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The top 9 best lightweight road bike saddles

In this article I’m going to give you the very best lightweight road bike saddles.

When writing this article I was confronted with the challenge of what exactly constitutes a lightweight saddle. I have a huge number of saddles ranging from a 400 plus grams Brooks Cambium to a two-digit full carbon ax-lightness performance saddle. So common sense dictates that lightweight is somewhere lower than those two figures combined.

Since there are literally hundreds of saddles to choose from I finally opted to really narrow the amount of options to road bike saddles that do not cross 200 grams. That undoubtedly meant we moved into what is the black gold of the bicycle industry: carbon fiber.

This also means this list does not cover cheap options by any stretch of the imagination. As it were, it seems the starting point for my definition of lightweight seems to be around 200 dollars. And as the weight goes down, the amount you have to pay goes up.

I’ve also chosen saddles I consider to be broadly applicable for the majority of riders, from shorter training rides to longer endurance trips. That means that true featherweights with an amount of grams lower than 100 are not to be found here. Though those saddles are astounding examples of engineering, they do run the risk of having one or more drawbacks, apart from the eye-watering prices.

So those are the outlines for this overview of the best lightweight road bike saddles. Enjoy.

Fabric ALM Ultimate Shallow

ALM Ultimate Shallow
ALM Ultimate Shallow

The Fabric ALM Ultimate Shallow promises above-average levels of comfort in a minimal package of just 140 grams.

The slightly padded carbon shell sits atop carbon rails which act as a leaf spring, similar to some carbon seatposts. This provides just a bit of travel to take out road buzz. It actually works making this premium saddle with a rider weight of 100 kgs one you can actually use for all kinds of riding, not just to show off.

It’s an extremely pristine and clean no-show design, so it’s not the best saddle to impress visually, unless you like an understated design.

The padding doesn’t extend all the way to the edge of the seat, so be careful when parking your bike so you don’t scuff the carbon edges.

It has 282×142 mm dimensions, which means it’s pretty long and of average width.

The Fabric ALM Ultimate Shallow has a suggested retail price of 375 USD, but in exchange you get a very lightweight, comfortable and innovative saddle that’ll work for the majority of riders.

Expert Experience

Mat Brett | Technical editor – May 05, 2016

What’s funny, though, is that although the saddle is firm, that doesn’t lead to discomfort, or at least it didn’t for me. I got to like the feel over the course of a few rides and the discomfort I expected to experience over longer periods in the saddle never materialised. I wouldn’t want to use the ALM with anything other than well-padded shorts, but I’ve certainly come to like it a lot over the past few weeks, and I was never left with the feeling of having been kicked about on longer rides.

Pros and Cons

Fizik Aliante R1

Aliante R1
Aliante R1

The Fizik Aliante R1 is the exact same saddle as the R3. Except that it has carbon rails instead of the Kium alloy version. And you have to pay a premium for those carbon rails.

In a world where a lot of road bike saddles feature huge cut outs, this one doesn’t. It means it’s a bit stronger and can be used for gravel riding as well. The scuff pads on the side give the delicate shell some added protection in the case of a crash. Not that you would even want to scratch this saddle at all but it’s a nice touch.

It’s a traditionally sized saddle measuring 279 x 138 mm for the regular version and 279 x 154 mm for the wide version. This is just a tad bit wider than a lot of Selle Italia’s performance saddles.

The saddle favors what I’d call dynamic riding, with quick climbs and going in and out of the saddle. It’s the reason this is a favorite among mountain bikers and gravel riders as well, with the curved lip in the back aiding in climbing and keeping power.

Fizik offers Twin Flex technology which means the rounded inner shape of the shell flexes more and gets out of the way of your thighs and pedal stroke. A saddle shouldn’t get in the way in the first place and the rounded shape of this one never chafed or dug into the legs. The added flex is also a plus for other road surfaces than smooth tarmac.

Unlike the Arione the Aliante has a pronounced curvature which means you’re more firmly planted and there’s a bit more support overall, which often leads to more comfort as well.

Expert Experience

Warren Rossiter | Senior technical editor – September 10, 2018

These new ingredients combine to give you a saddle that has the classic Aliante feel but is softer on your sensitive parts. It does feel a little weird to begin with, because the spine of the saddle feels rigid, which in turn makes the flanks feel more flexible than ever.

