Nothing can ruin a ride faster than an uncomfortable saddle. The wrong saddle can cause chafing, saddle sores, bruising, and a bad attitude about biking.
The good news is that you don’t have to continue to suffer. A good bike saddle can make all the difference in terms of your enjoyment and comfort on the bicycle.
In a quest to find the BEST women’s bike saddles, we researched, tested, and polled every female cyclist we know. In this article we’ll share the ones that came out on top–including women’s mountain bike saddles, road bike saddles, and a few saddles that are great for everything.
Also, it’s important to note that while one saddle might be awesome for one woman, it might be terrible for another. To help you pick the right saddle for YOUR body, we’ve also included tips on how to choose.
How To Choose A Women’s Bike Saddle
When it comes to bike saddles there’s no one best pick for all. Each of us have different body shapes and riding styles, which means that a saddle that one woman loves, her best friend might hate. Here are a few tips for choosing the right saddle for YOU.
Unisex vs Women’s-Specific Saddles
Is a women’s-specific saddle always the best choice?
Not necessarily. I’ve had women-specific saddles that I’ve hated, ones that I’ve loved, and a couple of unisex saddles that rocked my world.
That said, women-specific saddles do generally fit women better than a men’s saddle. A lot of the time in the bike world when we talk about something that’s “women’s-specific” it’s a marketing ploy. A women’s-specific saddle is not one of those times.
Women typically have wider sit-bones than men and more pelvic rotation and therefore need a wider saddle. Women-specific saddles usually also have a cut-out to relieve soft tissue pressure (something I personally appreciate).
While many women may find a unisex saddle that they are comfortable with, I’d really urge every woman to try a couple saddles designed specifically for female anatomy. Oftentimes, I hear women say that they didn’t even realized how uncomfortable they were until they discovered what a truly comfortable saddle felt like.
Examine your Personal Anatomy
Knowing what style of womens bike seat might fit your body best is a little tricky. A good place to start is to think about what you don’t like about your current saddle. If your sit bones hurt, you might need a wider saddle.
If your genitals hurt, you might need a larger cut-out. If your inner thighs are getting chafed, you might need a narrower saddle.
Are You an Innie or an Outtie?
Are your lady parts an “innie or an outtie.” Just like your belly button, some women have more pronounced lady parts than others.
For outties, you’re going to have more trouble finding a comfortable saddle than women with an innie. Innies are much more likely to do okay with a unisex saddle, especially if you have narrower sit bones as well.
If you often have soft tissue soreness after a ride, consider a saddle with a larger cut-out. It will make a world of difference.
Get Yourself Measured
You know how you get measured for a bra, and it’s 1,000% better than the bra you picked out for yourself? That’s how a bike saddle is too.
To pick the right saddle, you should know how wide your sit bones are. A good bike shop will have a special seat you can sit on that will measure your sit bones. Alternatively, you can measure yourself at home.
There are several methods you can use to measure your sit bone width (sit on corrugated cardboard, sit on playdough), but my favorite uses tin foil. I show how to do it in this video.
In case you’re wondering how accurate it this is, I’d say very! I’ve had my sit bones measured at a shop, by a professional bike fitter, and at home. In all three instances, I’ve ended up with the same measurement.
Consider your Riding Position and Style
The type of bike you have, and the way that you ride it, can determine the type of saddle that will suit you best.
If you ride in a more leaned over position, down in the drops, you will put more pressure on your soft tissue. In this case, you need a saddle with a wider cut-out.
Alternatively, if you have a more upright bike with a less aggressive reach, then you might need a saddle with a wider saddle or slightly more padding for your sit bones.
Don’t Equate Padding with Comfort
One of the biggest mistakes I see women make when buying a bike seat is thinking the cushier it is the more comfortable it will be. Unfortunately, more padding brings with it a host of problems including saddle sores, chafing, and all around discomfort.
Try A Couple Saddles
If you can, try a couple of saddles before you buy. Some local bike shops have demo programs where they’ll let you try out a saddle before you make a purchase. Or, if you have other ladies you ride with, you might ask to borrow their saddle for a spin as well.
Get a Professional Bike Fitting
If you continue to have saddle discomfort, even after trying a few different saddles, you might consider getting a professional bike fit. A professional will be able to evaluate issues that aren’t related to the design of your saddle at all.
For instance, your saddle might be too far forward, too far back, tilted at a strange angle, you might be leaned over too far, etc, etc, etc.
When it comes to bike saddles, the higher the price the lighter and more performance oriented it is. The extra cost is probably worth it if you are racing or putting in a LOT of miles. For more casual riders, a mid-price saddle will work just fine.
There are a couple things that can drive up the cost of a saddle. The first is the material of the covering on the seat. Real leather for instance will drive up the price significantly compared to a synthetic material.
