Can a women’s saddle without the classic pressure-reliving cut out still be comfortable? Juliet Elliot finds that it can.
I am lucky in that I don’t find all men’s bike saddles a pain in the backside. As I’m fairly slight with narrow hips I can find slim saddles rather comfortable. In fact, some of the wider, mattress-like women’s saddles can be anything but pleasant for me to use. But on the whole, the ladies’ saddles I like have a cut out area in the centre, so how was I going to get on without one? The Ritchey Ladies Comp Racing Saddle beckoned and I clambered aboard to find out.
First impressions were good. The simple, clean lines of the saddle were pleasing but not flashy. This was a saddle which would complement rather than dominate my bike. I really liked the fact that with its slim profile and142mm rear end, this perch didn’t look like a lady’s saddle.
Though I can see the benefits of using synthetic leather in some saddles, I wasn’t crazy about the Lady Comp’s covering which looked like hard, matt plastic with a grain. Perhaps the grain was there to add grip to the saddle, but I wasn’t keen on this method of preventing slippage.
Although the saddle looked like it was hewn from a solid block of plastic, it was very pleasant to use. Just enough foam padding on the top provided cushioning without hindering transference of power too much; the saddle doesn’t feel squidgy but still felt great to sit on. The stiff, 35% carbon injected shell had just a slight flex to dampen vibrations.
Super long rails allow for maximum adjustment and the nose is long enough for you to shift riding positions on the bike. The saddle is reasonably narrow around the sides meaning it didn’t chafe the inside of my thighs.
When it comes to weight, well it depends on which competitors you’re comparing it to and what you want from your seat. As this saddle can bridge road cycling and commuting, at 260g it’s not bad compared to a lot of others at the same price point. However, it you’re looking at other race saddles it could do with shaving off a few grams. Those steel rails don’t come in light, but you won’t find titanium or carbon at this price. The WCS version has titanium rails and a microfiber cover, costs £85 and is claimed to be 40g lighter.
So how did I do without a ‘cut out?’ Well honestly, I forgot all about the saddle on my first long ride, so it obviously didn’t bother me too much. I often wiggle around trying to get comfortable over longer distances, so forgetting I was even reviewing it was a good sign.
With a pair of jeans rather than my cycling gear, it was a touch less comfortable; cut outs are great when you’re in denim as they prevent that tough seam from digging in.
Available in white or black, the Ritchey Comp Lady is priced at £36 (though we’ve seen it for £27), and for something that feels so comfortable, that’s very reasonable. If you’re looking for a good value, race inspired saddle and aren’t too bothered about weight, this may be the perch for you.
Comfortable and good value race-orientated seat
No cutout may not suit everyone
Weight: 260g (claimed)
What Ritchey says about the Lady Comp Saddle
New race-oriented womens specific saddle design
Lightweight and durable micro fiber cover (WCS Only)
35% carbon injected shell for stiffness and light weight
High-density superlight foam