I didn’t experience any discomfort while riding, either from the rock-solid centre or the softer feeling sides. The presence of the hole takes all the pressure off your most delicate area, while the kicked-up rear provides a bit of extra leverage when you are climbing by allowing you to shift your weight back and push against it when the gradient goes up.

Pros and Cons

Fizik Antares Versus Evo 00 Adaptive

Antares Versus Evo 00 Adaptive
Antares Versus Evo 00 Adaptive

The honor of bringing the first 3D-printed saddle to the market goes to the Fizik Antares Versus Evo 00 Adaptive. It’s a saddle with carbon rails and shell, with a 3D printed EPU 41 polymer padding that’s extremely comfortable.

Because it’s 3D printed it has an otherworldly spacious design which ensures the saddle tips the scales at just 168 grams for the small version, or 171 grams for the large one. That’s very impressive for a saddle with such padding volume.

The padding acts like memory foam and conforms to the rider’s anatomy. Since there are two halves it means that pressure is only applied to the sit bones and very specific to the respective rider.

It’s one of the most distinctive saddles money can buy, and besides the light greenish version, Fizik now also offers a black one.

It comes at two widths of 139 and 146 millimeters.

From an innovation standpoint the Fizik Antares Versus Evo 00 Adaptive is a fantastic product, that’s comfortable enough to use for long hours in the saddle. The only downside could be that the light open structure is more prone to damage and dirt lodging into the innards of the padding.

But if you like the original Antares and you really want the-latest-the-greatest for your bike, this is the saddle for you.

Expert Experience

Aaron Borrill | Tech Editor – March 20, 2020

There’s no disputing the visual allure and holding power of Fizik’s latest saddle creation – just look at the honeycomb, colander-like padding. It’s very much unlike the traditional saddle aesthetic and while its polarising appearance might not appeal to all it will certainly find favour with early adopters, particularly those looking for something to differentiate themselves from the rabble.

And, is it any good? Well, so far I’m impressed. Cushioning and support are great and no pain and numbness have been reported. I’ve personally always been a fan of the Antares platform and the Adaptive model has taken things to another level thanks to the combination of low- and high-speed compression areas dialled into the saddle’s lattice structure.

Pros and Cons

Fizik Arione R1

Arione R1
Arione R1

If you like your saddles long, the Fizik Arione R1 measuring at almost 1 foot seems to dwarf some of its shorter competitors, especially short-nosed versions.

The flat design of the very lightweight 163 grams version is extremely narrow at 126 millimeters. Fizik also offers a wider 140 millimeter version. With such a length and its arrowlike shape, the Arione saddles are easily recognizable.

The long nose doesn’t interfere with your riding if you’re the type of person who’s a little less flexible in the pelvic area and uses the upper body more to reach the drops. The narrowness of the saddle offers loads of thigh clearance and a well-padded and flexible carbon composite shell, which is compatible with Fizik’s saddle accessories as well.

All those features make it sound like the Fizik Arione R1 is a comfortable saddle and it is.

I believe the extended area at the back is more of a design feature than actually meant for sitting on while pedaling, but you know for sure there’s more than enough room to move and you’ll never run out of space when climbing.

Expert Experience

Mat Brett | Technical editor – April 19, 2017

I get on really well with the degree of flex offered by the Arione’s shell and the amount of padding used, which is quite generous for a saddle of this kind. It’s soft, but not too soft, helping to cancel out vibration and take the edge off lumps and bumps in the road without being so squishy that it moves about as you pedal. The padding on the nose is much more generous than you get with many other performance-type saddles out there, so if you’re looking for a little more plushness in your seating, an Arione is worth checking out (as long as you’re a snake, like).

Pros and Cons

Fizik Arione R1 Open

Arione R1 Open
Arione R1 Open

The Fizik Arione R1 Open is the cut out version of the regular R1.

A lot of manufacturers make cut out versions of all of their saddles and Fizik is no exception, basically doubling their entire lineup. The cut out is rather small but sits in an area lower than the two padded halves and moves all the way down the length of the saddle.

The carbon version is actually a bit heavier than the non-cut out version at almost 200 grams.

