11th October 2018

How to choose the perfect women’s saddle

Most comfortable Womens Saddles | Best Ladies Saddles | bike saddles

Why are Women’s Saddles important?

We wouldn’t be doing women’s cycling justice if we didn’t cover that most intimate point of contact – the saddle. Why? Because whenever we speak to women about their relationship with their bike, it’s the saddle that comes up first for scrutiny.

That’s why we take care to put together an outstanding range of women’s saddles, backed up by expert fitting advice and our no-quibble comfort guarantee. Here’s how we help you choose the perfect women’s saddle.

Most comfortable Womens Saddles | Best Ladies Saddles | bike saddles

Measuring the sit-bones (discreetly)

“I use the Specialized Riva saddle on two of my bikes. It’s a slimmer saddle, but very supportive of my sit bones, so it’s extremely comfortable and also waterproof. I ride with it every day on my commute, do longer day rides and have been touring with it, so it’s really versatile too.” – Claire of Love to Ride

The sit-bones are the bottom parts of your pelvis that your body rests on when you sit on, well, your bottom. Because human skeletons vary in size and shape, the distance between people’s sit-bones also varies.

The ideal saddle is just wide enough to support your particular sit-bones, but narrow enough so that it doesn’t cause chafing or rub. A poorly fitting saddle can also encourage you to lean too far forwards onto your soft fleshy parts, which is obviously undesirable. Here’s a fascinating video on the science, if you’re into that kind of thing.

And by the way, don’t make the mistake of assuming that your jeans-size correlates to how far apart your sit-bones are! It doesn’t.

There are several great saddles we’ve highlighted below, but the single best way to get the ideal saddle for your sit-bones is to pop into one of our shops and try out our discreet seat sizer: The affectionately nicknamed ‘Ass-O-Meter.’ Alternatively, if you buy one of our saddles online and it’s not quite right, you can return it as part of our no quibbles guarantee.

Most comfortable Womens Saddles | Best Ladies Saddles | bike saddles

The Ass-O-Meter measures the sit-bones to help you find the perfect saddle.

More advice on comfort in the saddle

For ultimate comfort in the saddle, think about what you’re wearing. Padded shorts, preferably with chamois cream, can make as profound a difference as the saddle – especially on longer rides.

The Most Comfortable Women’s Saddles

Specialized Body Geometry Gel Women’s Road Bike Saddles

Specialized Lithia Comp Gel Saddle – £70

Specialized Lithia Comp Gel Women's Saddle | most comfortable Ladies Saddle

Specialized Lithia Comp Gel Women’s Saddle

 What are the key features of this women’s saddle?
  1. The Specialized Lithia is a lightweight sporty saddle with BG (Body Geometry) gel inserts strategically positioned to cushion the sit bones.
  2. It is 270mm long and you can choose between two wides – 143 and 155mm – to ensure it’s wide enough to support your sit bones, and no wider.
  3. The saddle is lightweight and strong (340-344g) with a Micromatrix synthetic leather cover.

Shop now >

Specialized Oura Expert Gel Women’s Saddle – £100

Specialized Oura Expert Gel Women's Saddle | most comfortable Ladies Saddle

Specialized Oura Expert Gel Women’s Saddle

 What are the key features of this women’s saddle?
  1. On a road bike you’re more likely to be riding with your pelvis tilted further forward, hence the Specialized Oura’s contouring which offers optimal power transfer as you crank-out the watts while not sacrificing comfort.
  2. Level 2 padding: Medium density foam with gel for additional cushioning.
  3. Available in two widths: 143mm & 155mm

Shop now >

Other Women’s Road Bike Saddles

Ergon SR Sport Gel Women’s Saddle – £79.99

Ergon SR Sport Gel Women's Saddle | most comfortable Ladies Saddle

Ergon SR Sport Gel Women’s Saddle

What are the key features of this women’s saddle?

  1. Designed for women who are riding in the racing-related sitting position.
  2. Reduced saddle length to improve the freedom of movement on the bike.
  3. Comes in two sizes: small/medium (9-12cm sit bone width) and medium/large (12-16cm sit bone width).

