Choosing the right mountain bike seat that is suitable and comfortable for you is as crucial as buying the bike itself. You need to really pay attention and choose it carefully. Otherwise, if you buy the one that is not suitable for you, you will regret it later.
- Part 1: Introduction
- Part 2: Buying Guide
- Part 3: Recommended Products According to Their Characteristics
- Part 4: Frequently Asked Questions
Part 1: Introduction
What is a bike without a seat? The seat is one of the most important components of a bike aside from the frame, suspensions, tyres, wheels, brakes, etc. Bicycle seats (originally called saddles) are not the same one to another. Different kinds of bikes will need different models of seats, and different people will have different preferences of seats. It’s because of the sizes and the anatomy since everybody has their own characteristics.
Mountain bike seats are not typical even though they are interchangeable (even with the road bike saddles). The narrowness of an mtb saddle allows for easy movement around it, such as crouching behind it when riding downhill. A suitable saddle forces you to sit on your pelvic bones rather than the meat. Your legs are able to move freely and pedal, and the saddle is high enough for your legs to carry the majority of your weight.
As mentioned before, mountain bike seats are interchangeable with road bike seats. Sometimes, people use an mtb seat for a road bike, and vice versa. There is even a case when a man prefers to use a woman’s seat for his mtb bike. It is not really a big deal if he feels comfortable with it. But again, the seats are not significantly similar, there are still slight differences among them. However, the important thing about a saddle is, as long as you are comfortable with it, so be it!
Part 2: Buying Guide
Finding the best mtb seat for yourself is as hard as buying the bike itself. It can be hard, especially for amateurs. You might need to change the seat because the old one is already worn out, or the one that you are using now is uncomfortable. When it comes to comfort, the solution is to buy a new saddle and replace the old one. Before buying, consider the type of your riding: road cycling, bike touring, recreational riding, bike commuting, or mountain biking. If your riding type is mountain biking, you can ask the seller for one. Choosing the best mountain bike seat which is suitable for you is not easy, because there are numerous options to choose from. The materials can also be the things to consider. Below are different kinds of seat materials:
1. The Rails
Aluminum alloys, such as Chromoly, are utilized in rails because they are strong. They are often lighter than steel.
Steel is tough and dependable, but it’s also fairly heavy. Look into other possibilities if weight is an issue.
Carbon is lightweight and can be tailored to absorb some shocks, but it’s usually only found on the most costly saddles.
Titanium is light and robust, and it absorbs vibrations well, but it is also pricey.
2. The Covers
The majority of mtb seats are constructed of synthetic materials. Not only the molded shell, foam, or gel cushioning but also the saddle cover.
Some saddles use a thin leather covering instead of a synthetic one, but the materials used are otherwise fairly similar. Other leather saddles, on the other hand, are formed entirely of a leather cover that is extended and placed between the rails of a metal structure. There is a disadvantage of using leather, it is not waterproof, so you need to take care of it with a leather conditioner.
Cotton covers are intended to stretch and move slightly while riding, providing excellent comfort and control. Another advantage of cotton is that it takes a far shorter break-in time than leather.
Aside from that, anatomy also plays an important role because everybody is unique. They have different body characteristics. A seat that is suitable for your friend, doesn’t mean it will suit you well, too. If you visit a bike shop, ask if you may try out a seat to evaluate how comfortable it is. Even though some shops don’t have the precise one you’re looking for, they might have something similar. Variate your riding position, bike faster and slower, and hit some bumps while you’re out there.
On mountain roads, you alternate between standing up on the pedals, reclining way back (often simply hanging over or off your saddle), and bending down in a crouched position. This way, you can feel if the seat is comfortable or not. And last but not least, prepare your budget. When everything is in accordance with you, then buy it.
Part 3: Recommended Products According to Their Characteristics
Among so many options of mountain bike seats, there are some of them considered the best. Below are the top 8 best bike seats for mountain bikes:
Selle Italia X-LR Ti316 Superflow ($214.99)
Selle Italia is a great saddle for cross-country racers because of the lightweight. It is light since the rail is made of titanium with a carbon shell. To give the saddle a long-lasting finish, the seat surface is upholstered with Fibra-Tex. There are two different levels of padding (called Dual Density) below the surface. Because of the reinforced edges, your Selle Italia saddle should stay in good shape even if you have a huge off. This is a good option for a saddle even though it is a bit pricey.
Terry Fly Ti Men’s Mountain bike saddle ($174.95)
Terry Fly saddle features a sleek design with a honeycomb matrix design that extends all the way across the seat, making it look amazing and futuristic. When pedaling hard and heavy, this saddle provides the utmost support. The saddle also includes a steel frame foundation on the bottom for endurance and a breathing hole in the center. The seat has a stainless steel frame base that maintains it tight and motionless on the bike. Terry Fly may be on the top of the list as the best mtb seat but there is a downside, there isn’t enough surface area to sit on.
