1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Seat too soft??

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    21

    New question here. Seat too soft??

    I've been reading through the latest issue of MB Action magazine -- where they are reviewing a group of bikes in the $800 price range. Anyway, in each review, they lambast the seats for being "too soft" for anyone but a beginner.

    I'm curious, what are they talking about? As you progress in mountain biking, your ass becomes more numb, and so you get increasingly hard seats so as to display the magnitude of your numbness to others? Well, that and to save a few milligrams from the lack of cushioning...

    Can someone explain why experienced MTB'ers don't need no steenkin' cushioning?

    TIA,
    - Eric

  2. #2
    The Martian
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,202
    Quote Originally Posted by Crash_Enburn
    I've been reading through the latest issue of MB Action magazine -- where they are reviewing a group of bikes in the $800 price range. Anyway, in each review, they lambast the seats for being "too soft" for anyone but a beginner.

    I'm curious, what are they talking about? As you progress in mountain biking, your ass becomes more numb, and so you get increasingly hard seats so as to display the magnitude of your numbness to others? Well, that and to save a few milligrams from the lack of cushioning...

    Can someone explain why experienced MTB'ers don't need no steenkin' cushioning?

    TIA,
    Personally I find that seats with "cushioning" hurt like heck! They lull beginner riders by looking comfortable when in reality they are less comfortable than a correctly designed, well fitted seat with little to no padding. The extra padding distributes pressure to where you don't want it...your soft tissue and away from where you do want it, your "sit bones" while a good non-padded saddle will allow you to sit on your sit bones and keep pressure away from other more "delicate" parts in the area. I would have pain after only a few minutes in a padded saddle I'm sure; I can't imagine what I'd feel like after one of my 5hr epic adventures!!

    That's not to say "non-padded" saddles really aren't padded. Most have some padding foam and are designed to be flexible, so they actually are forgiving (not all, some of the all carbon road racing saddles just look like torture contraptions to me, and you can say going that far is just for weight savings and looking cool! OUCH!)

    I would say the issue is less about "padding" unless you are on a so called "comfort" seat of a cruiser or comfort bike and more about intelligent saddle design and proper fitting for your sit bones. Most of the stock OEM saddles on midrange bikes aren't designed smartly (rather cheaply) and likely won't fit your sit bones. There's a reason for that as bike manufacturers generally assume you are going to chunk their saddle for your favorite seat anyway, so why waste the $$$ on a nice one?

    Finding a saddle to fit your rear can be a bit of a challenge but once you find one I think you'll understand the benefits of a "good" saddle.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    48
    To me, its more of a personal preference. My saddle, the WTB Speed-V Pro Gel is considered to be a low level recreational saddle, but I ride it everywhere because I like a little cushioning and I don't care about the extra weight.

    I've never had a problem with the cushioning causing pain either...its less painful than my last non-padded saddle.

  4. #4
    tlg
    tlg is offline
    (enter witty phrase here)
    Reputation: tlg's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    2,250
    Quote Originally Posted by Crash_Enburn
    they lambast the seats for being "too soft" for anyone but a beginner.

    Can someone explain why experienced MTB'ers don't need no steenkin' cushioning?
    What they said was "too soft", not "no steenkin' cushioning". Everyone needs some cushion. The key is the right amount. Everything CougarTrek said is right on.

    The seat that came OEM on my bike was soft a cushy. And any long rides chaffed my thighs and made my taint numb

    Swapped it for a Terry Ti Fly. Been happy ever since. Has padding where you want it, not where you don't want it.


  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MrMook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    290
    X2 on the Terry Ti Fly.
    I ride with this on my MTB and wish I had another one for my road bike. Then again, what's comfy on my arse may feel terrible on yours.

    Choosing a saddle is like choosing boxers, briefs, or...uh....thongs. Whatever's comfortable. Some say carbon seats with no padding are sexy, but I'm guessing they wear thongs, too.

  6. #6
    jalopy jockey
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    549
    Thongs look great on the right seat. My wifes for example. Mine uh no. Although she likes me in lycra. And I her

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    3,988
    Long rides for softees...1.seat...2.padding...and threee! DiApEr OiNtMeNt ! ...

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mbslater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    56

    I wondered that as well

    I saw that in MBA as well and have heard it elsewhere before. I never gave it much thought until I worked my way up to 20 mile rides recently and noticed more discomfort on those last 5 miles.

    So unless you can try a saddle for several days, how on earth are you supposed to pick one to find the best fit? I know there are some ways to measure the distance between the bones to get a starting point, but other than that, what do you do, just keep trying some and selling the ones that didn't work out?

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    2,531
    Our LBS allows you to try a seat out for a few days and keep swaping it until you find one that is comfy.

  10. #10
    The Martian
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,202
    Quote Originally Posted by mbslater
    I saw that in MBA as well and have heard it elsewhere before. I never gave it much thought until I worked my way up to 20 mile rides recently and noticed more discomfort on those last 5 miles.

    So unless you can try a saddle for several days, how on earth are you supposed to pick one to find the best fit? I know there are some ways to measure the distance between the bones to get a starting point, but other than that, what do you do, just keep trying some and selling the ones that didn't work out?

    Some brands have "demo saddles" that your LBS can allow you to try for a few days (WTB and I believe specialized do this). Talk to your LBS.

    Also competitive cyclist (online retailer) has a saddle demo program where they ship their top sellers to your door to try for a week (or is it 2?). It's a bit expensive, but reasonable considering the shipping and time you get to keep the saddles. Better than buying two or three with unsuccessful results for sure!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •