A Reliable Buyer’s Guide for the best mountain bike saddle
A mountain bike seat, usually referred to as a saddle, is a simple component yet one of the three most vital points of contact between the rider and their bike. The other two are the handlebars and pedals. A mountain bike saddle is a huge determinant of your mountain bike ride’s effectiveness and enjoyment. While a properly chosen saddle is bound to guarantee a comfortable ride, a poor choice will inarguably wreck your mountain bike ride by inhibiting movement or causing numbness, chafing or discomfort. It’s therefore paramount to find a perch that will satisfy all your mountain biking needs. Besides taking you through all the nooks and crannies of successful mountain bike saddle purchase, this guide will delve into the specifics of the top 10 mtb saddles of 2017 to help you identify the best mountain bike saddle for your riding ventures.
Choosing a the best mountain bike saddle
Although choosing the best mountain bike seat is mostly a personal choice, there are a number of factors that every rider must heed to land the most plausible option. Moreover, with the current proliferation and marketing hype of various saddles, pinpointing your most suitable bike seat may ultimately prove a daunting task. Thankfully, however, we are here at your rescue. Below are the most important factors you should consider to point you in the right direction:
Type of riding
The purpose for which you’ll be employing your mountain bike is among the most critical considerations to factor in to land you the best mountain bike saddle. Each riding venture is best served by a specific type of saddle. If you are looking to clock several miles on the road or to indulge in mountain or Cross Country racing, you’ll want to settle for a saddle that’s long and narrow. Moreover, it should contain minimal padding to create maximal space between your legs for optimal power transfer to the pedals. However, if you are an apprentice in road biking, it’s best to opt for a slightly softer saddle that will guarantee comfort as you adjust to long cycling hours.
Mountain bikes that are used for long-distance touring and recreational mountain biking are best complemented by considerably long saddles with plenty of sit-bone cushioning and a narrow nose. On the other hand, exploration of mountain trails calls for a mountain-specific saddle that’s streamlined to aid your movement and that sports sufficient padding as well as a durable cover as you’ll be adopting many difference ride postures. Furthermore, women-specific saddles are designed to befit female mountain bikers who are characterized by wider ischial (perch) bones and hips as well as considerably smaller bodies than their male counterparts.
A saddle’s clamping system, the mechanism designed to attach it to the seat post, is arguably the most obvious differentiating factor of all. Single-rail saddles sport one carbon fiber or plastic rail traversing the seat’s underside from front to rear through the middle and are usually preferred by downhill mountain bikers as they are both light and uniquely impact-resistant. Dual-rail saddles are the most common. They feature a pair of steel, titanium or chromoly (metal) rails running parallel to each other on the seat’s underside. Moreover, there are pivotal saddles which are characterized by integrated bolts that secure the seat to the seat post by vertical fastening. These saddles are usually fashioned using plastic, are exceptionally dead set against repeat impacts and are becoming common in park, slope-side and dirt jump bikes.
The fabric used to form a mountain bike saddle is usually a clear-cut indication of the seat’s feel and durability. The most common materials saddle manufacturers exploit are plastic, genuine or synthetic leather, kevlar and carbon fiber. In the end, the choice of saddle matrial boils down to the rider’s preference and budget.
Size of saddle
Mtb saddles come in a variety of sizes depending on the riding purpose for which they are designed as well as the preferred comfort level. It’s easy to install your desired size of saddle as long as its clamping mechanism goes with that of your mountain bike’s seat post.
An mtbs saddle frame’s (chassis) flex is an important but sadly one of the most commonly overlooked features in a mountain bike saddle. While a firm saddle chassis levitates efficiency during powerful pedal thrusts (while seated), a chassis with commendable shock absorption properties minimizes the need for thick saddle padding.
Designed to increase a rider’s comfort, a saddle’s cushioning is composed of either gel or foam padding. Though the best mountain bike saddle options integrate foam rubber (EVA) cushioning which is lovably lightweight, shock-absorbent and stubbornly resistant to wear, a good number of saddles supplement this with gel cushioning which offers exceptionally plush riding comfort. However, the gel is always short-lived when contrasted with foam padding.
