Choosing the Right Saddle for Your Road Bike, MTB, and Hybrid Bike

Modified at: Jun 16, 2022

Posted at: Oct 20, 2020

The comfort and running performance of road bikes and hybrid bikes depend on the type of saddle. I have compiled a list of how to choose a saddle that suits you.

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Things I want to check before buying a saddle

Are you riding in the right riding position?

The saddles of road bikes, hybrid bikes, and other sports bikes tend to be less cushioned than ordinary city cycles, so if you ride like a city cycle for a long time, your bottom will naturally hurt.

If you have a pain in your bottom, it means that your weight is focused on your bottom. On a road bike, if you can lean forward properly, your weight will be distributed to the three points of your hands, feet and bottom, making it difficult to feel the pain.

So, if you ride in an extremely bad way, even if you change the saddle, the pain may not improve that much, so please take a picture of yourself riding once and check if you can take a forward-leaning posture.

Let’s try adjusting the saddle position.

The riding comfort of the saddles of road bikes and hybrid bikes can be changed by changing the saddle itself, but the riding comfort can be changed considerably only by optimizing the position of the saddle.

As you can see when you change the saddles by yourself, the saddles of road bikes and hybrid bikes can be adjusted not only back and forth, but also the tilt.

If you buy it at a sports bike shop, they may adjust the position of the saddle for you. But general bicycle shops don’t do that much, so there are many cases that the saddle can’t be adjusted to the right place for you.

First of all, let’s try to adjust the saddle position to see if you can reduce the pain on your bottom or if you can transmit power firmly.

What can be improved by replacing the saddle?


For beginners of road bike and hybrid bike, most of the reason to change the saddle is to relieve the pain of the bottom.

There are two main types of hip pain:

  1. Damage to the pelvis
  2. Pain in the crotch (prostate for men, genital area for women)

However, this is a difficult point because the damage differs depending on the material (seat surface, rail, base) and shape of the saddle, so it may be possible to greatly reduce the pain or not improve it at all.

Especially in the case of women, if the saddle doesn’t fit, the pain in the genital area will make you even hate to ride a road bike, so the point is to choose from the women-only saddles.


When intermediate and advanced riders of road bikes change saddles, it is important to choose saddles that can pedal well.

It is said that the more skillful a road bike is, the more “hips” and “thighs” it runs on, so the material and shape of the saddle that touches it is an important part to draw out pedaling power.

If the saddle fits you, you can pedal smoothly without feeling uncomfortable, but if the saddle does not fit you, you will feel uncomfortable such as “It is difficult to turn your legs” or “It feels like jumping”.

It can be a long way to find a saddle that fits you and is easy to pedal, but once you find the best saddle, it is surprisingly easy to pedal.

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There are three key points for choosing a saddle

The key to choosing a saddle for a road bike or hybrid bike is:

  • Materials
  • Shape
  • Weight.

It is 3.

When choosing a saddle, it is important to remember that there is no right answer. The size of your bottom and the shape of your pelvis are completely different from person to person, so the ones recommended on the Internet and in books may not fit you. This is all you can do.

Seat Material Selection

For the saddles of road bikes and hybrid bikes, the feeling when riding is completely different depending on the material of the seat.

The three main materials used in saddles are carbon, gel, and synthetic leather.

Material Weight Impact absorption
Carbon light not available
Gel filled Slightly heavy Yes
synthetic leather slightly heavy not much

If you want to relieve the pain on your bottom, a saddle with gel is the best. However, the weight becomes heavy (around the upper 300g) and the pain on the bottom is not relieved that much in many cases, so it is common for people who ride road bikes seriously to wear cycle pants with pads.

On the other hand, if you want to reduce the weight by replacing the saddle, you should choose a carbon saddle. Some carbon saddles weigh in the upper 100g range, so you can reduce the weight by more than 200g just by replacing them with carbon saddles.

However, a saddle with a carbon seat has no cushioning, so it is a disadvantage that it is easy to hurt your bottom. Therefore, if you install a carbon saddle, you will have to use cycle pants with pads instead of a cushion. In that sense, it is a little bit delicate whether it can really make it lighter.

The saddle made of synthetic leather has a classic style and looks like a sports bike, but the base is mostly made of steel, so the weight is not so different from the gel type.

Saddle Rail Material Selection

For those who suffer from the pain of the hip which is peculiar to road bike and hybrid bike, it is also good to try the material of the saddle rail to ease the shock from the road.

The material of the saddle rail is:

  1. Steel
  2. Croquette
  3. Carbon

There are many, and the lower it goes, the more expensive it is, but the higher the shock absorption performance becomes.

If you want to reduce the impact from the road surface, you should pay attention to the lace material because the material of the saddle rail is well described on the expensive saddle.

Shape and Size Selection

When choosing a saddle, it is also important to choose the shape and size (vertical and horizontal) that fits your bottom.

For the size, check the “tip length” and “end width”. The length of the tip is directly related to the stability in the forward-leaning posture, and the width of the end is related to the stability in the style holding the flat bar. For those who have a wide bottom, it is better to choose the one with a wide end.

As for the shape, most of them are basically flat types, but some luxury models have an ergonomic shape that is curved to fit the shape of your bottom. The latter seems to have an advantage, but please be careful because if it is not curved to fit your bottom, you will feel uncomfortable.

Also, men may feel pain especially when the saddle rubs against the crotch. In that case, you should choose a type with a hole in the middle of the saddle. It has been pointed out that enduring pain may lead to prostate cancer in men.

Saddle Maker

If you choose a firm saddle, the ride will be more comfortable. We have compiled famous makers among the makers that produce bicycle saddles.

  • Shimano.
  • fi’zi:k
  • Brooks.
  • WTB

All of them are expensive, but many of them have high performance.

I’ve seen how to choose a saddle for a road bike or a hybrid bike that fits me.

The saddle is such an important part that even professional athletes are said to retire the race with pain unless the saddle is the best match for them.

It is directly linked to not only the comfort but also the running performance, so please try to adjust and replace it according to yourself.

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