Top 5 Best Mountain Bike Saddles

What is the best mountain bike saddles? This article will give you valuable tips for choosing the right mountain bike saddle, but you can also rely on our ranking of the five best saddle models.

You left in a good mood for an outing with your mountain bike. But the more the minutes pass, the more your buttocks hurt. You try to put yourself in a dancer’s position to limit the damage, but as soon as you sit down, the discomfort is again present.

It is an observation that many people who practice mountain biking have made. With this misadventure, you started looking for a new saddle for your bike, but you are lost in front of the many existing models. Here are the top 5 best Mountain Bike Saddle models.

Top 5 Best Mountain Bike Saddles – Comparision, Guide and Review

SMP Trk Medium

The SMP Trk Medium saddle is a model designed entirely by hand from Italy. If you are looking for quality, it will be there because the saddle results from 15 years of advanced studies in posture and aerodynamics.

SMP Trk Medium Feature Summary

• Dual density, contoured and cut-away saddle for maximum comfort
• Square cut-out in the center for blood flow
• Made from tough gel covered with a plush microfiber fabric

What We Think Of SMP Trk Medium

Therefore, it is a top-of-the-range saddle for intensive use that perfectly suits any morphology. Its beak shape is particularly characteristic and designed by sharp designers to obtain a flat base.

When you have to face steep descents or, on the contrary, long climbs, you have absolute control of your mountain bike and a feeling of comfort at all times.

In addition, the length of frames and the bars allow for perfect adjustment based on each person’s position. In addition, installation is particularly simple with any upright frame.

Regarding the padding, it includes soft polyurethane and a specific gel. The covering is in SMP Vacum Tech, and the frame is in AISI 304 stainless steel.

If your last mountain bike ride ended in pain in your posterior, this would not be the case with the SMP Trk Medium saddle.

Video and Photos Demonstration of The SMP Trk Medium

Pros and Cons Of SMP Trk Medium

Pros

  • High Quality
  •  Attractive
  •  Lightweight,
  •  Good fit
  •  Comfortable

Cons

  • Limited Color Choices

SDG Bel-Air RL

Here is another quality saddle that we have included in our ranking. And for a good reason, the SDG Bel-Air RL model is remarkably efficient when you want to practice mountain biking on the road, in XC, Downhill, or All Mountain.

SDG Bel-Air RL Feature Summary

• The Bel-Air is a classic styled, high-quality steel saddle with a durable synthetic covering.
• This 140mm wide saddle has a slightly sloping channel that runs along the length of the perineal.
• The Bel-Air comes with SDG’s comfort nose and padded rear for enhanced comfort for the rider.

What We Think Of SDG Bel-Air RL

It is a particularly functional saddle that will guarantee comfort in any circumstance, especially when the road starts to get steep. Everything has been thought out thanks to the front and rear inserts, so longevity is guaranteed.

Particularly pleasant are the CroMo rails and the microfiber cover with Kevlar reinforcement. In addition, the SDG Bel-Air RL saddle has excellent value for money, so it is a choice to consider from the start seriously.

In addition, the model weighs only 324 g, which is particularly light compared to direct competitors. It is suitable for male and female use, which explains its versatility.

Video and Photos Demonstration of The SDG Bel-Air RL

Pros and Cons of The SDG Bel-Air RL

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Heavy

Fabric Scoop

How about stepping up a gear with your mountain bike? Know that the Fabric Scoop saddle perfectly matches this optic. Once you have fitted it to your mountain bike, your performance will be unmatched, and you will enjoy remarkable comfort.

Fabric Scoop Feature Summary

 • With the Fabric Scoop Elite Saddle, you get a durable, long-lasting saddle that’s designed to support your comfort and performance.
• Flexible nylon shell for all day comfort and support.
• Chromoly rails optimize durability.
• Weather-proof microcover cover stands up to years of hard use.

