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The top 11 best cross country mountain bike saddles

In this article I’m going to provide you with a list of the best best cross country mountain bike saddles.

Cross country mountain biking is probably my favorite MTB discipline. Partly because of necessity, because there aren’t any mountains to speak of where I live. But since I started out as a road cyclist, when I transitioned to mountain biking, the step to a fast and light bike for offroading felt natural.

And if you want your bike to be fast and nimble, your saddle choice should reflect that as well. it support short and steep climbing sections. The saddle shouldn’t get in the way when you stand on the pedals, and preferably have a low weight as befits a bike with a cross-country pedigree.

You could argue that any saddle would do, and I am the last person to disagree if your seat feels comfortable to you. That being said, with the aforementioned requirements, I feel that some saddles stand out for the rest.

So without further ado, here are my top picks for the best cross country mountain bike saddles.

Contenders best cross country mountain bike saddles

Fabric Scoop Sport Gel Radius

Fabric Scoop Sport Gel Radius
Fabric Scoop Sport Gel Radius

Fabric makes fantastic affordable saddles and Fabric Scoop Sport Gel Radius is a great example.

The nylon shell has a pronounced swoop, which makes going on and off the saddle easy for dynamic riding. The shell is held by steel rails and measures 260 x 155 mm.

At 374 grams it’s anything but light, but for downhill purposes this doesn’t really matter anyway. And it’s the most budgeet-friendly offering on this list.

You really can’t fault this saddle, especially not for this price. So if you’re looking for a comfortable mountain bike saddle that definitely doesn’t break the bank, this is the one.

Reasons To Buy

– budget-friendly

Reasons To Avoid

– not for weight weenies

Selle San Marco GND Dynamic Wide (Open)

Selle San Marco GND Dynamic Wide (Open)
Selle San Marco GND Dynamic Wide (Open)

The Selle San Marco GND Dynamic Wide with the cut out version is slightly lighter at 210 grams, which is incredibly light all things considering.

It has the same overall features as the one without the cut out, and uses the same type of materials. That means you get a glass fiber reinforced shell on top of manganese steel rails, with plush padding in a semi-short length.

The version of 145 millimeters is more neutral than the narrow 135 millimeters, which allows for a bigger platform to support the rider. You might argue that that actually improves because the rider has to spend less energy staying into position.

The microfeel cover onto the star shaped design looks great and the finish is superb, which makes this saddle the perfect choice for adventurous riders on a budget.

Reasons To Buy

– has cut out
– excellent and durable build quality
– budget-friendly

Reasons To Avoid

– too stiff for some

WTB SL8 Cromoly Medium

WTB SL8 Cromoly Medium
WTB SL8 Cromoly Medium

The WTB SL8 Cromoly is a plush MTB saddle with a large swoop.

There are also titanium and carbon rails versions of this saddle but they siginifantly bump up the price whereas every other feature stays the same.

It’s a more allround mountain bike saddle that offers loads of comfort in a 142 millimeter shell width.

The cromoly version has memory foam padding that’s less stiff than the titanium and carbon versions. The shell has noticeable flex. So even though its wider than some of the more performance oriented entries, you’ll hardly notice it because the saddle moves with you.

Reasons To Buy

– plush and comfortable
– great allround MTP option

Reasons To Avoid

– none

Fizik Vento Argo R5

Fizik Vento Argo R5
Fizik Vento Argo R5

As far as budget goes the Fizik Vento Argo R5 is the most premium option on this list with a suggested retail price of 99 euros. It can be had for cheaper on Amazon though.

It’s another very well made short-nosed saddle with a carbon-reinforced nylon shell with a large center cut out. This cut out transitions into a lower surface area both front and back, planting you firmly in place.

This version also has an alloy rail to keep costs down and a width of either 140 mm for the small or 150 mm for the larger version.

This saddle offers ample amounts of comfort for relaxed road riding, thanks to the plush padding and cut out.

Reasons To Buy

– affordable MTB saddle
– short-nosed saddle w. cut out
– wide option available
– plush feel

Reasons To Avoid

– none

Fizik Tundra M5

Fizik Tundra M5
Fizik Tundra M5

The Fizik Tundra M5 is a true cross-country saddle, and an affordable option for people who’re looking for a high-quality seat.

The narrow performance saddle measures 287 x 126 mm, and has a carbon composite shell made from carbon-reinforced nylon with wing-flex technology. This means the saddle moves with your pedal stroke, making for a more natural feel.

