Local bike shop offers library card for saddles

Gladys Bikes bike shop-10
Saddle selection at Gladys Bikes.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Remember Gladys Bikes? The small shop on N Williams Ave opened back in October with an aim to cater specifically to women. When we visited the shop one of the things that stuck out was that owner Leah Benson stocked a relatively huge selection of saddles. Now it turns out she’s even more serious about getting people the right-fitting saddle than we imagined.

Benson has unveiled a nifty program called the “Saddle Library” Here’s how it works (via the Gladys Bikes website):

  • Step 1: Come into the shop and talk with our knowledgeable staff about your saddle needs and concerns. We’ll make recommendations about which saddle(s) might be a good match for you.
  • Step 2: For $25 you get a Library Card, which gives you access to check out any of the saddles in our loaning library. For each saddle you check out you get one week try it out on your bike.
  • Step 3: Take the saddle home with you. Go on a typical ride. Then go on another one. Maybe one more for good measure. How does it feel? Decide if it’s the saddle of your dreams.
  • Step 4: Dream saddle? Bring the test saddle back in and we’ll trade it out for a brand new one. Not a love match? We’ll get you set up on a different saddle for you to take home and try out.

Seems like a great way to make sure folks get the saddle that’s just right for them. And for good measure, if you do decide to buy one, Gladys Bikes will put your $25 library card towards the purchase.

The current selection includes 21 different models from brands like Planet Bike, Brooks, Fizik, Selle Italia, and Terry.

Learn more at

UPDATE: As someone pointed out below, Western Bike Works (NW 17th and Lovejoy) has a similar saddle demo program. $10 to try any saddle for a week, then have that amount applied to purchase. Full details here.

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