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The top 8 best road bike saddles on a budget

In this article I’m going to give you my top picks for the best road bike saddles on a budget.

It’s almost staggering the amount of money you can lay down for a road bike saddle, with some examples costing more than I’ve paid for some of my (second-hand) bicycles.

But not everybody is looking for the next piece of carbon to bolt onto their seatpost. And truth be told, when it comes to speed, that extra 100 or 200 grams for a more budget-friendly saddle doesn’t matter whatsoever.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This list covers a number of outstanding options to choose from that can rival the most expensive perches your money could buy. And since all saddle producers make the majority of their flagship offerings in more cheaper versions, as far as comfort is concerned, I bet the average rider will not be able to distinguish a budget version from a more premium one.

So without further ado, here’s the list of the best road bike saddles on a budget.

Selle Italia Model X Comfort+

Model X Comfort+
Model X Comfort+

At 415 grams and with loads of padding the Selle Italia Model X Comfort+ is meant for riders who like to enjoy the scenery more than getting as fast as possible from A to B.

The sweeping form favors a more upright position. It’s still a great looking saddle for gravel and endurance riding, and the finish of the taut microfiber cover is fantastic, as befitting of the Italian brand.

One of the best things about this saddle is obviously the price, which means that road enthusiasts can obtain a high quality product at a decent price.

This is the right saddle for weekend warriors, who enjoy leisurely rides in great comfort while catching up on the latest news with each other riding in the hoods.

Expert Experience

Lara Dunn | Contributor – September 08, 2022

For me, the excellent shape and padding are slightly undercut by the shoulders of the base – I could feel them. There’s a noticeable edge and, while it would be overstating it to claim it caused discomfort, it did mean I couldn’t totally forget about the saddle.

Pros and Cons

Fabric Line-S Race Flat

Line-S Race Flat
Line-S Race Flat

The Fabric Line-S Race Flat is a race-worthy saddle for racers who don’t want to dig too deep into their wallet, but still want a high-quality short-nosed road saddle.

At 240 x 142 millimeters and just 230 grams the Line-S can even be considered light, with attractive titanium rails supporting a well-padded nylon shell with center depression for additional comfort.

With such a short nose, this road saddle is for people who don’t like to wiggle around all time, because it keeps you firmly planted. The wide and flat upper means you’ll be just as comfortable in the hoods as in the drops.

The length of the saddle supports a geometry to put the power down in a more forward position.

There’s a version of this saddle with carbon rails that adds 80 euros to the overall price while remaining unchanged otherwise. I have to admit that carbon rails do add a bit more flex and comfort to your ride, but it’s up to you to decide if such a steep increase is worth the added cost.

If you feel the answer to that question is no, then the Fabric Line-S Race Flat is one of the best ways to enter the short-nosed revolution.

Expert Experience

Warren Rossiter | Senior technical editor – June 15, 2020

The padding is very deep and soft, unusual for a racing saddle, and it’s well structured so doesn’t spread sideways or squish around underneath you.

I found the Line-S to be one of the very best of the short saddles around and the level of comfort and performance at this price is worth the highest of praise.

Pros and Cons

Fabric Scoop Elite Flat

Scoop Elite Flat
Scoop Elite Flat

The Fabric Scoop comes in many versions with the carbon version nearing the 300 dollar mark. This Fabric Scoop Elite Flat sits well under 100 dollars but has the exact extremely comfortable design.

Flat means this is a true road racing saddle with less padding and a thinner nose. At 244 grams the weight is about what you can expect for a road bike saddle in this price range.

The saddle has standard 7 mm cro-mo rails sitting underneath a nylon shell, and has a classic all-black design without a cut out in the base of 142 mm. At 244 mm in length it’s not a long saddle, which means less moving around and higher comfort.

It’s a no-frills design that does it all, comfort for long rides, durability, and nice aesthetics for a decent price.

Expert Experience

Jim Clarkson | Contributor – August 19, 2020

The Scoop is similar to the Fabric Line I tested a while back, but it lacks a channel – fine by me as, whilst comfy, such channels can just fill with mud and water off road. Even without one, the Scoop is comfortable from the very first ride, and stays that way over many miles.

