Saddle choice can make or break your ride (and your rear), so choose wisely with our top women's saddles as rated by our expert testers

Women’s mountain bike saddles have specific requirements, but ultimately we’re looking for an armchair ride with a bar stool build. If you’re looking for the best overall mountain bike saddle, our buyer’s guide can be found here

Your saddle can have a profound effect on the overall enjoyment of every ride, so it really pays to find the right saddle for your riding style and body shape. Our shortlist includes a variety of widths, rail materials and price points to suit all budgets, all tested on the mixed trails of the Forest of Dean, where trail centre singletrack rubs shoulders with lairy enduro tracks.

The best women’s mountain bike saddles can be found below, but not all saddles will work for all women. It’s a personal thing. So ideally try a couple before you buy (some brands offer demo saddles to borrow).

Women’s mountain bike saddles tested

  • Specialized Power Comp Mimic – Best overall women’s saddle
  • Ergon SMC Sport Womens
  • Syncros Savona V

‘View Deal’ links

You will notice that beneath each summary of the best mountain bike saddles is a ‘View Deal’ link. If you click on one of these links then mbr may receive a small amount of money from the retailer should you go to purchase the product from them. Don’t worry, this does not affect the amount you pay.


Specialized Power Comp Mimic saddle

Specialized Power Comp Mimic

Best Overall Women’s Saddle

Price: £84.00 | Weight: 219g | Length: 240mm | Widths: 143/155/168mm

Pros: Radical but effective, SWAT compatible for mounting spares

Cons: Divisive – not universally loved, so do try before you buy, quirky looks

Specialized’s radical Power Comp saddle comes with Mimic technology, designed to mimic the body. Aside from the unique shape, different density padding across the saddle is deigned to offer the right support in the right place, minimsing pressure and maximising blood flow. With three sizes at 143mm, 155mm and 168mm there’s a great choice on offer to match any width of sit bones, and the wings offer plenty of flexibility without introducing a seasick feeling when pedalling on rough ground.

Up front, there’s no central cut-out as Specialized found this can cause pinching. Instead memory foam is used to create a hammock-effect. And the nose falls away at the tip to further reduce pressure and ensure that it doesn’t get caught on clothing when descending.The finish is good quality and subtle and Specialized has given it a practical edge with SWAT compatible mounts under your seat for mounting accessories.

Specialized boasted on the launch of the Mimic that ‘your vagina will thank you’ and, from where I’m sitting it was absolutely right. A great combination of aesthetics, durability, price and, above all, comfort.

Rating: 10/10

Ergon SMC Sport Gel

Ergon SMC Sport Gel

Ergon SMC Sport Gel

Great all-rounder with conventional styling

Price: £79.99 | Weight: 312g | Length: 265mm | Widths: 149/164mm

Pros: Supportive and stable. Rear deck is good for pushing against on climbs. No pressure points

Cons: Heavy. Deep, thick padding raises saddle deck height and might not suit more dynamic riding

As the name suggests, Ergon prides itself on making components that interface perfectly with the human element. The SMC Sport Gel is a hefty unit with a large rear deck, thick padding and a chunky overall weight. We had to make sure we positioned the saddle perfectly on the rails to keep it from interfering with thighs while pedalling, but once set-up it held the pelvis in a great position and gave plenty of support for pushing against when grinding up a climb.

This range topping model has gel cushioning on top of orthopaedic comfort foam which runs across the entire contact area. We found this meant the sit bones were supported on nice soft material that didn’t feel too squishy thanks to the denser material beneath. Ergon offers two sizes, and some Ergon dealers have a machine to measure your sit bones if you’re unsure which width to choose. There’s also a rough calculator on the Ergon website to give you a rough idea of the ideal fit.

Even on all-day rides we experienced no pressure or soreness on labial tissue – the wide central cut-out and tapered channel seem to work exactly as intended. Our only gripe is the weight, but if saving a few grams is less important to you than all-day ride comfort, that won’t be a deal breaker.

Rating: 9/10

Syncros Savona V 1.5 Cut Out

Syncros Savona V 1.5 Cut Out

Syncros Savona V 1.5 Cut Out

Best for upright riding position

Price: £89.99 | Weight: 240g | Length: 245mm | Widths: 145mm

Pros: Supportive and stable. Rear deck is good for pushing against on climbs. No pressure points

Cons: Heavy. Deep, thick padding raises saddle deck height and might not suit more dynamic riding

Syncros takes a slightly different approach to tailoring its saddles. Rather than offering different widths, it has a Savona designed to suit different riding positions: upright and stretched. The solutions are based on two factors: your flexibility through your pelvic and lumbar region, and pressure sensitivity around the labia. Choose the ‘R’ Regular range if you have average flexibility and sit in a more upright position, or the ‘V’ design if you sit in a low, sporty position. Further personalisation comes in the form of either a central channel or a full cutout depending on the level of pressure relief you need.