A considerable number of saddle designs sport a center slit or indentation that’s incorporated into the seat to relieve the pressure exerted on the perineum, the area between the sit bones, thus protect it from much-loathed bruising. There are even split seats for hard-to-fit mtb riders. However, since we all have different anatomies, this choice of saddle design is purely a matter of personal preference but nonetheless a commonly opted-for motif.
Other considerations that come into play during a search for the best mtb saddles include the saddle’s:
How we tested, analysed and ranked the various mtb saddles
In a bid to avail an exhaustive list of the top mtb saddles in 2017, and to help you locate the best mountain bike saddle for your specific riding needs, we attached all our test saddles on a myriad of test mountain bikes, clocked several miles then drew a wide spectrum of feedback from the test riders as well as our vastly experienced mountain bike specialists. Further, we tested each saddle separately on the same mountain bike without varying the suspension setting and tyre pressure.
Moreover, we ensured our test riders wore the same mountain bike shorts throughout the saddle-test period. With these subtle differences singled out, and basing our analysis and ranking on years of experience as well as reviews from various mountain bikers who have purchased and utilized these same saddles, you can rest assured we’ve presented you an unbiased and totally reliable guide for the best mtb saddles in 2017.
The best mountain bike seat of 2017
Now let’s take a detailed look into the top 10 mountain bike saddles in 2017 to help you find the most reasonable one for your mountain biking needs:
OUTERDO Bike Saddle Mountain Seat Professional Road MTB Seat
Measuring 27cm long by 14cm wide and weighing approximately 11.2 ounces, this mountain bike saddle is designed with polyurethane, leather and steel materials for the best comfort and performance. This best mountain bike seat comes in a myriad of colours including black and yellow, black and red, green and white, red and white, black and blue, black and green as well as yellow and white to complement any mountain bike’s aesthetics. Moreover, the saddle has thick, flexible and porous characteristics to make it not only fashionable and practical but also streamlined for optimal performance and comfort. Besides, it features a 2715cm gel comfort seat cushion.
- It’s a very durable saddle
- The saddle is very lightweight
- Washing this saddle is a breeze
- A very comfortable saddle that will serve you well even without bike shorts
- It’ll definitely give you your money’s worth as it’s very affordable
- This saddle is exceptionally easy to install
- The saddle’s vibrant colours are a put off for riders who prefer single-colour options
- Since it’s very soft, you are bound to experience chaffing in the long run
This mtb saddle is a very practical option for any mountain bikers looking to enjoy a comfortable ride without spending a large sum. Besides, its middle cutout will protect your perineum. Further, it’s suitable for men and women bike riders alike.
2. Bikeroo Padded Extra Comfortable Bicycle Seat with Soft Cushion for Men
Weighing 15.5 ounces with measurements of 10.2 inches x 7inches x 3.9 inches, this saddle is built for comfort with extra padded cushioning. Designed uniquely for the male rider anatomy, it features a deep central cutout and hollow core to ensure your prostrate stays free of pressure as you clock in several miles on your commuter mountain bike. Moreover, this best mountain bike seat sports the universally standardized rail mechanism and ships with a free adaptor, making it an easy fit with a wide range of bikes including indoor and fixed-gear bicycles. Furthermore, it comes with a waterproof cover, assembly tools and an exhaustive mtb e-book to streamline its mounting.
- With its extra padding, it’s an extremely comfortable mtb saddle
- It’s one of the safest mountain bike saddles for men, thanks to the prostrate-protective central cutout and hollow core
- Going for almost half the cost of other top quality saddles, it’s a very pocket-friendly option
- The saddle is very volatile- it can be suitably mounted on not only mtbs but also on road, indoor and fixed-gear bikes among others
- It’s very firm thus it minimizes flex to further optimize power transfer from the legs to the crank
- Several riders report experiencing chaffing with this saddle due to its relatively large width thus making it unfit for triathlon racing while those with wide-spaced sit bones complain that it hurts their nether regions thus unsuitable for long rides (over 20 miles)
- It’s a little bit on the heavy side by some ounces so it may not be suitable for a lightweight bike
This mountain bike saddle is one of the fairest bargains you’ll get at its price point. Besides, its lovesome qualities qualify it among the best mountain bike saddle candidates with unique comfort integrations. Given, it ranks among others that cost more than twice its price.