What We Think of Fabric Scoop

The adaptation is simple and flexible enough to say goodbye to unpleasant pain. Another particularity of the saddle, it is available with three different profiles. Therefore, you must choose the profiling that best suits your riding style and consider your morphology.

The design is particularly revolutionary without compromising resistance, lightness, and the feeling of comfort.

It is a high-end saddle with carbon materials for the base as well as for the rails. Thanks to this, it is no surprise that the saddle weighs only 182 g.

The cover is made of microfiber and will be completed by a Shallow profile. Nevertheless, its use remains exclusively reserved for men, so for a women’s model, it is better to move towards another choice.

Video and Photos Demonstration of The Fabric Scoop

Pros and Cons of The Fabric Scoop

Pros

  • Excellent shape
  • Bonded upper makes it look more expensive than it is

Cons

  • Only available in black

WTB Volt

The WTB Volt saddle is a compendium of new technologies. It is, therefore, not for nothing that it is a particularly popular model among mountain bikers. It has a medium thickness as well as a superior quality padding.

WTB Volt Feature Summary

• High density, cold-cured foam in durable, weatherproof cover
• Sweat- and moisture-resistant padding
• Gel inserts for extra comfort and support
• Custom-molded Helix padding for a more ergonomic riding position
• Weight: 310g

What We Think of WTB Volt

As you can see, the WTB Volt saddle has some particularly subtle curves. It will not disappoint you in time with intact quality. In addition, it will accompany you in the sensations of comfort and is designed for speed.

But what explains its immense success is its incredible versatility with an upward curved tail and a slight descent observable at the level of the beak to promote pedaling.

It uses Flex Tuned Shell technology. It’s a subtle alliance to make efficiency and flexibility possible—sort of between soft shell and carbon composite.

The gel and HLX padding is a real success, as is the Comfort Zone technology that equips the saddle. It’s a way to relieve pressure on sensitive areas while guaranteeing remarkable comfort over the long term.

The WTB Volt saddle will be a companion of choice, and you will have a hard time getting rid of it.

Video and Photos Demonstration of The WTB Volt

Pros and Cons of The WTB Volt

Pros

  • Classic design
  • Comfortable
  • Reasonable weight
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • None

Ergon SM Enduro

This saddle is made for anyone looking for thrills. However, this does not mean that pleasure should come at the expense of comfort. With this in mind, the Ergon SM Enduro saddle was designed.

Ergon SM Enduro Feature Summary

• Built for Enduro – The SM Enduro was built from the input and skills of the fastest pro riders from the Enduro World Series.
• Distributes Weight – Men’s specific shape eliminates pressure on the genital area and distributes the rider’s weight on their sit bones.

What We Think of The Ergon SM Enduro

It is the brainchild of world-class professionals in the field of Enduro mountain biking.

Even when you’re at full speed, you have complete control. The saddle is intended to be short and narrow to feel remarkable freedom. You will not feel too much pressure, thanks to the presence of a relief channel.

So if you are looking for a saddle that gives you seating comfort on any trail, you now know which model to choose.

Among these technical specificities, you will admire its stealthy color and nylon composite shell with a CroMo rail. As for the cover, it is made of microfiber with orthopedic comfort foam padding.

It is the last one we wanted to present to you in our ranking because it fully deserves it for the many advantages mentioned.

Videos Demonstration of The Ergon SM Enduro

Pros and Cons of The Ergon SM Enduro

Pros

  • Moderately priced
  • Reasonably lightweight
  • Ergonomic design

Cons

  • Flat side-to-side profile may not work for everyone

FAQs

How to Choose a Mountain Bike Saddle?

If you own a mountain bike, you will find saddles made especially for you. Often, they are equipped with anti-scuff protection given the difficult conditions that must be faced in mountain biking. These saddles are sturdier at the corners.

It is also possible to choose an MTB version of the saddle. Its front end is shorter and more padded. This shape makes it possible to obtain a more forward saddle position while remaining regulatory for official competitions.

