Up until the early 1970s, 99% of the world's bicycles came with saddles that featured springs. When the great Bike Boom hit, and racing-style 10 speeds became the hot bicycle style, un-sprung racing style saddles became the fashion of the day.
Unsprung saddles still make sense for weight-conscious, speed-oriented cyclists, but for general cycling, especially on bikes that don't have drop handlebars, some sort of suspension is quite worthwhile.
Elaborate and complicated suspension systems are becoming increasingly common, as riders complain of the discomfort of riding an un-sprung saddle on a rigid frame bike. Some bikes build the suspension into the frame, at great expense. Other bikes come with suspension seatposts, which have sliding parts subject to wear and slop.
For many cyclists, who just need a little bit of suspension travel to take the sharp edge of of the bumps, a sprung saddle usually makes more sense. A sprung saddle has no moving, sliding parts to wear out or develop "sticktion", it is lighter than most other suspension systems, and requires no special maintenance.
Generally, any cyclist who rides with the handlebar grips higher than the saddle would be better off with a saddle with springs.
Sprung saddles are also particularly desirable for tandem stokers, who can't see the bumps coming.
Conquest -- Flyer
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