The core material of the saddle can also drive up the price; higher end saddles usually have a carbon inner that makes it lighter and helps absorb vibration. Finally the material that the saddle rails are made from can drive up the price; again, the lighter the material the more expensive the saddle.
Best Bike Saddles For Women
We’ve divided these saddles up into three categories.
The first are “good for everything” saddles. These saddles are good all-around saddles. Put them on your mountain bike, road bike, city bike, whatever. They’re at home everywhere.
The next category are womens’ mountain bike saddles. These are designed to take you off the beaten path. Whether you’re hitting up singletrack, racing cyclocross, or gravel griniding, these saddles will help make it a smoother ride.
The final category are road bike saddles. Whether you are racing, tackling your first century, or just chatting with the ladies on your local group ride, one of these will be a good bet.
|“GOOD FOR EVERYTHING” SADDLES|
|MTB / OFF-ROAD SADDLES|
|4||Ergon SM or SMC Women’s|
|7||Selle Italia Diva Gel Superflow|
|9||Terry Bicycles FLX Saddle|
When we started polling our friends on their favorite bike saddle, the SDG Allure was the winner over and over and over again. Seriously, there are a lot of women that are passionately IN LOVE with the SDG Allure.
What’s so great about it? It has a well-placed cutout that keeps your lady parts from getting squashed; a downturned nose for when the trail turns steep; and a comfortable seat that refrains from being squishy.
All that, and it’s moderately priced as well.
The downside is that it only comes in one width, so if you have wider sitbones you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Read Our Review: SDG Allure
Price & Where To Buy:
- $89.99 List
- Check price at SDGComponents.com**
- Check price at JensonUSA.com**
- Check price at Amazon.com**
Almost every serious female cyclist I know has owned and loved the Terry Butterfly at one point or another. It has a wide rear, a narrow nose, and a good-sized cutout making it suitable for a wide range of bodies. It also comes in fun prints which we appreciate.
For women at any range of the budget spectrum, the Terry is a good pick. The basic version is $80, and the carbon version is $194. All have the same great design, the price just goes up with the material of the core and rails.
It also only comes in one width (155mm), so women with narrower sitbones won’t love this one.
Read Our Review: Terry Butterfly
Forget a big cutout. In fact, the Specialized MIMIC doesn’t have a cutout at all.
Instead, it uses multiple layers of foam to minimize soft tissue swelling, and the ladies we know swear by this unique design. To further ensure you’re comfortable, the saddle comes in THREE different widths to match your sitbones.
The saddle also comes in several different pricepoints. For most, we’d recommend the Specialized Power Comp MIMIC. It hits that sweet spot between comfort and price. There are more expensive versions that are perfect for serious riders and racers.
This saddle is so popular that sometimes your preferred width/size may be out of stock, which is the only con we can come up with.
Read Our Review: Specialized Power Comp MIMIC
Price & Where To Buy:
Ergon SMC Women
Ergon makes great products that have been intelligently designed to be ergonomic. When you first see the Ergon SMC saddle, you might do a double take. It doesn’t look quite as sleek as other saddles, but that’s because it’s been designed to actually fit your body, not just look a certain way.
The cut-out is larger than most which makes it a good pick if you have a lot of soft tissue tenderness, and the nose is shorter than most saddles.
It also comes with several options. The SMC Women version has minimal padding and the SMC Sport Gel has gel inserts if you prefer a little extra cushion.
Additionally, both versions are offered in two sizes. The S/M is 143 mm wide, and the M/L is 155mm.
Read Our Review: Ergon SMC Sport Gel
Price & Where To Buy:
We highly recommend the Fizik Luna for female mountain bikers seeking a comfortable and supportive seat. Designed specifically for the female body, it addresses common complaints such as chafing, saddle sores, and back pain.
The saddle’s center cut-out provides relief for sensitive areas, reducing uncomfortable pressure and chafing during long rides. Additionally, it is designed to accommodate the wider sit-bones of women, with two size options available.
It boasts a sleek appearance and is made with lightweight and durable carbon materials. The company also offers a user-friendly return policy and a detailed survey on their website to help riders choose the best saddle for their needs. Moreover, the packaging is environmentally conscious, using recyclable materials.
The only big drawback of this saddle is that the mesh material on the sides of the seat makes it difficult to keep clean, as dirt and mud tend to accumulate and are hard to remove.
Read Our Review: Fizik Luna
Price and Where to Buy:
If you don’t suffer from a lot of soft tissue soreness, the WTB Deva may be a good pick for you. It doesn’t have a cut-out and provides a lot of support for your sitbones. The nose is short-ish and the profile is pretty flat making it good for maneuvering around the saddle.
