Last Updated on March 24, 2020

How to Choose a Bicycle Saddle

Learn How to Choose a MTB Saddle: The issue of pain in the ass when riding a bike for an average is much higher than everything else – so in this article, we’ll talk about what should be a saddle on a bicycle.

There are practically no people who would not feel discomfort after a certain mileage. Usually, this threshold occurs at a distance of 60-80 km. More persistent ride 100 kilometers or more, so the choice of an MTB Saddle should be taken seriously.

How to Choose a MTB Saddle

For three years now, I have been actively recommending to my friends and readers the best comfortable how to choose an MTB saddle for tourism. I will try to convey the main idea – what types of bicycle seats are there, what is the difference, what materials are made of, etc.

Training is Everything

To start, I want to say a little about adapting the rear to the bike. No matter how super comfortable the saddle is on your bicycle, the priest will hurt you for the first hundred or two hundred kilometers. Do not pay attention, and this is normal: a specific load.

Do not rush to buy a new seat if you just started to ride. You need at least 5-7 trips to get used to the bike as a whole. Cyclists who have already “rolled in” do not feel any discomfort at distances of less than 60-80 km.

Most likely, the conditional border, when the unpleasant sensations from below begin to bother and constantly rolling lovers, is 100km. If this is the case in your case, then it makes sense to look for the best option.

If the pain comes earlier than at distances of 50 km, then try to ride more often, sometimes the ride begins with a sensation of pain due to the crumpled butt, but this discomfort quickly passes. It often happens that the problem is not in the seat, but in how it is exposed.

At the same time, analyze what kind of pain is bothering you. Press on the pelvic bones on which you sit, if they stupidly hurt – this means that you have not “rolled in” yet. If the discomfort from rubbing, then this is the problem of fit, form of sitting and clothing.

Sweat is absorbed into underwear and rubs the skin. The right move would be to buy cycling shorts with a special diaper pad. This diaper is made of synthetics and almost does not get wet, sweat passes through it and evaporates. As a result, you can roll much longer without exposing the skin of the back and perineum to rubbing.

What are the MTB Saddle

For actively riding a motorcyclist, there can be only two types of MTB Saddle: sports and tourist. You should not even consider all sorts of comfortable, walking, “sofa” options designed to move the owner’s rear five kilometers at a snail’s pace.

By sport bike seats, we mean all those that are mounted on mountain and road bikes, at the moment this is the most common version of seats. Moreover, with a certain level of adaptation, sports items can very well be used on bicycle trips.

Narrow or Wide Saddle – Which is Better

An important parameter of a bicycle seat is its width. It must be clearly understood that the ass sits on the seat with exactly two pelvic bones, and if the surface is wider than the distance between them – this will not add comfort at all.

But discomfort – as much as you want, because the inner thighs will begin to rub against the wings, with a predictable result. To know exactly what width you need a saddle, just measure the distance between the ischial tubercles.

How? Get creative. In the description of the MTB Saddle, there is almost always information about the width of the landing pad. Usually, it varies between 140 and 180 mm. By measuring the distance between the sciatic bones, you can understand whether your butt will fit well on the MTB Saddle that you plan to buy.

By the way, there is a common misconception that obese people need a wide MTB Saddle. The fat layer in the back does not guarantee a wide skeleton, so the pelvis may not be wider than that of a lean bicycle colleague. Keep this in mind.

Soft or Hard Seat

I have already described an example of the negative impact of a soft saddle in an article about cycling and men’s health. I will briefly repeat: the pelvic bones fall into the soft material of the seat, and after a while, the soft tissues are compressed, the blood supply slows down, numbness begins.

On a hard seat, the pelvis hangs above the surface, touching it only with tubercles. In my experience, the very best combination is a very stiff seat and a carbon Seatpost – plus cycling shorts with a thin diaper.

Such a bundle provides maximum comfort over long distances – a thin diaper effectively removes sweat without gaining it into itself, and carbon fiber at the same time absorbs vibration.

Saddle Shape

It’s pretty simple here – the seat should be with a hard platform (s) for the pelvic bones, wide enough in the back. The platform on which they sit should also be quite long since during the ride, you have to move a little back and forth.

The nose should be narrow. The wings should not protrude – the inner sides of the thighs mustn’t be rubbed when moving the legs. After reading this, older people can object to me, they say, in childhood, they drove on their Storks and Eagles on completely opposite saddles: wide and soft sofas and everything was wonderful.

Friends, that run that you did as a child and did not go close with kilometers even to a weak lover. I remember I put the odometer on my Salute, and it turned out that over the summer, I drove as much as 500 km, and the adults were surprised at such a huge figure.

