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Before you hit the trails be sure to get a comfortable mountain bike saddle. A properly fitted and installed saddle can make all the difference on your longest rides. Mountain bike seats are generally created to provide plenty of support and comfort, but if they’re set up incorrectly, or just not the right saddle for you, they can literally be a pain in the rear.
Tips for Finding Comfortable Bike Seats
Finding a comfortable bike seat can be easy as long as you keep certain characteristics in mind. Some of our top tips include:
- Understanding Your Preferences: The first thing you should consider when looking for a mountain bike seat is what features you like. Do you prefer more padding? Are you looking for a performance saddle? All these features should factor into your decision making.
- Make Sure You Get the Right Saddle: Not all bike saddles are made the same. A road bike saddle can be different from a mountain biking saddle, and it’s important to make sure you get the right setup.
- Get Measured: Your local bike shop generally has the tools and expertise needed to find you the perfect saddle. They will often take measurements and provide exact specifications for the type of mountain bike seat you should have.
- Test Ride a Saddle: While not every bike shop offers this option, finding one that does can make all the difference. By trying out a saddle you can ride on, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision. If you don’t, swap it for another one. That’s the beauty of test riding.
If you take the time to find the perfect mountain bike saddle, you are sure to enjoy longer and more comfortable rides.
Best Mountain Bike Seats
Choosing a mountain bike seat and naming it the best is very subjective and dependent on the rider. With that being said, each year new innovations in technology help us to determine some of the better seats out there. A great example of a good mountain bike seat is the Ergo SME 3 Saddle. This saddle is created specifically to assist with shock absorption, which can be a great asset to a mountain biker.
Another thing to consider when choosing a mountain bike saddle is gender. There are saddles that are made specifically to accommodate each while providing the best levels of comfort. A great example for men is the Planet Bike Men’s A.R.S. Anatomic Relief Bicycle Saddle. Made with cutouts, this seat offers men comfort, which can be very helpful on longer rides. For women, there is also the WTB Women’s Deva Race SE Saddle. This saddle is equipped with additional gel-padding to help with shock absorption and is engineered with pressure relief panels to offer comfort.
A rule of thumb with mountain bike seats is generally to find something that offers plenty of padding. Because riders are going through roads dotted with drops, branches and rocks, it’s good to have something that helps with shock absorption in addition to the bike frame.
How to make Your Mountain Bike Saddle More Comfortable
Whether you have the most comfortable sport bike, or a run of the mill mountain bike, you can easily bump up your ride by making your saddle more comfortable. Some solutions include:
- What is Your Riding Style: A rider’s tendencies can easily affect your level of comfort while riding. Do you stay in the saddle while riding over rough terrain? Does your mountain bike come with shock absorbers? If you are feeling sore after riding, make slight variations in your cycling style like standing when going over rough terrain. This can help alleviate pressure on your joints and back without having to replace your mountain bike saddle.
- Check the Height of Your Saddle: Saddle height should be adjusted based on the cyclist. If your saddle is too high, or too low, it can make you work harder while peddling, and also put unnecessary strain in your seat area. A good way to take care of this is to take your bike into your local shop. They can easily fit you for your bike and ensure that your saddle is at the perfect height for your frame.
- Adjust the Saddle Angle: Like the height of your saddle, the angle of your saddle can easily play a role in your discomfort. If your saddle is currently flat, try tilting it forward to alleviate pressure. Similarly, if your saddle is titled too forward, it can cause you to slide while riding, which results in similar discomfort.
The key to the most comfortable sport bike is customizing it to your specifications. From the type of seat, to the height, and even the angle, the more you fine-tune your ride, the better you will feel in the long run, especially when it comes to mountain biking.