The length, padding, and angle of the saddle can be huge factors in proper fit. A women’s Site Bones are not always wider than the average man’s and getting a proper fitting for the measurement is important.
Many brands and models are unisex with a variety of widths to appeal to many bodies. Ultimately, it will depend on your size and riding style whether a wider or narrower saddle is for you.
Foam comes in various levels of firmness, depending on the saddle or price range. Remember, a softer saddle doesn’t equate to personal comfort.
With many riders, a too-soft saddle will create deeper pressure in the fleshy parts (instead of the bone). The shape of the saddle ’s transition from seat to nose can make a difference in fit.
Trying several models with different curvatures in your width will be a good starting point for finding the best fit. If you are having pressure points, numbness or pain in your soft tissue regions, double-check the height of the saddle.
If the height is correct and you're still having pain, then a saddle with a cutout or deep channel might be a good option. The cutout or channel can relieve pressure down the center of the saddle, where valuable anatomy resides.
However, some people will not find a cutout comfortable because they will feel like they are sinking down or unsupported. Weight: 202g | Rails: Titanium Alloy Toga Undercover Stratum is a newcomer to our mountain bike saddle test and quickly rose to the top of our competitive field.
Testers liked virtually everything about this saddle, starting with its high degree of comfort which is a result of its great shape and unique Spiderweb she'll design. The shell allows for a bit more flex than many of the stiffer saddles in this review and provides a little more dampening of vibration than most, plus it's topped with a thin layer of their Bio X-Pad cushioning, a synthetic cover, and has a pressure relief cutout for additional comfort.
On trail performance is great, with a solid pedaling platform and a tapered tail shape that makes moving around the saddle on steep or technical terrain a snag-free endeavor. While we loved the Undercover Stratum for its impressive comfort, performance, and lightweight, some riders who enjoy a super stiff shell may find the flex of this saddle to be a little on the soft side.
It appears to be a very well-made and highly durable product, but it doesn't feature any tail reinforcement protection like many of the other saddles in this review. Beyond that, we feel this is an impressively comfortable, versatile, and lightweight option that's great for any type of riding.
Weight: 239g | Rails: Promote Volt Race has been a staple in Web's saddle range for many years. It isn't the least expensive model we tested, but this reasonably priced competitor is an incredible value considering the level of comfort and performance it delivers.
Not only is the Volt Race a good value, but its also very comfortable, with a classic design that has stood the test of time. A slightly cradled shape that rises gently toward the tail provides a comfortable and supportive platform, with medium density padding and shallow anatomical groove and “Comfort Zone” cutout in the shell to reduce pressure in the center.
Testers found this saddle to offer exceptional versatility, with applications ranging from all disciplines of mountain biking to road riding. The Volt Race is offered in three sizes, 135 mm (tested), 142 mm, and 150 mm, to accommodate a range of sit bone widths.
We were very impressed with the price to comfort and performance ratio the Volt Race has to offer, and we think you'd be hard-pressed to find a better value in a mountain bike saddle. Its also got a generous channel in the center for relief on the perineal area, and an extra-wide and flat nose that feels great when you need to get your weight forward on steep climbs.
It also seems highly durable with the Ti-Alloy rails molded into the bottom of the shell, and a Kevlar reinforced tail to protect it during crashes. The 611 Ergo wave Active tips the scales at 252g with an included elastomer and 226g without, so it isn't especially lightweight compared to some models in this test.
Web has employed their classic slightly cradled saddle shape on the Soda Team, a design that keeps the rider in the sweet spot and provides a little support as it rises gently towards the tail. An anatomical channel on the top of the saddle and a “Comfort Zone” cutout in the shell help to reduce pressure on the perineal area.
The result of this innovative design is the lightest saddle in our test, weighing in at 202g with the included anti-slip pads, and a featherlight 178g when used without. On the trail, this saddle performed well, with a narrow width and tapered tail that provided excellent freedom of movement.
The Toga Spider Outland may scare some people off with its distinctive looks and unorthodox design, but this saddle delivers an impressively lightweight and surprisingly comfortable package assuming you need or want a narrower saddle. The Spank Oozy 220 is a reasonably priced mountain bike saddle that impressed us most with its comfort.
It has a generally classic shape, though with an extra wide nose that feels great when you get your weight forward on steeper climbs. The wings of the saddle have pressure zone contours that do a wonderful job of cradling the sit bones, and a little rise in the tail gives added support and helps to keep you in the sweet spot.
