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Comfortable Women’s Mountain Bike Saddle: How to Choose

Comfortable Women’s Mountain Bike Saddle: How to Choose

bicycle seat for women

Want to find the best, comfortable women’s specific mountain bike saddle for you? That is no small task. In this article, pro racer Jocelyn Stel shares her helpful tips to get you pointed in the right direction. I’ll hand it off to her now:

 The mountain bike saddle is one of the most important parts on the bike in terms of being comfortable and enjoying riding. Knowing how a bicycle seat should fit is even more important for us women because most generic mountain bike saddles are not made for us.

A saddle that doesn’t fit your body right can cause extreme discomfort and damage to your body, so it is important to take the time to find one that works for you.

Choosing a Women's Mountain Bike Saddle

It’s best to try out a few different types of saddles until you find the one you like best. Sometimes this means you’ll have to buy a few different ones. Check if your local bike shop will let you borrow or rent a saddle just to try it out.

Also remember that it takes a few rides to break in a mountain biking saddle. Once a saddle is broken in it will be a little softer and a little more comfortable, so give yourself time to get used to it. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a comfortable women’s mountain bike saddle:

womens mountain biking saddle

Shape

There are a lot of things to take into consideration when looking at the shape of a saddle. This includes the overall width of the tail, the length, the curve of the saddle and whether or not it has a cutout.

Width

One of the biggest things to consider when buying a saddle is the width of the back end of the saddle where your “sit bones” or your pelvic bones connect to the saddle. The saddle should properly support your sit bones without being too wide or too narrow. If it is too wide the seat can limit movement over the bike, making trail riding difficult. If too narrow, it will be uncomfortable and even damaging.

Length

Saddles vary in length as well. Some women prefer longer saddles because it allows for a little bit more forward and backward movement. Others prefer shorter saddles so that it doesn’t get in the way moving side to side.

Curvature

Some bicycling saddles are concave and are higher at the nose and tail and slight dip in the middle. Others are convex and slightly higher in the middle and lower at the nose and tail.

Cutout

Another thing to take into consideration is that some saddles have a cutout in the middle while others do not. Personally I don’t find this makes much of a difference in how comfortable the mountain biking saddle is.

Position

How you position the saddle on your bike also changes how the saddle fits. This includes the height, forward and backward positioning and angle. It’s best to get a professional bike fitting done by a bike shop in order to get this positioning right.

Padding

Some saddles have more padding while others have less. Excess padding can make the saddle bulky and difficult to move around on. In addition, the extra padding doesn’t automatically make the saddle more comfortable, especially if you have good padded shorts. You need enough padding to be comfortable — but no more than that.

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Materials

comfortable womens saddle

Different saddles are made out of different materials. Material can make a difference to the weight of the saddle and how well it absorbs shock and vibration, which is especially important for mountain biking. Different materials can also change the durability of the saddle.
Generally lighter, more expensive saddles are less durable and more likely to break, especially under heavier riders.

Closing Thoughts

The bottom line is it’s going to take a bit of time for you to find a seat you really like and there’s a lot to think about when choosing a good seat. Ultimately, it comes down to your personal preferences and what feels good to you. You don’t necessarily need a women’s specific saddle, but you do need a saddle that fits you properly and doesn’t cause discomfort.

Jocelyn's Bio

jocelyn stel

My name is Jocelyn and I am a cross country mountain biker in the U23 category. I am on my bike almost every day and absolutely love riding. I’ve grown up riding my bike and I can’t imagine a life without it.

If you’re interested in reading more about my racing check out my blog Ponytails and Racing Trails  and follow me on instagram @jocstellar02. Feel free to reach out with any questions you may have!

I am currently sponsored by Cyclepath Oakville. If you live in the area and are looking for some help with your bike they are an excellent bike shop and will definitely be willing to help you out.

Hardtail Canada: Thanks for all the great info Jocelyn! Hopefully this helps other female riders navigate the mountain biking world.

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