Shop now >

Brooks C17 S Cambium Women’s Saddle – £119.99

Brooks C17 S Cambium Women's Saddle | most comfortable Ladies Saddle

Brooks C17 S Cambium Women’s Saddle

What are the key features of this women’s saddle?

  1. The saddle top is riveted to the saddle’s rails to create a subtle light-sprung element of suspension. Brooks call this the ‘hammock effect’.
  2. Natural rubber / organic cotton canvas / structural textile top designed for immediate comfort.
  3. The geometry of this saddle closely matches on the most recognisable Brooks women’s saddle – the B17.

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Women’s Mountain Bike Saddle

Specialized Myth Sport Women’s Saddle – £30 [SOLD OUT!]

Specialized Myth Sport Womens Saddle | most comfortable Ladies Saddle

Specialized Myth Sport Womens Saddle

 What are the key features of this women’s saddle?
  1. The optimal blend of strength and comfort with proven Body Geometry design – the cutaway running down the middle reduces pressure.
  2. The saddle’s low-friction synthetic leather cover makes it easy to change position and pedalling efficiency.
  3. Level 3 padding: Extra padding for increased vibration dampening.

Leisure Saddles

Selle San Marco Era Lady Dynamic Women’s Saddle – £49.99

Selle San Marco Era Lady Dynamic Women's Saddle | most comfortable Ladies Saddle

Selle San Marco Era Lady Dynamic Women’s Saddle

What are the key features of this women’s saddle?

  1. An entry level women’s saddle for new or occasional cyclists.
  2. The biodynamic structure that follows the movements of the pelvis during pedalling, guarantees comfort, reduced weight, lasting resistance and ideal support.
  3. The Silkfeel cover is breathable and hardwearing and is less deformable than traditional materials.

Shop now >

Bike Saddles | Road bike saddles | mountain bikes saddles | gel bike saddle

Why buy your bike saddle from us:

No-quibble saddle comfort guarantee

Any saddle purchased from our shops is covered by our no-quibble comfort guarantee. That is, if the saddle doesn’t make you more comfortable, return it to the shop within a month of purchase, and we’ll replace it with an alternative saddle (or a gift voucher) to the same value.

Saddle check

Even if you think your saddle’s okay, but you’re not sure if it’s correctly positioned, pop into any of our shops and we’ll be happy to advise. Simply raising the saddle or repositioning it a centimetre further forward or back can make a huge difference – not just for comfort but for pedalling efficiency too.

Free bicycle safety check – just ask

While we’re mentioning free checkovers, remember, you’re always welcome to pop your bike into any of our shops for a free bicycle safety check.

Wondering what that knocking sound is? Worried if your bike is fit for the road? We’re always happy to give your bike a no-obligation once over and advise you on what’s required to make it road or trail-worthy.

More on Specialized Body Geometry Saddles

i love specialized saddles

Body Geometry means that the saddle has been scientifically and medically developed to minimise pressure and prevent discomfort. It’s a science that Specialized have been perfecting for the best part of 20 years.

Every BG saddle has been developed and control tested by sports science guru Doctor Roger Minkow. It’s then trialled on road, track and trail by Specialized’s ever-available crew of test riders.

Every BG women’s saddle features a channel or cutaway in the middle to minimise contact with women’s soft tissue.

Specialized are so committed to preventing saddle-induced discomfort, they have invested over $100,000 in equipment to measure blood flow and how it is compromised by sitting on the wrong saddle.

More recently, they’ve pioneered a digital pressure-mapping system. This enables them to precisely gauge the best location for the saddle’s central channel or cutout to prevent pressure on soft tissue which is the main reason women experience saddle discomfort.

Since 2012 Minkow has been working with pain-relief specialist and orthopaedic surgeon Dr Sonja Stilp who employs fellow avid female riders to test women’s BG saddles by measuring the test riders’ nerve sensation before and after each ride.

It’s a comfort to know that Specialized are prepared to make such investment in R&D to create the best saddle possible. That is, a saddle that is so comfortable, you’re barely aware of it when you ride your bike.

 

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