Top 10 Best Triathlon Saddle Reviews – 2020 Buying Guide
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The cycling portion of the triathlon can be incredibly grueling. However, if you are using the wrong saddle, it becomes so much worse. A lot of beginners make the mistake of using road cycles instead of getting the best triathlon saddle of 2020 they can find.
It is easy to think a seat is just a seat, and it does not matter what you use. However, these seats make all the difference.
You will feel more comfortable and capable when using saddles meant for triathlons. Not to mention, you will be getting a massive performance boost.
Nonetheless, finding and choosing the right saddle is the hardest part. Many beginners have a hard time finding what to get and what to look out for.
That is why we have compiled 10 of the best saddles in the market for your convenience. You will even get a comprehensive buying guide to figure out what to get.
Tri Saddle vs. Road Saddle
They both may be seats, but these saddles are vastly different. You cannot substitute the two. Like it is not advised to use road saddles for triathlons, it is too not recommended to use triathlon ones for regular commutes.
Road saddles are wider. This is because these are meant to keep you sitting in an upright position. Most of your bones will be in contact with the broad base of the saddle. They are less aerodynamic and more focused on safe upright travels.
Tri saddles, on the other hand, are narrow and aerodynamic. It is designed to carry your body into an aggressive forward position. As a result, your entire body becomes aerodynamic, achieving extreme speeds. Your bones will interact more towards the nose of the saddle.
It also provides comfort for the forward position so you can sustain the state for longer periods. Your hips and body stay stiller as well.
10 Best Triathlon Saddle Reviews
There are a ton of tri saddles out in the market. It might be hard for beginners to choose what to get. That is why we have reviewed the ten best triathlon saddles to help you decide.
1. EC90 Comfortable Men Women Bike Seat Saddle
For our first entry, we are going to introduce you to a fantastic EC90 unit. They are known for producing excellent seats that are quite popular among triathletes. In simple terms, it has the comfort, ventilation, and form that is vital for any triathlon saddle. A lot of it can be attributed to EC90s genius design.
It is hard not to notice the large cutout at the center of the seat. While ventilation is a core part of the professional cycling seat, not all of them are equal. This unit takes ventilation seriously and employs a large hollow. It does an excellent job at redirecting wind to yourself to decrease the heat.
This keeps you going much longer and ups your performance. Unlike other cutouts, this goes a bit further. These hollows are usually close to the center of the seat. This product, however, has it placed closer towards the nose of the seat. It increases its reliability as a nose-less option.
Pushing the hole closer to the nose allows you to safely and comfortably place your pelvis while giving your groin plenty of space. Nose-less models excel at this kind of comfort, and EC90 manages to bring that to the table without eliminating the nose.
Moreover, it is best to know that pressure on the groin due to seats cause prolonged discomfort and numbness. That is why this design is so convenient. This large hollow also makes it much lighter. It weighs just 200 grams, significantly less than competing units.
The lighter your rig is, the faster you can go. A considerable percentage of weight on a bike is allocated on the saddle. As such, lightweight seats are preferred. Finally, we need to talk about its comfort. It feels fantastic to sit on. This is due to the incredible EVA padding to dish out maximum relaxation.
2. ZHIQIU Comfortable Bike Saddle Mountain Bicycle Seat
A lot of us want to have a versatile saddle; something which is suitable for regular travels, commuting, as well as triathlons. Now although its specialty is mountain biking, this ZHIQIU unit does an incredible job of helping you zip through the roads for your races.
You can take full advantage of its unique mountain biking features to get yourself an edge on the streets, especially if you are dealing with bumpy roads. This is because of the unit's astoundingly, reliable shockproof design. You can go through any number of uneven roads without it interfering with your form.
The seat also gives you reliable firmness. You need that kind of firmness to keep you steady, focused, and aerodynamic in long-distance travels. It bolsters speed and maneuverability, giving you a competitive edge. You will hardly find a better combination of shock absorption and firmness.
One of the concerning characteristics of a firm seat is that it can be quite uncomfortable. Sitting on something too firm for too long is bound to feel unpleasant. However, this unit dodges this issue with its excellent padding. It uses artificial fatty gel to retain a soft and comfortable form.
And the effect is so significant that it reduces 40% of pressure around your pelvic region. The manufactures believe in their seat's versatile usage potential. That is why they have employed the rail system. You can use these rails to adjust yourself better to a position you deem fit.
They are also long and dynamic enough to be attached to pretty much any kind of bike. So, even if you want to replace it for a different triathlon saddle in the future, you can still use it for your other cycling ventures.