1. Compatibility

The choice of a saddle must take into account its compatibility with your bike. Many saddle models are designed with carbon fiber rails. They are oval and large.

Their shape does not always make them compatible with all bicycles, especially if they are older and the Seatpost has side clamping mechanisms. Finding instruments to adapt the saddles is possible, but this is not the ideal solution.

In addition to the hardware, the saddle profile should be examined to determine its compatibility with your bike. If the saddle profile is very low, the distance between the rails and the bottom of the shell, this low profile can make it difficult to adjust the angle. Some Seatpost may protrude beyond the clamping mechanism. Other rods may touch the bottom of the saddle.

2. Morphology

The mountain bike saddle must, of course, be adapted to your morphology. The fit of a saddle is similar to that of a shoe. The body reacts differently to the same type of saddle: your flexibility and the degree of the natural rotation of your pelvis when cycling differs from person to person.

Choose the saddle’s shape according to your practice in mountain biking and your morphology. For leisure, the body weight is usually present on the back of the saddle. Choose a model with a wide and semi-hollow or hollow shape. Thanks to this device, comfort will be present.

If, on the other hand, you practice mountain biking with a sporting perspective, then you will be more inclined towards the front. Choose a thin, flat saddle to minimize friction and not be embarrassed when changing position.

3.Comfort

Beginners generally agree that the more padded a bike saddle is, the more comfortable it is. It’s not always the case. Placement and density are more important comfort factors. All saddles have flexibility when the weight of the rider is applied. Most padding is made from a combination of closed and open-cell foam.

The more the saddle is used, the more the padding tends to dissipate in the areas subject to the greatest weight application. This situation occurs regardless of the thickness of the padding.

Modern saddles are nylonplasticcarbon fiber, or even composite materials. They are more effective in preventing body fatigue than padding.

Saddles with minimal padding and a well-designed shell may be more comfortable. Heavy padding causes the saddle to become uncomfortable after prolonged use.

Manufacturers generally provide information when purchasing the saddle to ensure its long-lasting comfort. Flexibility and position influence this degree of comfort. You must give the saddle some time to take on its final shape. It is, therefore, necessary to be patient during its first uses.

The important thing is to configure your saddle correctly. A difference in inclination of one or two degrees forward improves its comfort. You can move the saddle forwards, backward, up, or down as you wish, depending on the position you find most comfortable.

Saddle height is also an important factor. Its total height varies greatly depending on the model. If your new saddle is higher than your previous saddle, you need to adjust the seat post. It is the same if it is shorter. The rod must then compensate. The shorts also affect the saddle height adjustment. You must find the right position to promote good leg extension and adequate power transfer.

The difference in padding from one short to another determines your position on the bike. It is always recommended to wear the same shorts when trying on different saddles. The shape and comfort differ from one short to another.

4. Hull material

The shell material can be of different kinds. Mostly, you find nylon, carbon, composite, magnesium, or plastic saddles. Your choice should be about comfort and flexibility. Opt for a flexible nylon shell with padding suitable for long outings. If you want to practice mountain biking in a sportier way, choose a rigid carbon shell.

5. Coating

Depending on the type of coating, you will not have the same comfort. Leather saddles are generally used on hybrid bikes. Other plastic materials are also covered with microfiber, synthetic, or cotton fabric. Then, the padding is done with a specific foam, an air cushion, or a gel.

Note that mountain bike models intended for the competition are made of carbon and have no coating. It is a special feature to transmit the pedaling force better.

6. Structure

The metal structure is a choice of comfort and robustness. However, the major drawback lies in the weight. It shouldn’t be a problem if you’re a recreational mountain biker. Otherwise, opt for a carbon structure because it is just as solid but much lighter.

You can also choose chromo steel or aluminum rails. These are materials that provide excellent comfort on the road. A titanium structure also has its advantages in terms of flexibility.

Finally, to gain strength and weight, go for monorail saddles.

