I really don't have too much problems with saddles, I normally use OE the the bike purchases. But I have 8 bikes that I built and I normally grab a nice or light saddle. I have a few bikes with Selle Concor saddles and these have been very comfortable, I rode on one of these so much that I wore through the leather on the saddle. I also just try different saddles on each new build, last year I got a Brooks Team Pro used it on the trainer bike over the winter and put about 1000 miles on it, so it should be broken in. Never had any pain on it.
Once a BFer noted on one of my photos that my saddle was tilted too far nose down and I tilted the saddle a bit upward, my next ride I had a terrible PIA (I won't go into graphic details) but it I didn't get 6 miles and I can normally ride 50 or 60 miles without any pain. So a small tilt in the saddle can do wonders or terrors. So I trust by butt on the position of the saddle.
Now I think that my OE saddle on my touring bike doesn't work well since I start to get some pain 50 or 60 miles into a ride but some of my other bikes I seem to be able to go farther with the pain. So it may be time to try a Brooks B-17 but I don't have a problem with a Brooks Team Pro so maybe I should just try that again.
So to answer the question on how I choose a saddle is trial and error and past experience. I have been riding bikes for 35 years so I have bit of experience.
Last edited by cyclist2000; 09-03-11 at 08:02 AM.
I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
I have very wide seat bones, so I expect to replace the saddle as a matter of course. The general rule of thumb I've found is one size up on what "should" be on there, i.e. sport saddle = touring saddle. Keep in mind that as you sit up, your hips shift, requiring a wider saddle: This is why you see massive saddles on cruisers and tiny ones on race bikes.
My favorite is a Cloud 9 suspension saddle, like this:
At the time, I had a large Amazon gift certificate I needed to spend and figured I'd give this a whirl based on the reviews and it's larger-than-average width. The gel is a LOT stiffer than most saddles of its type, the springs are of adequate strength for my clyde weight, and the shaped top supports my butt bones perfectly. I originally bought it for an old 3-speed, but it's currently on my hybrid, which is my long distance bike. Even if I spend time riding dirt roads, my butt still feels fresh long after I've worn out my hands and wrists.