Best Saddle For Xc Mountain Bike

Brent Mccoy
• Monday, 23 November, 2020
• 12 min read

Every mountain bike has a saddle and every rider will spend a large portion of every ride sitting on it. Finding the best MTB saddle for you is not easy, and we are not going to pretend that you can read this article, buy a mountain bike seat and guarantee that you will be happy with it.

bike mountain seat height saddle xc beginners 2e
(Source: www.youtube.com)


Our guide and comparison table of the top-rated bike MTB saddles will help you choose the right one for you. Web Rocket Race Saddle Race Face Affect BikeS addle Argon SMC4 Sport Gel SaddleCover: Durable, breathable microfiberDurable, breathable microfiberDurable, breathable microfiber Rails: Commonly alloyTitanium alloy railsCro-Moly alloy Shell: Flex-Tuned shell for just the right amount of stiffnessHoneycomb Flexion compositeDesigned to be a great budget all-rounder, the Rocket Race MTB seat is at home on any kind of mountain bike, in all sorts of conditions.

The synthetic cover is durable and has reinforced corners where saddles often get cut up in crashes. The padding is orthopedic foam and gel, which ensure comfort and support for many long hours.

While it is comfortable to sit on, the wide rear end can get in the way when moving your weight back. If you need a comfortable saddle for some serious endurance riding and can put up with the slightly higher weight, then the SMC4 will serve you well.

The flat shape and relatively solid padding on the Affect make it suitable for experienced riders with good flexibility. The shape makes it easy to move across, and is therefore ideal for blasting through technical terrain, where you will be shifting your weight around often.

The profile has been kept low to prevent your shorts snagging when moving back. Super light foam padding and titanium alloy rails keep the weight down.

saddles bike mountain cycling backside shorts test mbr
(Source: www.mbr.co.uk)

Surprisingly for a saddle of this quality, durability and weight, it does not come with a hefty price tag. Available in a huge range of sizes, materials and budgets, the Volt is a popular saddle not just because there are lots of them, but also because it performs fantastically.

The central cut out reduces pressure and you can find a model with just the right amount of padding for you. The “whale tail” design gives this MTB seat a good comfort level by putting you in a good riding position and giving slightly more peddling efficiency.

The Sell SVP Try saddle is another reasonably priced, high quality model. This seat is ergonomically designed to prevent any pain, discomfort, and numbness by removing pressure on the perineum with a cut-out section.

The firm padding is slightly thicker at the rear to support high pressure areas. It has a medium width and an average length, offering comfort at a reasonably light weight.

The medium width and slight curve, combined with a reasonable amount of padding make the Charge Spoon a comfortable choice for many riders. At a bargain price, I would give the Charge Spoon the nod as the bestmountainbikesaddle for its cost.

bike mountain saddles saddle mtbr favorite impossible nearly chair give
(Source: reviews.mtbr.com)

Despite the low weight and slim design, this is a surprisingly comfortable MTB saddle for long rides and races, assuming the narrow shape suits you in the first place. The size and width of these play an important role in deciding whether a mountain bike seat will be comfortable for several hours of riding or akin to torture.

These are made of aluminum alloy or titanium if you want to save weight and can afford the extra cost. A narrow saddle will also weigh less and weight-conscious racers will often sacrifice some comfort to shed a few grams.

A thick layer of padding will compact during a ride and eventually leave the rider sitting on the shell. While a small amount can provide comfort and support, especially on long rides, it is uncommon to find more than a couple of millimeters padding in professional saddles.

Ever noticed a groove running down the center of a saddle or an even a long, narrow hole? This is not about saving weight, but relieving pressure on your “sensitive” areas to prevent numbness when riding.

It is not a simple process, but once you have found your perfect saddle, you will no longer shy away from big rides. If you want to comment or recommend a saddle I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.

selle italia slr xc gel flow saddle bike mtb mountain singletracks 2009 saddles gear editors choice ratings based user
(Source: www.singletracks.com)

Every season we publish a fresh MTB saddle roundup to show off the latest places to rest your butt while pedaling. If you’re in the market for a new saddle, testing a few from your local bike shop is by far the best way to determine proper fit.

