Reviews You Can Rely On

The 3 Best Bike Saddles of 2024

We tested road bike saddles from Prologo, Fizik, Selle SMP, and others to find the best models
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Best Bike Saddle Review (Some of the top bike saddles we put through our comprehensive testing process.)
Some of the top bike saddles we put through our comprehensive testing process.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer
By Ryan Baker & Nick Bruckbauer  ⋅  Mar 29, 2024

The Best Bike Saddles for 2024


Our team of cycling specialists spent the last seven years testing nearly 30 of the best bike saddles, and we recently purchased 12 of this year's top models for side-by-side testing. From casual fitness rides to urban bike commutes to grueling mountain ascents, our crew faced many of the same riding scenarios you might encounter. After many months in the saddle, we rated each model across five performance metrics to help you identify the features most important to you. Whether you're seeking a lightweight racing model with a sleek and slim profile, an anatomic design with maximum pressure relief, or an all-around balance of comfort and performance, our in-depth review offers up expert recommendations for your needs and budget.

Here at GearLab, we love writing bike reviews, and our testing team is made up of passionate cyclists. Whether you're seeking road biking gear or on the hunt for the best gravel bike, we have you covered with comprehensive reviews of the best bike gear on the market. Just looking for the most comfortable bike seat for cruising around town? Check out our best comfort bike seat review.

Editor's Note: We updated our bike saddle review on March 29, 2024, to include more information on how we tested and to remove a discontinued product from our lineup.

Top 12 Bike Saddles - Test Results

Displaying 6 - 10 of 12
 
Awards  Best Buy Award    
Price $130 List
Check Price at Backcountry
$37 List
$37.00 at REI
$35.94 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$120.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$140 List
$105.39 at Amazon
Overall Score
76
76
75
53
48
Star Rating
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Pros Durable, lightweight, longer than averageComfortable, anatomical groove and cutout, versatile, economicalCompetitive price, versatile design, comfortable, durableDurable, comfortable, classic styleClassic shape, quality materials and construction
Cons Synthetic suede Microtex running down center of saddleHeavy, not as stiff as high performance optionsHeavy, not as stiff as racing saddlesMaintenance intensive, long break-in time, heavyHeavy, not very comfortable or supportive
Bottom Line A flat and narrow saddle designed for the racer who can spend hours in a low tucked aggressive positionA Jack or Jackie of all trades, comfortable for any riding style in any situation, this affordable saddle ranks competitively with higher-priced alternativesVersatile and comfortable, this saddle is great on roads, trails, commutes, and easy on the walletAn all leather classic, no padding just high quality tensioned leather that gets better with time and useA narrower, flexible saddle with durable construction but limited comfort and performance
Rating Categories Fizik Arione Bontrager Sport Saddle WTB Speed Brooks England B-17 Brooks England Camb...
Comfort (30%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
4.0
Performance (30%) Sort Icon
8.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
5.0
Versatility (20%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
5.0
5.0
Durability (10%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Weight (10%)
8.0
5.0
4.0
2.0
3.0
Specs Fizik Arione Bontrager Sport Saddle WTB Speed Brooks England B-17 Brooks England Camb...
Dimensions L 300 mm, W 130 mm L 275 mm, W 163 mm L 270 mm, W 145 mm L 280 mm, W 174 mm L 283 mm, W 140 mm
Weight (grams) 241 g 350 g 379 g 537 g 430 g
Rail Material Kium Alloy Steel Steel Steel Steel
Shell Material Nylon, Carbon Foam Plastic None, Tensioned Leather Vulcanized Natural Rubber
Seat Cover Material Microtex Microfiber Synthetic Leather Organic Cotton
Anatomical Cut Out or Channel No Yes groove and cut out Yes, groove No Yes, full cut out
Target Use (mountain, road, etc.) Road, Mountain, Cyclocross Road, Commuting, Touring Mountain, Road, Cyclocross Road, Commuting, Touring Recreational, Commuting


Best Overall Bike Saddle


Prologo Dimension


79
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort 9.0
  • Performance 8.0
  • Versatility 5.0
  • Durability 9.0
  • Weight 9.0
Dimensions: L 245 mm, W 143 mm | Weight: 191 g
REASONS TO BUY
Very lightweight
Comfortable
Anatomic relief channel
REASONS TO AVOID
Unique design not as versatile

The Prologo Dimension offers excellent value with its comfortable and unique short-nose design and one of the most reasonable price points for an ultralight performance saddle. With just the right amount of padding in just the right places, a generous anatomic relief cutout, and a unique shape that encourages an aggressive riding position, this saddle is a great pick for road racers or fast riders. It is one of the lightest saddles we've ever tested, with a simple design and high-quality construction.