Of course, why should there be negative effects if I traveled 5-10 km a day? If your current distances are like this – don’t even read further, don’t bother yourself. You can drive ten kilometers on anything. The saddle has absolutely nothing to do with it. But we’re talking a little bit about great distances here, right?

With or Without a Crotch Hole

The hottest battles were on this score in bicycle forums, especially when such options had just begun to penetrate the market. In fact, the idea is quite worthy – to completely eliminate pressure on the prostate, so fans of perforations defended their seats with the fury of lions.

Skeptics of this decision have noticed that if the distance between your pelvic bones does not coincide with the calculated one, then harm can occur instead of benefit. Imagine if your butt is slightly wider, then the bones will be located on the edges of the saddle pad, and since it is usually arched, the crotch will be slightly deeper on the seat than necessary.

In the usual case, there will be no problems, since the weight of the perineum will be distributed over the entire area under it. And if there is perforation instead of the site. Then the perineum, as it were, fits on this hole. And its edges press on the prostate with its faces.

Of course, all this is more of a theory; the backside does not sit statically on the saddle, because the cyclist is continuously in motion. Therefore, I believe that all these holes are more marketing, designed to make a profit on well-known fears. I traveled a lot in the seat with a hole for the crotch but did not notice any noticeable difference.

Material: Plastic, Faux Leather or Leather

With plastic, everything is clear – this is the worst material. They are usually studded with the simplest and cheapest options, generally coming with bicycles. Plastic does not let sweat pass, and if you don’t have cycling shorts with diapers, then discomfort will come very quickly.

The main symptom is rubbing. At a great distance, this is a terrible thing. You can erase your intimate places in the blood. Therefore, if you have a plastic saddle, then immediately buy a bike mold. It will come in handy for you anyway, but at the moment it’s just a necessity.

Faux leather is a material widely used in specimens of an average price level. The only problem here is that there are many types of leatherette, and there is no guarantee that it is good in the saddle you are buying. Bad leatherette is sweat-leaking as bad as plastic. Pampers and Veloform are also needed here.

And finally, leather is the material for the most expensive seats. She breathes well, sweating, and of course, it is most comfortable to travel long distances on it. I’ll add a fly in the ointment: almost all modern leather seats are of a sporty type, so the leather is not used there as a load-bearing element, but only a plastic or carbon base coating.

Sweat still does not have the ability to evaporate quickly, because under the skin is not air, but a solid material. One of the few seats where pressed cow leather is the supporting foundation is Brooks. It is quite possible to ride it at any distance, even in ordinary clothes – sweat removal is ideal.

Just a Couple More Questions

Do you need springs for a bicycle seat? Springs are an attribute of city bikes where landing is vertical. On bumps, the entire rider hollows into the spinal column, and this is not too good.

Springs help soften these blows. On modern bikes, whether it’s mountain, highway, or touring, the landing is elongated, and no more than 60% of the weight falls on the backside. Springs are the perfect rudiment in this case.

Do you need gel inserts in the seats (gel covers)? In no case. This is also an accessory for MTB fans to ride in their yard. The pelvic bones fall into the gel, which, even at an average distance, will lead to compression and numbness. Strongly refuse!

And Yet, What Bike Seat to Buy?

Let’s summarize which saddle is ideal for long distances: a flat sciatic platform with high rigidity, a shape with adjustable wing widths, the presence/absence of perforation, and leather as a supporting element. Only Brooks is perfect.

Add to that Brooks’ unique ability to take on the shape of an owner’s ass. This is due to the fact that small hollows under the pelvic bones are pressed in the pressed skin.

The initial feeling is pretty tough, but after a while, you get the impression that you are sitting in your old comfortable leather chair, so comfortable. I would never trade my Brooks for any lightweight sports leather seat.

I don’t give a damn about the “unsportsmanlike” look and a lot of weight. For four years, I was looking for the perfect option for myself and finally found it. Many thousands of kilometers on Brooks convinced me that if I spent money on something profitably, then this MTB Saddle.

Therefore, when now I hear a rebuke against Brooks’ aggressive advertising, I can pass this by my ears. I must tell readers about my personal experience, and it is up to them to decide. Perhaps someone will be scared off by the price, someone – too “tourist” look. And maybe someone will buy and will remember me with a good word.

However, there are people whom I trust who claim to have found the perfect option for themselves among lightweight sports saddles. Maybe so, when I was a bicycle fetishist, I spent some money, but I did not come up with a satisfying option.

The main idea that I want to convey to readers is not to focus on one thing, do not believe me, do not believe others. Analyze information, think for yourself – what will be better for your riding style. If you are only at the very beginning, then maybe you should not invest in expensive equipment yet. Ride, adapt to the bike. Still have time.


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