If you live in a rural area, away from major bike shops, borrowing saddles from friends and neighbors can be a good way to gauge your fit. The cover material looks and feels like the seats in a luxury car, and somehow it has handily endured a number of slides across the trail.

Under that layer, the widest points are designed to flex on impact, making for a comfortably cush sensation on rough trails. The useable area stays a little wider as you slide forward which allows for additional climbing positions when the trail tilts up.

Given this maneuverability, I was able to run the Gravity Alpaca a little further back on the rails and select my position based on the trail’s pitch. If you dig a flat platform to push against, and plenty of places to put your sit-bones on the way uphill, this saddle is worth a try.

The “S-Alloy” rails on this new model from Fiji are shaped similarly to a large staple, connected at the back side to increase strength and distribution of the load. Like others in this saddle roundup, the third generation SDG Bel Air has been updated to reflect progressive mountain bike geometry with a shorter overall length and the same slight rear rise for support when it’s time to lay down the watts.

saddle bike mountain sell venture venzo xc bicycle seat
(Source: www.ebay.com)

This saddle has a cutout. The Bel Air V3 features a hidden cutout and an average amount of padding that most riders should find more than adequate. The base is made of a nylon material that offers great support while still providing a decent amount of flex.

At 140 mm wide, the saddle should fit most riders’ sit bones while in a neutral mountain biking position. That is, it might not be the most comfortable for pedaling in an aggressive BC racing position or for sitting completely upright like on a cruiser bike, but for most applications and for many riders, it’ll be just right.

Buyers can choose from a number of Bel Air V3 models featuring steel, alloy, or carbon rails and in multiple colors and finishes. With mountain bike reaches stretching longer and seat posts heading toward vertical, SDG was able to hack 10 mm off the overall length of the latest Bel Air saddle to an even 260 mm.

At 252 mm long, the 612 Ergo wave is on the short end of the saddle spectrum which helps it stay out of the way when the trail drops and the seat post does likewise. The nose of the Slab 612 Ergo wave appears elongated, but really the saddle doesn’t flare out toward the back as quickly as others on the market.

Slab says the medical specialists on staff “place a strong emphasis when developing products on the need for ergonomics and health aspects in cycling.” Clearly a lot of thought has gone into creating the 612 Ergo wave, from design to materials. The Wilson keeps padding minimal for a firm feel and is designed with a flat profile, although not quite as plank-like as some other saddles featured.

bike saddle seat orange mountain venzo xc seats vz e01 cyclingdeal
(Source: www.cyclingdeal.com.au)

It feels like the saddle has some flex to it, like the Veto Angel Fly we tested last year, allowing it to conform to the rider’s sit bones. The shorter nose does seem to work, and we haven’t encountered any numbing with the saddle yet, even after long pedals.

Weight: 202g | Rails: Titanium Alloy Toga Undercover Stratum is a newcomer to our mountainbikesaddle 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.

bicycle saddle mtb seat xc 150mm vtt selle cycling bikes riding trail mountain travel
(Source: www.aliexpress.com)

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 mountainbikesaddle.

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.

bike saddles mountain bontrager mtbr montrose elite
(Source: reviews.mtbr.com)

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.

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.

saddles bike planet amazon bicycle seats saddle runnerclick cycling reviewed
(Source: runnerclick.com)

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 mountainbikesaddle, 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.

bike saddle mountain seat bicycle cycling mtb road comfort vader vd racing width ergonomic anatomic outdoor relief amazon offroad generic
(Source: www.bicycleadvisor.com)

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.

xc bike mondraker podium carbon bikes mountain rr hardtail race racer trail mtb biking mountainbike bikerumor teases dune foxy alloy
(Source: www.bikerumor.com)

The SDG Circuit Ti Alloy is also a fine mountainbikesaddle, 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.

saddle venzo bicycle mountain bike venture xc seat comfortable
(Source: www.ebay.com)

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.

From a comfort standpoint, a mountainbikesaddle is one of the most important pieces of equipment on your bike and can dramatically improve your everyday riding experience. 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 bestmountainbikesaddle for you.

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