The Prologo Dimension is a lightweight racing machine, so it might not be as versatile across other riding disciplines. Its performance-oriented shape is not as comfortable in more upright or casual riding positions, and its stiff shell material and thin, dense padding are not as forgiving on offroad pursuits. Still, for aggressive riders who want an ultralight model, the Prologo Dimension is hard to beat. For other riders in the market for a budget-priced all-around bike saddle, the Bontrager Sport Saddle offers a decent balance of comfort, versatility, and cost.

Read more: Prologo Dimension review

bike saddle - the comfortable padding, anatomic relief channel, and short-nose...
The comfortable padding, anatomic relief channel, and short-nose design make this a comfortable and high-performing saddle.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

Best Bang for the Buck


Bontrager Sport Saddle


76
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort 8.0
  • Performance 7.0
  • Versatility 9.0
  • Durability 8.0
  • Weight 5.0
Dimensions: L 275 mm, W 163 mm | Weight: 350 g
REASONS TO BUY
Padding is comfortable
Pressure relief cutout
Very low price
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavier than average weight
Wide for aggressive road cycling

The Bontrager Sport rides away with the most affordable comfort in our test fleet. This saddle brought smiles on every ride, from road bikes to beach cruisers. The steel rails and thick foam definitely keep this out of contention for those looking for a light fast saddle. Still, this saddle is very versatile, supporting multiple riding positions and easy comfort when moving around with ample surface area. Though not the most aggressive, the Sport is a capable road saddle, perfect for riders new to road cycling or anyone looking to upgrade from that uncomfortable stock saddle.

At 163 millimeters wide, this bike saddle is wider than most models and is noticeable in full extension when pedaling hard, but this can fit most anatomies. We enjoyed that it was interchangeable across our quiver of bikes, as at home on a road bike as a cross-country mountain bike ride. For the price, this saddle is a bargain regardless of your riding style. The microfiber cover proved water-resistant in adverse conditions of rain and snow. The durable materials also held up to abuse in all conditions we could throw at it. If you're looking for a comfy, versatile saddle for the price of a steak dinner, then this will sate your appetite.

Read more: Bontrager Sport review

bike saddle - performing above its price point, this saddle shines on mellow town...
Performing above its price point, this saddle shines on mellow town cruises and daily commutes.
Credit: Ryan Baker

Best for Anatomic Relief


Selle SMP Pro


78
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort 8.0
  • Performance 8.0
  • Versatility 8.0
  • Durability 9.0
  • Weight 5.0
Dimensions: L 278 mm, W 144 mm | Weight: 344 g
REASONS TO BUY
Huge anatomic relief cutout
Comfortable in a variety of positions
High-end materials
REASONS TO AVOID
Expensive
Maybe not suitable for all bodies

The Selle SMP Pro is one of the boldest and most uniquely designed saddles in our lineup and earns high accolades for its distinctive full-length cutout. Riders typically suffering from soft tissue pain or numbness will certainly appreciate one of the most aggressive cutout designs on the market, with a firm elastomer foam padding and a carbon-reinforced nylon shell that support the sit bones. The design took a bit of adjustment and tinkering before getting used to it, but after getting it dialed in with a few rides, it was hard to go back to a standard design. This seat also features a downturned nose that mitigates the risk of surprise bottom-bashing and serves as a nice platform for adjusting your riding position or sliding fore or aft with changing terrain.

Despite the tremendous anatomic relief, this bike saddle might not be for everyone. The revolutionary cutout design means that a smaller surface area supports the bulk of your weight, potentially leading to uncomfortable pressure points, particularly if your anatomy doesn't perfectly align with the shape and size of the saddle. We also found it difficult to correctly adjust and position it for a comfortable riding position with its heavily sloped fore to aft profile. Once we did, we appreciated the versatility to comfortably move around to a variety of seated positions. With its high-end materials, this saddle is also heavier than some high-end models we tested. And yet, it still manages to weigh in at a respectable 344 grams and is definitely worth checking out for riders seeking the ultimate in pressure relief.

