If you have ever researched women’s bike saddles, chances are you have come across the Terry Butterfly saddle.
I mean, The Terry Butterfly was first released to the world in 1999! To say this is one of the original women’s bike saddles is a vast understatement.
For years in the cycling industry, women were using “unisex” (aka Men’s) bikes saddles because there was no other option.
In 1985, Georgena Terry revolutionized women’s cycling by building bikes for women. Over the years Terry Bicycles has become a Vermont-based company that strives to address the cycling gear and clothing needs of women.
It’s not at all surprising that their bikes, gear, and saddles are revered by women across the globe.
Women’s anatomy is different! Our bikes, clothes, and perhaps most of all our saddles should absolutely reflect this, and this is a concept that Terry embraces and understands.
Many cycling companies are striving to meet women’s needs nowadays, but Terry has always done this.
The Terry Butterfly saddle is one of the most popular products that Terry offers, and I jumped at the chance to “saddle up” and review this product for the benefit of the Femme Cyclist Community!
I tested the “Ti” version of the saddle, but it comes in Cromoly and Carbon versions of well. All have the same saddle design, but different materials for the rails.
Review in a Nutshell
- This is a women’s specific saddle made for and tested by women.
- The Terry Butterfly is a result of decades of research and development.
- Very solid construction with quality materials, including “injected molded foam” to give power for pedaling.
- The leather cover is incredibly comfortable and stylish. It is a super attractive, well-made saddle!
- A substantial cutout in the middle to make it comfortable for soft tissue.
- Well-cushioned but in a good way – not a “cruiser bike with no support” kind of way. It’s a great saddle if you don’t like to always wear padded bike shorts!
- Two color options, black and white
- Terry stands by their products with an excellent guarantee. If the saddle doesn’t work for you, you can easily return it.
- Only comes in one width, 155mm. This is in contrast to other saddles I have tried that have multiple widths to choose from.
- If you are not a “cut out” saddle person you will not like this saddle. The cut out for soft tissue is substantial.
- If you wear a bib short with substantial chamois this saddle may feel too soft/cushy for you.
- The Butterfly Ti is a good, quality, leather saddle and the price reflects this. As a result, the price is significantly higher than many other saddles on the market, and even other versions of the Terry Butterfly.
Price & Where to Buy:
Why You Should Try the Terry Butterfly As Part Of Your “Quest to Find the Perfect Saddle”
Like many female cyclists, I have been searching for the perfect saddle pretty much since I started riding a bike. When I got my very first road bike, I became pretty much instantly convinced that the saddle was some kind of medieval torture device.
I figured it must have been designed by someone who either hates women, or knows literally nothing about their anatomy.
I jest…sort of.
I mean, this was certainly one painful ride! And so, the quest for the perfect saddle began.
I read some articles, posted in some Facebook groups, and chatted with some of my cycling friends. I quickly realized that many women were in the same position as I was.
We knew we needed something different, that what we had wasn’t working, and that we needed to figure this out before we felt inclined to give up cycling! This was clearly NOT an option, so the quest for the perfect saddle began.
I wish I could tell you there is one magic saddle out there that works for everyone, but there just isn’t. We are all built differently, and we all ride differently. Therefore, you will likely have to try at least a couple of saddles before you find your “perfect saddle”, and the Terry Butterfly Ti should definitely be on your list.
Well Tested, Female Specific Saddle With Cutout
I cannot emphasize enough how wonderful it is to have a saddle that is made for and tested by women.
There has been a lot of work in the past few years to normalize the discussion of soft tissue pain for female cyclists. Specifically, the issue is that our labia (skin above the vignal opening) varies.
So, in other words, not only is our anatomy obviously different from men, but it can vary greatly from one woman to the next!
Some women have more of an “innie” labia, and others have more of an “outie”. If you have an “outie” that means there is likely more tissue on the outside of your vagina, and therefore you may be more likely to experience soft tissue pain.
Many women’s-specific saddles, including the Terry Butterfly Ti, have a “cutout” or opening in the middle of the saddle for your labia/soft tissue.
I will be brutally honest here. Some women love the cutout. Others hate it.