3. Soft Cushion Wide Padded Comfort Bike Saddle for Women
Manufactured by Bikeroo, this women-specific mtb saddle measures 10.2 x 7.8 x 2.4 inches and weighs around 1.4 pounds. Designed with the female rider anatomy in mind, it’s wide and features a stunted nose as well as a central support for optimal fit and maximal comfort. In addition, this best mountain bike seat is formed using velvety leather with an admirable finish to further pique ride comfort and complement a woman’s mountain bike’s lovable visual properties. Moreover, it sports an easy-to-mount universal saddle adapter.
- The saddle is wide thus suitable for big-hipped women riders as well as men with wide-spaced sit bones
- With its soft cushioning, it’s a very comfortable bike saddle
- It sports a tilt adjustment mechanism to aid the rider in adjusting its position to their preference
- The saddle features a brightly colored patch at the back which optimizes the rider’s visibility to oncoming traffic besides uplifting the bike’s aesthetics
- Installation is a walk in the park
- The saddle is uniquely small thus it allows the bike rider easy spinning
- The saddle’s design is somewhat speed-resistant as the nose isn’t properly streamlined
- Due to the extra padding, the saddle possesses surplus flex and is thus unsuitable for some bike ventures like road racing.
This women rider’s bike saddle is designed with universally standardized adaptor, providing for easy integration with a wide range of mountain bikes including fixed-gear, indoor, touring, cruiser and road bikes. With its unique comfort-guaranteed soft cushioning, it’s inarguably one of the best mtb saddles for women bike riders.
#4. OUTERDO Professional Road MTB Saddle
Manufactured by OUTERDO, this saddle measures 10.6 x 5.9 x 2.2 inches and weighs around 11.2 ounces. Designed to provide maximal ride comfort at the cheapest price point, it’s fashionable and exceptionally streamlined. Further, it’s formed with a human-shape hollow design which ensures the temperatures at the nether region are maintained at a constant cool level for optimal road cycling. Moreover, the best mountain bike seat features a thick, comfy, elastic and breathable material to optimize comfort during short and long mountain bike rides.
- This saddle is very easy to wash and maintain
- It’s exceptionally cheap
- Its comfort levels are uniquely sky-high, no doubt due to the choice of thick, firm, elastic and shock-proof material and cushioning
- It’s lightweight thus ideal for installation on light bikes as well as for extensive mountain biking
- Composed of polyurethane, steel and leather components, this saddle is quite durable
- With limited colour options, the blue and white scheme may not match perfectly with some bikes whose owners value aesthetics above all other features
- The saddle’s colour fades surprisingly quickly
Though this saddle will work well on a number of mountain bikes, it’s best suited for road mountain biking. Still, it can comfortably be used for minimal to medium off-road trail exploration. Since it’s very easy to install, the saddle is a plausible choice for replacement on any mountain bike.
#5. West Biking 0.79lb Silica Gel Road Mountain Bike Saddle
Designed and built for serious comfort, this saddle weighs 0.79lb (0.356kg) and measures 10.63 by 5.7 by 2.4 inches. It features an anti-skid silica gel VD-104 seat cushioning for optimal performance and comfort. Moreover, the saddle sports comfort-guaranteed sit-bone gel padding as well as dual-density gel foam cushioning that’s remarkably soft. The saddle further contains a flex base for optimal suport, relief and comfort during mountain bike rides.
- The saddle is superbly soft and comfortable
- Being lightweight, it’s inarguably a plausible saddle choice for long-distance cycling
- It’s wear-resistant thus considerably durable with light usage
- Its full-length hollow central recess provides the much-needed ventilation and anatomical relief, making it the best mountain bike saddle in safety and comfort integration
- The saddle is skid-proof so you won’t have to worry about slipping off your seat even on downhill and up-slope rides
- Its price is quite pocket-friendly
- The saddle’s anti-skid material adheres to bikers’ shorts, sometimes limiting their off-saddle bike maneuvers. The tucky material also wears out bike shorts significantly faster than other saddles
- Its plastic covering wears off extraordinarily fast
With light use, this saddle is a suitable choice for a wide range of bikes including DH, BMX mountain racing, MTB road and fixed-gear bicycles due to its universal seat post design. Besides, it’s noticeably cheap thus ideal for bike riders looking for a quick saddle replacement with a constrained budget.