It has enough space to move around when climbing technical trails, and the neutral, shallow shape is fine for sitting down and spinning out miles when you have to. Though lacking the obvious scuff guards and fabric patches of others, both the cover and the rails are tough enough to easily endure the usual abuse.

Pros and Cons

Fizik Vento Argo R5

Vento Argo R5
Vento Argo R5

As far as budget goes the Fizik Vento Argo R5 is the most premium option on this list with a suggested retail price of 99 euros. It can be had for cheaper on Amazon though.

It’s another very well made short-nosed saddle with a carbon-reinforced nylon shell with a large center cut out. This cut out transitions into a lower surface area both front and back, planting you firmly in place.

This version also has an alloy rail to keep costs down and a width of either 140 mm for the small or 150 mm for the larger version.

This saddle offers ample amounts of comfort for relaxed road riding, thanks to the plush padding and cut out.

Expert Experience

Guy Kesteven | Contributor – September 30, 2020

I found getting the correct saddle angle crucial for settling into the comfort sweet spot. On my first few rides with the saddle orientated in a level position, I tended to shift backwards too much onto the broad, flat rear which interfered with pedalling. Set it nose down though and you’re naturally tipped into the flexible hammock of the cut-out section, with the very firm front dropped out of harm’s way. The big central cut out had several fans among our test team and it’s certainly a well-vented saddle that can really soften road/off-road shock through the springy shell.

Pros and Cons

Prologo Kappa Space

Kappa Space
Kappa Space

Coming in both white and black with red elements thrown in the Prologo Kappa Space is the most in your face options of all the saddles listed here. So if you’re in for that type of design this one will float your boat.

Besides the design aspects the Kappa Space has a more classic looking arrow design at 270×147 mm, sitting on cro-mo 7 mm standard rails.

The center cut out and dipped area is more narrow than several of its competitors, which is also in line with more classic designs.

A great fit on a bike saddle will always be something intimately personal. But if you feel more familiar with classically shaped arrowhead saddles, and you like its design, this great piece from Prologo is the best choice.

Pros and Cons

Selle San Marco Aspide Short Open-Fit Sport (Narrow)

Aspide Short Open-Fit Sport (Narrow)
Aspide Short Open-Fit Sport (Narrow)

The Selle San Marco Aspide Short Open-Fit Sport is both a short and narrow saddle for aggressive road racing on a budget, at least where your saddle is concerned.

It has a carbon steel 7 mm standard rail underneath a glass fiber shell, weighing in at 265 and a foam upper. It has a very wide cut out, and in combination with the reduced length, this ensures your sitting bones do the heavy lifting and increases comfort.

This is a solid option for aggressive riders who don’t mind a race-oriented firm ride. For more leisure touring look elsewhere.

Expert Experience

Matt Page | Contributor – February 28, 2021

On longer rides of three hours or more, the comfort did diminish; the edges of the cutout channel are quite abrupt and seem to create a pressure point of their own. So early on, being seated was fine, with no power loss, but on longer rides I could feel that section. I think it’s because of how far back the channel extends – further than other similar saddles I’ve used.

Another factor could be the amount of flex in the saddle and where. The central area of the saddle moves easily – when pushing down you can almost get the shell to touch the rails – but at the rear there is almost no movement, the saddle feels extremely firm.

Pros and Cons

Selle San Marco GND Dynamic Narrow

GND Dynamic Narrow
GND Dynamic Narrow

The Selle San Marco GND Dynamic Narrow is a firm and wide road racing saddle and is one of the lightest on this list at 217 grams.

At a width of 135 millimeters it can definitely be considered narrow with a medium length of 265 millimeters. Rather than having a full cut out the center dips almost in the entire length of the saddle.

There’s a considerable amount of padding which wraps all around the saddle, which means you’ll never feel any sharp edges.

The saddle has a big sweep upwards in the rear, making it more suitable for hilly rides when you need the support in the rear of your saddle while going up. It’s also the reason this saddle has crossover appeal in the gravel and MTB discipline, which usually necessitate more dynamic styles of riding.