It is a very safe bet to get this unit. You can be sure that the material lasts; ZHIQIU is both well-reputed for their durability. So, you can consider this model.
3. OUTERDO Bike Saddle Mountain Bike Seat
Tri saddles need to be ergonomically made. This OUTERDO unit takes ergonomics to a whole new level. It comes with dual shock absorbing. This keeps you steady regardless of the kind of rubble you go over. The seat itself is immensely capable.
It can handle tons of stress, so do not worry, you can give it your all without any hesitation. The firmness of the shoe also supports this feature. The seat is shaped aerodynamically. It pushes your body at just the right angle for the perfect aerodynamic motion.
The narrow place also gives your seat bones just enough interaction that keeps you still and comfy. You can push forward with little stress in your pelvic region. The saddle itself has a ventilation system through a gap at the center.
Not only does this make it easier for you to sit in the forward position, but it also acts as a ventilation system. Incoming air flows into the hole, giving you comfort.
Something so complicated has to be challenging to install, right? Not at all. Just about anyone can install this saddle with ease. The seat is also compatible with every kind of bike. This feature is incredibly helpful if you are planning on transforming your road bike into a triathlon one.
You will have to ride on your cycle for a considerable portion of the race. If they cannot give you comfort, your performance will only be hindered. As such, comfort is a vital part of a saddle. Fortunately, this saddle achieves this through its superb foam-padded design.
It gives you just the right amount of softness to provide you with comfort and maintain aerodynamic form.
Moreover, it is also quite light. This is due to the light yet capable material it uses along with its hollow design. The low weight and narrow dimensions relieve stress and increase speed and performance.
4. Most Comfortable Bike Seat for Men
You are going to be riding for kilometers after kilometers for your triathlon. So, you will need something that can not only endure that but also keep you comfortable and stable at all times. You cannot compete as well if you are in pain. That is why Bikeroo created the perfect comfort seat.
The curved design supports your entire body and distributes pressure from your back. This keeps you straight and relaxed. As a result, you will feel more comfortable and at home.
Are you worried about getting into position in a transition? This seat is very easy to get on. The moment you sit, the design helps you to position your body properly. You will not have to worry about setting yourself down.
Get on, and let the seat guide you. This makes transitions very fast and allows you to get a head start over your competitors.
Additionally, the primary bread and butter of this unit is its astounding comfort. Seriously, it feels like you are at home on your living room chair. It even comes with shock absorption to keep you planted onto the seat without ejecting off.
This stillness keeps your back and pelvic bones relaxed and comfortable throughout the entire ride. Stiff seats can cause several health problems. That is why the design focuses on keeping you relaxed. It was made specifically with the male anatomy in mind.
Moreover, its shape and material relieve pressure points. You can turn your full focus on cycling without worrying about adjusting yourself constantly to get the right angle. This kind of constant comfort is precisely why this seat is excellent for long rides.
Also, the saddle is not just restricted for triathlon use. This ergonomic seat can be used for regular long commutes and mountain biking as well. It is a versatile seat that everyone should consider.
5. Pioneeryao Professional Bicycle Bike Seat Gel Bike Saddle
Staying cool is one of the biggest concerns of a triathlon. You are continually exerting yourself and pushing yourself to your bodily limit for hours on end. At that point, sweat will be a significant concern. The more heated up you are, the worse you will perform. So, you need to get something with proper ventilation.
On that note, this saddle has got a hollow build. The gap is wide and angled appropriately to direct copious amounts of air towards you. With this, maintaining your body-heat will not be a concern anymore.
As vital as ventilation is, it will not matter if the saddle is not comfortable. It needs to be correctly angled and aerodynamic. The angle has to push you naturally towards the forward position. They need to keep you warm and painless.
That is where this Pioneeryao unit takes the stage. It has a unisex design in its shape. As a result, it can accommodate both genders without causing any discomfort.
It is built out of the artificial fatty gel. This increases comfort by reducing pressure on your back, pelvis, and other related areas. Pressure in those places gradually causes intense stress and pain. It even makes some stop to take a break. So, this added comfort gives you a significant advantage.
Riding at high speeds is dangerous as it is. At night, it becomes an entirely new realm of danger. Safety should always be the primary concern. So, this saddle comes with reflective stripes to ensure safety. These are meant to increase its visibility in the dark.
As such, other vehicles and people will be able to spot you; keeping you safe from their collision as a result.
Moreover, it has got durability to handle each of your intense rides. This unit was made for long-distance trips. So, Pioneeryao did an excellent job at keeping it sturdy over long periods. With its low-price tag to top it all off, there is hardly any reason to not choose this model.