#6. Codream Carbon Fiber 3K Glossy Lightweight Anatomical Relief Road Mountain Bike Saddle
Manufactured by Codream, this best mountain bike seat weighs approximately 4.2 ounces and is composed of carbon fiber sheet with vibration buffering and resisting properties coupled with sufficient strength for optimal mountain biker comfort, performance and support. Its middle part sports a vent breathable design for maximal air passage to levitate ventilation and comfort. Moreover, this saddle is formed with a nose-shape design to optimize blood circulation in the perineal region, further minimizing organ oppression and numbness. Additionally, it features a hardened frame for first-rate support as well as easy installation and disassembly.
- The saddle is reasonably light as it’s forged from carbon fiber
- It has unique design aesthetics that’ll give any bike head-turner tributes
- Its middle cutout bestows it with unequaled anatomical relief properties, making it an unusually safe saddle to ride on
- Its scale positioning feature allows riders to adjust its position to their preference
- Though it’s agreeably hard, this saddle is extremely comfortable, thanks to its fit and shock-absorbent frame (chassis)
- The saddle’s soft surface provides for easy position-shifting, further optimizing bike ride efficiency
- The saddle is thin thus unsuitable for riders with sparsely-spaced sit bones or big hips who prefer wider options
- It’s hard so it may not be the best choice for bike riders who are more inclined to go for heavily padded saddles
- Since it’s made of carbon fiber, it’s not fitting for very aggressive slam-seat riding. This also lowers its durability when contrasted to metal saddles
Though it’s deceptively hard and thin, this saddle is one of the most comfortable options you’ll come across. With its efficient perineal-protection middle cutout, it’s a much-adored choice for long distance bike rides. However, bikers with wide-spaced sit bones may find it somewhat strenuous.
#7. FOME Uprated Vershion Hollow-out Spider Road Bicycle MTB Saddle
This saddle is manufactured by Focus On Me LLC using high-tensile engineered plastic. Its design incorporates 40 ventilation perforations on its surface as well as a 24° inclination toward its nose for the finest airflow to optimize a bike rider’s temperature in the posterior region. This unique design is aimed at augmenting blood circulation in the perineal area, further compounding the saddle’s ride comfort by diminishing numbness.
- Made of carbon fiber and engineered plastic, it’s exceptionally lightweight
- Its among the best mtb saddles in terms of price, unparalleled by any hard saddle
- The saddle’s spider design is a very unique and aesthetically appealing choice
- Its hard smooth plastic surface allows riders to easily slide off the saddle, further increasing ride efficiency in steep descents and climbs
- The middle cutout amplifies the saddle’s anatomical relief properties
- With unparalleled ventilation integration, this saddle allows bike riders to enjoy cool rides
- Due to its middle hollow design, this saddle will inevitably allow water to soak up your pants if your bike lacks a full rear fender
- It’s not the most comfortable saddle you’ll come across, especially if your type of mountain biking requires you to spend most of your ride time on the perch
- The saddle’s colour is poor quality- it starts fading off within the first few rides
For the price, this saddle is one of the best hard carbon fiber options. Its plastic surface not only levitates its flex but also permits riders to freely slide along the saddle, making it one of the best MTB seats for DH and steep up-slope cycling. However, mountain bike riders whose ride styles necessitate extensive seat utilization like commuter bikers may find it somewhat unsuitable. Still, wearing well-padded bike shorts should solve this problem.
#8. OUTERDO Hollow Mountain Bike Saddle
Weighing 1 pound and measuring 10.6 x 5.1 x 2.2 inches, this MTB saddle is designed and manufactured by OUTERDO using steel, polyurethane and leather components with top-grade performance, support and comfort in mind. In a bid to avail the best saddle choice to augment mountain bike riding essentials, this saddle features a fashionable and streamlined design for maximal biking efficiency. Furthermore, it sports thick and elastic leather and polyurethane that’s not only exceptionally light but also extremely comfortable with unparalleled ventilation integration including the hollow central cutout.
