Nothing can make or break a ride quite like a saddle. If your bottom-side isn’t comfortable, the miles can go be verrrrry slowly. Or even worse, you might end up developing saddles sores or soft tissue bruising.
Unfortunately, it is hard to recommend a BEST saddle as each woman has different anatomy and different preferences. Nonetheless, we’ve rounded up a list of saddles that are recommended by female cyclists time and time again. Each of these saddles is a little bit different, so whether you like a wide saddle or a narrow saddle, a hard saddle or a soft saddle, you should be able to find a recommendation here to suit your needs. We also give a run down on how to choose the best seat for your behind.
How to Choose a Bicycle Saddle
Are women’s specific saddles best?
Examine your Personal Anatomy
Knowing what style of saddle 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.
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
Get a Professional Fitting
If you continue to have saddle discomfort, even after trying a few different saddles, you might consider getting a professional bike fitting. A professional will be able to measure your sitbones, and 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 road 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 from the road. 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.
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 $78, 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.
Best For: Just about everyone
Price: $88.95 (Last updated: 2020-04-04 at 08:08 – More Info)
Selle Italia SLR Lady Flow
The SLR Lady flow is Selle Italia’s reworked version of their most popular saddle. Compared to the male version, it has a wider rear and adds a cutout. This saddle is super lightweight and boasts a sleek, fast looking design.
Best for: Women who like a large cutout
Price: $210 at CompetitiveCyclist.com
We like the Luce for women that suffer from thigh chafing. It has a dramatic taper toward the nose that allows for plenty of leg clearance. This manganese 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.
Best For: Women experiencing thigh rub
Price: Price not available (Last updated: 2020-04-04 at 12:47 – More Info)
Another awesome saddle by Terry, the Damselfy is a narrower version of the Butterfly, perfect for women who like to ride fast or those who simply prefer a narrower saddle. This is my preferred saddle, and I use it happily on both road and trail. It is firmer than some of the other saddles on here, and transfers power well.
Best For: Women who like narrow, firm saddles
Price: $82.95 (Last updated: 2020-04-04 at 12:47 – More Info)
Brooks England B17 Standard Saddle
Specialized Power Pro
Here is an example of unisex saddle that is popular amongst women riders. The Specialized Power Pro also happens to be one of the better aggressive saddles on the market, perfect for serious riders and racers. Women with genital tenderness will appreciate the large cutout.
Best For: Women who like to ride hard
Terry Bicycles FLX Saddle
The 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.
Best For: Serious riders
Price: $135.95 (Last updated: 2020-04-04 at 12:47 – More Info)
Comparison Chart: Women’s Bike Saddles
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||Recreational road cycling||Vinyl||Chromoly Steel|
|Selle Italia SLR Lady Flow||135 mm||275 mm||Recreational road cycling||Lorica||Titatnium|
|Specialized Power Pro||231 g||143 mm||Recreational road cycling, racing||Titatnium|
|Fiz:ik Luce Manganese||231 g||144 mm||281 mm||Recreational road cycling||IschialFlex||Manganese|
|Fiz:ik Luce Carbon||175 g||143 mm||281 mm||Recreational road cycling, racing||IschialFlex||Carbon|
|Brooks B17 Womens||455 g||Touring||Leather||Steel|
|Terry FLX||228 g||142 mm||260 mm||Recreational road cycling, racing||Leather||Manganese|
|Terry Damselfly||230 g||130 mm||267 mm||Recreational road cycling, racing||Fibra-tek||Titanium|