Newbie figuring out saddles?

I’ve been lucky enough to be gifted a bike a few months ago - first one I’ve had in about 20 years! It’s an old steel frame and fixed with a front brake and I’ve been using it as my commuter in Melbourne which is about 15-16kms. Only thing I’ve done so far is replace the chain ring as it wasn’t in good shape.

Really enjoying it so far, but wondering how you guys start trying to figure out saddles? The current saddle has been very well loved, but to the point where it soaks in water if it rains and has a few tips and tears!

Do you just go and buy a random assortment of secondhand saddles and cross your fingers?

I usually would recommend thinking about what you don’t like about the current saddle? To wide and soft? To narrow and hard?

Also look at the angle of the saddle, nose up or nose down?

But typically firmer and narrow for bikes for lots of saddle to bar drop, and wider for more upright.

But also consider your hips, narrow buy a narrow saddle and vice versa.

Basically educated guesses to start

welcome alan!!!

when i went through the test saddle phase, i did the sitbone machine at a bike shop and tried a few different widths, i now know my taint likes narrow (<140mm) widths

what mike said.

i sat on one of those little specialized bench seats they have in bike shops with the gel section that has a measurement guide on it to measure sit bones. told me my sit bones were ~143mm wide, which conveniently aligned with the sizing they use for their saddles. found it to be comfy, and now all my bikes have had 143mm saddles ever since.


edit - same as zach re: measuring sit bones

Perfect. Ok looks like I’m going to take note of what I like and don’t like, measure sit bones and go from there. I figure at least if it’s not falling apart it’s going to be an upgrade from here.

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And I should also say, thanks for the advice!!