6. Selle ITALIA Diva Gel Flow Women's Bicycle Saddle (Vanox Rails)
So far, we have talked about quite a few men’s models. Do not forget that it is more than essential to get a saddle based on the rider’s gender. This is because the innate dimorphism present in humans have anatomical differences between males and females. And this is most prevalent in the pelvic region. That's why this is one of the best saddles for female triathletes.
Many can tell the gender of a skeleton just by looking at the pelvic bone. As such, to boost efficiency, a saddle’s design varies between the sexes.
On that note, you can see how this seat is perfect for women. The shape is appropriately rounded. It has a huge hollow at the center that acts as an innovative ventilation system. The full-grain leather saddle is also breathable, and the comfort just never ends with these saddles.
So, the saddle itself is covered with 10% carbon composite shell. It might not sound interesting, but these saddles have elastomers built into them. These elastomers provide excellent shock absorption. They absorb bumps and vibrations to keep you still.
You will be planted on your seat firmly, and no amount of uneven terrain will move you from your position. There is nothing more uncomfortable than being bumped off your position. Readjusting yourself can also slow you down, which is why this shock absorption is just so amazing.
Moreover, the saddle employs silicone gel inserts to add more comfort. Any other brand would haphazardly place these gels all over the saddle; but not Selle ITALIA. They strategically placed the gel around the hollow area to comfortably position your seat bones.
Your pelvis will melt into the seat while staying firm enough to encourage full aerodynamic posture. It even employs Vanox rails to keep itself firm and robust despite its lightweight build. We can say it is hard to go wrong with this unit.
7. Foir Bike Saddle Mountain Bike Seat Breathable Comfortable
If you have been keeping up with triathletes, you will notice that a lot of them use mountain bike seats for their races. This is because these seats are very capable. They attain features road bike saddles lack that are useful for triathlons. For example, these seats are built with superior shock absorption and durability.
They need to be so for the harsh mountain biking sport. However, they have their uses in triathlons as well. You will need a quality mountain bike seat, and fortunately, Foir delivers in spades.
Let us start by talking about its intense durability. It was designed to bear through the fiercest storms and roughest use. The seat utilizes solid wear-resistant material to keep it soft and durable. You can ride through the rain and abuse it however you wish; it will last you through all of it.
Unlike cobb triathlon saddle the design is quite curvy. These curves do a fantastic job of wrapping around your seat bones and keeping you still. You should know that these bikes need to be comfortable so that you do not lose performance over time.
It uses a personalized design to make the seat feel like a part of your pelvis. The increased comfort will also give a safe and healthy journey.
Along its curve, the seat has a gap for ventilation. What matters here is the placement of the hole. It makes the most out of the curves to accept you onto the seat. The placement gives you additional comfort and reduced pressure.
You will also be getting cool air rushing towards you from the incredible ventilation this seat has.
Also, the rounded bumps on the rear do an excellent job in keeping your buttocks comfortable. It reduces pressure and leaves you feeling capable for an extended period. There is no friction between the thighs to interfere.
8. Acekit Bike Saddle Lightweight Comfortable Hollow Seat
It is hard to go wrong with a brand as reliable as Ace kit. They are known for making incredibly durable and firm seats. Do not worry; they offer plenty of comforts while they are at it.
This seat comes with everything you could need: comfort, firmness, ventilation, and narrow design. Let us start by talking about its hollow design. The gap is strategically brought towards the nose of the seat. This gives it an edge by giving it a nose-less vibe.
Yes, although the seat itself is not nose-less, the ventilation achieves the same feature. You can comfortably place your groin and ride without worrying about getting numb due to prolonged sitting. This nose-less type feature comes with a plethora of health benefits like reduced stress and no long-term discomfort. That's why there is a lot of similarity with fizik triathlon saddle with this one.
Let us not forget that this hollow area acts as a superb ventilation system. While you ride, it will carry gusts of wind towards you. This reduces heat and boosts comfort so you can keep going longer. The seat is also incredibly breathable to boost this cooling process.
Are you worried about the weight of your bike? Do you plan on installing a hydration system but do not want to deal with the extra weight? Well, this seat manages to weigh just 295 grams. It will open up your options to spread the weight around rather than keeping it concentrated on the saddle.
Moreover, the seat comes with a plethora of features to make it an incredible option. And to keep you steady, the shell comes with shock resistance while the cover employs a no-slip design always to keep you on top. The nose is perfectly shaped to guide your legs comfortably towards each motion.
