible for pushing the wrong parts that could cause pressure in your undercarriage.
Most saddle covers are made from manmade materials although some of the rare ones are made from genuine leather, which can be very expensive. Regardless of the materials used, it’s important to ensure that the seams and panels don’t chafe.
Furthermore, it must be very durable to handle the wear and tear. If you don’t mind spending a bit more, then we suggest going for leather. It’s durable, smooth, and can resist mold.
Rails refer to the frame that’s right below the saddle. This is what connects the saddle to your bike. Thus, it’s a very important component. Generally, the cost of the saddle will mainly depend upon the type of frame that it has.
The lighter the frame, the more expensive they are. Entry-level saddles usually have rails that are made from steel. Others have titanium or manganese rails. The higher-end models have carbon.
Although saddles may look like they are similar in shape, they actually differ a bit. Saddles that are flat offer a consistent feel as you slide back and forth on the saddle.
As for the curved or waved shapes, they would work best for those who tend to ride their bikes in a longer and lower position. If you’re someone who doesn’t move around a bit much when riding your bike, the wavy shape might suit you best since it helps to keep your bum locked in place.
The shell is what controls the entire shape of the saddle and its springiness as well. Usually, the length and width of the saddle’s shell will be different depending on the model.
Sometimes, they would look different from each other as well. Shells made from all-carbon are the best since they are lightweight and durable. However, they can cost more.
Make sure that the saddle you are buying is capable of supporting your overall weight, which is why you need to consider its width. If you’re buying from a physical store, they can have you sit on a pad to measure the overall width of your sitting bones.
That way, you’ll know what the width of the saddle will be that you’ll buy. If you’re buying online, the best thing that you can do is to measure it yourself using cardboard.
Some of the saddles come with extra features that can help to boost your riding experience. For instance, others come with reinforced corners, which helps to prevent the cover from getting torn off easily. There are also those that have elastomers on the rails, while some saddles come with mounting brackets to attach saddlebags and tail lights.
These features are great, but they can usually increase the overall cost of the saddle, which may not be a good idea if you’re on a budget.
Types of Road Bike Saddles
When searching for bike saddles, you’ll come across two different types – performance saddles and cushioning saddles:
These are wide and well-cushioned saddles that usually come with plush padding. Sometimes, they are equipped with springs that help to absorb the bumps along the road. These saddles are used for bikes intended for recreational cycling.
These are narrow and long saddles that have less padding. They provide maximum transfer of power, which minimizes the chafing of the cover as you cycle. The performance saddles are usually common on mountain bikes, road bikes, as well as touring bikes.
How to Install a Road Bike Saddle?
It might seem like it’s a very complicated process to undertake, but surprisingly, installing the saddle on your bike is a pretty straightforward process. The first thing to do is to unscrew the original seat of your bike.
So, tip your bike in an upside-down position in order to easily unscrew the seat. A screwdriver is very useful for this process. After you have removed the old saddle, put the bike back into its original position.
When installing the new saddle into your bike, ensure that the seat post faces the saddle’s back portion. Furthermore, the area on the pole where the saddle will be sitting on must be loose. This must be placed between the new saddle’s two bars.
Adjust the bars in such a way that it stays tight horizontally. After this, start screwing the new seat by putting the screws back. Make sure that the seat is well secured before you start using the bike with the new saddle on.
What causes saddle discomfort?
Comfort will mainly depend on the user. Most of the time, it has something to do with the sit bones of the user. Others are too narrow while some are too wide.
Our ischial tuberosities are those parts in our body whose main role is to support our body while seated. If the soft tissues instead of the actual bones carry this part of your body, then you will more likely suffer from discomfort as you sit on the saddle.
How can I measure my sit bones?
Some stores selling bike accessories have a device that can help to measure the person’s sit bones. This usually comes in a pad that’s made from memory foam.
As you sit in this, your sit bones will be shaped on the foam and will then be measured. This will then be the basis of how wide the saddle of the bike needs to be. For those who are buying online, you can do the measurement yourself using a memory foam or play-doh.
What if I belong to “in-between” sizes?
It is best to go for something that’s wider or bigger than your actual sit bones. This helps to ensure maximum comfort. But don’t ever go thinner or smaller than your actual size as this could lead to extreme discomfort.
Can I get a gel-padded seat?
You can choose a gel-padded seat if you like. However, this is only good during the first few minutes of use.
Eventually, it’s going to become compacted and will give the same feeling as the non-padded ones, which is somewhat uncomfortable. To guarantee maximum comfort when riding your bike, you better choose leather saddles instead.
We all want to feel comfortable as we ride our bike, whether it’s just a short leisurely ride at the park or long-distance bike rides.
Therefore, we should make sure to invest in the saddle that can give us the ultimate comfort. For this, we would highly recommend the Selle SMP Pro Saddle.
We believe that this is one of the best road bike saddles for long rides because aside from providing ultimate comfort with its wider design, it comes with features that can help to enhance your bike riding experience.