This post with videos compares 9 of the best road bike saddles, to help you choose which road bike saddle would be the best upgrade for you. Adding a new saddle is one of the best upgrades that you can make. It can enable you to be dramatically more comfortable while cycling, and also reduce the overall weight of your bike. No matter whether you’re just nipping round the corner or doing a long-distance bike ride, you’ll feel much more relaxed sitting on a better quality saddle.
Here are the top 9 road bike saddles available today. We start with a chart that compares 9 of the best road bike saddles; then we describe the features of each saddle. We include many video reviews; plus videos that show how premium bike saddles are made.
Chart Comparing 9 of the Best Road Bike Saddles
Note that these saddles are not listed in order of preference. All of them are great bike saddles. And all of them are made primarily by hand. The one you choose will depend on your own personal needs and preferences.
|Usually about $140 - Please Click Here to See the Best Price on Amazon right now||Male and female cyclists looking for an affordable saddle for road biking & racing||218 g (7.6 oz); extra-large SuperFlow cut-out technology to relieve pressure; rails are a tubular manganese alloy, to balance performance & weight||• Made by top Italian company, Selle.|
• Short nose improves thigh clearance to enable an aggressive cycling style
|Usually less than $110 - Please Click Here to See the Best Price on Amazon right now||Women cyclists looking for a very comfortable bike ride. Especially useful for very long rides||275 g (9.7 oz); micro-fiber cover material, Fibra-Tek, for durability and low weight; 7 mm, high-strength, titanium rails||• 2 yr warranty.|
• Comfort provided by increased padding.
• SuperFlow anatomic cut-out.
• Gel layers and a shock absorption system between the shell & rail.
|Best Price on Amazon right now: $144.00||Men and women who want to do long bike rides in comfort; best suited to lighter people with medium-wide pelvises||280 g (10 oz); SVT (SMP Vacuum tech) covering; foamed elastomer padding; AISI 304 stainless steel tube frame; 280 x 144 mm||Suitable for road and mountain bikes; designed to relieve pressure points during long rides|
|Best Price on Amazon right now: $74.90||People wanting a multi-use saddle, for all kinds of cycling. Works for men & women as it accommodates wider sit bones||256 g (9 oz); Vacuum bonded lightweight PU foam upper; hollow Cro-mo custom design rails; waterproof microfiber cover||Very comfortable with ergonomic feel and lightweight, flexible base|
|Best Price on Amazon right now: $129.99||Cyclists ready to take their riding to the next level||225 g (8 oz); Carbon reinforced base; K:ium rails; microtex cover; steel alloy rails||Highly durable, lightweight, perforated mid-section, WingFlex sides promote free leg movement|
|Usually about $160 - Please Click Here to See the Best Price on Amazon right now||Serious cyclists willing to pay top dollar for top comfort and performance in a beautiful, hand-made, classic saddle||370 g (13 oz); finest vegetable tanned leather; pure copper rivets; chrome-plated steel rails and frame.||Brooks Saddles are beloved and famous for good reasons. Hand-made; built to last forever; once you ride it in, you forget it is there|
|Best Price on Amazon right now: $118.92||Women who want to ride with ultimate comfort and style||820 g (29 oz); finest vegetable tanned leather; tubular steel rivets; single rail; chrome-plated steel rails and frame||Classic bike saddle first made in 1927, updated for modern performance with classic good looks. A classically sprung saddle with a wider rear portion for comfort|
|Best Price on Amazon right now: $123.02||Road bike cyclists with medium spine flexibility||200 g (7 oz); supportive composite fiberglass co-injected nylon shell; alloy K:ium rails; WingFlex; Cover: Black Gummy Microtex||New design of tried and trusted saddle; WingFlex ensures flexibility where your thighs meet the saddle|
|Best Price on Amazon right now: $100.22||Cyclists who are not very flexible in their lower back; heavier cyclists||259 g (9 oz); K:ium rails with a Kevlar base; Twin Flex technology; shell is carbon reinforced nylon||Favored by heavier cyclists; strong reputation for being comfortable|
Note: If you are in the United Kingdom, read more about road bike saddles here.
Road Bike Saddle #1: Selle Italia SLR Boost Road Bike Saddle
Selle Italia is a name that is synonymous with high quality bike saddles. This Italian company offers some of the best value performance-based products available. It was founded in the Italian village of Corsico in 1897. So, they’ve been around for a while, and they know what they’re doing.
The Selle Italia SLR Boost is an affordable saddle for high performance road cycling and racing. The short nose improves thigh clearance and allows for a very aggressive cycling style. The rails are made from a tubular manganese alloy, which is designed to balance performance and weight.
