Have you ever been uncomfortable with your bike fit, and you think you might need a new bike? It just may be your saddle. Luckily, for you, The Adventure Junkies are here to help you find the best MTB saddle.
Finding the right saddle is the best way to ensure proper bike fit. It is the best investment you can make for your bike, and your body will thank you. Even though in mountain biking, you are out of the saddle often, it is still important to find a properly fitting saddle. A touring cyclist crushing long miles would never rely on the stock saddle, they would invest in a proper fitting bike touring saddle. With that said, it is not easy to find the right saddle. But with our help, you can find the right saddle to carry you through all of your biking needs.
For more of our top mountain biking gear recommendations, check out the Best Mountain Bike Saddle Bags.
Quick Answer - The Best MTB Saddles
- Ergon SMC3 Comp
- Fabric Scoop Radius Elite
- Ergon SMC4 Sport Gel
- Brooks England Cambium C15 Carved
- WTB Speed Comp
- WTB Rocket Race
- WTB Pure Race
- Brooks Saddles B15 Swallow
- Fabric Scoop Pro
Comparison Table - Best Mountain Bike Saddles
|Ergon SMC3 Comp||245g||135mm, 145mm, 155mm||285mm||$$||4.5|
|Fabric Scoop Radius Elite||255g||142mm||285mm||$||4.5|
|Ergon SMC4 Sport Gel||300g||130mm, 150mm||381mm||$||3.8|
|Brooks England Cambium C15 Carved||395g||145mm||270mm||$$||4.6|
|WTB Speed Comp||369g||145mm||265mm||$||4.2|
|WTB Rocket Race||262g||142mm, 150mm||265mm||$||4.8|
|WTB Pure Race||297g||147mm||273mm||$||4.7|
|Brooks Saddles B15 Swallow||560g||140mm||270mm||$$$||4.2|
|Fabric Scoop Pro||255g||142mm||282mm||$$$||4.8|
Reviews - The Best Saddles for MTB
Ergon SMC3 Comp
BEST FOR: ALL-MOUNTAIN RIDING AND LONG MILES
PROS: Square seat shape provides pressure distribution and excellent range of motion for the thighs, comes in variety of widths
CONS: Relief channel might not be sufficient for some riders
Fabric Scoop Radius Elite
Ergon SMC4 Sport Gel
BEST FOR: THE DEEP 9MM CHANNEL CONTINUES TO PROVIDE COMFORT AND PERINEAL RELIEF EVEN ON LONG ALL-MOUNTAIN RIDES
PROS: Large and flat sitting area in combination with the deep channel and gel pads provide pressure relief and dynamic sitting positions
CONS: Does not off a 140-145mm width, average riders may not be comfortable on this saddle
Brooks England Cambium C15 Carved
BEST FOR: HARDTAIL, SINGLE-SPEED AND BIKEPACKING RIDERS, WHO WANT A LOW PROFILE, TRADITIONAL SADDLE IN A LOW PROFILE, EASY TO CLEAN, AND DURABLE MODEL
PROS: Brooks Cambium line has a variety of options, widths, and colors, look for the C13, C15, C17, C19 with or without the “carved” cutout for perineal pressure
CONS: It does not mold like leather and has no padding, so it can take a long time for to get used to or even be too hard for many riders
WTB Speed Comp
WTB Rocket Race
BEST FOR: VERSATILE SADDLE WILL TAKE YOU WHEREVER YOU RIDE FROM GRAVEL ROADS TO SINGLETRACK TRAILS
PROS: Lightweight, durable materials, and WTB’s special Flex-Tuned design for ultimate support and flex
CONS: Its curved tail and rounded nose might not be comfortable for everyone
WTB Pure Race
Brooks Saddles B15 Swallow
BEST FOR: HARDTAIL AND SINGLE-SPEED RIDERS WHO WANT THE SUPPLE LEATHER SADDLE EXPERIENCE
PROS: Leather forms to your unique anatomy
CONS: Leather is hard to keep clean and the saddle is very heavy
Fabric Scoop Pro
BEST FOR: ROUGH RIDING AND ALL-WEATHER PROTECTION
PROS: Waterproof upper, titanium alloy rails provides strength and durability in a lightweight package
CONS: Only comes in one width
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST MTB SADDLES
When looking for a proper fitting mountain bike, the saddle is the next most important part. Proper fitting saddle width may be the most important factor to consider. Many stores offer measuring for the saddles they offer. Some brands have special sizing and require a fitting. For the most part, once you know the distance of your Sitz Bones, then you can find the right width of saddle. Many models come in various widths to try. Keep in mind that width isn’t the only indicator of comfort. The length, padding, and angle of the saddle can be huge factors in proper fit.
Finding the proper saddle can be especially frustrating for women. While many women have wider hips, it doesn’t mean that the wider saddle is going to fit. A women’s Sitz Bones are not always wider than the average man’s and getting a proper fitting for the measurement is important. Women are not necessarily going to use a women specific saddle. Many professional riders use the unisex or male models because they fit better. Likewise, some men need wider saddles.
Many brands and models are unisex with a variety of widths to appeal to many different bodies. Specialized has great options in a variety of sizes. They have a women’s saddle guide, that isn’t necessarily for women. It is for someone who needs a wider saddle. My best advice is get over the gender of the saddle, and go with the fit. Ultimately, it will depend on your size and riding style whether a wider or narrower saddle is for you.
The most common material for saddle padding is EVA or foam. Foam comes in various levels of firmness, depending on the saddle or price range. The padding contributes to the shock absorption of the saddle. Another material used is gel and is a squishier layer that conforms to your body. Gel does not have structural support like foam. Gel can be a savior for some, or the worst material for others.
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). Thick padding can cut off circulation in your muscles if it’s an ill-fitting saddle.
Saddle length matters depending on your riding style. The longer nose can be helpful for multiple riding positions. You can shift your weight forward and back, which can be helpful when climbing. Make sure the longer saddle doesn’t inhibit movement side to side or when out of the saddle. It can create an unwanted obstacle, especially if you are an engaged, active rider.
The shape of the saddle’s transition from seat to nose can make a difference in fit. Some saddles have a square shape. Other saddles have a very relaxed curved transition from seat to nose. If you are having numbness in your thighs or glutes the saddle’s curvature might be to blame. It can create a pressure point in your blood flow down your legs. If that’s the case, the square shape might be more fitting or a firmer saddle.
Saddles are either flat or have a curve on the top of the saddle. Some people want a very flat saddle, and others prefer a curved saddle. The curves can be across the seat of the saddle, or lengthwise from nose to tail. 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 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. Some people notice a positive or no change with the cutouts. However, some people will not find a cutout comfortable because they will feel like they are sinking down or unsupported. If that’s the case, a flat saddle might be best.