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The top 5 best enduro mountain bike saddles

In this article I’m going to give you a number of the best enduro mountain bike saddles.

It’s the mountain bike scene that offers some of the best value-for-money options when it comes to saddles. Less worried about weight and more worried about an ability to withstand a crash, MTB saddles don’t necessarily have to be your flimsy carbon seats.

In this list you’ll find a number of great options for extended rides on the trails and enduro riding. Saddles for climbing, and saddles for descending. Providing you with the support you need and easily get into a standing position and back down.

So without further ado, here’s my list of the best enduro mountain bike saddles.

Ergon SM E-Mountain Pro Men

SM E-Mountain Pro Men
SM E-Mountain Pro Men

Ergon is one of the few saddle manufacturers that creates distinctive gender-specific saddles. The Ergon SM E-Mountain Pro Men is their go-to saddle for mountain biking.

Plus padding and loads of comfort in an ergonomic nylon composite shell. The arc in the back means you can push against it to stay in control of more demanding sections of your trail.

A long channel in the center takes care of necessary pressure relief to soft tissue and sits between orthopedic foam halves covered in durable microfiber.

All that plushness does push it over 300 grams at 335. The saddle comes in two widths; 143 and 152 millimeters depending on your personal preference or sit bone width.

Expert Experience

Jeremy Benson | Product reviewer – May 27, 2020

You can’t spell ergonomics without Ergon, and this german brand focuses on creating products that improve comfort and performance on the bike. The SM Pro is a moderately priced male-specific saddle that I found to be impressively comfortable, competitively lightweight, and relatively high performance. It has a flat profile with a deep pressure relief cutout that we found to effectively reduce pressure on our sensitive parts. The classic Y-shape and OrthoCell padding allowed for an unencumbered pedal stroke as well as freedom of movement on the descents. It is offered in two widths, and I feel it is a good value for the rider seeking a more ergonomic saddle option.

Pros and Cons

Fizik Gravita Alpaca X5

Gravita Alpaca X5
Gravita Alpaca X5

At 130 millimeters, the Fizik Gravita Alpaca X5 is a narrow performance mountain bike saddle.

With a flat shape and rounded corners, you’ll have loads of flexibility to move around as the trail dictates your handling.

Some riders prefer a saddle to do nothing else but not get in the way as part of the ride is spent out of the saddle. This saddle does that and still offers enough padding at a very light weight of just 210 grams.

An excellent and affordable option for your tactical trail riding.

Expert Experience

Gerow | Product reviewer – September 23, 2020

The Gravita Alpaca is flatter still than the Terra Alpaca. You might say it’s Netherlands-flat. The cover material looks and feels like the seats in a luxury car, and somehow it has handily endured a number of slides across the trail. The smooth skin is tougher than it looks for sure. Under that layer, the widest points are designed to flex on impact, making for a comfortably cush sensation on rough trails.

Pros and Cons

Ergon SMC Sport Gel Men

SMC Sport Gel Men
SMC Sport Gel Men

The Ergon SMC Sport Gel Men is the male version obviously. Ergon has taken its research into male and female anatomy and applied it to this saddle as well.

This result in a more pronounced depression in the center of the saddle. Both saddles are on the less aggressive side of the riding spectrum.

Expert Experience

Miles Arbour | Outdoor adventure guide – May 4, 2020

So far, I’ve taken the SMC Sport Gel on several 40-mile rides and was quite comfortable. Although I haven’t taken it out on a big multi-day ride, I’m expecting good things based on my initial experiences. My position on the saddle is vastly different than that of the Cambium C17, yet equally comfortable. The total length of the medium/large version is 276mm (10.9”), which feels appropriate for any kind of trail riding I’ll get into. I recently tried a saddle with a much shorter nose, and missed the control that a longer saddle can offer while navigating tight corners and narrow features. The padding is plush, yet still firm enough for serious riding and won’t be too soft for riders who are used to sportier saddles. I distinctly noticed the exaggerated pressure relief channel, which helps avoid unnecessary pressure points.

Pros and Cons

Ergon SMC Sport Gel Women

SMC Sport Gel Women
SMC Sport Gel Women

As with the Core Prime models the Ergon SMC Sport Gel Women features a very distinctive feminine oriented cut out in a saddle with a large seating area.