9. ISM PR 3.0 Saddle Black
Believe it or not, some of the best triathlon saddles are nose-less. Noses are great for a plethora of reasons. However, they are painful to the groin. The aerodynamic position forces you to adjust yourself in such a way where your groin is pressed against the saddle.
That can be very uncomfortable and may have detrimental physical effects. This includes genital numbness, decreased blood flow, and long-term discomfort. A nose-less unit gives your groin some space to breathe. They improve blood flow, maximizes comfort, and keeps you healthier.
PR 3.0 does exactly that. Its smooth and curved nose-less design keeps you comfortable. More so, its excellent gel padding gives it even more comfort. You will feel free and comfortable with this supporting you. This kind of padding is great for long-distance traveling; perfect for events like triathlons.
It is easy to worry about the gender support of a saddle. Using the wrong one can potentially have harmful effects on your health and create long-term discomfort. However, ISM did a great job of designing their saddle. It can accommodate both sexes. This makes the seat so much more accessible and welcoming to everyone.
Triathlons require fast transitioning. People can pass you quite easily if they can take their bike out of the transition rack faster than you. You cannot let that be an option. That is why ISM employs a rear transition hook. You can easily take it out and be ready to go instantly; giving you an edge over your opponents.
The PSR is just amazingly comfortable. You will find yourself using it for your regular commutes as well. This is made possible because the seat itself is quite versatile. You can use it for several uses, including commutes. It is an overall amazing option.
10. AIKATE Comfortable Bike Saddle
AIKATE is known for its excellent designs and unique features. Once you use this saddle, you will know how it earned such an excellent reputation. This is evident from the unique design. The hollowed-out core maxes out its ventilation. Its center is curved and a cut out in a way to welcome your seat bones.
The seat uses this to relieve your prostate from any form of pressure. Your sensitive region will have plenty of room to breathe and stay comfortable regardless of the time spent riding. The seat also employs an extremely convenient shock absorption to boost comfort for your groin area.
This makes the seat comfier. You can be seated in the perfect angle without worrying about being dispositioned. It is made with thick elastic to keep it firm and comfortable at the same time. Topped off with its cool breathability, it becomes an excellent option for your races.
Just from the design, you can tell that it focuses on aerodynamics. It is narrow and firm. A properly aerodynamic seat needs to retain firmness, or else it becomes uncomfortable in the long term. This unit does so with its materials and narrow layout.
It achieves just the right balance of firmness and comfort to keep it light, aerodynamic, and comfortable.
You will find yourself zipping through the streets because of its slim and smart design. It will even help you conserve energy and let you ride much longer than you could with any other saddle.
Therefore, it really is hard to go wrong with a seat like this unit. You will even have an easy time installing and maintaining it. It hits all the right notes to be the last entry on our list.
How To Choose a Triathlon Saddle?
Now that we are done with all the triathlon saddles review, let us go over some of the things you need to know before you make a purchase. There is a lot to go over, so let us get right to it.
The first thing to note on any bike seat is its shell. This makes the outline and shape of the saddle. What is extremely important to consider is the material that forms this shell. You want it to be capable of supporting your body and win over your seat bones.
Most of the top saddles like fabric tri saddle use carbon-reinforced nylon. Other materials like rubber, polymer, and regular nylon are also options. However, if you are looking for the best, you cannot go wrong with carbon-reinforced nylon. They are the best for holding ergonomic shapes and comfortable curves.
These shapes need to perfectly accommodate your seat bones while also giving you an aerodynamic form if you want it for triathlons. They have to be able to handle full long-distance rides.
Without that capability, they will be showing signs of wear and tear quickly. This would force you to get a replacement. As such, try to get the best material.
They also need to have features to improve your speed. A common yet vital feature these seats must have is shock absorption. These help you stay on track and retain your best posture throughout the entire race.
It is a handy feature that all professionals must invest in. So, go through each tri saddle review and choose the one you think would be the best.
Whether you are practicing or racing, you will be sitting on these saddles for long periods. If you keep sitting on something too hard, it will create a lot of discomfort. It will also lead to detrimental effects on your health. This includes prolonged pain, soreness, and stress.
That is why padding is such an essential part of these seats. You cannot perform nearly as well while uncomfortable as you can while you are relaxed. So, the padding plays a vital role in the viability of your seat.
The firmness of the shell is absolutely paramount to the quality of a seat. It needs to handle your weight and the pressure you put on it. This is why, padding in forms of foam, EVA foam, gel inserts, etc. are placed on improving the comfort of your seat.
