Looking to increase the comfort of your ride as you speed through the countryside? Buying a quality mountain bike seat can drastically improve the quality of any off-road ride thanks to increased padding and superior suspension. Making this one small change to your bike’s setup can yield hugely positive results when it comes to the enjoyment of your trips.
With such a wide variety of mountain bike seats currently available, this article pulls together and reviews five of the best seats around. We’ll take a look at each seat’s highlights, the pros, and the cons. By the end of this article, you should have a clear understanding of what is currently available in the market as well as whether or not any of our top five mountain bike seats are right for you.
1. Zhiqiu Mountain Bike Seat
The Zhiqiu Mountain Bike Seat delivers a professional style bike seat at a seriously low price. This seat is great for those who are looking to add some extra functionality to their mountain bike but are either budget conscious or new to bike customization.
This bike seat has the following features:
- Shell: This bike seat uses a conventional fitness or racing style shell with its long and narrow shape. This helps to create greater freedom of movement for the rider as well as naturally encouraging a forward-leaning posture.
- Rails: This bike seat uses a universally accepted steel rail system, making it not only durable but also usable on a wide variety of bikes. Its measure of adjustment is up to 4cm, allowing riders to find a position that provides the greatest deal of comfort while riding.
- Design: Using a rear groove and central cut-out, riders will appreciate the healthy level of airflow that they’ll receive while riding with this bike seat. This also helps to keep the seat lighter.
- Padding: As opposed to most conventional and entry-level bike seats, instead of using a plastic polymer filler, the Zhiqiu uses an artificial fatty gel that can reduce pressure towards the prostate by as much as 40%. This helps riders stay cycling for longer periods of time without unwanted discomfort.
- Comfortable padding
- Good rail adjustment
- Strong airflow
- Narrow saddle
- Bottoms out quickly
- Heavier than competitors
2. WTB Speed Come Saddle
The WTB Speed Come Saddle has great features including:
- Size: Measuring in at 10.4″ x 5.7″, this seat has a little extra space for riders, meaning they can sit a little easier during their rides. This also provides room for more padding.
- Design: The ergonomic design of this seat provides a level and more padded rear end, cushioning the rider more than narrower or angular seats. Riders will also benefit from the large central groove that promotes airflow, helping to keep them cool.
- Construction: With the frame being made from steel, this bike seat is extremely durable but also surprisingly lightweight as it only weighs about 369 grams. It also uses a synthetic exterior cover for a soft touch feel.
- Durable construction
- Dual compound soft-shell base
- Mid-sized seat
- No cut-out for better airflow
- Relatively stiff padding
- Expensive compared to competitors
3. Giddy Up! Bike Seat
The Giddy Up! Bike Seat aims to deliver a reliable and comfortable ride for a variety of users, whether it be for indoor fitness bikes or outdoor road bikes. This bike seat offers all of the fundamentals as well as a few added extras, making it great for all users.
The Giddy Up! Bike Seat offers the following:
- Comfort: With two-inch thick memory foam padding, this seat perfectly contours to your body shape each time you sit down. This allows for more comfortable rides across greater distances before the feeling of numbness kicks in. The front end of the saddle also has a narrow design, allowing for more thigh room and preventing the seat from inhibiting the cycling motion.
- Fitting: To allow a variety of riding styles, this seat includes adjusting clamp that fit a double rail clamp. This lets users customize the position of their seating with ease. This seat also comes with all of the necessary tools required for a quick and easy setup.
- Shock absorption: To provide a smoother ride, this bike seat uses a dual-shock absorber system with a shock absorbing ball located under each side of the saddle. Couple this with the thick seat padding and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a smooth ride.
What’s to like about the Giddy Up! Bike Seat
We love that this bike seat doesn’t simply offer fantastic features but also provides buyers with a bunch of useful accessories all for the same price. Buyers will benefit from a hi-vis reflective band for enhanced road safety, a service and maintenance e-book for any bike related concerns, a waterproof seat cover for when the weather takes a turn, and the aforementioned toolset that allows for a quick and easy installation.