It has an overall flat shape, which means it’s a solid option for mountain bikers with average flexibility in the hips and don’t necessarily want a locked-in feel when sitting.

It features a large central channel with padded halves for pressure relief. And has a slightly drooping nose to facilitate easier going into a standing position and back onto the saddle without shorts or bibs hooking. The padded shell extends all the way to the side, so no sharp edges causing irritation, chaving on the legs, or chewing up your shorts.

This one is the most affordable opion, forgoing either a Kium or carbon rails for a more standard alloy. This keeps the price low. But the weight is still very respectable at 235 grams. For comparison, the carbon version is 70 grams lighter and costs 150 USD more.

Reasons To Buy

– affordable cross country saddle
– performance oriented
– flat shape

Reasons To Avoid

– none

Selle Italia X-LR Kit Carbonio Superflow

Selle Italia X-LR Kit Carbonio Superflow
Selle Italia X-LR Kit Carbonio Superflow

The Selle Italia X-LR Kit Carbonio Superflow is a stunning piece of engineering from the Italian saddle giant.

What they’ve achieved is an ultra-light, ultra-comfortable saddle that’ll honed towards aggressive riding in less than ideal road circumstances.

The regular version is an very narrow 131 millimeters, with the large version measuring a more standard 145 millimeter width. The saddle featues a combination of an oval carbon rails with keramic coating supporting a carbon composite shell weighing just 130 grams.

That feat alone is worth mentioning, but even more astounding considering that comfort is achieved by adding two layers of padding with varying densities. This added damping factor is further enhanced by a shell to rails connection that adds an extra dimension of damping. And carbon itself has natural damping effects.

The gorgeous shape has a large cut out in the center sitting in a flat-shaped saddle with a slightly dropped nose. Furthermore the saddle has edge protectors so a single crash reduces the risk of irreparable damage to this premium perch.

As far as race-ready comfort this is my top pick.

Reasons To Buy

– gorgeous piece of engineering
– exquisite combination of comfort w. low weight
– huge cutout
– no compromise performance saddle

Reasons To Avoid

– very pricey
– compatible seatpost necessary

Selle Italia SLR Boost Endurance Superflow

Selle Italia SLR Boost Endurance Superflow
Selle Italia SLR Boost Endurance Superflow

At 202 grams the Selle Italia SLR Boost Endurance Superflow is a featherweight short-nosed premium performance saddle.

SLR denotes Selle Italia’s forray into short-nosed perches and at 130 x 248 mm for the regular and 145 x 248 mm for the wide version, they are short indeed.

The swooping design is felt even more by the gel padded cover. It’s amazing that Selle Italia has managed to cram so much comfort and padding onto a saddle that weighs so little.

Like most of Selle Italia’s premium endurance saddles, this one features a titanium rails and durable Fibra-tek cover onto a carbon composite shell.

Saddles are exceptionally personal product offerings, and when buying such an expensive one as this one you want one that’s right for you.

This saddle is anything but cheap, but for that premium you get one of the lightest endurance saddles in the market for long comfortable hours in the saddle.

Reasons To Buy

– extremely comfortable high-end saddle
– swooping design w. gel padded cover
– short-nosed design with massive cut out
– lightest endurance saddle on the market

Reasons To Avoid

– very pricey

Selle Italia X-LR TM Air Cross Superflow

Selle Italia X-LR TM Air Cross Superflow
Selle Italia X-LR TM Air Cross Superflow

The Selle Italia X-LR TM Air Cross Superflow is a great example that a high quality saddle doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg necessarily.

It basically offers the same as many of the much more premium offerings from Selle Italia. But by using cheaper materials it’s much, much more affordable.

The nylon shell and manganese rails offer enough comfort with a dual-density foam-padded saddle.

The saddle is offered in two performance-oriented sizes; 131 x 266 mm and 145 x 266 mm. And its nature emphasizes offroad usage, with an abbrasive-resistant waterproof microfiber cover and edge protectors.

This lightweight saddle still only weighs between 215 and 224 grams, and has a large cut out running almost the entire length of the saddle.

It’s a beautiful yet affordable saddle with all the right features to enjoy your next trail ride.

Reasons To Buy

– affordable high-end design
– edge protectors
– waterproof

Reasons To Avoid

– firm ride

Prologo Scratch M5 Pas

Prologo Scratch M5 Pas
Prologo Scratch M5 Pas

The Prologo Scratch M5 Pas is a short-nosed lightweight road bike saddle.