How to Choose Your Saddle Width?

Selle SMP TRK Gel Saddle Black - Medium

The first factor in choosing a saddle is related to its morphology and to do so about its width. More specifically, it is the spacing you have between the contact points. It is a concept called ischium.

Simply put, they are bones that are very useful to you to support the weight of your body when you are in a sitting position. Since mountain biking is often practiced in this position, it is important that the sit bones can support you properly, as they will be in direct contact with the saddle.

Each person has their anatomy, which requires adapting to the morphology. Overall, women’s saddles are wider compared to men’s. That is why you will find a distinction between the two sexes.

Nevertheless, this is a general average, and a woman can find a model that will suit her perfectly on a men’s model and vice versa.

To measure the seat bones, you can make your measurement based on the following recommendations:

  • The distance between your seat bones is measured with chalk, corrugated cardboard, and a folding rule.
  • Simply position the cardboard on a table and then sit on it. To support your feet, position a chair directly in front and put your feet up. It’s about replicating the position you have on mountain biking.
  • If you usually lean over your mountain bike, try to reproduce this position when measuring. Then wait a few minutes for the imprint to be much better defined on the cardboard.
  • Once the imprint has been made on the cardboard, you must use chalk to make it much more visible.
  • • Normally, you should get two prints and just use your folding tape measure to define the length between the middle of the first print and the middle of the second. It is simply the distance between your sit bones.

Once this measurement has been obtained, you can orient yourself much more easily towards the saddle width that suits you.

Nevertheless, to find the saddle that suits you, do not hesitate to continue the rest of this article to learn about the different aspects that will be of great use to you in the search for a mountain bike saddle.

What are The Characteristics of a Mountain Bike Saddle?

First, be aware that different saddle models are characterized by a rounded, semi-rounded, or flat shape. It is also necessary to consider the central channel because the latter can be solid, hollowed out, or hollowed out.

As seen above, the width is another factor to consider, as is the material of the rails, which can be aluminum, carbon, steel, or titanium.

Regarding the saddle types, the rounded shape remains preferred if you travel long distances. Indeed, the weight is much better distributed, which avoids the phenomenon of overheating.

A semi-rounded saddle represents an intermediate and versatile model between the flat and rounded models.

Finally, the flat saddle remains specifically designed for covering a short distance with intensive effort. When you have to change position regularly, do not hesitate to choose this type of saddle.

To avoid having an uncomfortable feeling in the perineum area, you should know that some saddle models are equipped with a channel in the central part. When this is hollowed out, you have a pressure drop, but the channel can also be hollowed out to remove that tension at that specific location.

However, this type of saddle will not suit everyone because the efforts are not distributed similarly.

Finally, the same saddle model can also be declined with different rail materials. If such a device is used, it is a question of obtaining a weight gain that is not negligible but also of playing on the feeling of comfort.

A manganese saddle rail guarantees lightness and very good solidity. Carbon remains unquestionably the lightest material and offers a nice nervousness. An aluminum saddle rail is less comfortable but lighter than steel. Moreover, steel remains the least expensive material. Choose titanium material if you want the right compromise between comfort and weight.

Also, be careful because different names can be used, and they only correspond to certain names from the manufacturers. Do not forget to take certain precautions to avoid finding yourself in error.

Another tip, the carbon rails are mostly oval and not round. An important difference involves using an MTB Seatpost, which will be compatible with the adapted trolley.

Of course, these different criteria must be added to the paragraph that we have devoted to the saddle width.

What Saddle for an e-Mountain Bike?

If you have purchased an electric mountain bike for leisure outings, i.e., hiking, go for a standard width with a rounded saddle. Depending on your morphology, do not hesitate to choose a model slightly wider than the average.

On the other hand, if you have acquired an electric mountain bike for sports, whether a semi-rigid mountain bike or a full-suspension mountain bike, it is recommended to choose a standard width of 135 mm and a semi-rounded saddle.