Read more: Selle SMP Pro review

bike saddle - the unique shape may take some getting used to, but the sloping...
The unique shape may take some getting used to, but the sloping platform is stiff and supportive.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
79
Prologo Dimension
Best Overall Bike Saddle
$150
Editors' Choice Award
78
Selle SMP Pro
Best for Anatomic Relief
$270
Top Pick Award
78
Terry Fly TI
$175
77
Specialized S-Works Power Arc
$325
76
Bontrager Sport Saddle
Best Bang for the Buck
$37
Best Buy Award
76
Fizik Arione
$130
76
Specialized Power Expert
$160
75
WTB Speed
$48
56
Serfas Dorado
$63
53
Brooks England B-17
$160
48
Brooks England Cambium C15 Carved All-Weather
$140
47
Serfas E-Gel Cruiser
$68

bike saddle - early morning testing along the pacific coast.
Early morning testing along the Pacific Coast.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

How We Test Bike Saddles


After spending hours researching the top-performing products on the market, our testers put together a solid lineup of saddles and hit the road for some intense head-to-head testing. From short commutes to fast fitness rides, long cruises to grueling climbs and blazing fast descents, we rode these saddles hard to put them through the wringer in all sorts of riding conditions. We evaluated their balance and control while riding and assessed padding, shapes, and overall comfort. We left them out in the rain, leaned furniture against them for weeks, and scraped and scratched at them to test their durability. We also weighed them to compare them to manufacturer specs. For more testing info, see our How We Test article.

Our bike saddle testing is divided across five different metrics:
  • Comfort (30% of overall score weighting)
  • Performance (30% weighting)
  • Versatility (20% weighting)
  • Durability (10% weighting)
  • Weight (10% weighting)

Why Trust GearLab


Our lineup of bike saddles was put to the test by the rear ends of our gear testers Nick Bruckbauer, Ryan Baham, and Ryan Baker. All three are all-around athletes and avid outdoorsmen. Nick likes to spend his evenings and weekends grinding away in the hills above Santa Barbara, CA. Ryan Baham enjoys all manners of road cycling from causal after-work pedals, quad-busting climbs, and the occasional century ride. Ryan Baker masochistically seeks out the brutal headwinds and arduous climbs of the eastern Sierra.

The WTB Speed is a versatile saddle and is especially great for...
The WTB Speed is a versatile saddle and is especially great for riding around town.
Cranking up the power on a long uphill climb.
Cranking up the power on a long uphill climb.
Tinkering with saddle setup on different bikes.
Tinkering with saddle setup on different bikes.

Analysis and Test Results


After dusting off the bike tools in our home workshop, we began tinkering with our bikes and the saddle testing lineup to prepare for the miles ahead. Each model was mounted on different bikes, adjusted for optimum setup, and tested by multiple riders with different body types and riding styles to gain multiple opinions and perspectives. We also analyzed these products' structure and design better to understand their design, materials, and construction. We tested each saddle side by side in similar riding conditions on the same rides to reduce subjectivity. Below, we evaluate each saddle through our five rating metrics, including comfort, performance, and versatility through a range of speeds, terrains, and riding positions, and finally, weight and durability.


Value


We realize that cycling can be an expensive sport. While some riders are looking for the best possible products, no matter the cost, we know many riders are looking for a reasonable balance of solid performance and a fair price. Options we've presented have a wide range of prices, so there's likely a good choice for any budget. The Bontrager Sport stands out with competitive scores against more expensive alternatives. At an astoundingly low price and high marks across every metric, we recommend it for those on a budget who still want to enjoy the quality of Bontrager.

While some companies make saddles designed specifically for women, most of the products across the market are genderless, and the saddles in this review are suitable for any rider.

Comfort


Let's face it; comfort is perhaps the most important attribute for any rider spending any decent chunk of time in the saddle. Without at least a reasonable level of comfort, a saddle's weight, durability, and other attributes almost become irrelevant and can force you back home to the recliner before you know it. We also must recognize that every rider, their anatomy, and their riding style are all individually unique, and this can give different riders vastly different opinions of the same seat. Because of this subjectivity, we sought to find a consensus in opinions among our differently shaped testers. We looked to identify which saddle shapes, sizes, and design features favor or oppose certain riding styles or rider preferences.


