How to Buy Carbon versus Leather Bicycle Saddle

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How to Buy Carbon versus Leather Bicycle Saddle


eBay is a great place to buy a bicycle saddle . Whether the buyer is looking for a top of the range carbon fibre saddle or a luxury leather saddle, eBay stocks an extensive range to suit everyone and every bicycle.

The saddle is one of the most important components on any bicycle mainly because it is one of three contact points a cyclist's weight rests on. Using an incorrect saddle is not only uncomfortable whilst cycling; it can lead to a wide range of problems from numbness and chafing to bruising and reduced blood flow. Due to these health concerns, there is now a wide range of saddles to choose from in different shapes, sizes and styles to suit everyone.

The purpose of this guide is to inform the reader all about carbon and leather bicycle saddles and explain how to purchase them from the auction website eBay.

Bicycle Saddles

Many people assume that a saddle is a seat, which is not completely true. A seat is designed to hold the entire weight of a person whilst a saddle is merely a perch, which carries some, but not all of a person's weight.

A saddle is attached to the bicycles seat post , which can be adjusted by telescoping it in and out of the seat tube to find the correct height and position of the saddle. As the saddle is one of only three contact points between a cyclist and his or her cycle, it is the centre point which positions them properly over the pedals and helps them control the bike.

The Components of a Saddle

A bicycle saddle is typically made of three components: the shell, its cover and the rails. (Some saddles may also feature a fourth component: an element of suspension which provides the rider with greater comfort by absorbing shocks and vibrations transmitted by the bicycle's frame and seat post).


The shape of the saddle is governed by its shell. The shell can be made from several materials however most modern saddles have a hard shell which is made from a moulded piece of plastic such as nylon or carbon fibre (often used in the top of the range saddles).


On top of the saddle's shell is its cover. Some form of padding is usually placed on top of the hard shell, which is then followed by an outer cover made of leather, spandex or vinyl.


The saddle's rails are the most important component on any saddle as they are the only point of connection to the rest of the bicycle. Saddles have two metal rails that run parallel to each other along the underside of the saddle and are clamped to the seat post below.

Rails can be solid or hollow and made from a range of materials including: aluminium, steel, carbon fibre, magnesium and titanium.

The Importance of Choosing the Correct Saddle

Owning the wrong saddle can have a considerable effect on the cyclist as, after all, it is responsible for hosting a rather intimate part of the body, which can be sensitive and easily irritated. Cyclists' complaints about their saddles can often be narrowed down to four main contributing factors:

· The wrong saddle has been selected to suit the cyclist's anatomy

· The saddle isn't properly adjusted for the cyclist and is causing discomfort

· The cyclist has undertaken a longer ride than his or her posterior can handle

· The saddle does not suit the cyclist's style of riding

Carbon versus Leather Bicycle Saddles

Choosing a saddle is a very personal thing. The shape and size of our pelvis, the amount of muscle tissue, the amount of fatty tissue, the width and shape of our hips, are different for all of us so a saddle that feels comfortable to one person may feel completely unbearable to another.

Every saddle has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, a leather saddle is hardwearing so will last a long time but can require more maintenance than any other type of saddle.

Leather Saddles

Leather saddles were the very first type to be made for the first bicycles. They stretch and flex to provide ‘give' without hosting foam padding. Leather is a porous material so heat and perspiration can pass through it. This increases the cyclist's comfort during warmer periods.

Leather saddles ‘break in' to fit the particular anatomy of the owner, in a similar way to a baseball glove. This wearing-in period can take some time (a good few long rides), as the leather can initially be very hard.

Leather saddles do require a good deal of maintenance and care to last as long as they should. This means regular cleaning, carrying a rain cover for the saddle and coating the underside in dubbing.

These saddles are ideal for dedicated cyclists who ride a lot of miles and wish to be comfortable whilst doing so. Leather saddle owners should be those who, on a regular basis, are used to performing light maintenance on their bike.

Carbon Saddles

Carbon saddles are made of carbon fibre, one of the lightest but strongest materials used in production today. Carbon fibre saddles are often at least half the weight of most other saddle types and typically weigh between 80-200g. Most carbon saddles will host carbon rails underneath to reduce the weight of the saddle even further. Carbon saddles can also then be fitted to carbon seat posts to shed even more weight for those weight-conscious cyclists.

Most carbon saddles do not possess any padding or cushioning whatsoever so may be uncomfortable for those with larger posteriors. Due to the lack of padding present in carbon saddles they are intended more for road cycling and less for comfort or mountain biking.

Some top of the range carbon saddles are flexible, in that instead of being a hard platform which is covered in padding, the saddle is thin and flexible and moves with cyclists' legs and buttocks as they cycle, providing a great deal of comfort.

Carbon saddles are the Ferraris of the saddle world and as such are perfect for serious road cyclists who cycle far and fast, often in a competitive manner.

How to Buy Carbon & Leather Bicycle Saddles on eBay

eBay is a great place to buy bicycle saddles. Whether the buyer is looking for a top of the range carbon fibre saddle or a luxury leather saddle, eBay stocks an extensive range of bicycle saddles to suit everyone.

Finding the desired saddle has never been easier thanks to eBay's search functions. To find the saddle using the search toolbar, merely enter the brand name, style or shape of the saddle and press enter. From here the buyer is met with pages of search results to sift through before selecting the most suitable result.

Once they have done this, they can click onto it to be taken to that product's individual listings page. Every product for sale on eBay has its own product listings page full of information about the item in question including: a detailed specification, a product analysis, comments about the products condition and photographs of the item.

As an authoritative member of the world of Internet shopping, eBay also provides all of its buyers with information about each product's seller. This often includes sellers' eBay rating and selling history as well as their location.

As the product seller's location is divulged, shoppers can decide whether it is best to visit the seller and pick up the item or to have it delivered to their door (and pay the postage charge).

Even though each product is given a comprehensive overview on its product listings page, some customers may still feel that they require more information about the product or would like to ask the seller a question about it. This can all be done via eBay's contact the seller function.

Once shoppers have found their sought-after saddle, they can begin purchasing. On eBay, this can be done by two different methods: shoppers can purchase their item immediately (‘Buy It Now') or they can bid for the item in an auction-like format (‘Bid Now') attempting to seek out the best price for that item.

All transactions made on eBay are safe and secure thanks to third party payment authority PayPal. This is due to the fact that buying an item through this service means that the shopper will be covered by the website's buyer protection programme.


There are many issues to consider and factors to take into account when purchasing a new bicycle saddle. However with the important information and crucial considerations regarding this product outlined and explained in this guide, coupled with eBay's highly detailed and easy to use website, buying a carbon or leather bicycle saddle is easy.

This guide has provided many useful tips, hints, pieces of information and advice about purchasing carbon and leather bicycle saddles, and what to look out for when buying these cycling products. A good saddle matched to the owner's bike, style of riding and anatomy will provide a comfortable perch to ride on for many years to come.

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