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For a long time women’s saddles didn’t exist, making it harder and less accessible for women to ride bikes comfortably.
Times have thankfully now changed and our list of saddles will help support comfortable riding for all women, something everyone deserve.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at what makes a comfy saddle as well as helping find the most comfortable bike saddle for women.
5 Comfy Picks
Do Women Need Different Bike Saddles?
Many women will feel that they need a different saddle to the ones that come as standard on their bicycle. This is because most bicycles come with saddles that tend to be basic and orientated towards male anatomical needs.
Moreover, it’s really important to note that although women’s anatomy differs, male and female anatomy is of course very different, thus demanding a difference in needs regarding saddle comfort and suitability.
Men’s vs Women’s Saddle
First and foremost, men’s saddles do tend to be overall narrower. This is because male sit bones tend to be slightly narrower than women’s in general. Additionally, men’s saddles also tend to have a longer nose as men often sit more towards the front of the saddle.
On the other hand, women’s saddles tend to be wider and more padded in order to offer more support towards the back as women tend to sit towards the back. Women’s saddles will often have a shorter nose as well to relieve pressure that longer saddles would otherwise cause.
Therefore, overall women often need more support on their sit bones and pressure relieving aspects for soft tissue, unlike men who often sit more towards the front of the saddle.
|Narrower toward the back
|Wider towards the back
|Minimal to no cut outs
|Often cut outs at the front
Why Do Women’s Bike Saddle Have Holes?
Many women’s saddles now have cut outs in the middle or at the front. This is a popular feature which helps to prevent numbness by promoting blood flow when riding in the saddle.
Additionally, the holes also benefit women as it helps prevent weight being predominantly on their highly sensitive soft tissue, thus allowing women to sit more towards the front of their saddle: something many women find far too painful to do.
How Do You Choose a Saddle?
The best way to choose a saddle would firstly include figuring out the type of riding you would like to use the saddle for, then the width of your sit bones. Then I’d highly recommend testing different ones out.
Many bike shops, brand and online retailers will allow customers to test saddles out for around 30 days. This period of time should help you to identity which saddle best suits you before fully committing to one.
Are Wide Saddles More Comfortable?
Wide saddles can offer more support for your bottom and sit bones, however they can be too wide for you personally. As previously mentioned, everyone has different sized bodies so it’s best to test the saddles out.
However, if you do have wider sit bones a wider saddle will be far more comfortable in comparison to a narrower saddle. This will improve comfort, reduce bottom numbness and improve your power transfer.
Can It Be Too Wide?
Saddles can be too wide, this is dependent on the individual’s sit bone width and personal needs. But, people are all built differently and like many things will therefore need a different width to suit their needs.
However, sit bones can surprise you: they don’t necessarily correlate with your weight and instead are a specific width for each individual.
How Wide Should It Be?
Your saddle should be as wide as you want or as wide as your sit bones. To be specific, a measurement can be taken, from home following a video tutorial, or in most bike shops using a simple (or sometimes complex) device.
When measuring sit bones, a foam like seat is placed on a hard surface to sit on. Once sat on it will create two indentations. The measurement is then taken from the middle of each indentation, thus revealing the width of the saddle that is most suitable.
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Most Comfortable Bike Seats for Women
Prices are approximate
Mimic multilayered foam
Versatile sizing options
Overcoming saddle issues
This saddle has put women’s comfort as well as overcoming saddle issues at the forefront of the in depth patented Body Geometry design process.
The Comp Mimic uses innovative Mimic multilayered foam to comfortably support and maintain equilibrium and minimise swelling to delicate soft tissue. Therefore allowing any position on the saddle to be possible – yes, even sitting towards the nose!
Additionally, this saddle also comes in three different sizes which are: 143mm, 155mm and 168mm, therefore supporting a range of sizes and needs. Overall, this is a great option for any female rider, especially commuters, who want versatility and comfort in a sleek saddle.
2. ISM PL 1.0
Prices are approximate
Better blood flow
PL 1.0 saddle for long-range performance
Comfort for hours in the saddle
ISM is a popular brand of saddles among both female and male riders and are known for their interesting design. For example, instead of having a cut out, the nose of the ISM has two prongs to sit on, allowing for better blood flow and therefore less numbness and more comfort.
This is a great option for female riders doing a lot of riding such as commuting or road riding, the PL 1.0 (which replaced the ISM Podium) is from the performance long range which has been specifically designed for hours in the saddle.
Although this is a very comfortable saddle, it is only available in the one width size, but due to the positioning should be suitable for all sit bones. Although this saddle takes a little getting used to at first, due to its unique design, it is overall a great saddle for those doing hours in the saddle.
Best for Plus Size Females
Prices are approximate
Contact Comfort Plus
Liv is a female oriented brand that was created by Giant in order to focus efforts on creating the best products to suit all types of female riders needs, and their saddles are no exception to this.
The Contact Comfort Plus has been designed with optimal comfort in mind which is aided by the central cut out to reduce pressure and numbness of female soft tissue, pressure relieving D2 base and generous padding.
Also, the saddle is slightly wider than the other saddles, measuring a width of 169mm, meaning that it is a great option for those wanting a little extra comfort and support when sitting in the saddle.
Most Comfortable for Older Women
Prices are approximate
Sit bone protection
Upright riding position suitability
Wide size for all needs
The Specialized Expedition women’s saddle is a great option for women who are a little older who may want comfort and sit bone protection from a saddle. This saddle will also suit more upright riding positions, therefore will be perfect for city bikes and hybrids.
Overall, the Specialized Expedition saddle mainly consists of a gel pad, which offers a great amount of comfort for bones and soft tissue in comparison to thinner more ‘road style’ saddles, which tend to have far less padding.
Although this saddle is only available in the one size, because it’s already very wide it should be more than wide enough to cater to everyone’s needs and provide comfort for sore sit bones that have had enough of painful pedalling.
Prices are approximate
Cut-out design for soft tissue discomfort
Wider sitting area for better support
Two size options (145mm and 155mm)
Italian based Fikiz have been a firm favorite among many cyclists for their saddles. The women’s Luce S-Alloy has a a cut out in the middle to reduce soft tissue discomfort and a wider sitting area at the back for support.
Moreover, the Luce S-Alloy comes in two sizes which are 145mm (regular) and 155mm (large) allowing for customers to select the one best suited to themselves. Towards the nose the saddle narrows in order to improve weight distribution and reduce friction around the thigh area for optimal comfort.
Interestingly, Fizik also have their own virtual bike shopping feature where a questionnaire helps to determine their recommended perfect saddle for you. A really helpful feature for those who don’t want to trawl through saddles before finding the one.
How Can I Make My Bike Saddle Less Painful?
First and foremost, the most cost effective solution to make your bike saddle less painful would be to buy a gel saddle cover. This simply fastens around your current saddle to make it more squishy and comfortable.
Next, another solid solution would be to invest in a comfy pair of padded short / padded liners. The extra support from the chamois in either will make a huge difference for your overall comfort.
What Helps a Sore Bum from Cycling?
Undercarriage discomfort from broken, irritated or chafed skin can be eased by investing in a PH friendly chamois cream to use while riding and a nappy rash style cream post-ride to treat the sore area. This may sound bizarre but it does work very effectively.
However, in the long run riding will get easier this is because your body, especially your sit bones and skin, become accustom to the positionining in the saddle. Therefore, the pain will thankfully more than likely subside. Just like wearing-in a new pair of shoes.