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Choosing A Women's Saddle

How to choose the right saddle for you

Choosing the right bike saddle is essential to comfort and overall enjoyment of your ride. While many bike components are unisex in nature, a saddle is definitely not. A women's saddle is built to offer the best support for your sit bones (ischial tuberosites) and pelvic anatomy. Use this women's saddle guide to learn why a specific saddle is a great choice for you, how to measure your sit bones and the style of saddle you need.

How will a women's saddle improve my comfort?

On average, women have wider sit bones than men (about 1cm on average). These are the bones you use to sit on (not surprisingly). When in a cycling position your pelvis can roll forward placing a lot of pressure on the soft tissue of your genitals. As women have wider sit bones, the amount of pressure is increased compared to men, and more painful. Women prefer to saddle further back on the saddle to reduce pressure so women's specific saddles will tend to be a little wider at the rear and shorter at the front than a unisex saddle.

How to measure your sit bones

How you look on the outside doesn't determine the width of your pelvis so it's always best to get an accurate measurement so you buy the right saddle for you. Fortunately, it's pretty easy to measure your sit bones.

  • Place a piece of cardboard or foil on a bench or seat
  • Sit down with your back straight
  • Elevate your feet (rest them on a thick book)
  • Stand up and mark where the two depressions are (your sit bones)
  • Measure the distance (mm) between the centre of these depressions

This distance will give you your sit bone width. Now, add 20mm to this number to get your optimal saddle width. The extra 20mm is the distance between your sit bones and the edge of the saddle (you don't want to be resting on the lip of the saddle as this would be very uncomfortable).

Choose the right saddle style for you

Combine your optimal saddle width above with the table below to find the right saddle for the type of riding you'll be doing. 

Hybrid & Mountain Bike

Add an extra 20mm to your optimum saddle width when riding a hybrid bike. This will offer more support and comfort when riding in a stable upright riding position.

See all our comfort saddles

Endurance Road

Add an extra 10mm to your optimum saddle width when riding long distances on your road bike. This offers a great compromise between weight and comfort.

Road Race

Add no extra distance to your optimum saddle width when performance is everything. Added width isn’t needed as you’ll be putting more pressure near the front of the saddle. 

See all our performance saddles

Women's Specific Saddles

Bike Discipline


Mountain Bike

Endurance Road

Road Race

Extra width





Riding Position

Upright riding position

Upright riding position

Bent over riding position

Aggressive, low-down aero position


Wide at the rear to support sit bones

Wide at rear to support sit bones

Slightly slimmer at rear as less body weight is directly on the saddle

Narrower width as even less body weight goes through the saddle


A good amount of padding to support more of your body weight

Durable padding for the rigours of off-roading.

Firm padding (not gel) that moulds to your anatomy

Minimal, firm padding to sacrifice a bit of comfort for performance


Ideal for short recreational rides

Ideal for recreation and trail riding

Long distance riding

Road racing & triathlon

What to look for in a good women's saddle


No seams or design elements that can rub against your thighs and chafe


Gel saddles seem like a good idea, and they are for hybrid bikes and short rides. However, gel can be distorted and lose its support in those crucial areas. A saddle with firm padding (such as leather) takes a little time to break in but will offer greater comfort in the long run – essential if you're going to ride a lot.

Grooves & cut outs:

A key difference between men's and women's saddles is the design of the central groove or cut out. These features reduce saddle discomfort by relieving pressure on your genital soft tissue are often deeper and wider than those found on men's saddles.


If you're performance minded then rails are a consideration. These are the bars under the saddle that the seatpost clamps to. Most standard rails are made from aluminium or steel, but premium saddles will come with ultra-lightweight carbon composite or titanium rails.

Shop all women's saddles

Common saddle problems and how to fix them

The saddle is too high

A saddle which is too high can take some of your weight off the pedals so more pressure is placed on your sit bones. This makes your hips rock side to side and your thighs will chafe against the edges of your saddle.  

Use an Allen key to adjust your seatpost height. Make micro adjustments until your foot is on the pedal with a slight bend in your knee. You should not be able to touch the floor with both feet whilst in the saddle. 

The saddle is too far back

How far forward or backward (fore/aft) your saddle is will make a big difference to your comfort and efficiency when cycling. Too far forward and you'll put more strain on your upper body when gripping the handlebars, particularly your shoulders and hands. Too far back and you'll find it harder to climb and make it difficult to maintain a fast pedalling speed (cadence).  

The easiest way to find the right saddle position for you is to position your pedals at 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock. Get a friend to hold a plumb bob (or weighted piece of string) from your leading knee. The line should pass through the pedal axle.  

If the line falls in front of the saddle, move it backwards. If the line is behind then move the saddle forward. 

Handlebar reach is too far

Over extending to reach the handlebars can cause neck and lower back strain. It also puts a lot of pressure on the front of the saddle. A great way to solve this is by fitting a shorter stem (the small bar that your handlebars fit into). This moves the handlebars closer to you so you don't have to reach so far.  

Also you could consider getting shallow drop handlebars (on road bikes) or flat handlebars that swoop backwards to reduce reach further. 

Why saddle angle is important

Once you've bought your new saddle, getting the right angle is critical for enjoyment. A poorly angled saddle can damage soft tissue – not something you want.

Saddle tilted down

You'll put more pressure on your wrists and forearms (as your weight is shifted forwards). As you slide forward you also put more pressure on the pedals causing knee pain. 

Sitting on the narrow nose of a saddle really builds up pressure in your soft tissue.

Saddle tilted up

You'll experience lower back pain, and maybe strain in the neck. 

Your pelvis is angled backwards which puts greater pressure onto your lower back, not helped by the fact you'll be overstretching to reach the bars.

How to adjust your saddle

Your saddle should be neutral so that your sitting on the middle and not sliding forward or backward. Grab hold of a spirit level. Now use a 5mm allen key to loosen the clamps at the top of your seat post. Keep tweaking the angle until the spirit level is level.

If you find that the neutral position is not as comfortable as you would like, you can make small incremental changes until you find the best position for you.