There’s plenty of room to mount your carbon-specific seatpost on the braided carbon rails. The overall very long design is something you hate or love, because the added length in the back is mainly there for aesthetic purposes.

The carbon composite shell is a tad wider than the regular R1 at 132 millimeters, but still very narrow.

The standard R1 is already a very comfortable saddle, but if you like your performance racing perch with a cut out, the R1 Open is your obvious choice.

Pros and Cons

Prologo Nago Evo Pas

Nago Evo Pas
Nago Evo Pas

Prologo offers high build quality when it comes to road bike saddles, and the Prologo Nago Evo Pas is a gorgeous allround saddle for dynamic riding.

I can understand why the overall shape of the saddle made Prologo state the saddle can also be used for cross-country rides.

You have the option of two different types of material for the rails, with the carbon version dipping below 200 grams at 185 grams. With TiroX steel alloy it means the saddle will sit at 211, which is still pretty light for a non-carbon saddle.

Forgoing a center cut out this saddle instead has a no-padded area in the middle. And at 275 x 134 millimeters it has a narrow width and standard road racing length.

Expert Experience

Stu Kerton | Senior Product Reviewer – March 07, 2018

We all know saddles are very personal but I found the Nago a very neutral shape and easy to get on with. I rode about 1000 miles on the Storck branded Nago on the Fenomalist a couple of months back and had no issues with it at all once it broke in, just that it takes a long time to get there. The CPC tubes on this one though take just that little bit of the harshness out as they compress meaning it’s comfortable from day one.

In terms of grip I’m not really one to slide about on the saddle but the resistance is there and it certainly does help with some of the more shiny shorts materials. The CPC will also pay dividends if you use your road bike for time trialling or triathlon as it’ll stop you sliding you up to the nose when in the tri bars.

Pros and Cons

Prologo Scratch M5 Pas

Scratch M5 Pas
Scratch M5 Pas

The Prologo Scratch M5 Pas is a short-nosed lightweight road bike saddle.

The overall design features a large seating platform and dropped nose, which enables dynamic riding where you need to get frequently out of the saddle.

The saddle offers two options for the rails with the Tirox alloy versions hovering around 200 grams and a much lighter carbon version sitting at 134 grams. Oval carbon rails require a carbon specific seatpost, so make sure you have one, should you decide to opt for the carbon version.

The Scratch M5 is decently padded and looks futuristic with its five panel layout across a rounded 250mm length shell. This separate paneling should help to add some extra flex to the saddle for added comfort.

Expert Experience

Graham Cottingham | Senior review writer – July 01, 2020

The carbon base of the saddle feels on the stiff side yet the Scratch M5 has a forgiving ride quality especially when compared to other carbon saddles that we have ridden. Vibrations felt dampened and evenly distributed across the saddle rather than focused on a single point.

The only irritating experience I had was on one ride where my bibs kept squeaking against the saddle as I climbed. This only happened once and I have clocked up many miles since completely squeak-free.

Pros and Cons

Selle Italia SLR Kit Carbonio Superflow

SLR Kit Carbonio Superflow
SLR Kit Carbonio Superflow

The Selle Italia SLR Kit Carbonio Superflow is a superbly crafted saddle with many outstanding details.

The 131 width one sits at 148 grams, while the 145 is slightly heavier at 153 grams. That’s extremely light for a saddle measuring 275 millimeters in length.

This very expensive saddle has carbon ceramic rails underneath a carbon injected nylon shell with Mikrotek microfiber cover.

Selle Italia’s Superflow refers to their penchant for huge cut outs. And with that much material removed there’s very little for your body to use other than the sit bones. Your anatomy is a unique thing, but the slightly swooping shape of the SLR does allow for some adjusting on the saddle back and forth to find that position that feels best for you.

The ovalized carbon ceramic rails and the carbon composite shell provides a fair amount of flex, and the padded upper adds to the overall comfort you’ll enjoy with this road saddle.

The saddle is more delicate than some of the others with the cover stretches all the way to the edge and zero scuff protectors. But that’s kind of a trade-off between design versus protection. And it does mean you will never feel any sharp edges because there aren’t any.

Overall this premium offering from Selle Italia has proven to be one of the most popular road bike saddles in their high end performance category. And I can clearly understand why.

