Saddle - when to replace it?

Hi everyone,

I’m wondering how long you keep a saddle you like before replacing it? How long before they wear out? The reason I’m asking is that 4 years ago I had a bike fit and everything was going great until the last year and now I’m getting chaffing and saddle sores. I thought maybe the chamois pad in my shorts were wearing out but even with new ones it’s still happening. Could the saddle just be done? Oh I have a selle smp lite 209 if that makes any difference.


I think it all depends on a variety of factors. My road bike saddle lasted for 2 years and 15,000 miles. It was great one day and the next day started hurting. My LBS folks said, yup, that’s generally how it works, it’s great, it’s great, it’s great and then it’s bad. So if your saddle has been great and now it’s not, I’d say time for a new one :slight_smile:

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That you have changed all the other variables, I would purchase a new saddle. They do wear out over time. It is such a high touch item for a bike, that I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase another.

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Stefanie and Linda nailed it. It’s not so much about time; it’s more about use… and if all the other variables are checked, it’s probably the saddle. I would caution though that a bike fit 4 years ago is a long time, and you may have switched the positions you ride in since then. Another thing to consider is that the saddle can get lower from use/trepidation-- so checking fit periodically is important.


Thanks @Coach_Theia @Petals @Stefanie. I really like my saddle after trying out a few, but didn’t realize it’d wear out so soon. The cool thing is that I have the same one on my gravel bike that has way less hours of riding. I might try switching them to see if that’s what’s going on and if it’s not then I’ll look into another bike fit. Everything else feels fine though so I’m leaning towards it just being the padding wearing out.

Thanks so much for the advice! :smile:


Hi Lindsy!
Just thought I’d let you know that I’ve just bought a new saddle and love it! It’s a Cobb Fifty Five and is so comfortable. I haven’t had a bike fit for some time and the saddle came with the Cobb method for saddle position which I tried and I am soooo comfortable in that position! I’ll share the link!


Their interesting scientific saddle suitability concept:

My saddle:

Cobb saddle fitting instructions:

Thought I’d share as I’m so impressed!


Hi Jackie,

I’m glad you found the right saddle for yourself. It really is about trial and error. Your saddle looks a lot like the Adamo saddle that I think coach Theia said she uses. I tried the Adamo out, but it was too wide. Apparently my sit bones are quite narrow for a woman. I had tried 4 saddles out before the bike fitter suggested my saddle and it was perfect right away. I just think it’s worn out now. I’m definitely going to pull the one off my gravel bike and put it on my road bike and see if it helps.


Yes I replaced my Adamo with it :+1:t2: The Adamo was too wide so this is similar but fits better for me :slight_smile:
Good luck, hope the swap is successful!


I just got back from the bike store. I have been having troubles with my saddle, specially the one on the trainer, so I talked to the “bike fit expert” there. She told me that most saddles last…

ONE SEASON! No wonder why my 2 year saddle is hurting me!!!

I guess I really should replace mine. It’s 4.5 years old! :grimacing:

Oh, I disagree with that. The bike fit “expert” is trying to upsell you the “invisible, undetectable clear coat” or the $2000 hammer. That is total bullshit. Sorry for the language. I have saddles that have lasted for many years. Koobi, a saddle manufacturer claims that their saddles last 400-600 hours, or roughly 10K miles. I personally have had a Sella San Marco that lasted for six years, and my Adamo saddles are on years four and five, respectively. As long as your saddle cover is still intact and there is no significant sag, you are good. Now, if there is damage to the rails or the plastic mold structure of the saddle, it doesn’t matter whether it has 5 or 50K miles on it, you’ll need to replace it.

Don’t get suckered into buying a new saddle if your saddle is not causing any problems. That being said, if you are having saddle-related problems, get a new saddle. I was having an issue caused by my saddle, which is why I switched to the Adamo.

Also, a tip with the Adamo is that you have to sit very far forward on it. I’m not sure why most of the saddle is actually there, as it encourages you to sit incorrectly on the saddle. I used to think that mine was too wide until I made an adjustment, sliding it backwards. Now, it’s perfect.

Well that particular bike shop does not sell saddles, and the people working there are Cats 1-3 racers, so at last I know they have some experience. I have the same saddle on all of my 3 bikes, and only the one on the trainer (which is also the most used one) is giving me issues. I will replace it with the one from my CX bike which is practically new and see if the issue goes away. I had initially asked the store for a bike fit (which is a service they do provide), but the lady suggested that I do the above first. She also mentioned other things to look for- for example, on bikes that have a round post, the saddle can sometimes be misaligned, etc.

Maybe we should look at saddles in terms of miles? The one on my trainer has over 15,000…

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Ok, I stand corrected on the shop’s intentions. Your trainer bike probably needs a new saddle with 15K on it. I have seen other shops play that game, though, and it drives me up the wall. Kind of like when I hear a shoe salesman say “X brand is the best shoe because it has air/gel/springs (insert the ad).”

I’ve got over 25,000 km on my saddle and I have a barely used one on my CX bike that is the same, so I really should swap them and see if it makes a difference.

Ok, here goes … this might be me talking complete haggis …
Another factor (I think) is that when you get fitter/leaner/whatever you want to call it, there can also be a change. Even though sit bones don’t change (I’m going for that as an assumption), I think I’ve found that the muscles/padding etc does, and over time that can warrant a different saddle shape. Currently trying to work that one out myself

Great point, Martin! @dfriestedt always says that he has “lost his butt completely” since he started cycling…


At the end of the day, you can always go without a saddle. It’s a lot less comfortable at first, but…well, it doesn’t ever feel better.


I think you got your money’s worth with 15,000 miles on it. I also think the trainer saddles take a beating.

I had the same saddle on my bikes up until a couple months ago. Now, I have different saddles on each of my (4) bikes. I’m trying to see which one I like best.

My cross/gravel bike and mountain bike ride see mostly off road miles and are set up differently than my road bike and trainer.

Which saddles do you have?