- The saddle is very easy to maintain and clean
- It’s extremely cheap
- At 1 pound, this saddle is tremendously lightweight
- With a breathable hollow center, the saddle offers unequaled ventilation to the rider’s perineal area, providing for a very cool riding experience
- It’s distinctively comfortable and safe to ride on, especially due to its constituent leather and polyurethane materials as well as the hollow design which slashes crotch-area pressure
- The saddle is interminably reliable, sturdy and durable
- The saddle’s cushioning is too soft and thin thus unsuitable for heavy-set bike riders
- It constantly adheres to the rider’s shorts or pants, necessitating frequent extrication which lowers the rider’s comfort and ride efficiency considerably
Though it’s somewhat smaller and softer than most other saddles, this mtb seat is one of the cheapest and most durable options that will inarguably give you your investment’s worth. Its cons notwithstanding, it’s arguably the the best mountain bike saddle in the market today.
#9. AGPtek Professional Bicycle Saddle Mountain Bike Cycling Seat with Scale Mark
Designed and built by AGPtek, this bike saddle features a humanized comfortable design sporting a hollow breathable centre that takes the strain off your perernial region besides maximizing air flow around that area. Made with expert workmanship aimed at optimizing performance and comfort, the manufacturer integrates anti-slip and shock-absorbent properties like gel cushioning in the saddle, making it a plausible seat choice for long-time and long-distance biking ventures. It also sports uniquely lightweight components as well as an efficient scale mark for easy and swift adjustment to the rider’s preference. Besides, the saddle is made using sturdy and long-lasting parts and materials as well as high-tensile support for maximal rider support, comfort and performance.
- Made of firm and high-strength components, this saddle is extremely sturdy and durable
- It’s exceptionally easy to install
- Washing and maintaining this bike saddle is a breeze
- With its lovable humanized design, this saddle is doubtlessly one of the best mtb saddles with regards to ride comfort
- It’s among the easiest mtb saddles to adjust to a rider’s preferential position with its efficient scale mark
- The saddle possesses lovable shock-resistant and anti-slip properties
- The saddle is thin thus unfit for riders with a wide gap between their sit bones
- It’s too soft thus may not be the best choice for extremely steep up-slope and downhill biking.
Though it may not fit the description of a top-of-the-line mountain bike saddle, this seat is indubitably one of the cheapest, most comfortable and safest mtb saddles in the market. Besides, it’s a very durable option which integrates seamlessly with several bike types including road and MTB mountain bikes.
#10. SUNVP Professional Road MTB Mountain Bike Saddle
Manufactured by SUNVP, this mountain bike saddle features imported top-grade super wear-resistant leather fiber that’s both exceptionally soft and elastic for maximal ride comfort. It’s design integrates a firm hand-moulded carbon steel coil dual suspension for optimal bump-smoothing alongside a hollowed-out centre that promotes perineal pressure reduction and air flow in the posterior region to facilitate biking comfort and efficiency. Furthermore, the saddle sports an ergonomically designed streamlined shape to reduce air drag, levitate ride comfort and optimize pedal-thrust efficiency.
- The saddle is exceptionally streamlined thus provides a very efficient bike ride experience
- It’s specially comfortable, thanks to its dual spring suspension and soft, elastic leather
- It’s extraordinarily versatile- it installs easily on all bike types
- Cleaning this saddle is a walk in the park
- Due to the wear-resistant leather used to form it, the saddle definitely stands the test of time
- This is among the cheapest high-quality mountain bike saddle available in the market to date
- The saddle is a bit narrow for big-hipped bike riders
- It’s too soft and springy for steep DH and up-slope cycling
At its price point, this SUNVP mountain bike saddle possesses love-some features present in high end bike saddles, making it the best bargain when you want to enjoy relentlessly comfortable rides with with a stringent budget.
Evidently, the choice of mountain bike saddles today is quite superfluous with a myriad of brands, manufacturers and specifications. Through this guide, you’ll successfully navigate the tricky mountain bike saddle market and land the best mountain bike saddle for your precise biking needs, completely hassle-free.
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