If you're on the hunt for the most comfortable bike seat in the world, then you've most definitely come to the right place.
As we all know, a dodgy seat can be a right pain in the arse (sorry).
After going through every seat I could find, I separated them into three categories: cruiser bike saddles, mountain bike saddles, and road bike saddles.
I've also thrown in saddle covers for good measure, as you may find this is all you need to make your ride more enjoyable.
If you're in a hurry I think this saddle is the best.
No Time To Read? No Worries, Here's My Top 12
Most Comfortable Cruiser Bike Seats
Most Comfortable Mountain Bike Seats
Most Comfortable Road Bike Saddles
Best Bike Seat Cover
So let's take a little look at the key sections of the saddle and see what might work for your riding style.
Now the rails form the frame on the underside of the saddle. So unless you've gone horribly wrong with your saddle installation, it's unlikely that you'll have much contact with these.
On a side note: If you have managed to install a bike seat with the rails facing upwards, I think we're all agreed you shouldn't be allowed near a bike at all.
However, rails come into play when you start to look at the price. As a general rule, the lighter the rails, the more expensive they are.
It's also worth noting that titanium and carbon rails will have more "give" in them than ridged steel and manganese chrome alloy versions.
Thankfully, most bikes conform to the same saddle rail width standards. So you can be confident that your new saddle will fit snuggly onto your bike of choice.
Although, as with everything in life, there's always one guy that has to be difficult and ruin it for everyone. In this situation, it's carbon rails. Most saddles with carbon rails will have an oval shape. Meaning you'll have to have a vertical seat clamp if you want to use one on your bike.
Related: How To Use Bike Gears For Dummies
Roll up. Roll up. It's the moment we've all been waiting for. It's myth busting time. Ok... Brace yourself.
more padding does not equal more comfort.
I know, I could hardly believe it myself either. But it's true.
But wait. Before you throw away your sofa and replace it with a plank of wood, I'll explain why less padding is sometimes the way to go.
Basically, if you're riding for a long time on a heavily padded seat, it can become a little bit deformed. The padding can produce pinch points for some riders, making it uncomfortable.
So if you're just like to cruise around and ride occasionally, you'll get away with a nice, soft, bouncy seat. But if you're stepping up your cycling game, you might want something a little firmer.
Some nutter cyclists, or should I say... nut-less cyclists. (Sorry I couldn't resist), will ride on just carbon. Riding on carbon is fine, but it all comes down to finding a balance, and what works for you.
More often than not it's the shape of the saddle that causes the most issues and confusion. A lot of brands will offer a variety of different shaped saddles to accommodate all riding styles.
If you're not sure what your riding style is then how're you meant to know what shaped saddle to ride?
Well, generally speaking, the more upright riding position you have, the more curved and cushioned you'll want your saddle to be.
If you're inclined to ride in a more forward and aggressive position (Think road racers with a flat back), then often you'll find a flat, narrow saddle to be more suited to you.
Another important and often overlooked aspect is the size of the saddle. More and more brands now come with saddle fit systems, which measure your sit bone width.
Generally speaking, you'll want a saddle that is 2-3cm's wider than your sit bone width.
Now, if you're foolish enough not to own a sit bone width measurer, you can use an easy DIY method.
Simply place some foil at the bottom of your stairs and sit down on it. When you get back up again you can just measure the distance between the indentations in the foil.
This is one technique, but I would obviously recommend you get a sit bone width measurer as well. I use mine most days, and if I'm honest, I rarely leave the house without it.
If you've tried all of the above and are still finding you're getting discomfort, you could always take a look at different cut outs.
You can get cut outs that start at the very back of the saddle and go right the way to the front. Or you can get ones that are only half cut out and have a little relief channel at the front.
You can even get little beauties like the ISM Adamo on the right here.
A review I found particularly helpful was this one:
"My penis and balls are very happy with me after installing this."
Thanks for the review Dan!
The theory behind a cut out saddle is that it helps to improve blood flow down below, and this prevents any strange numbness or pain.
A theory that Dan has proven to be correct!
If, after all that, you're still feeling your saddle is uncomfortable, it's time to take a look at other areas.
Things such as saddle height, frame size, and arm reach can all have an effect on how you sit. The guys over at the Global Cycling Network have a great video on proper bike fit which should help you out.
Most Comfortable Saddle From Each Category
The Cloud 9 cruiser saddle is one of the most popular and highly rated bicycle saddles around. It's perfect for the occasional jaunt around town or casual riding along the canal. However, I have to say; I think that more serious riders should consider something else.
Although with that said, this bad boy is so comfy I was considering swapping my pillow for it.
It's got dual-density gel foam padding that makes it soft and forgiving on the old derrière. Gel foam combined with chrome coil spring suspension smooths out any bumps you might come across.
To quote a review from a 6ft, 250lbs bruiser that owns a Cloud 9 saddle:
"Usually I stretch saddle springs as far as they'll go, but not this time. With my full weight on the seat, the springs only move slightly. I'd say that it has made my bike the most comfortable bike I could ever imagine riding".
Woah, is it me or is it getting a little hot in here? Just take a look at those springs.
So people constantly say to me,
“Mike you absolute legend, what does sitting on a cloud feel like?”
Without saying a word, I instantly show them a picture of this saddle. After a few seconds of looking frightened and perplexed… They just nod.
These rails (unlike carbon rails), conform to standard seat post measurements. A standard seat post means you can be confident that your new saddle will comfortably fit your old stem.
