For those who love biking or are determined to start, the saddle can make or break your relationship with your ride. Women, in particular, seem to struggle with the perfect fit. While it’s part personal preference, it’s also part anatomy.
Women’s bike saddles feature a cut-out, either left open or filled with soft foam or similar material. The space lessens the pressure on the genitals. The proper cushioning or gap can make a difference between pain, numbness, and even long-term injury.
Today, we’re rounding up the top picks for the best bike saddles for women.
5 Best Bikes Saddles for Womens
Our top five picks consider a range of riding styles and saddle needs.
Specialized Oura Expert Gel
The Oura Expert Gel saddle from Specialized is best for forward-leaning riders but provides stability for some relaxed riding. In addition, the ergonomically designed cut-out relieves pressure. There are three width options, 143 mm, 155 mm, and 168 mm.
The nose is narrow, and the rear features gel inserts. So if you ride fast but still need something for those casual moments in between, the Oura Expert is a good fit.
- Room to move
- Ergonomic design
- Downward slope
Ergon SR Pro
A collaboration with the Canyon//SRAM pro women’s team created the Ergon SR Pro, so some serious riders put serious thought into its construction. As a result, it combines comfort and performance features, including ergonomic padding support.
There are two width options, small/medium (141 mm) and medium/large (152 mm). The rails are titanium, and it comes in black.
- Friction-reducing side flanks
- Orthopedic AirCell Foam with OrthoCell Pads
- Not ideal for casual riders
Terry Butterfly Cromoly Gel
The Terry brand has made a name for itself in comfortable saddles since 1999. One of their tried and true saddles is the Butterfly Cromoly Gel saddle. It’s wider than most race saddles, as it considers distance and endurance.
The low profile, flat top blends softness and stiffness in injection-molded foam. Riders get support so they won’t sink into the saddle during the long haul but still have a soft perch.
- Thin gel layer
- Durability for long-distance
- Cut-out size suits most
- One size
Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow
Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow features a shock-absorbing layer and extra rear padding, making long rides and bumpy terrain easier. It’s sturdy and slightly heavier than most saddles, but it balances the stiffness and comfort necessary for long rides.
Available in two sizes, 135 mm and 160 mm, both have a large cut-out. The shorter length is best for upright positions.
- Large cut-out
- Fibra-Tek cover resists wear and tear
- Wide nose
Fizik Luce S-Alloy
The Fizik Luce S-Alloy is best for women who prefer a narrower cut-out and the flexibility to change positions as they ride. In addition, the wide sitting area improves weight distribution and reduces thigh friction.
The saddle consists of a long, flat saddle with a narrow nose and wide rear. It’s available in two widths, 144 mm and 155 mm.
- Rear flex zones
- Sleek aesthetic
- Elongated pressure relief cut-out
- Narrow cut-out
Saddle choice is personal, so what works for you might not work for someone else. But there are a few focus areas that can help you choose the best bike saddles for women.
Women’s saddles are wider, but that doesn’t mean every width is suitable for every woman. Too much width can lead to saddle soreness.
One misconception is that the saddle is for sitting, meaning it supports your bottom. Buying the right saddle doesn’t mean it’s wide enough to sit on, but rather it’s comfortable enough to support your sitting bones.
Your riding position and the angle of the saddle impact function. For example, do you perch forward, or do you lean back?
Check the height and distance in comparison to the handlebars. The saddle might be correct, but you may need to raise or lower the handlebars.
One overlooked issue is checking if the seat is level, with the nose and rear at the same height. It’s also possible that being level isn’t your ideal position. You might adjust so that that nose is lower. Although, don’t go too low, or you risk sliding forward.
Figure out how you ride. Women who sit forward tend to prefer a narrower perch, while women who sit farther back need a wider seat.
If you’re still learning the nuts and bolts of biking, one option is seeking assistance from an expert at your local bike shop. A professional bike fit can help you spot the problems with access to the best tools to fix and adjust to your comfort.
What you need for cushioning will depend on personal preference and riding intentions. If you’re an unseasoned bicyclist, or you’re trying out a new saddle, it can take time to break it in. So for your trial period, focus on how you feel after short intervals, not long hauls.
Consider how you ride. If you’re a casual rider using bike trails or paved roads, you likely won’t need a stiffer saddle for endurance. However, if you ride frequently and occasionally roam rough paths, you might need to balance comfort and durability.
While not every product is available for in-person testing, going to a bike shop or a retailer with bikes on display can help you familiarize yourself with the options. Even if you don’t discover the saddle of your dreams in one of these in-person visits, it can help you figure out your ideal fit and shape.
Most retailers, although not all, accept returns for unwrapped products. Give your new saddle a trial ride before settling.
Find Your Saddle Today
Women might have unique saddle shapes, but everyone needs to feel ready to ride. While choosing the best bike saddles for women involves trial and error, we hope our tips and suggestions helped narrow your search.
So fill your tires and test your brakes because once you find the perfect saddle, you’ll be ready to ride.