Our experts test and review this year’s 10 top triathlon and road cycling saddles.
Specialized Power Mimic 143 $130 – $300
The Power Mimic is the latest evolution of the wildly popular power saddle. It’s designed to create “equilibrium” in the perineal/genital area through use of multi-density materials—or, in other words, it creates a bit of support for your tender bits to reduce blood pooling and inflammation. We’ve found this saddle to also work extremely well with men, at times better than the unisex, non-Mimic, option. Available in different widths and with different rail materials to better fit your hips and your budget. While this is a road bike saddle at heart, it may work for some on tri bikes without an aggressive aero position.
Ergon SR Pro Women $130-$190
The Ergon SR Pro is the best saddle we’ve seen from Ergon. This resembles a traditional saddle more than others listed here, but its wide pressure relief channel and flat rear section provide plenty of comfort and support. This saddle features a slightly wider nose than the Specialized Power and slightly more cushioning. We’ve tested this saddle extensively since its release and have seen many riders use it successfully—both men and women—from all cycling disciplines. Some riders report that they experienced some comfort issues toward the end of very long rides, but that can be true of any saddle.
PRO Stealth LTD $200
The PRO Stealth LTD continues the PRO legacy of high-quality race-oriented products. The LTD version adds chrome flair and a slightly different surface to the already popular Stealth saddle. Existing Stealth users will note the familiar shape with a flat surface, wide nose, and broad pressure relief channel, with a bit of added friction to help keep your chamois planted on the saddle during hard efforts. This saddle is designed for aggressive road race positions, but may also work well for TT or tri positions. Screw bosses on the rear of the saddle can be used to attach your tail light, saddle pack, or even a rear-mounted camera.
Fizik Argo R1/ R3 Vento $130 – $225
After years of avoiding market trends, Fizik has finally released its first truly anatomically designed saddle. The Argo R1 and R3 saddles are available with carbon and alloy rails, respectively, and in two widths, 140 and 150 mm. These saddles feature a generous pressure relief groove and are slightly longer than other saddles in this category allowing for more confident control of the bike and the ability to find the spot on the saddle that is just right for you. This saddle was just released and initial feedback is positive, although the narrow sit surfaces do leave us wanting a bit more.
ISM PN 3.1 $220
When given the choice based on comfort, most triathletes will choose this saddle or it’s nearly identical sister, the ISM PN3.0. The 3.1 adds a bit of cushion to the same chassis as the 3.0, which aids in comfort for lighter weight riders. This saddle, like all ISM saddles, has a wide pressure relief channel that extends all the way to the saddle nose. This saddle also features smooth sloped edges to reduce hamstring irritation and a gently sloped saddle nose to ease pressure. The PN 3.0 and 3.1 are the product of ISM’s continuous evolution to full split nose saddles, and their dedication shows in the comfort and performance of these saddles.
JCOB Delta 38 $230
The JCOB Delta 38 is the latest saddle design from master designer John Cobb. Based on the very popular Type 5 (formerly 55) saddle, the Delta 38 is significantly narrower than any other full spit nose saddle on the market, something triathletes have been asking for since the beginning of split nose saddles. This saddle features a generous amount of dense padding (important because non-dense padding deforms too much), flat sides for increased leg clearance and a gentle slope to the sitting surface at the front of the saddle which should ease the transition between the saddle and pressure relief groove. This saddle will be too narrow for some, but for those with narrow hips or large legs, who could not find comfort on all the other split nose saddles, this saddle may be for you.
PRO AeroFuel $220
The PRO AeroFuel is largely unchanged since we reviewed it last. For a modest price, you get a saddle with carbon rails, a carbon base, and a very nice finish quality. Of course, it doesn’t matter how much carbon you are sitting on if a saddle isn’t compatible with your behind. The Pro Aerofuel lacks the complete center split that many other tri saddles currently feature and it requires the rider to sit a bit further back on the saddle than on other popular tri saddles. The rails are relatively short, positioning the saddle exactly where you want it may be tricky. We have found this saddle to work fairly well for riders on road bikes with clip-on aero bars or on road bikes with aggressive race positions.
Bontrager Hilo Pro $230
The Bontrager Hilo Pro is perhaps the best triathlon saddle from Trek’s Bontrager component brand. Following the success of the Hilo XXX and Hilo Speed-Dial, the Hilo Pro features thick and dense padding with a wide pressure relief channel, carbon rails, and an integrated mount for rear hydration systems. Dimensionally, the shape of this saddle closely resembles the proven shape of the Speed&Comfort Type 5, but offers a bit more padding for those needing it. This saddle should work especially well for women and lightweight riders in aggressive aero positions.
Specialized Sitero Pro $240
The latest version of the popular Sitero saddle retains the basic shape of the original but adds a deeper pressure relief channel and contoured shaping to the edges. The Sitero is more triangular than other popular tri saddles, allowing the rider to self-select their preferred saddle width by shifting fore and aft. The nose is a bit narrower than most other split nose saddles, allowing for it to fit a broad range of riders. This saddle does look wider than other saddles—it even fooled us—so be sure to get this on a bike to test it out and find your sweet spot before passing judgment.
Dash Strike Stock G2 $229
The Dash Strike has undergone some minor changes since we reviewed it last, but this lightweight and minimalistic saddle is largely unchanged. The shape resembles the extremely popular ISM PN3.0 but the Strike has a slightly narrower and shorter nose. This saddle tends to perch the rider toward the front of the saddle quite a bit. Not for those wanting a lot of cushion for their tush, the Strike and all Dash saddles for that matter, are very slim on the padding. While plenty of riders do use this saddle for long course racing, some will find it a bit too firm. The saddle rails are made from carbon and we appreciate that they are round and not oval shaped, like a lot of other manufacturer’s carbon railed saddles, for easier installation. Dash also offers a customizable version of the saddle where you can change your color or padding level.