It’s a medium width saddle (145mm) and only comes with one size, so obviously it’s a no-go if you need a wider or narrower saddle. The Deva comes in several models, however, depending on your budget and preferences–titanium, cromoly, or steel rails.
Price & Where To Buy:
Selle Italia Diva Gel Superflow
The Selle Italia Diva Gel Superflow saddle is a highly recommended choice for women seeking a comfortable and supportive saddle for long-distance road riding and touring. It features a women-specific design, soft (but not too soft) gel cushioning, and durable materials.
During rigorous test rides, including a seven-day road biking event, the saddle proved its worth. It provided a perfect fit, even weight distribution, and effective pressure relief. The lightweight gel cushioning offered comfort and vibration absorption.
While popular among men as well, the saddle retains its recognition as a design focused on women’s anatomy. It is lightweight (275g-285g) with two different size options available.
Read Our Review: Selle Italia Diva Gel Superflow
Price & Where To Buy:
** (Last updated: 2023-10-23 at 17:00 – More Info
We like the Fizik Luce for women that suffer from thigh chafing. It has a dramatic taper toward the nose that allows for plenty of leg clearance.
This alloy saddle is also super affordable, proving that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get more comfort. If you want something lighter, they also offer the same design in a carbon version.
Unfortunately, this won’t be the saddle for everyone. (Though none are). It has a smaller cut-out which not all women will love, but it does have to width options (145mm and 155mm).
Price & Where To Buy:
- $99.99 List
- Buy at Fizik.com
Terry Bicycles FLX Saddle
The Terry FLX saddle is a lightweight, minimally padded saddle that doesn’t sacrifice comfort for performance. If you prefer a more minimalist saddle, the FLX is worth a look.
It only comes in one width–142mm–and is definitely aimed toward riders with narrower sit bones and a more aggressive riding position. If that doesn’t describe you, try the Terry Butterfly we listed above instead.
Price & Where To Buy:
Comparison Chart: Bike Saddles For Women
Still not sure how all these saddles stack up or which one is best for you? Use this comparison chart to help you choose.
|Saddle||Weight||Seat Width||Seat Length||Recommended Use||Cover||Rails|
|Terry Butterfly Carbon||218 g||155 mm||262 mm||Recreational road cycling, racing||Leather||Carbon|
|Terry Butterfly||335 g||155 mm||262 mm||Everything||Vinyl||Chromoly Steel|
|Selle Italia Diva Gel Superflow||275/285g||135 mm / 152 mm||270 mm||Road||Lorica||Titatnium|
|Specialized Power Comp MIMIC||223 g||143 mm /155mm/ 168 mm||Everything||Chromoly Steel|
|Fiz:ik Luce Manganese||231 g||144 mm||281 mm||Road||IschialFlex||Manganese|
|Fiz:ik Luce Carbon||175 g||143 mm||281 mm||Recreational road cycling, racing||IschialFlex||Carbon|
|Terry FLX||228 g||142 mm||260 mm||Recreational road cycling, racing||Leather||Manganese|
|SDG Allure||260 g||143 mm||265 mm||Everything||Ti-Alloy|
|Ergon SM / SMC Women||265 g / 270 g||143 mm / 155 mm||MTB||Microfiber||CroMo|
|Fi’zi:k Luna||255 g / 260 g||145 mm / 155 mm||281 mm||MTB||Microtex||Alloy|
|WTB Deva||275 g||145 mm||259 mm||MTB||Steel|
About The Reviewers & How We Tested The Saddles
We had all hands on board to test these saddles. Our saddle review team included Femme Cyclist founder, Kristen Bonkoski, long-distance road cyclist, Darlene Bonkoski, women’s group ride leader, Stacy Smith, and passionate mountain biker, Jane Gerritsen.
We’re all avid cyclists, from different cycling disciplines, who LOVE to ride our bikes. This made testing saddles easy.
We just went about our lives riding our bikes, and trying different saddles as we go. The awful ones, we throw in the trash. The good ones we share here with you.
In addition to riding hundreds (or thousands) of miles on these saddles, we also look from feedback from our community. Just because we like a saddle, doesn’t mean it’s going to be great for everyone. Instead, we look to recommend saddles that we hear y’all raving about time and time again.
More Stuff To Help Your Bum
A great saddle is the best first step toward making your ride more comfortable, but it’s not the only thing you can do to help. These things can help as well.
- 9 Best Bike Shorts For Women
- How To Prevent And Treat Saddle Sores
- Don’t Wear Underwear With Your Bike Shorts & Other Things You Should Know
Are You Listening To The Femme Cyclist Podcast?!?
A podcast for women who love bicycles! We we celebrate all forms of riding and all forms of women, so whether you’re a road cyclist, mountain biker, or bike commuter, you’ll find your community here. Each week we’ll week bring you interviews from inspiring women, and offer tips and tricks to help you thrive on the bike.