Pros and Cons

Selle Italia SP-01 Boost Superflow

SP-01 Boost Superflow
SP-01 Boost Superflow

The SP-01 saddles is a separate category of saddles which provides more flex due to independently moving saddle halves.

The Selle Italia SP-01 Boost Superflow is somewhat affordable, ditching full carbon rails for a titanium version. This means the saddle adds a couple of extra grams of weight, but the round 7 millimeter rails are fully compatible with your standard seatpost. So that’s a great benefit for riders who don’t want to add to their costs by needing a carbon compatible seatpost.

Still this is not a cheap saddle because it features the same carbon injected nylon composite that Selle Italia uses for their lightweight performance saddles.

Its flat profile and sloping short noise is perfect for a forward position while sitting in the drops. That means this is an aggressive racing road bike saddle.

Be aware of the fact that the saddle is incompatible with saddle bags because of the open halves.

This design provides an optimal road feel with less padding needed, but still providing ample amounts of damping because of the relatively high amount of flex. So this unique design from the Italian saddle giant is a great innovation that’s bound to attract a faithful following.

Pros and Cons

Specifications lightweight road bike saddles

Name
Rail
Price
Dimensions
Weight
Shell
Padding
Cover
Fabric ALM Ultimate Shallow
carbon Ø7×9 mm
375 USD
282 x 142 mm
140 g
carbon
ultra-light PU foam
Fizik Aliante R1
carbon braided Ø7×10 mm
249.99 USD
S 279 x 138 mm – L 279 x 154 mm
S 175 g – L 180 g
carbon reinforced nylon
microtex
Fizik Antares Versus Evo 00 Adaptive
carbon Ø7×10 mm
399.99 USD
S 274 x 139 mm – L 27 4 x146 mm
S 168 g – L 171 g
carbon
EPU 41
Fizik Arione R1
carbon braided Ø7×10 mm
249.99 USD
S 300 x 126 mm – L 300 x 140 mm
S 163 g – L 181 g
carbon reinforced nylon
microtex
Fizik Arione R1 Open
carbon braided Ø7×10 mm
199.99 USD
S 300 x 132 mm – L 298 x 142 mm
S 199 g – L 205 g
carbon reinforced nylon
microtex
Prologo Nago Evo Pas
nack carbon / tirox
134 euros
275 x 134 mm
nack 185 g – thyrox 211 g
Prologo Scratch M5 Pas
nack carbon / tirox
138/213 euros
250 x 140 mm
nack 134 g – Tirox 201 g
Selle Italia SLR Kit Carbonio Superflow
carbon/keramic Ø7×9 mm
380 euros
S 131 x 275 mm – L 145 x 275 mm
S 148 g – L 153 g
carbon reinforced nylon
Fibra-Tek
Selle Italia SP-01 Boost Superflow
TI 316 Tube Ø7 mm
280 euros
S 130 x 250 mm – L 146 x 250 mm
S 188 g – L 194 g
carbon reinforced nylon
Fibra-Tek

Sources

Mat Brett, Fabric ALM Ultimate saddle, Road.cc, May 05, 2016
Warren Rossiter, Fizik Aliante R1 Open saddle review, Bikeradar, September 10, 2018
Aaron Borrill, Fizik Antares Versus Evo 00 Adaptive saddle first ride review, Cycling News, March 20, 2020
Mat Brett, Fizik Arione R1 saddle, Road.cc, April 19, 2017
Stu Kerton, Prologo Nago Evo CPC saddle, Road.cc, March 07, 2018
Graham Cottingham, Prologo Scratch M5 PAS saddle review, Cycling News, July 01, 2020
bio vanseijen

Johan van Seijen

Founder Restoration.bike

Johan van Seijen is the founder of restoration.bike. His cycling career has seen him at the starting line of classics such as the Amstel Gold Race and Liege Bastogne Liege. Realizing his racing capacity would fall short of what was needed he obtained a MS from the University of Amsterdam in engineering. His love for cycling changed into riding in an amateur capacity with his local cycling club TFC Weesp as a roadie and supporting MTB Noordwest as a mountain biker. He repairs, restores, and builds bicycles and shares his knowledge on YouTube, Facebook and this website. 

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