Saddle Shape - Flat vs. Curved

I understand saddle selection is a subjective topic, but I am curious if there are any typical anatomical conditions or riding styles that would help someone focus on a particular saddle profile/shape (flat vs. curved)?

For example, the Specialized Phenom has a very flat profile vs. the Oura which has a very curved profile.
Does flexibility or the requirement for pelvis/back support lend itself to one over the other?
What about riding styles?


Generally speaking:

  • FLAT saddles are associated with LESS anterior pelvis TILT, more upright position.
  • CURVED saddles are associated with MORE anterior pelvis TILT, more leaned-forward position.

That said, those are far from concrete and are even completely wrong for some riders.


To Chad’s point, my road bike runs a curved saddle and MTB has a flat saddle. I had the MTB saddle on the road bike before and found it intolerable, while on the MTB I can ride it for hours without issue. My position on the road is much longer and lower compared to the MTB where I’m still not upright but certainly not as low

Anyone remember this nonsense… ? Looks like Fizik dropped that marketing science somewhere along the way.

I’d try and put your butt on both shapes and see how it feels. I’ve almost never liked a flat saddle.

That said, I’m using a flat SQ Labs saddle now but with the most cushy elastomer so it’s a unique saddle.

Even within the curved/flat there is millions of minute changes that make huge difference.

I bought 3 saddles recently:

flat/shortnosed (Pro stealth)
Curved/long (Fizik Aliante R3)
Curved/shortnosed (Supacaz Ignite)

All of those worked for me in up to 2h rides every other day, however only one did not give me saddle sores after more than that.

I’m a tall rider with a negative ape index, longer than average inseam and have a flexible hip but tight hamstrings.

The sad part is that this will not help you, because even if your butt was identical to mine, something else would have screwed it up.

The supacaz did it for me, and it is oil slick so shiny as well! Now finally after years and thousand of $ on bike-benches I’m saved. I hope you find yours too.

Also, the geometry of your bike might make the same saddle fit differently. I’ve got flat on my race bike and curved on my commuter; both feel different when swapped.