The Savona takes a pretty minimal approach to padding, particularly next to the Ergon. It gets an almost flat profile and a deep central cutout along the centre of the saddle. The medium length and medium width offered generous support and the nose never felt bulky or in the way. Syncros advertises the wings as 145mm in width, but the abrupt taper means they are more like 180mm at their broadest. However, they give ample support for the sit bones, and while the padding is quite spartan, the Savona proved to be a really comfortable perch.

On the underside, hidden under rubber Syncros detailing are screw mounts for a range of direct mount products, including a fender, saddle bag and Go Pro mount. A rubber cap means the holes won’t fill with mud if you choose not to make use of it. Overall it’s a classy bit of kit from the Syncros stable.

Rating: 9/10

Read our full review of the Syncros Savona V 1.5 Cut Out saddle.


Test winner: Specialized Power Comp Mimic

Best women’s mountain bike saddles: verdict

Winner: Specialized Power Comp Mimic

The best seats in the house are claimed by Syncros, Ergon and Specialized. The novel approach of the Syncros Savona pares back padding but still delivers in terms of comfort and support. Ergon has also done a great job with its SMC Sport – no gimmicks, just a well-designed product that works on long days in the saddle.

Finally there’s the radical Specialized Power Comp Mimic. It’s truncated design goes for broke, but the gamble pays off in big way with the perfect blend of comfort and support.

What to look out for in the best women’s mountain bike saddles:

Before the widespread adoption of the dropper post, the saddle was a relatively static component, but these days your saddle moves up and down numerous times every ride and, depending on whether you’re rolling along the flat, cruising up a gradual climb, or tackling a steep ascent your weight can be positioned over different parts of it. This means gauging comfort is a little bit harder, especially since we don’t all have the same width sit bones or, obviously, anatomy.

The saddle is also used to control the bike, especially when it’s dropped down and you’re descending. Introduce electric mountain bikes into the mix, which encourage you to sit down and pedal more of the time, and you have a component that subtly switches roles multiple times during a ride.

Women-specific shape/design

Anatomical differences between make and female riders mean saddles are designed with specific needs in mind. For example, many women’s saddles have central channels and/or dropped or truncated noses intended to relieve pressure on soft tissue and maintain blood flow to sensitive areas. Other popular design details include clipped wings to prevent thigh chafing, and many saddles offer two or more widths to suit different sit bone widths. Despite all the research and development into improving women’s saddles, it remains a very personal choice, and a saddle loved by some women might be hated by others. And there are plenty of women who find a men’s saddle perfectly comfortable, and men who get on well with women’s saddles. In other words, it’s still wise to try before you buy.

Cover

This is often a synthetic leather, which is hard-wearing, breathable and long lasting. To add greater abrasion resistance and grip, Kevlar sections are often used at high-wear areas such as the corners and rear of the saddle.

Padding

Underneath the cover is a layer of EVA foam. It’s lightweight and has good shock absorption properties. On some saddles you also get a supplementary gel or elastomer pad under the forward areas. This reduces stress on delicate parts and improves overall comfort.

Width

Most manufacturers now produce saddles in different widths to match a narrower range of sit bones. However, this is not the only thing that affects comfort – the overall shape, length and even the angle you’re sitting at, all play a part. Getting the correct width is a good starting point, but don’t be afraid to try a narrower or wider saddle (you may have to switch brands) if the one you have isn’t particularly comfortable.

Height

Saddles have different heights between the rails and the seat, and low-profile saddles let you run longer dropper posts. Some low-profile saddles are also cut away at the tail to provide extra tyre clearance when the saddle is dropped – useful for long travel 29ers with slack seat angles.

Base

This is made from an injection moulded plastic. To add comfort and alleviate pressure some manufacturers cut holes or channels into the base. Offsetting the rails on the base, or mounting them on small elastomer bumpers, also introduces greater flexibility and comfort.

Rails

The cheapest saddles have solid steel rails and they obviously weigh the most, but you can save weight with hollow steel, titanium or composite rails. Be aware that manufacturers do mix other elements into the steel and give it a flashy name, but essentially, it’s the same stuff. Regardless of material, most saddles have 7mm rails and will fit most seatposts on the market, it’s one of the few industry standards that hasn’t been mucked about with.