The medium density padding feels just right and stays comfortable on any length ride. Additionally, the low-friction synthetic cover material combines with the snag-free shape to allow for unobstructed freedom of movement.
Benson has been mountain biking since the early '90s and has called the Lake Tahoe, CA area home for the past 19 years. Benson dabbles in all forms of cycling but focuses on endurance gravel and mountain bike races throughout the year.
Whether he's putting test gear through its paces or training for his next event, Benson spends between 12-20 hours a week in the saddle throughout the season. This much time on the bike makes him acutely aware of saddle fit, shape, padding, and performance for all applications.
Beyond weighing each model and examining its shape and construction, the majority of our testing was done in the field while mountain biking. Our gear obsessed testers thoroughly used and abused each saddle, putting a hundred+ miles on each one, often switching between them mid-ride or between laps for comparison.
The scores from these ratings were combined to determine our overall winners and top performing mountain bike saddles. Your hindquarters and underside will be making contact with your saddle for extended periods, so ensuring that the one you choose is comfortable is of the utmost importance.
A variety of factors play into the comfort of a mountain bike saddle, including width, length, padding, shape, and anatomical cutout (or lack thereof). If you're not sure what works best for you, we recommend having your sit bones measured at a shop, you can also do this at home, and there are helpful tips online.
Its short length, medium width, softer padding, slightly cradled shape, and anatomical depression made it a tester favorite, a saddle that everyone wanted to keep. Our next favorite saddle for comfort was the Toga Undercover Stratum, which also had a medium width, an anatomical cutout, stiffer padding with a fleshier shell, a tapered tail, and a rounder profile.
The Specialized Phenom Comp remains one of our highest rated models for comfort, with an excellent shape and a full anatomical cutout, though it has a somewhat less forgiving stiff shell. Slab put a lot of thought into the design of their saddles and that is evident in the comfort that the 611 Ergo wave Active provides.
The Web Volt Race was no slouch in the comfort department and costs less than half as much as most of its competition. The Volt Race's slightly cradled shape, medium width, and anatomical groove proved to be quite agreeable, especially for extended periods of seated pedaling.
Top view of the Volt Race shows the teardrop shape and the shallow anatomical groove. Some saddle shapes are designed to allow the rider to move back and forth more freely and prevent snagging on baggy shorts, and believe it or not some perform better than others out on the trail.
Not only was it impressively comfortable, but its shape and tapered tail made it easy to move around on the bike to get your body in front or behind it when cornering or descending steep sections of trail. The Volt Race has a great classic shape that is quite comfortable when seated, with a medium length and width that allows for plenty of freedom of movement.
The same goes for the Argon SM Pro, while it isn't quite as stiff it has a great design that optimizes power transfer while climbing and seemingly disappears on the descents. It was quite comfortable for long days in the saddle, with a nice shape that is well suited to all mountain biking disciplines.
The SDG Circuit Ti Alloy is also a fine mountain bike saddle, but it lost a little ground in this metric for a couple of reasons. Its moderate width and tapered tail allows for great and natural freedom of movement, but the flatter profile tends to put a little more pressure in places than testers would have liked.
The most common places for your bike saddle to impact the ground in the event of a crash is on the wings or the tail, and the highest scoring saddles in our durability metric have abrasion resistant materials sewn in to protect them from potential damage. This is a unique saddle constructed from a carbonite skeleton that's covered in a softer webbed material.
This saddle has no seat cover to rip and seems less prone to damage in the event of a crash. The Spider Outland performed great on the trail, it was comfortable with a shape that was easy to move around.
Both of the Web saddles in our test selection, the Volt Race and the Soda Team, have the same microfiber seat material with a protective layer of abrasion resistant material stitched on the outer parts of the tail on both sides. This material has taken its share of hits, and one of our testers has a two season old Volt Race that has seen plenty of hard crashes and has held up impressively well.
The Slab Ergo wave Active has a similar Kevlar reinforcement that wraps entirely around its tail. In cycling, everything is subject to weight scrutiny, and saddles are no exception; in general, lighter is considered better.
To measure this, we weighed each saddle on our trusty digital scale to determine the item's weight. The Toga Spider Outland edges out the others, however, because it can be used bare bones without the addition of the Anti-Slip padding at a shockingly low weight of 178g.
Our team of mountain bike testers put in lots of time on the trail riding with these saddles, and we hope our detailed reviews and comparative analysis will help you in your quest to find the best mountain bike saddle for you.