Shape, Size & Cut Out
An upright position is the design of this saddle, so definitely not a racer seat. The size is 9.6 ” x 9.6” and there is, of course, no cutout.
However, this is ok as all your weight will be towards the back of the saddle due to your riding position.
- Really, Really padded. Perfect for cruiser type cycling trips.
- No cutout, which might not be great for you if you like a little extra blood flow to the nether regions.
- A possibility of the padding "pinching" on longer rides.
Much like the Goldie Locks and the three bear scenario, you may find the Outerdo mountain bike seat to be jussst right. It's not too padded like the cruiser saddles, and it's not too firm like the road bike saddles.
Regarding padding, it's obviously not going to beat the Cloud 9 cruiser saddle, but it's still got a nice amount. It's got gel cushioning that molds to the body, providing some nice plush comfort.
The rails are not carbon, so it will be able to fit your bike if you have a standard bike stem.
The shape is more ergonomic than the Cloud-9, and for the fashion conscious amongst you, this comes in 5 different colors.
If I cycle past a group of hot chicks, I’ll typically stand up on the pedals of my bike. Standing on my pedals flashes them a glimpse of the multicolored saddle between my legs.
More often than not, at least one of them will faint with joy.
The size of this saddle is 10.6 x 5.5. So I hope you’ve measured your sit bone width with your new sit bone width measurer, as this will tell you whether or not this saddle is the right size for you.
As you can see there’s a cut out in the middle of the saddle. The cut out relieves pressure on the Perineum (the undercarriage bit) and will prevent any numbness. It also provides a bit of airflow to the area, which is ideal for long rides.
I've written more about perineal numbness here.
- Girls will love you for your excellent fashion sense.
- Nice sized cut out for numbness prevention and air flow.
- Not too soft, not too hard padding.
- Still might be too soft for some people.
- Not as light as a road bike saddle.
- Not as padded as a cruiser saddle if maximum padding is what you're after.
A review of the most comfortable bike seat without a Brooks saddle is like having a roast dinner without gravy. It just doesn't work.
Now I know that brooks are at the pricier end of most people's budget, so Vader's ElecNova Saddle is a great alternative.
However, I think I might have a small crush on the Brooks Cambium C17 Carved, so I will continue to review it.
If you want to give your buns a little treat then look no further. Only recently I met a guy who had cycled 7000km around Asia with this saddle, and he was still planning to cycle from Malaysia back to in England.
Unless he enjoyed being in pain for 8hrs a day, I guess the saddle was doing its job!
Vulcanized natural rubber and organic cotton canvas are the seat material. A thin layer of structural textile is then added to enhance it and add resilience.
So… no padding…
No, not really, but with a proper bike set up, padding isn’t required. The design gives enough to follow the rider’s movements, and that’s all you need for a properly comfortable saddle.
Hard as nails, mate.
The die-cast aluminum structure and tubular steel rails allow the Cambium to withstand many years of use and abuse.
Something that we can all appreciate, whatever the level of cycling.
As with the other saddles in this review, the rails conform to standard seat post measurements.
The form of the Cambium features a dampening effect that you only really get from Brook's "hammock" construction. The hammock construction reduces the overall road vibrations and keeps the rider comfy while in the saddle.
The sizing comes in at 4" x 9" x 14" so get those measurers out!
As with the Outerdo Mountain Bike Seat, the Cambium has a cut out to relieve pressure and bring some air to the area. It's also possible to get versions without a cut out if that is what you'd prefer.
To see that saddle in action watch the great review by Stoppsi below.
- Waterproof and maintenance free.
- Good sized cutout.
- It's a Brooks, so you know you're getting a high-quality saddle.
- There isn't any real padding, so taking this into account it may or may not be for you
- As it's a Brooks saddle, people know it's expensive, making it more nickable.
I want to start off by saying that I think getting a proper saddle is a much better investment than a saddle cover.
It's far more likely to be the shape or the cut out that is giving you saddle issues, not the padding.
But I know you're a stubborn lot. So if you've got your heart set on a saddle cover, I may as well show you the one that I think is the best.
The Daway A33, is the best saddle cover that I came across.
The cover uses real silica gel padding and uses SSS memory foam. This material good because after you've spent and hour or two sitting on it, it'll slowly morph back to its original shape.
A nice feature with this saddle cover is the anti-skid material on the underside of the design, and the additional drawstring. The material and drawstring prevent the cover from sliding around all over the seat.
You don't need any tools what so ever, you just place it over your saddle, tighten the drawstring, and you're good to go.
The cover is about 7.5" wide and 11.03" long. So make sure you measure your current saddle to check that the cover will fit.
- Could be a good temporary fix if you're having issues with your current saddle.
- Grippy underside to stop it from moving around on the saddle.
- Not as good as a proper saddle so get one of those instead.
So to quickly recap.
You should get a Sunlite Cloud 9 cruiser saddle if you occasionally ride and cruise around town.
You should get a Outerdo mountain bike seat if you want something firmer but still has quite a bit of padding, or if you were planning on going on lots of bumpy terrains.
You should get a Brooks Cambium C17 Carved if you're riding more often, and like to sit in a more aggressive riding position.
You shouldn't get a saddle cover at all, but they could be a good temporary fix if you're having some issues with your current saddle. So go for the Daway A33 Gel saddle cover.
And there we have it, we've gone through the types of saddles used for different riding conditions. I hope this has helped you to find the most comfy saddle around 🙂