What’s not to like about the Giddy Up! Bike Seat
While having a waterproof cover for the seat is fantastic, we’re not entirely sure of why the seat itself wasn’t made waterproof in the first place. This is quite an essential feature for those who ride their bikes all year round and having to take a seat cover everywhere you go seems a little unnecessary, especially when seats in the same class offer fully waterproofed seating.
- LED tail light for safety
- Tools included
- Ergonomic design
- Poor quality assurance in regards to working tail lights
- The seat isn’t waterproof.
- Narrow seat
4. Daway C99 Bike Seat
The Daway C99 Bike Seat offers the following:
- Comfort: This bike seat utilizes a shape similar to aerodynamically designed saddles but with a wider diameter across the rear of the seat, allowing for a more relaxed ride. This seat also measures 3.5″ in height, providing more room for their memory foam padding that contours itself to the rider’s body shape with each use. The narrower front end of the saddle also allows more room for greater ease of movement as you cycle.
- Functionality: Looking to serve a variety of users, this bike seat is 100% waterproof which allows it to be used all year round. It is also made of a soft and breathable material to reduce overheating as well as includes a red LED taillight for greater safety on those nighttime rides. Additionally, it comes with a one-year warranty. These features make the bike seat extremely versatile in its application and do so at a very affordable price.
- Suspension: The Daway C99 uses dual-spring suspension with stainless-steel rails for durable and reliable shock absorption to provide a consistently comfortable ride. This is great for smoothing out those bumps over longer rides outside.
What’s to like about the Daway C99 Bike Seat
This bike seat is fantastic for the number of features delivered for such a great price, alongside all of the functional features. Buyers will also benefit from a water- and dust-resistant cover, mounting tools, and an easily mounted saddle adapter. This bike seat is a perfect partner for those who are looking to upgrade their cycling experience with very little effort on their part.
What’s not to like about the Daway C99 Bike Seat
A regular concern that comes with the Daway C99 is the durability of the included taillight, as more often than not, this casing either arrives broken on delivery or is very easily broken within a short period of use. This lack of quality assurance can leave potential buyers with concerns, but Daway is very responsive when it comes repairing, replacing, or refunding their products.
- Fully waterproof
- Suited for nighttime and daytime use
- Stiff locking mechanism
- Reflector case regularly gets broken
- Narrow seat
5. Sunlite Cloud-9 Bicycle Saddle
The Sunlite Cloud-9 Bicycle Saddle is one of the more popular bike seats around thanks to its comfortable and durable design.
Some of the key features of the Sunlite Cloud-9 Bicycle Saddle include:
- Size: Measuring in at 10.5″ x 10.5″, this bike seat offers a great deal of space, allowing it to accommodate a wide variety of riders. This also allows greater space for increased padding to provide a more comfortable ride.
- Padding: This seat utilizes dual-density gel foam padding which is evenly spread to create an anatomically relieving design for a soft and comfortable ride.
- Suspension: The Cloud-9 not only seeks to enhance its overall comfort through quality padding but also with its suspension. The chrome coil spring suspension in place drastically reduces the number of bumps felt during your ride.
- Installation: This bike seat uses a universal fitting system, allowing it to be installed onto a variety of bikes quickly and easily.
What’s to like about the Sunlite Cloud-9 Bicycle Saddle
What we like about the Sunlite Cloud-9 is it’s simple yet ergonomically friendly design. The manufacturer hasn’t tried to create a bike seat that bridges the gap between leisure cyclists and racers but instead a seat that focuses on providing a comfortable and relaxing ride. Riders can sit down knowing that they’ll be able to ride for prolonged periods of time comfortably.
What’s not to like about the Sunlite Cloud-9 Bicycle Saddle
While it’s great that Sunlite has delivered such an easy-to-use and -enjoy bike seat, it would be nice if they committed a little bit more to the details. We don’t mind that they are leaving features out, but they could have enhanced some of the features they have included. For example, there are a variety of bike seats in the same class as the Cloud-9 that offer memory foam padding to provide an extremely comfortable ride as well as extra features for the same price. We feel there should be an emphasis on the quality of materials used.