So if you like to climb and even think you might take this saddle onto roads less traveled, the comfort and climbing appeal of this saddle will stand out.

Expert Experience

Alex Evans | Senior technical editor – October 12, 2019

Climbing is exceptionally comfortable thanks to a large rear section that has a minor concave shape. This helps to concentrate your seated weight onto your sit bones and gives you the option to sit further forwards than you would on a narrower saddle.

Being able to shift your weight forwards while remaining in comfort on the saddle should help you to control the bike better on climbs and ride for longer.

The back of the saddle has a lipped rear edge that helps you to maintain position on much steeper climbs without feeling like you’re going to slip rewards. This is a great feature for steeper climbs and conserves energy that would normally be spent preserving body position on the seat.

Pros and Cons

Selle San Marco GND Dynamic Wide (Open)

GND Dynamic Wide (Open)
GND Dynamic Wide (Open)

The Selle San Marco GND Dynamic Wide with the cut out version is slightly lighter at 210 grams, which is incredibly light all things considered.

It has the same overall features as the one without the cut out, and uses the same type of materials. That means you get a glass fiber reinforced shell on top of manganese steel rails, with plush padding in a semi-short length.

The version of 145 millimeters is more neutral than the narrow 135 millimeters, which allows for a bigger platform to support the rider. You might argue that that actually improves because the rider has to spend less energy staying into position.

The microfeel cover onto the star shaped design looks great and the finish is superb, which makes this saddle the perfect choice for adventurous riders on a budget.

Expert Experience

Paul Burwell | Contributor – February 12, 2023

The Ground Dymanic is a little wider and longer than the X-Bow Superflow, but it’s still a stubby saddle with a less than pleasing aesthetic. It feels supportive but it doesn’t have that armchair ride of the Specialized Bridge. Build quality is very good and it’s lightweight but I’d only rate the comfort as average.

Pros and Cons

Specifications road bike saddles on a budget

Name
Rail
Price
Dimensions
Weight
Shell
Padding
Cover
Selle Italia Model X Comfort+
FeC Alloy Ø7 mm
65 euros
145 x 245 mm
415 g
Fabric Line-S Race Flat
titanium
100 USD
240 x 142 mm
230 g
nylon
microfiber
Fabric Scoop Elite Flat
cro-mo Ø7 mm
80 USD
282 x 142 mm
244 g
flexible nylon
microfiber
Fizik Vento Argo R5
S-Alloy Ø7 mm
109.99 USD
S 265 x 140 mm – L 265 x 150 mm
S 225 g – L 232 g
carbon-reinforced nylon
type 1 foam
Prologo Kappa Space
cro-mo Ø7 mm
78 euros
270 x 147 mm
249 g
nylon
Light foam
Selle San Marco Aspide Short Open-Fit Sport (Narrow)
carbon steel
59 euros
250 x 139 mm
265 g
glass fiber reiinforced
Pullfoam
Silkfeel
Selle San Marco GND Dynamic Narrow
manganese
79 euros
262 x 135 mm
217 g
glass fiber reiinforced
Biofoam
Microfeel
Selle San Marco GND Dynamic Wide (Open)
manganese
79 euros
262 x 145 mm
210 g
glass fiber reiinforced
Biofoam
Microfeel

Sources

Lara Dunn, Selle Italia Model X saddle, Road.cc, September 08, 2022
Warren Rossiter, Fabric Line-S Elite Flat saddle review, Bikeradar, June 15, 2020
Jim Clarkson, Fabric Scoop Elite Shallow saddle, Off.road.cc, August 19, 2020
Guy Kesteven, Fizik Vento Argo R5 saddle review, Cycling News, September 30, 2020
Matt Page, Selle San Marco Aspide Short Open-Fit Racing Saddle, Road.cc, February 28, 2021
Alex Evans, Selle San Marco GND Gel Racing saddle review, Bikeradar, October 12, 2019
Paul Burwell, Selle San Marco Ground Dynamic saddle review, MBR, February 12, 2023
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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