Not only that, but not all cutouts are created equal. The size and shape varies, so you may have to try multiple cutouts to get one that works for you.
In our review for the Specialized Power Saddle With Mimic we noted how Specialized Saddles do not have the cutout because they reported women found that their soft tissue would actually swell through the cutout.
On the flip side, there are women who swear by a cutout and don’t want anything touching their soft tissue ever, so a saddle like the Terry Butterfly Ti can work out great. If you are having a lot of pain with your current saddle, and it doesn’t have a cutout, giving the Terry Butterfly Ti saddle a try is a great choice!
Well-made Saddle With Quality Materials
Of all of the places to save money on a bike, you don’t want it to be the saddle. I firmly believe that any place where your body contacts the bike is going to be a place that you want to invest in.
It’s great to have a well-performing bike, but you certainly don’t want to compromise comfort to do so. Pain on the bike can quickly translate into pain and injury off the bike, and no one wants that!
The Terry Butterfly Ti has a textured leather cover that their website claims will “wear beautifully over time.” I have definitely had saddles with cheaper materials that showed signs of wear, so this is a huge plus.
Additionally, it has “injected molded foam” that is “stiff enough to give you more power for pedaling.” One of the issues with softer saddles is that they can be a bit too soft and compromise power. It’s great that Terry has designed a saddle that feels soft, but still delivers on stiffness.
A Softer, Thicker, Cushier Saddle
This is definitely the softest, thickest, cushiest saddle that I have tried on my road bike. I think it’s really important to note this, because some people do prefer a firmer saddle.
In fact, the saddle was SO thick, that my bike shop had to move my seat post down to keep my reach to the pedal the same as my other saddles. I have a really cushy saddle on my hybrid bike, and it’s not my favorite, so I was actually a bit worried that this seat wouldn’t work for me.
The terry cushion DOES work. It is still firm and responsive, but it provides support without making you feel like you are sitting on a hard triangle. For this I am very grateful!
The cushion on the Terry Butterfly Ti also makes this saddle an excellent choice if you prefer not to absolutely HAVE to ride with padded bike shorts all of the time. Sometimes we want to just hop on our bike with whatever clothes we might be wearing, and the Terry Butterfly Ti makes it so this is actually possible.
Personally I would only do this for a short ride around the neighborhood with my family, but that’s because I happen to LOVE padded bike shorts and prefer not to ride without them!
The Best Sit-Bone Support
This is a bold claim, I know. Still, I have to say that of all the saddles I have tried, the Terry Butterfly Ti offers the best sit-bone support.
It is a wide saddle that is meant to support women, and oh does it provide that support. I can easily go on a 30 mile ride in this saddle and feel absolutely no sit-bone pain what-so-ever.
I mentioned that one down-side of the Terry Butterfly Ti is that it only comes in one size, 155mm, but this is not actually a problem for me as this is the perfect size for my sit-bones.
Before you purchase a saddle I always recommend getting your sit bones measured or measuring them yourself. Your bike shop can help with this by having you sit on a device that shows your sit bone inprint. Alternatively, there are a number of YouTube videos that can show you how to do this at home.
This will give you a sense of whether or not your sit bone measurement is in the range of the 155mm that the Terry Butterfly Ti offers.
The Terry Butterfly saddle is a great women’s bike saddle. It has more cushion than many other female saddles on the market, and has excellent sit-bone support.
It also pairs very well with one of my favorite bike shorts, the Terry Breakaway Bike Short. I love to match saddles and shorts when I can, because often the chamois is designed with the brand’s saddles in mind.
I do have to say that at the end of the day the cutout was possibly not, for me personally, the right size/shape. While the Terry Butterfly never left me with any sit-bone pain to speak of, I did have soft tissue discomfort. I might try a different angle/some adjustments to see if that solves the problem, though, because the sit-bone support is just that good.
I am thrilled that I got to try the Terry Butterfly Ti, and overall I think it’s a wonderful saddle. It’s comfortable, stylish, made with awesome materials, and made especially for women. I think that any woman who is searching for their perfect saddle should absolutely have the Terry Butterfly Ti on their “must try” list.