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I have a selle royale laser saddle. Its pretty uncomfortable but not bad for pedalling. I would like to change my city road bike saddle. Does anyone have recommendations, and rules of thumb for choosing saddles?

My specific use case is for short and medium trips in the city. For long trips I have a Brooks Champion Flyer. I was using an mtb saddle. A specialized body geometry saddle on my road bike, but I found that its too wide & need a saddle designed for the road bike. Its a vintage road bike so the saddle position and pedalling style compared to newer road bikes might be different (its a 1950s H.R. Bates).

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This is a really difficult question, not least since its largely down to taste, also you pretty much need to buy the saddle before you can give it a decent test. I can tell you that I like Charge saddles - I have two on bikes of my own and bought one for my daughter which went down well - I found this make by accident when I bought a Charge bike and got on well with the saddle. But its all subjective and I know of no metrics to make things objective. –  PeteH Mar 12 '13 at 17:04
    
Thanks for that useful info. M –  Andrew Welch Mar 12 '13 at 17:15
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Ahhh... the art and science of choosing a saddle. There are a couple of rules of thumb to start out with. Narrower saddles generally lend themselves to more forward-leaning agressive riding styles, while wider cushier "tractor seats" are better for upright riding (e.g. Electra Townies). Harder saddles are okay if you'll be wearing cycling shorts or bibs which provide their own padding, but you'll want a little cushion if you're riding in jeans.

Best advice I have is to try a bunch. Because saddles are such a personal preference item, there are a lot of them on craigslist and ebay for fairly reasonable prices. Buy and try, and if it doesn't work out, sell it and buy another. After all, a slightly used saddle from craigslist isn't going to lose a whole lot more value during the 20-40 miles it will take to decide if you love it or hate it. You'll probably be able to sell it for what you paid (you might even come out ahead if you get lucky on ebay).

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The general rules of thumb seem to be:

  • Softer saddles for shorter rides, harder ones for longer rides
  • Width to match your sit bones plus about 2cm.
  • A large portion of personal preference

Source: Sheldon Brown.

There's some more detailed analysis here.

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