However, balance is necessary. It is an issue if the padding is too soft. This would make the saddle gradually more uncomfortable as you keep riding. It will also leave marks and wrinkles on your body. So, a good saddle must achieve a balance of firmness and softness.
Of course, everyone has different preferences. So, the material of the padding differs from people to people. As such, it is recommended that you test out the kind that you are most comfortable with before you buy.
The shape of your seat is almost as important as the shell that forms it. It needs to have certain qualities to give you an advantage over your competitors. For one, these must accommodate an aerodynamic posture. This stance will get you riding significantly faster than riding upright.
However, if you continue to stay at an aggressive forward position for too long with the poorly shaped saddle, you will be in danger of potential long-term discomfort.
So, you have to keep in mind that different saddles accommodate different positions. As stated before, the wrong shape will cause you more harm than good, so keep that in mind while you choose.
Of course, many seats accommodate multiple positions, but competitive triathletes should go for those that are specifically designed for aerodynamics. You should also consider the nose and nose-less options.
Nosed units are more of the standard design found everywhere, but if not shaped properly, they cause discomfort and pain in the groin. The nose-less ones, on the other hand, either completely removes the nose of the saddle or leaves a big gap in between.
This gives your groin precious breathing room and prolonged comfort. It is within your best interests to look for a unit that fits you best and keeps you comfortable in your preferred position.
Humans are sexually dimorphic. The pelvic region of a man and a woman is vastly different. So, the seat must have a design that is comfortable for you. As such, men and women have different sets of seats designed for them. You will not get the same effect if you use the wrong one.
The saddle’s product description should tell you which gender the seat was made for. You will also be able to tell by just sitting on it and judging how well it accepts your body.
Unisex saddles do exist. These are versatile and allow just about anyone to wear them. They increase the versatility of the seat but comes with drawbacks as well. Since they try to fit both genders, they are not perfectly suited for anyone.
It is recommended to aim for a specialized gender saddle, but that does not mean unisex models should not be considered. Nevertheless, get the best tri bike saddle for your physique.
You must make every second count in a triathlon. The most common mistake a beginner makes is not prioritizing shorter transition times. Accordingly, you need gear that is easy to transition to. This includes bike seats. You need to get to something that you can easily put on. As such, it needs to be easy to mount.
However, getting on is not enough. The seat also must be able to get you into the appropriate position smoothly. That will allow you to move faster and hit the road as soon as possible. Another factor is how you keep your bike for transitions. You could leave it leaning against a wall, but that is risky.
Tying it down will drastically increase your transition time as well. Some of these seats come with a hook. This is a fast and secure way to get into position and take off. So, keep those in mind and try to get something that will help you transition faster.
Finally, you need to keep an eye out for the kind of cover on the seat. It is what will be making contact with your pelvis after all. As such, a bad cover can render good shells and padding useless.
However, covers are a very subjective topic. Of course, you will want something durable, but the feel is different for everyone. Subsequently, you have to figure out what you would like the best. Most of the common cover materials consist of synthetics or leather. Take whichever one feels right.
The covers also harbor the design of the saddle. So, if you want to up your aesthetic game, the cover is what you need to look out for. Moreover, covers with reflective stripes help your ride look more visible in the dark. So, make sure you consider all of these while you consider the kind of cover you get.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most commonly asked queries regarding the best triathlon saddles:
1. I want to keep my saddle soft. What should I do?
There are multiple options for soft seats. However, remember that the best tri saddles are the ones that are both soft and firm. You can try going for seats with EVA foam and gel inserts if you want a soft and comfortable ride.
Also, you could apply a separate cover to boost the softness of your ride. Keep in mind that the padding is very crucial.
2. I am experiencing too much pressure around the groin. What should I do?
The most likely cause of this would be the nose of the seat. It could interfere with the natural resting place of the groin and cause you to feel discomfort and numbness. The best solution would be to use a nose-less unit. Here's a detailed guideline.
3. Can I use my road saddle instead?
You could, but those are designed to keep you upright. Using that could cause you discomfort and hinder your performance. So, we recommend you get triathlon saddles.
4. How much should my budget be?
Prices of saddles vary greatly based on the material. Not to mention, each model costs differently. However, it is best to keep your budget around 200 dollars if you want the best for your gear.
5. Can I put these on regular cycles?
Of course. You should be able to install them on any cycle. In fact, it is possible to transform your road cycle into a triathlon bike by switching out parts like the seat.
Building a triathlon bike is a huge investment. So, you have to be careful about how you spend your money and what you get.
However, with this guide’s help, you will be able to pick out the best triathlon saddle and get that vital competitive edge to win.