Fizik Antares R1 Carbon Bike Saddle ($159.00 – $161.98)
The Fizik Antares R5 Saddle is ideal for both road and mountain biking. While cycling, it gives comfort and support. If you enjoy long-distance riding, this saddle has a robust micro tex cover structure that makes it extremely durable. This model gives maximum performance all day, allowing you to ride comfortably. Double shells of carbon and braided carbon rail provide the best combination of strength and support. The level of spinal flexibility provided by this saddle gets you to the point where you don’t need to swivel your pelvis to obtain the full performance posture.
WTB Koda ($130)
The Koda comes in a fantastic selection of size, width, and rail material increasing the chances of finding one that is nearly ideal for you. The Koda is peculiar in that it is not gender-specific, it is a universal design. The nose design of the Koda is its most notable feature. The nose is wide enough to accommodate you to sit securely on the front of the seat on steep climbs, but it is also short enough not to catch on your shorts. The lightest rail, made of titanium, can be the choice, but Chromoly and Steel are also available.
WTB Speed Saddle ($89.95)
The rail of WTB Speed Saddle is made of Chromoly with a microfiber cover. The manufacturer build the saddle for performance and has an outstanding ergonomic design. It also has an outstanding shape and angles. The pressure-relieving gel soothes pressure points and adapts to your body to fit perfectly. The shock-absorbing base offers extra comfort when rolling over the trails and absorbs all shocks for a more comfortable ride. It is simple to clean and lasts a long time.
SDG Radar TI-Alloy Saddle (From $82.99)
SDG Radar is really comfortable and soothes pressure points for everyone. It provides comfort-enhancing components, like a hidden undercut relief, which is ideal for not just people with pelvic difficulties, but also the cut-out features. The design is skillfully formed, with a center relief channel and rear-buzz cut-out, as well as other features. In high suspension compressions, this prevents scuffing. They design the saddle to distribute weight all over the saddle platform as evenly as possible. This can assist reduce pressure spots and provide a really comfortable ride along the trails for longer periods of time without numbing discomfort.
Spank Spike 160 ($75)
The Spank Spike has a simple design that is ideal for downhill and enduro racing. This means that when you’re going full throttle, the saddle will keep out of your way. To withstand intense riding, the contact points and pressure zones have been strengthened and tuned. The saddle’s surface finish offers a gripping feel that helps preserve rider position on demanding steep climbs but isn’t too rough that it can hinder mobility and comfort. Spank Spike comes in different colors and at affordable prices.
BioFlex OnGel Saddle ($31.99)
BioFlex build this saddle with aluminum alloy. The BioFlex OnGel Saddle provides super-soft BioFlexOnGel which makes it strong and long-lasting. As OnGel molds to your shape, this saddle relieves unpleasant pressure spots. It reduces the vibrations of rock and the trails. Not only that, the back reflective design promotes protection at night or in low-light settings. With the spec and an affordable price, the BioFex OnGel saddle can be the best mountain bike seat ever.
Part 4: Frequently Asked Questions
What factors should I consider while purchasing a bicycle seat
Find a saddle that is the appropriate shape for you, and consider your flexibility as well as your riding position. Then, take a measurement of the breadth of your sit bones. Adjust the seat to the appropriate height and put it in the right position.
Is the size of all MTB saddles the same
Mtb seats are all similar in design, with a narrow front or “nose” and a larger rear. However, there are numerous widths and lengths to pick from.
How to put the sit bones in the correct position on a bike seat
The best saddle width ensures that the sit bones are perfectly flat on the saddle. This is the only way to release pressure on the sensitive area in men and the pelvic arch in women and provide greater efficiency.
Can I use any bike saddle on my mtb
Bicycle seats are not all interchangeable or universal. However, the majority of current bikes and brands have acknowledged that it’s better to have one size that fits all.
Are bicycle seats for mountain bikes interchangeable
Yes, most modern mtb seats are universal and you can use them with a variety of seat posts. The problem is if you have a customized bike and the equipment is relatively old. To ensure a proper fit with the seat adapter, verify the number of rails and rail width on your saddle.
When should I change the seat on my bike
The padding and shell’s performance will begin to decrease after 15,000-20,000 km. It is better that you change the seat after this distance, especially for beginners.
What material is a bike seat made of
The hard shell of most modern saddles is made of molded plastic, such as nylon. Leather bike seats, on the other hand, use tensioned leather, which suspends the material like a hammock between the seat’s nose and back. Carbon fiber is another option.
Why are MTB saddles so painful
The prime causes are the size of the saddle and adjustments, not being used to cycling on a daily basis, and human anatomy with the sitting bones not being used to obtain the bike seat. Also the type and distance of your riding.