The Selle Italia SLR Boost Saddle is one of the best bike saddles available. Although marketed as a men’s saddle, it is favored by both male and female cyclists for comfortable long-distance bike rides.
Find Your Sweet Spot in the Saddle
The extra-large SuperFlow cut-out enables cyclists of all sizes to find their sweet spot in the saddle. It relieves pressure on the perineal artery and adjacent soft tissue to prevent numbness. With an innovative 30% carbon fiber composite shell, the saddle offers a nuanced balance of support and flexibility.
The cover is both supple and durable, while the manganese rails help to keep the weight down. Weighing in at 218 g (7.6 oz), this model is a great choice for those looking for a high-performance saddle – at a price that will not break the bank.
Video Introduction to the Selle Italia SLR Boost Saddle
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Choice #2: Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow Women Specific Saddle
This saddle is especially designed for female cyclists. It has multiple features to ensure comfort. These include a women-specific SuperFlow anatomic cut-out. This is combined with a gel layer that provides comfort to soft tissue areas by offering greater flexibility at the front of the saddle. Plus, there is a thin layer of silicone gel to help absorb road vibrations. This saddle also has a shock absorption system between the shell and the rail. This system reduces road vibrations further.
The titanium rails on this saddle are 25% stronger than traditional rails, but with 15% less weight. This saddle is available in Small (135 x 270 mm; 275 g/9.7 oz) and Large (152 x 270 mm 285 g/10 oz). xxx
Video Review of the Selle Italia Women Specific Saddle
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Saddle #3: Selle SMP Well Bike Saddle for Men and Women
Although this saddle is not billed as being for women, many women attest to finding it very comfortable. That’s why we have called it a unisex saddle. This saddle is the renamed Selle SMP Hell saddle. It is designed to relieve pressure points during long rides. It is suited to both road and mountain bikes. And of course, it is precision engineered in Italy by Selle, a leading Italian manufacturer of premium bike saddles.
Features include a completely open central channel. This channel is designed to allow good blood flow. The original eagle-beak nose and raised rear provide support when you are pedaling really hard. The outer mid-section is designed to fit to your thigh muscles so as to maximize blood circulation and pedaling power.
The Selle SMP Well Saddle is best suited to lighter people with medium-wide pelvises. This saddle weighs in at 280 g (10 oz).
Road Bike Saddle #4: Fabric Scoop Radius Elite Road Bike Saddle
Compared to the other saddle makers in this post, UK-based Fabric is a relative newcomer (it was founded in 2014). However, it has made a huge impression very quickly, and has won many awards.
The Scoop Radius Elite is Fabric’s top seller. It is ideal for all kinds of cycling, with its ergonomic feel and lightweight, flexible base. The Fabric Scoop Radius Elite saddle offers cyclists a great blend of comfort, performance, and simplicity. This is due to its vacuum bonded lightweight PU foam upper and Hollow Cro-mo custom design rail. It is especially designed to be used for all kinds of riding, from road to trail.
This saddle weighs in at 256 g (9 oz). It boasts a waterproof microfiber cover. The Fabric Scoop Elite is a cost-effective bike saddle that offers casual cyclists, commuters, and those in training, a much more enjoyable ride than a conventional bike saddle.
As it accommodates wider sit bones, this saddle is suitable for both male and female cyclists.
Video Review of the Fabric Scoop Elite Road Bike Saddle
In this video the reviewer takes the saddle apart to show how the saddle keeps you comfortable. This gives extra insight into the makings of the best road bike saddles.
How Fabric Bike Saddles Are Made: A Look Inside the Factory
Bike Saddle #5: Fizik Arione K:ium Rails Road Bike Saddle
The Fizik Arione K:ium bike saddle is highly durable, yet lightweight too (225 g/8 oz). It’s made with a carbon reinforced base and K:ium rails. This saddle is manufactured with a long profile with a perforated mid-section for improved grip and greater comfort. Cyclists can benefit from a more efficient pedal stroke since the large WingFlex sides promote free leg movement. WingFlex technology is basically small slits in the side of the saddle that flex when you are pedaling, so that you have unimpeded thigh movement as you pedal.
The Fizik Arione is a long-term favorite among cyclists who want to take their cycling to the next level. It boasts a lightweight feel and a microtex cover for long-lasting wear. This bike saddle could dramatically improve the quality of your ride, while putting less strain on your legs due to its flexibility for thigh glide.