One of the most comfortable saddles we tested is the Prologo Dimension. Its simple design, relatively flat seating platform, dense padding, and pressure relief channel make it ideal for racers or faster riders frequently in more aggressive riding positions.

The Selle SMP Pro stands out for its full-length anatomic cutout, providing tremendous pressure relief to the delicate parts of your undercarriage. Riders looking for relief from numbness, tingling, or painful pressure in their vital areas will appreciate this design. The potential drawback with the aggressive cutout is that it leaves a smaller, very firmly padded surface area for your sit bones to rest on, potentially leading to uncomfortable pressure points. We recommend this saddle for those who have been riding for some time and have grown accustomed to hours in a high-performance saddle. On their website, Selle recommends this saddle for riders with pants sizes L to XXL (USA sizes 34-39), and our testers found that smaller riders can experience discomfort if their anatomy doesn't correctly align with the smaller seating platforms.

bike saddle - the downturned nose and extreme sloping shape of the smp pro...
The downturned nose and extreme sloping shape of the SMP Pro compared to a more traditionally shaped saddle.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

While some of our comfort-oriented bike saddles with thicker padding were certainly quite comfortable on shorter cruises, we began to notice the lack of stiffness and support on longer or faster rides, which ultimately made the ride feel imbalanced and a little uncomfortable. A thickly padded seat like the Serfas Dorado would be an excellent option for your beach or neighborhood cruiser, but most likely isn't going to go on your road bike for faster training or racing. Striking a nice balance of comfortable plush padding and an anatomic relief cutout without feeling too squishy or being too heavy, both the Specialized Power Expert and the Prologo Dimension would be good options for all-around riding.

bike saddle - the thick cushioning of the dorado (rear) is much heavier and...
The thick cushioning of the Dorado (rear) is much heavier and bulkier than on other high-performance saddles.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

The Brooks England B-17 surprised us with its high level of comfort, achieved using tensioned leather and no padding - it's no wonder Brooks has been in the bike saddle business since 1882. The Brooks surprise goes to show that the answer to a sore bottom isn't always more padding - sometimes the answer is just more time in the saddle, particularly if you're new to riding or it's early in the season. Our testers found that the rubbery shell material found on the Brooks Cambium C15 Carved doesn't quite stack up to the comfort of the more traditional B-17. Despite the Brooks models' classic style and historic success, we found that our testers preferred the modern shapes and high-performance materials used in most newer styles.

bike saddle - the brooks cambium c15 carved (left) and b-17.
The Brooks Cambium C15 Carved (left) and B-17.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

Performance


Saddle performance hinges on a few factors: shape, padding, and shell stiffness. A road bike saddle must provide a stable platform from which the rider can achieve and maintain an optimal body position to transfer power to the pedals. The right balance of padding and stiffness is necessary to optimize power transfer without wasting energy or compromising efficiency. Too much padding and not enough stiffness can cause energy to be absorbed and wasted with each pedal stroke. Conversely, too little padding and too much stiffness can compromise comfort and accelerate the onset of fatigue.


The shape of the saddle also impacts performance. Traditional thinking is such that a relatively flat saddle with a long nose offers the best power transfer. However, some newer saddles, such as the Specialized Power Expert and Prologo Dimension, diverge from that trend with a short chopped nose, wider tail, and deep cutout, and still manage to perform quite well.

bike saddle - the prologo dimension with its short nose, wide tail, and generous...
The Prologo dimension with its short nose, wide tail, and generous anatomic relief channel.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

One of the biggest surprises in this category was the Selle SMP Pro. This saddle's unique shape and downturned nose helped with power transfer in various riding positions. Its rigid carbon shell and curved front-to-back profile allow for versatile body positioning and provide a solid anchor to direct power into the pedals with minimal energy loss. Its wide rear platform also provides a steady base for those long grinding efforts, while the narrow nose is ideal for more aggressive pushes. This intimidating design ended up being quite comfortable, providing excellent support without interfering with leg extension.

bike saddle - the smp pro provides a solid platform for efficient power transfer...
The SMP Pro provides a solid platform for efficient power transfer in a variety of riding positions.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

Versatility


While many high-level cyclists own multiple bikes and participate in several cycling disciplines, most amateur riders likely have one bike they use across any road riding pursuits. In our versatility testing, we focused on the major road pursuits: cruising (the seasonal century ride and long, slow training miles), sprinting (crits and single-day road races), climbing (grinding out categorized climbs), and touring (we're talking panniers, sabbaticals, Gofundme campaigns). The more versatile a saddle is, the more likely you will be happy using it for multiple disciplines.