- Wide seat
- Quality coil spring suspension
- Ergonomic design
- Lacking features and added extras
- Less comfortable than competitors in the same class
- Relatively heavy
6. Schwinn Quilted Bike Seat
The Schwinn Quilted Bike Seat aims to deliver a little extra comfort than your standard bike seat at a nominal cost. This is a must-buy for the budget-conscious among us who are looking to add something extra to their bike.
The Schwinn Quilted Bike Seat is loaded with great features such as:
- Style: This bike seat has a more unique and casual style than its competitors because the manufacturer used a quilted PVC leather combined with a chrome spring system. It’s also available in the more conventional black and a dark, luxurious brown color. The ergonomics of this seat are designed for casual and relaxed bicycles as opposed to fitness and exercise bikes.
- Comfort: Combining the coil spring shock absorbers with extra-thick foam padding provides an extremely comfortable ride, allowing riders to cycle for greater distances and longer periods.
- Size and waterproofing: Measuring in at 12.25″ x 10″ x 7″, this is a large and deep seat which is great for comfort space but does leave the seat a little on the heavy side, specifically 3.75 pounds. The seat itself is also water-resistant, allowing it to be used in poor weather conditions for extended periods of time.
What’s to like about the Schwinn Quilted Bike Seat
Our favorite feature of this bike seat is its styling. This is certainly a bike seat that you would purchase to stand out from the crowd with its quilted PVC leather exterior and chromed coil springs. Not only does this seat look great but it is easily one of the most affordable bike seats currently available but does so at a cost as it offers fewer features than its competitors.
What’s not to like about the Schwinn Quilted Bike Seat
For a bike seat of this price, buyers shouldn’t expect the highest quality padding or construction. While this is a great first-time purchase, those looking for a bike that’ll last might want to invest a little extra for a greater return.
- Extremely affordable
- Stylish retro design
- Extra padding
- Heavier than alternatives
- Lacking features and add-ons
- Poor spring quality
Mountain bike seat – BUYER’S GUIDE
Buying bike seats can be a lot more difficult than you’d first imagine, especially for those who have never bought a bike seat before. Thus, we’ll take a look at some of the features you should keep an eye out for when purchasing your first (or any) bike seat.
When it comes to the cover material of your bike seat, there are a couple of things you may want to consider such as:
- Waterproofing: Regardless of what material is used, you want to know its level of water resistance. Realistically, you should be looking for bike seats that are waterproof as opposed to water resistant as these seats will be able to handle poor weather better and have a more extended life expectancy.
- Durability: Many bike seats are made out of either PVC leather, real leather, or some form of a plastic polymer. In regards to durability, you really do get what you pay for, and genuine leather is an extremely durable, tear-resistant, and naturally weatherproof material but does come with a heftier price tag. On the other hand, PVC leather and plastic polymer’s durability is often reflected in the price; cheaper seats will use cheaper materials and techniques. That being said, you can still get very high-end plastic seats that are extremely durable.
The shell of a bike seat refers to the hardened frame that creates the base of the bike seat, and it often determines the posture of the rider through their diverse designs. Wider seats often encourage a more upright and relaxed posture whereas longer narrow seats require the rider to lean forward. The latter type of shell is often used for racing or fitness bikes as opposed to the former that you’ll find on leisure or commuter bikes.
Shells are often made from injected molded plastic, most commonly nylon, but can also be mixed with carbon fiber to produce a lighter weight and more flexible design. The carbon fiber mixes are often found on more high-end bike seats where every ounce matters.
Grooves or Cut-Outs
Bike seat grooves and cut-outs offer a few benefits to riders such as increased airflow to prevent overheating, reduced overall weight for increased speed, or even altering ergonomics through rider positioning. Less regular riders typically won’t find the need for cut-outs or grooves as they are on their bikes for short periods of time. On the other hand, long-distance or commuter riders should definitely consider them.