The overall design features a large seating platform and dropped nose, which enables dynamic riding where you need to get frequently out of the saddle.

The saddle offers two options for the rails with the Tirox alloy versions hovering around 200 grams and a much lighter carbon version sitting at 134 grams. Oval carbon rails necessity a carbon specific seatpost, so make sure you have one, should you decide to opt for the carbon version.

The Scratch M5 is decently padded and looks futuristic with its five panel layout across a rounded 250mm length shell. This separate pannelling should help to add some extra flex to the saddle for added comfort.

Reasons To Buy

– short-nosed saddle
– futuristic design
– multiple rail options

Reasons To Avoid

– none

Prologo Dimension NDR

Prologo Dimension NDR
Prologo Dimension NDR

The Prologo Dimension NDR is a sporty saddle with an offroad nature.

To establish this nature, Prologo simply added more padding to the shell, which is offered in a single size of 245 x 143 mm.

The 245 millimeters can be considered a short-nosed saddle. For those of you who don’t know what that is, short-nosed saddles favor riders who show a more forward seated position.

Since there’s less nose, the overall saddle can be moved forward a bit on the seatpost, while the rider still remains in the area where he or she feels most comfortable.

It’s probably one of the most aggressive saddles on this list for offroad touring or mountain biking.

Reasons To Buy

– well-padded offroad saddle
– short-nosed version
– aggressive performance saddle

Reasons To Avoid

– none

Prologo Kappa Space

Prologo Kappa Space
Prologo Kappa Space

Coming in both white and black with red elements thrown in the Prologo Kappa Space is the most in your face options of all the saddles listed here. So if you’re in for that type of design this one will float your boat.

Besides the design aspects the Kappa Space has a more classic looking arrow design at 270×147 mm, sitting on cro-mo 7 mm standard rails.

The center cut out and dipped area is more narrow than several of its competitors, which is also in line with more classic designs.

A great fit on a bike saddle will always be something intimately personal. But if you feel more familiar with classicly shaped arrowheaded saddles, and you like its design, this great piece from Prologo is the best choice.

Reasons To Buy

– affordable
– classic shape
– cut out design

Reasons To Avoid

– none

Specifications best cross country mountain bike saddles

NameRailRetail PriceDimensionsWeightShellPaddingCoverBuy at AmazonBuy at Ebay
Fabric Scoop Sport Gel Radiussteel47 USD260 x 155 mm374 gnylonlinklink
Selle San Marco GND Dynamic Wide (Open)manganese79 euros262 x 145 mm210 gglass fiber reiinforcedBiofoamMicrofeellinklink
WTB SL8 Cromoly Mediumcromoly96 USD265 x 142 mm266 gFlex-Tuned ShellHLX Paddingmicrofiberlinklink
Fizik Vento Argo R5S-Alloy 7 mm109.99 USDS 265 x 140 mm – L 265 x 150 mmS 225 g – L 232 gcarbon-reinforced nylontype 1 foamlinklink
Fizik Tundra M5s-alloy99.99 USD287 x 126 mm235 gcarbon compositePU foammicrotexlinklink
Selle Italia X-LR Kit Carbonio Superflowcarbon/keramic 7×9 mm300 eurosS 131 x 266 mm – L 145 x 266 mmS 130 g – L 138 gcarbon reinforced nylondouble-densityFibra-Teklinklink
Selle Italia SLR Boost Endurance SuperflowTI 316 Tube 7 mm320 eurosS 130 x 248 mm – L 145 x 248 mmS 202 g – L 207 gcarbon compositeFibra-Teklinklink
Selle Italia X-LR TM Air Cross Superflowmanganese tube 7 mm100 eurosS 131 x 266 mm – L 145 x 266 mmS 215 g – L 224 gnylondouble density foamFibra-Teklinklink
Prologo Scratch M5 Pasnack carbon / tirox138/213 euros250 x 140 mmnack 134 g – Tirox 201 glinklink
Prologo Dimension NDRnack carbon / tirox / T4.0109/138/213 euros245 x 143 mmnack 170 g – Tirox 215 g – T4.0 229 gextra paddinglinklink
Prologo Kappa Spacecro-mo 7 mm78 euros270 x 147 mm249 gnylonLight foamlinklink