The Selle SMP Pro ranked as one of the most versatile saddles in our test group. It offers excellent power transfer and comfort while tearing it up out on the flats, making grinding hilly ascents, or blazing down some hair-raising descents. Its narrow nose allows you to aggressively kick from down in the drops, and it has just enough padding not to overwhelm you while sitting in a group in cruise mode. Our testers also loved the Terry Fly TI for more intense efforts, with its long, narrow nose that allows the rider to get small down in the drops and its supple padding that comfortably facilitates those non-epic efforts.

Another good option in this category is the Bontrager Sport, with its classic shape, perineal cutaway, and broad plush platform. The low price tag includes comfort that competes with any other model in our lineup and is cheap enough to outfit on every bike you own. This seat is appropriate on any bike or for any riding style: a quick trip to the store, a long-distance tour, or a daily city commute.

Durability


Our testers certainly put these saddles through the wringer - riding through dirt, mud, rain, snow, and sunshine - and easily survived the abuse of our testing period. The differences we've identified are primarily related to the product materials, design, or construction and how they impact each product's perceived durability. When we put these saddles through the elements, baking in the sun on the roofs of our cars, or making accidental contact with the pavement a few times, we didn't manage to break any rails or tear any shells on any models.


While most of the saddles in our lineup are high-quality products, a few models really shine for their high-end materials and quality construction. The Selle SMP Pro stands out with its leather cover and quality construction. The Terry Fly Ti comes in just a bit behind the others because its cover was bound to the shell with a simple glue and came apart after the smallest bit of half-hearted picking.

bike saddle - the terry fly's cover is secured to the shell with glue, which means...
The Terry Fly's cover is secured to the shell with glue, which means it can more easily separate.
Credit: Ryan Baham

Weight


Overall bike weight is significant for bike racers; a few hundred grams on a long climb can mean the difference between first and second place. For the rest of us mere mortals, the overall weight can affect the handling, as well as our motivation at the end of a long day in the saddle. At OutdoorGearLab, we weigh all of our test products ourselves and compare them to the manufacturer's claimed weight. Some saddles came in above or below the claimed weight, but all were within a few percent without any glaring inaccuracies.


The lightest saddle we tested is the Specialized S-Works Power Arc, weighing in a jaw-dropping 141 grams without sacrificing a gram of comfort. Also worth highlighting is the svelte Prologo Dimension, which clocks in under 200 grams.

In contrast, the Dimension achieves a featherweight stature with its smaller overall dimensions. As a rule of thumb, as a saddle's weight goes down, the price goes up. An exception to this is the Selle SMP Pro, which is on the pricier side and the heavier side, thanks to its unique design. However, even the SMP Pro comes in a carbon rail version that will drop another 50 grams if you're willing to fork over a couple of dollars for each excised gram.

bike saddle - the brooks saddles are among the heaviest in our lineup with their...
The Brooks saddles are among the heaviest in our lineup with their thick, durable materials and burly construction.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

Unsurprisingly, the Brooks saddles are some of the heavier models in our test fleet with their robust materials and construction, as are the Serfas models with their thick and luxurious padding. The leather of the Brooks saddles can take a lot of riding to break into their peak comfort — perhaps more riding than we did in them. Keep in mind that racing is not the only intended use of these models. Brooks saddles have a classic style with long-lasting materials and construction, while the Serfas saddles are built for comfort for shorter, non-aggressive rides. Each rider must balance the importance of weight with comfort, intended use, and cost.

bike saddle - happy riding!
Happy riding!
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

Conclusion


Selecting the right saddle for your bicycle can be a daunting process — and even painful, should you spend too much time with the wrong product. The range of saddle styles, shapes, and intended uses is vast, and trying to decipher their design details and marketing jargon can be utterly confusing. We've cut through a lot of the noise to bring you our straightforward assessment, carefully pointing out any flaws while highlighting the qualities that will be useful for most riders. We've analyzed 12 of the best, most popular models on the market and put them through the wringer to guide you to the perfect new saddle that's right for you.

Ryan Baker & Nick Bruckbauer