The comfort of a bike is by far one of the most important features of a bike seat. There is a variety of factors that come into play when looking at the padding of a bike seat such as the general shape, size, cover material, padding type used, and design.
As great as a bike seat may sound, it is always important to try the seat beforehand whenever possible. Everyone has different tastes as well as body shapes, so a seat that is great for someone else might be terrible for you.
Typically, we find memory foam padding to be the most comfortable, but some riders complain that it leaves them floating on the seat and not feeling secure. So, get out there and try as many seats as possible.
When it comes to saddle rails, it’s imperative to take note of their range of adjustment since clamping too close to the corners of carbon rails can lead to damage and eventual failure. It’s also good to measure the size of the rails to ensure that they are compatible with the seat posts and saddle clamps, especially since carbon fiber tubes typically require larger clamp ranges.
Extra Details (Types of Cushioning)
When it comes to the type of cushioning on your bike seat, you’ll really want to consider the end use of your bike and the style of cycling that you most often partake in. Leisure and commuter riders are more likely looking for a comfortable ride and will look for thicker cushioning around all areas of the seat. On the contrary, racers or fitness cyclists will most likely want thinner cushioning for weight reduction and greater freedom of movement as they’re also likely to spend shorter periods of time on the seats.
Bike Seat FAQs
With a wide variety of bike seats available, there are many methods available to adjust bike seats. The most common way to adjust modern-day bike seats is through the clamp that connects the seat to the bike itself. This can often be tilted to varying degrees as well as can be moved further forward or backward.
You’ll simply need to loosen the clamp with tools often provided with the purchase, but if you have a clamp that can be hand tightened, simply twist the clamp until it’s loose before removing or repositioning the seat.
The height of the bike seat comes down to nothing more than personal preference, and this will predominantly be determined by your style of riding. Casual riders are more likely to have a lower seat for a more relaxed ride whereas fitness riders will have a higher seat to better support themselves as they lean forward for more intense cycling. The height of your seat will also be determined by your height as a rider and the size of your bike.
When it comes to removing your bike seat, you can often follow the same process as you would adjust the seat. Your bike though will most likely come with a set of instructions, and it’s best to follow these as they can precisely point out the best method for seat removal.
New bike seats will also come with a set of instructions on how to carry out this process. More often than not, you’ll simply loosen the seat with an Allen key and spanner before fully removing the seat from the post and before replacing it.
Again, lowering the bike seat will be carried out through the adjustment of the specific clamping system integrated into your bike. These are often tightened or loosen by hand. This can be done by twisting clockwise to tighten and counter-clockwise to loosen.
The best way to make bike seats more comfortable is to buy an external cover that acts in the same way as a rain cover but lined with a series of padding to increase the rider’s comfort. However, you may not even need to buy an additional cover since the discomfort could be derived from your seating position. Hence, try to adjust the handlebar, seat height, and seat angle to find the most comfortable configuration for you.
With the market being rife with fantastic offers and a great variety of bike seat, there isn’t a better time to add a little comfort to your ride. Our recommendation as the best bike seat of 2018 would be the Daway C99 as it offers a considerable amount of features, it’s incredibly lightweight, and it’s also completely waterproof, making it useful throughout the entire year. Its padding might not be as thick as other bike seats, but it makes up for this by utilizing memory foam padding for extra comfort.
For those who are a bit more budget-conscious, then you might want to consider the Schwinn Quilted Bike Seat. This seat offers a good level of comfort for a lower price. Yes, you would miss out on some of the extra features, but this is a great first-time purchase.
- 1 1. Zhiqiu Mountain Bike Seat
- 2 2. WTB Speed Come Saddle
- 3 3. Giddy Up! Bike Seat
- 4 4. Daway C99 Bike Seat
- 5 5. Sunlite Cloud-9 Bicycle Saddle
- 6 6. Schwinn Quilted Bike Seat
- 7 Mountain bike seat – BUYER’S GUIDE
- 8 Bike Seat FAQs
- 9 Conclusion