Saddle Buyer’s Guide
Saddle Buyer’s Guide
Replacing or upgrading your saddle is a great way to refresh your ride. When your old saddle becomes worn, its foam padding’s density can become compressed over time, decreasing its shock absorption capabilities. Additionally, crashes can bend rails and scratch the cover, which can lead to an ill-fitting saddle.
As one of the key contact points with the rider’s body, the saddle can be one of the most critical from a comfort standpoint. The latest saddles on the market offer varying features and benefits—shape, fit, comfort features, weight, durability of materials, length and weight are all characteristics to consider when choosing a new seat. Take a look at some of the best saddles to choose from in our “2020 Saddle Buyer’s Guide”.
Shimano PRO Stealth Offroad
Available in two widths-142mm and 152mm -and weighing 195 and 205 grams, respectively, the PRO Stealth Offroad saddle from Shimano features a large anatomic recess area and lightweight EVA padding in multiple thicknesses to reduce pressure. The PRO Stealth Offroad’s CTec suspended rails add compliance while its sloping tail design aims to increase maneuverability.
Featuring an SDG Components base, the Deity Speedtrap saddle uses mid-density EVA foam and hollow chromoly rails. Its embossed synthetic cover has Kevlar sides with D2 edge flex along with color-matched bases and bumpers—available with a black cover in bronze, stealth, white, red, green, blue, orange, black and Turquoise LTD Edition. The Speedtrap is intended for all-mountain, enduro and downhill, weighs 241 grams and measures 280mm long by 140mm wide.
SDG Bel-Air RL 2.0
An all-purpose cross-country saddle, the SDG Bel-Air RL 2.0 is 270mm long by 140mm all cross saddle Bel 2 0 wide and weighs 230 grams. This Ti-alloy-railed saddle features a seamless, one-piece microfiber cover and EVA foam. The down-curved nose is intended to aid in climbing and short-snagging prevention while its “Peri-Canal groove” and rear-rise platform disperse weight to provide enhanced pelvis rotation and power.
Repente Prime 2.0
Measuring 275mm long by 132mm wide, the Repente Prime 2.0 saddle features polyurethane foam and a microfiber-coated cover that is interchangeable. The long anatomical cutout design utilizes a multi-section carbon rail system that weighs just 170 grams.
The Astute Mudline saddle measures 260mm long by 125mm wide, weighs 199 grams and features a round-shaped tail, nylon carbon shell, titanium rails and a microfiber cover. The Mudline’s Bumper Defense System (B.D.S) distributes its tri-density progressive memory foam padding to specific locations. There is also a carbon-railed version available called the Mud Lite.
Price: $199.99; $269.99, Mud Lite
Offering a multitude of shapes and sizes, WTB’s SL8 is the brand’s minimalist saddle. The SL8 is 265mm long and comes in three widths—127mm, 142mm and 150mm—and three rail materials: chromoly, titanium or carbon. A narrow, tapered nose and midsection, short overall length and thin, lightweight padding keeps weight low—the 127mm width model weighs 155 grams in carbon, 193 grams in titanium and 261 grams in chromoly. If you’re wondering what size is best for you, visit WTB’s website to utilize their Fit Right System.
Ergon SR Pro Men
Featuring a flat contour top and a relief channel with a deep cut-out, the Ergon SR Pro Men saddle is designed to accommodate the male anatomy in a low, forward tilted riding position. The AirCell foam and OrthoCell-pad inlays distribute pressure across the carbon shell and TiNox rails. Available in two sizes—S/M and M/L—the SR Pro Men weighs 260 grams and comes with a Topeak QuickClick to attach a saddle bag.
Tioga Undercover Stratum
Available with carbon, titanium or chromoly rails, Tioga’s Undercover Stratum is designed with a less central curve to minimize pressure and provide active suspension within its cushioning system. Utilizing a SpyderWeb base structure, this saddle features Tioga’s Bio X-Pad ReActiv open cell foam—the carbon model uses X-Pad SL closed cell foam—and an upsweep angled tail. Size measurements are 285mm long by 140mm wide.
Price: $200, carbon; $135, Ti; $95, CroMo
Designed to deliver the comfort of a cut-out saddle, but without the cutout, the N-Spire saddle from Smanie strategically places varying layers and thicknesses of foam to relieve nerve pressure. It features a synthetic leather cover, chromoly rails, measures 265mm in length and comes in three widths and weights: 136mm/206 grams, 146mm/216 grams and 156mm/226 grams.
Price: $99 (with free worldwide shipping)
The pride of Beaverton, Oregon, Sage is a small brand known for its quality titanium frames, but they also offer a few intimate products. Their Beccus Saddle features a short-nose design with a center cut-out to relieve pressure. It measures 245mm long and comes in two widths: 143mm or 155mm. Both models come with titanium rails. The 143mm version weighs 255 grams.
Selle Italia X-LR
The XL-R from Selle Italia comes in two versions—the SuperFlow model (shown) weighs 130 grams and utilizes an anatomic cut—and features titanium rails with a nylon 12/carbon shell. Each XL-R is hand-upholstered and measures 266mm long by 131mm wide.
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