Video: Long-Term Review of the Fizik Arione Saddle
How Fizik Saddles Are Made
Some of the saddles in this post are made by Fizik. This video shows how Fizik saddles are manufactured in Italy. As you can see, they are mainly made by hand. This gives some insight into why these saddles are not cheap. And it explains why these saddles rank so prominently in our choices for the best road bike saddles.
What are K:ium Rails?
K:ium rails are manufactured by Fizik using a proprietary process. They are made with a particular metal alloy, a specific tubular design, and a special finishing process. The resulting saddle rails have increased fatigue performance on the rail surface, and an 8% weight reduction compared to solid titanium. The rails have a high strength-to-weight ratio grade and high corrosion resistance. This pain-staking process is the reason that these rails are often a component of the best road bike saddles.
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#6: Brooks Swift Bike Saddle
Brooks have been making saddles since 1866. Their saddles are beloved and famous for good reasons.
Brooks Saddles are Hand Made in England
Each Brooks Saddle is hand made in England, using hundred-year-old traditional techniques. Each one is made from the finest vegetable tanned leather. The pure copper rivets on the high-end models are hammered in by hand. These saddles are made to last forever, and often outlive their riders!
Many people find these bike saddles take a while to ride in. Others find them comfortable from the get-go, as long as they are properly fitted. I found that mine took a few months to wear in, but even as it was wearing in, it felt better than your average saddle.
The magic lies in the fact that over time, these bikes saddles mold to your own body. Many cyclists find that they literally forget the saddle is there. I certainly had that experience. That is how comfortable these saddles are!
For me, one of the nicest things about a Brooks saddle is oiling it. I love rubbing in the oil and seeing the glow radiate from the leather surface. I do it with my fingers because I love the feel of leather, but most people use a rag!
The rails and frame are chrome-plated steel, providing rails that are both stylish and strong. Delicately hand-skived lower sides add comfort and flair. This saddle is ideal for comfortable, long rides, on the road or on the trails. It weighs 370 grams (13 oz), making it the second heaviest saddle in this post. However, if you value comfort and style, the extra few ounces are well worth it.
Video about Brooks Saddles
Here is a video that tells you about this great company. The first minute is mainly just cheerful and entertaining – the details start at minute 1.
As they say in the video: “It is not the name of BROOKS which makes the saddle good, but the Saddle and its excellence that makes the name supreme.”
Road Bike Saddle Choice #7: Brooks Saddles B67 S Saddle for Women
Of course, Brooks also makes excellent saddles that are women-specific. Here is one of the best ones, the Brooks Saddles B67 S Bicycle Saddle. As you can see, it is made for comfort. It features a classically sprung saddle with a wider rear portion. The natural pores of the vegetable-tanned leather provide natural ventilation. Yes, it’s relatively heavy at 820 grams (29 oz), but damn, it’s comfortable and good looking!
This saddle has the longest pedigree of any saddle in this post. It is a modern version of the B66, which was designed in 1927! If you are a woman who likes her saddles classic and comfy, this is the one!
#8: Fizik Antares R3 K:ium Rails Road Bike Saddle
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Certainly not bike brand Fizik, with their Antares R3 K:ium bike saddle, which is a new design of an already proven and popular model among bike owners.
This road bike saddle is relatively wide and slightly curved, making it ideal for cyclists who have medium spine flexibility. This tried and trusted saddle has been upgraded with improved weight distribution and cutting edge technologies, including a strong and supportive shell and alloy K:ium rails. The WingFlex slits ensure flexibility where your thighs meet the saddle. It weighs in at 200 grams (7 oz).
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#9: Fizik Aliante Gamma K:ium Rails Saddle
This saddle was designed for cyclists who have limited flexibility in their lower back, but is also used by high performance cyclists who have no flexibility limitations. Many heavier cyclists report that this saddle is very comfortable. Weighing in at 259 g (9 oz), it has K:ium rails with a Kevlar base. It also features Twin Flex technology for comfort combined with strength. The shell is carbon reinforced nylon.
Bottom Line on the Best Road Bike Saddles for 2023
Each cyclist needs to consider what kind of saddle they think would work best for the kind of cycling they do. While there are plenty of options to choose from, a higher cost doesn’t always mean a better saddle. Each saddle has its own benefits. And some cost-effective saddles are great buys for commuters/casual cyclists. However, for more serious cyclists, a more expensive saddle will help to improve your comfort, and also boost your pedaling efficiency and power transfer to the drivetrain. It can even decrease down time from injuries. This will enable you to achieve higher levels of performance and comfort than ever before.
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