As anyone who rides a bike knows, sitting in the saddle for long periods makes your butt hurt. There's no getting around the fact. You can, however minimize your discomfort by adjusting the placement of your saddle, as well as making sure your saddle "fits" your personal body type.
I am currently in the process of trying to find a new saddle that I like for the longer rides I sometimes do.
I am working with Contender Bicycles
to find that elusive "perfect fit". Contender has a wonderful program (as I'm sure other bike shops do) where you can "try before you buy" many of the most popular saddles. I have been trying some out, and I think I have it narrowed down between the Selle SMP and the Selle Max (both are made by Selle Italia).
The Selle Max is a comfortable saddle with a wide platform (good for people with wide hip bones, such as myself) and a nice cutout to help relieve perineal numbness that happens all too often.
Next up is the Selle SMP. This saddle is very eye-catching with it's unique contours and turned-down nose. The anatomical shaping of the main body of this saddle is fantastic. I have had no perineal numbness after a couple hundred miles on the saddle. The only problem I have is the platform is a bit narrow for my wide hip bones, and I am not able to sit comfortably. For this reason alone, I am thinking I will end up with the MAX rather than the SMP. I am going to take the MAX for another good long ride before I make my final decision, but I'm pretty sure it will be the winner for me.
Here is the SMP with it's unique looks...
On top of saddle shape and padding, there is a lot of "tweaking" needed to truly dial-in on comfort. Don't get discouraged when trying to find the most comfortable saddle for you. Be sure to talk to your local bike shop, and see if they have saddles you can try out before you buy.
Also, perfectly level and perfectly in line with the top tube are not always right. Play with the adjustments until you find that sweet spot for yourself. Don't be afraid of making your bike fit you!