Specialized's Body Geometry Ruby Expert saddle is one of those rare beasts a lightweight women's specific performance saddle that's available in a choice of widths including a properly narrow 130mm to suit your style of riding and just as importantly your sit bones too.
There's not much more personal than saddle preference. One man (or in this case woman's) sumptuous throne is another's misery inducing razor blade. As a company, Specialized do take some of the risk out of the saddle-buying process, if you avail yourself of a little sit on one of their 'arse-o-meters' which under the eye of a well-trained shop assistant gives a fairly accurate measurement of the width of your sit bones, which, contrary to popular belief, do not bear a great deal of resemblance to the more obvious width of your tail end.
Arte Selle's Dakar Double saddle is a high quality bit of kit that I found really comfortable. It packs a couple of surprises too, the first of which is the price: it costs just £30.
The Velo Senso Miles saddle is part of Velo's competition range, and at 260g it's just about light enough to be considered for a race bike, although you can go a lot lower than that. It's pretty comfy too, the flexible carcass and honeycomb gel padding doing a very decent job of filtering out the road.
Slightly larger and more deeply padded than the most minimalist of race designs, the Selle Italia Turbomatic has been a hugely popular saddle for years, this version coming with well-proven shock absorbing technology and a neat look.
I swapped the Turbomatic on to my usual training bike in place of a Selle Italia SLR - my most favouritist saddle in the whole wide world ever. Despite being stablemates, there's a lot of difference between them.
If you need proof that retro is the new futurism then look no further than this Brooks Colt. It's a retro throwback from 1979 but it's a more modern design than pretty much anything else Brooks sell. The shape is redolent of the period, all solid sides and snub nose and if you've got an early 80's steel framed project on the boil, this is the saddle to stick on top.
With a name like this, the BBB Razer competition saddle hardly sounds the most comfortable of road bike perches. And so it proved with the 130mm-width one that I tried first. Fortunately BBB also offer a 140mm version, which fitted my sit bones better. Like its slender sibling this would suit cyclists seeking a lightweight, durable and competitively priced saddle for the winter trainer or cyclo-cross bike.
It's got a great big hole in it. There, that's got that out of the way. The Selle San Marco Mantra certainly has an individual look, and I found it a well made and comfortable perch that's better for long rides than short ones.
Selle Italia’s Turbomatic Gel Flow Team Edition maintains the basic original shape of the original Turbo but incorporates pretty much every conceivable technological refinement to satisfy the most discerning and demanding of pro, elite and amateur cycling bottoms.
Selle Italia’s Shiver sounds fairly bland on paper with its manganese rails, faux leather cover hovering around 250g on the scales but variable padding, elastomer damping coupled with excellent detailing mean it’s a real contender and not just for the mountain bike and cyclo cross fraternities.