Finding the Best Bike Seat for Comfort is easier than you think.
Here’s a look at our favorites, including our top pick – Zacro Gel Bike Saddle.
I may be a little biased, but I think bicycling is the best way to exercise. Whether you’re pounding the mountain trails, cruising the beach, or gliding along winding roads, you get the full benefits of a cardio workout without the stress on your legs that inevitably accompanies jogging. Combine that with a view, fresh air, and a healthy dose of adrenaline, and it’s pretty hard to beat.
Unless, of course, you have a sub-par bike seat. If that’s the case, the most scenic bike ride in the world will lose its appeal after 15 minutes in the saddle. It starts with pins and needles in your rear, and it ends with that stereotypical, uncomfortable spread-leg walk of shame when you’re done.
Sometimes, it can even lead to injury when you’re sitting awkwardly to accommodate your discomfort. Luckily, that’s an easy fix. The right seat will get you back in the saddle (pun intended), and back to enjoying the better parts of bicycling.
What to look for in a comfortable bike seat
There isn’t one style of bike seat that’s best for everyone—no holy grail of saddles that immediately solves all of the problems that you’re feeling down there. The best bike seat for you will depend largely on what kind of biking you do, and your style of riding. If you are a professional cycler who rides in an aggressive position (deep, stretched, down in the drops, and crouched low over the handlebars), then you’ll be happiest with seats that are narrow and light.
High end seats in this spectrum are usually made of carbon fiber and titanium. They usually don’t look too comfortable—and to a casual cycler, they certainly won’t be. Casual cyclers who ride upright usually place most of their weight on the seat, and therefore tend to prefer wider seats with more support and extra padding.
For the purpose of this discussion, we’ll focus on comfortable seats for cyclers who ride upright, with most of their weight on the seat. If you’re in this category, you’ll want to pay attention to the following features when selecting a bike seat:
- Shape – a good bike seat is designed to support your sit bones, not your entire rear end. Larger riders don’t always need larger seats. Instead, riders need to focus on the pressure points where their weight transfers to the seat. A seat with the optimal shape and width will support these points, and provide a little cushion for the rest of your rear end.
- Cutouts – many bike seats include cutouts in the center. The cutout is designed to offer additional support for your sit bones, while leaving a space in the center that provides a little breathing room for your more sensitive areas.
- Materials – entry level seats will usually have a plastic base with steel rails, while high end seats are entirely carbon fiber base and rails. Again, the high-end options are not necessarily engineered for comfort, so don’t be surprised when a $20 seat feels significantly better than a $120 seat. Leather seats look nice, but they’ll often need to be broken-in, and they don’t do well in the rain. In my opinion, they’re not worth the extra cost and upkeep. You’re better off going with a material that is weather-resistant and no maintenance.
- Padding – most seats have some form of foam padding to provide additional comfort. It’s a lot like mattress shopping—some people like firm mattresses, others prefer memory foam. It just depends on your preference. All-foam bike seats will provide the sturdiest support. Memory foam seats will add a little more give, and gel foam seats offer the most elasticity for those who need it. Heavier riders tend to prefer memory foam or gel foam.
- Tail light – some bike seats include an LED tail light for increased visibility in low-light riding situations. As a rider who has had plenty of close calls with cars, I’d highly recommend having an LED light on your bike. Having one built into the seat is a bit more convenient than having to buy and affix a separate light to the bike.
Zacro Gel Bike Saddle – BS053 Dual Spring Designed Suspension Artificial Leather Bike Seat Bicycle Saddle with 1 Mounting Wrench (Black)
The Zacro BS053 bike seat has double density gel foam for increased elasticity and circulation. It has a double spring carbon steel coil suspension that helps to smooth the protrusion, and a weather-resistant material.
- Width: 8.7 inches
- Length: 11 inches
- Height: 2.2 inches
Zacro Bike Seat with LED Taillight, Universal Gel Bike Saddle with Spring and Breathable Design, 1 Mounting Wrench and 1 Screwdriver Included
This seat has the same suspension and construction as the Zacro BS053, but with a larger seat and a battery-operated LED light built into the rear. The light can be programmed to continuous light, fast flashing, and slow flashing. If you’re looking for an extra-wide seat, this is the one for you.
- Width: 10.63 inches
- Length: 11.81 inches
- Height: 5.12 inches
Aolander Bicycle Saddle with DUAL SHOCK ABSORBING BALL Most Comfortable Leather Bike Seat Memory Foam
The Aolander Bicycle Saddle has an ergonomic, humanized design that’s built to fit your hips without affecting your thigh movement while riding. The cavity is enlarged to promote breathability, and to provide additional space for your more sensitive areas. The padding has a layer of memory foam for added comfort. It also has dual shock-absorbing balls to allow smoother rides, and a reflector for increased visibility.
- Width: 7.87 inches
- Length: 9.64 inches
- Height: 4.72 inches
Comfort Bike Seat – Inofia Professional Bicycle Saddle, GEL Memory Foam, Dual Shock Absorbing Ball, LED Taillight
The Inofia Comfort Bike Seat has an ergonomic design that specially formulated to fit your sit bones without causing chaffing on your thighs. It’s a little bit larger than the Aolander seat, and it uses gel foam for increased elasticity. You’ll enjoy smooth rides with the dual shock suspension, and the LED light will make sure everyone on the road sees you at night.
- Width: 8.7 inches
- Length: 11 inches
- Height: 3.5 inches
ProVelo Most Comfortable Bike Seat – Rear LED Taillight, Memory Foam Cushion, Leather, Shock Absorption & Clamp
Last but not least is the ProVelo bike seat. It offers a reasonable cushion for your sit bones, a nose that’s long enough to enable free thigh movement, a central cavity on the seat to protect sensitive areas. For night riding, it comes with a reflective rear seat strip, and a bright LED light (with battery included). Best of all, this seat has an extra layer of memory foam for increased comfort.
- Width: 8.3 inches
- Length: 11 inches
- Height: 5 inches
As you narrow down to which one is the best fit for you, I’d recommend focusing on the width and the padding. The Zacro bike seat with the LED light is the widest seat, the Aolander bike seat is the thinnest, and the other three are clustered pretty close together within that range.
As to padding, I personally prefer gel foam over memory foam, so I’d lean towards the Zacro or the Inofia seats. That said, I have friends who swear by the memory foam cushion, so it just comes down to your preference. All of these seats are tried, tested, and highly recommended, so you can’t go wrong with any of them.