However, if you have a wider pelvis, choose a larger width; this will allow you to enjoy much better comfort.

Again, the choice of a saddle on an electric mountain bike also depends on your position. When you are upright, the weight remains better distributed at the level of the saddle. In this case, choose a slightly larger model.

However, be careful not to choose a width too large, as this could cause friction on the inside of the thighs and hinder your pedaling movement.

If, on the other hand, you tend to have chronic pain in the perineum, choose an electric mountain bike with a saddle with a hollow or hollowed-out central channel.

If you have certain ergonomic constraints at the level of the urogenital apparatus, choose a model of the saddle without a nose. As a result, you will not feel any pressure on the genitals or the perineum. It is also a popular model for cyclists making multiple stops.

A saddle with a removable beak will allow you to adjust its length, undoubtedly contributing to your comfort on the electric mountain bike.

Finally, a saddle with a central groove is still recommended for people with prostate problems.

As you can see, there are many disparities between the models, and feel free to experiment to form your own opinion.

Why is Mountain Bike Saddles Hard?

It is not a generalization, as mountain bike saddles can be hard or soft. This choice depends above all on your morphology and the type of practice.

Some people prefer to go for a carbon saddle, while others will prefer a softer saddle.

Overall, the more time you spend on the mountain bike, the more comfort there will be with a hard saddle. It explains why the majority of mountain bikes are equipped with this type of model. Compared to city bikes, you will find rather soft saddles.

Indeed, a soft saddle promotes the sinking of the sit bones. So even if these are properly supported, it is not impossible that the pressure also occurs on the perineum.

Why do Mountain Bike Saddles Hurt?

It is very common to have used your mountain bike and to begin to feel a particularly unpleasant feeling in the saddle. It certainly means you do not have a suitable model for your practice and morphology.

Some of the reasons for this discomfort are being a beginner, inexperience on the road, incorrect seat adjustment, wrong positioning at the handlebars, incorrect clothing, too hard saddle materials, or you bought the wrong model.

If you are a beginner, you simply lack experience in mountain biking. It is, therefore, more or less normal to feel an uncomfortable sensation when you are in a seated position. It will take several weeks to get used to this position.

Try to stick to one outing weekly so you can toughen it up. On the other hand, if the problem remains persistent, you should not exclude the other possibilities mentioned to you in the following lines.

The adjustment of the seat and the height is also decisive. If the seat does not suit you, do not hesitate to visit a local store to take more measurements and direct you to a more suitable model.

Don’t overlook the importance of the angle at the nose of the saddle, either. A few degrees of incline can make a difference and turn an aching back into a comfortable ride.

Poor handlebar positioning is another mistake you can make as a beginner. It is why you have a particularly unpleasant feeling in the mountain bike seat. Try to adjust the latter’s position, which will prevent you from being too far back or, on the contrary, too far forward.

Do not neglect the importance of cycling clothes with the use of shorts with a wicking effect and with padding to precisely avoid the appearance of these uncomfortable pains while sitting.

Another possibility is simply based on the hardness of the saddle. Naturally, the saddle of a mountain bike wants to be durable, which is why using a hard material is required. It won’t bother some mountain bikers, but it’s a real discomfort for other people.

Also, the seat may be designed with a thin foam and rubber coating, so you are not comfortable.

The final possibility is that you have the wrong size mountain bike saddle. As we have explained, it is important to choose a model with a width that suits you.

If you don’t have the right size, you may try all possible techniques, you will not be comfortable, and you will have no choice but to change saddles.

Conclusion

We have provided many technical details to help you choose the right saddle. We have also provided you with a ranking of the five best models. As a result, it is impossible to find yourself in an unfortunate position after your next mountain bike outing.

Your buttocks will no longer hurt, and the pleasure of hitting the road with your mountain bike will thus be intact.

Marcelline
Marcelline

Marcelline is a writer and covers several categories thanks to her multidisciplinary expertise.

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