It’s more affordable, has the same saddle ergonomic shape, but gel padding instead of the memory foam like substance of the Core Prime. Unlike the male version, this saddle has such a large open space you can deem it an appropriate center cut out.

It supports an upright position with enough cushioning to take out any irregularities in the road.

Expert Experience

Kristen Bonkoski | Site Owner – June 13, 2023

Thus far, I’ve used the Ergon SMC Sport Gel on countless lunchtime rides, a half dozen long days, and two bikepacking trips. The longer the ride, the more I like it!

I’ve had zero saddle sores, zero chafing, and *almost* no discomfort even at the end of Day 2 of bikepacking. While there’s absolutely no reason not to use this saddle for shorter mountain bike rides, it’s women who plan to ride long hours that I think will really appreciate it.

Pros and Cons

WTB Pure Steel

Pure Steel
Pure Steel

The WTB Pure Steel is a great all-mountain and enduro saddle, which so happens to be probably one of the most budget-friendly MTB saddles in the market.

The WTB Pure comes in three variations with respect to the rails. There’s titanium, chromoly, and the steel version. It says something that the steel version is one of the cheapest saddles of all the articles I’ve written about saddles.

You wouldn’t say that, based on the excellent design of the plush saddle. A swooping nylon shell is covered with a lot of padding and has a perforated microfiber cover. The memory foam-like substance adjusts perfectly to your specific geometry.

The lifted rear end helps to support you while climbing and the nose dips to prevent your shorts getting hooked. With so much padding the saddle obviously doesn’t have any sharp edges, which are reinforced to protect it when crashing.

I really can’t think of any reason why you wouldn’t want to buy this saddle, especially not with such a price. A winner for sure.

Expert Experience

Curtis Smith | Senior Review Editor – October 9, 2016

The Pure Race also has a noticeable downward curve at the nose to prevent you from catching your shorts. Of the WTB saddles I tested, it has the most padding but the stiffest shell. In general we find that saddles with a bit less padding and more shell flex tend to be more comfortable for high performance riding. I found it to be less comfortable than the WTB Speed.

I like the Pure for gravity-oriented riding and shuttle runs where we spent less time seated and more time descending out of the saddle. Most riders will find the Pure to be a bit wide and cumbersome for road biking and cross-country mountain biking.

Pros and Cons

Specifications enduro mountain bike saddles

Name
Rail
Price
Dimensions
Weight
Shell
Padding
Ergon SM E-Mountain Pro Men
CroMo
120 USD
S 274 x 143 mm – L 274 – 153 mm
335 g
nylon composite
Orthopedic Comfort Foam
Fizik Gravita Alpaca X5
s-alloy
99.99 USD
251 x 130 mm
216 g
nylon
Ergon SMC Sport Gel Men
CroMo
100 USD
300 g
nylon composite
Orthopedic Comfort Foam w. gel padding
Ergon SMC Sport Gel Women
CroMo
100 USD
295 g
nylon composite
Orthopedic Comfort Foam w. gel padding
WTB Pure Steel
steel
275 x 145 mm
345 g
Flex-Tuned Shell
DNA Padding

Sources

Jeremy Benson, Ergon SM Pro Men Review, Outdoorgearlab, May 27, 2020
Gerow, 4 MTB Saddles for Modern Mountain Bikes, Singletracks, September 23, 2020
Miles Arbour, Ergon SMC Sport Gel Saddle: First Ride Review, Bikepacking, May 4, 2020
Kristen Bonkoski, Ergon SMC Sport Gel Women’s Saddle Review, Femme Cyclist, June 13, 2023
Curtis Smith, WTB Pure Review, Outdoorgearlab, October 9, 2016
bio vanseijen

Johan van Seijen

Founder Restoration.bike

Johan van Seijen is the founder of restoration.bike. His cycling career has seen him at the starting line of classics such as the Amstel Gold Race and Liege Bastogne Liege. Realizing his racing capacity would fall short of what was needed he obtained a MS from the University of Amsterdam in engineering. His love for cycling changed into riding in an amateur capacity with his local cycling club TFC Weesp as a roadie and supporting MTB Noordwest as a mountain biker. He repairs, restores, and builds bicycles and shares his knowledge on YouTube, Facebook and this website. 

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