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Hardtail saddle recommendations

Old 09-30-22, 08:46 PM
  #1  
Tomm Willians
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Hardtail saddle recommendations

The wife and I decided to expand our cycling opportunities by picking up a pair of Specialized Rockhoppers. We are not interested in “technical” riding, more just for doing something different than our typical road bikes.
We took our first ride today doing 22 miles on a section of moderately maintained dirt road with some hills and sections of loose gravel, all in all feel we dialed in the shocks and air pressure to what seemed effective for that terrain.
Now in regards to the saddles….. these have whatever Specialized puts on them and after that distance with a hardtail… not sure we like them. Of course we could lower the rear tire pressure a bit more but I’m starting to wonder about other saddles or perhaps a shock stem. Ideally we enjoy doing rides around 30-50 miles on pavement so hoping to do at least 30 comfortably on dirt.

Thoughts ?
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Old 10-01-22, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Tomm Willians View Post
The wife and I decided to expand our cycling opportunities by picking up a pair of Specialized Rockhoppers. We are not interested in “technical” riding, more just for doing something different than our typical road bikes.
We took our first ride today doing 22 miles on a section of moderately maintained dirt road with some hills and sections of loose gravel, all in all feel we dialed in the shocks and air pressure to what seemed effective for that terrain.
Now in regards to the saddles….. these have whatever Specialized puts on them and after that distance with a hardtail… not sure we like them. Of course we could lower the rear tire pressure a bit more but I’m starting to wonder about other saddles or perhaps a shock stem. Ideally we enjoy doing rides around 30-50 miles on pavement so hoping to do at least 30 comfortably on dirt.

Thoughts ?
If you are looking to use a saddle to absorb trail bumps, then you are barking up the wrong tree, IMO. Soft saddles can be hell when it comes to putting down a lot of miles.

Part of the deal with HTs is learning to get your weight off the saddle for the rougher stuff.

If you do want shock absorption at the saddle, consider a suspension seatpost. Or run a larger rear tire and lower the pressure.

Curious to know how much you weigh, the tire size and what pressure you are running. You may be able to go lower.
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Old 10-01-22, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
If you are looking to use a saddle to absorb trail bumps, then you are barking up the wrong tree, IMO. Soft saddles can be hell when it comes to putting down a lot of miles.

Part of the deal with HTs is learning to get your weight off the saddle for the rougher stuff.

If you do want shock absorption at the saddle, consider a suspension seatpost. Or run a larger rear tire and lower the pressure.

Curious to know how much you weigh, the tire size and what pressure you are running. You may be able to go lower.

I weigh 178, running 29x2.3 and not sure of the pressure at the moment. As we encountered a variety of terrain throughout the day, I kept lowering the pressure from whatever the LBS set it at as I needed to for traction purposes.

Just checked the pressures and front is at 15, rear at 20

Last edited by Tomm Willians; 10-01-22 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 10-01-22, 11:22 AM
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This isn’t a hardtail issue. Or tire pressure. Or any of that stuff.

Basically, you’re finding the seats uncomfortable. There are several possibilities and I’ll outline them below.

-The seat is too high or too low, along the same lines it could be too far forward or back, or the nose too high or too low. Fiddling around is in order. With your cycling shoes on. This is ideally done in a stationary trainer mount.

-Your butt isn’t yet conditioned. Though it probably is, since you mentioned road bikes too.

-Possible you left the padded shorts at home? Just cause mountain bikers wear baggies doesn’t mean there aren’t pads underneath.

-Are you descending on your seat? Allowing your taint to act as a shock absorber? Don’t do that, get a dropper and get off the seat for the gnar. It hurts less and improves what you can get through. I figure my hardtail has nearly a foot of rear travel when I’m standing with the seat dropped. Legs are useful for much more than pedaling.

-Finally, some seats just don’t fit your body. You might have to try several. I’d start with something similar to the one on your road bike but be aware that your riding position is a bit different so it’ll feel different.
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Old 10-01-22, 11:34 AM
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I often recommend this seat - WTB Speed V

seat preference is highly individual - but the shape and amount of padding of this seat is agreeable with many

weighs around 350 g and price is reasonable - can often find for around $30
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Old 10-01-22, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Tomm Willians View Post
I weigh 178, running 29x2.3 and not sure of the pressure at the moment. As we encountered a variety of terrain throughout the day, I kept lowering the pressure from whatever the LBS set it at as I needed to for traction purposes.

Just checked the pressures and front is at 15, rear at 20
at 15 and 20 psi you might pinch flat (unless you are running tubeless?) - although you might be ok if you stick to maintained dirt roads etc

but your legs might be beat and sore from the (extra) rolling resistance of running low pressure like 15 and 20 psi

would rather have a sore rear than sore legs lol

would rather have a sore rear than a flat lol

Last edited by t2p; 10-01-22 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 10-01-22, 01:35 PM
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Lots of good advice here to take in. I think I’m figuring out this discipline requires a different approach that I was dismissive of. I have done (and still do) centuries and double metrics so I guess I thought getting in the dirt would be an easy transition.
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Old 10-01-22, 01:47 PM
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I forgot to mention. A lot of time on a mountain bike is slow, especially if you are doing all the climbing and not shuttling. That 22 mile ride might have been 4 hours. That’s not an insignificant time on the saddle, especially if it’s a new bike that you haven’t dialed in for your fit.
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Old 10-02-22, 07:12 PM
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I’ve been looking at the SR Suntour NCX seat posts. They have good reviews. My bike is dual purpose though so can’t decide between dropper or shock.
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Old 10-02-22, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by .Slideways. View Post
I’ve been looking at the SR Suntour NCX seat posts. They have good reviews. My bike is dual purpose though so can’t decide between dropper or shock.
PNW Coast does both.
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Old 10-08-22, 12:38 AM
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Buy saddles that fit your sit bones and then ride enough to toughen up your a** muscles.
Can't get much more comfy on gravel roads than w/a 29'r w/2.3 tyres.
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Old 10-08-22, 06:39 AM
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A friend has Brooks with the cutout (don't know model name) on both his gravel (which also serves for road duty) and mtn bike. A leather saddle with a cutout might work. Haven't tried leather myself (yet)--my hardtail mtn.bike has had a Terry Liberator on it for years and works for me. As you know though, what is great for one might be torture for another.
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Old 10-12-22, 08:13 PM
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I wouldn't suggest a leather saddle for MTB just because trail terrain is so dusty, dirty, muddy, etc that the leather will be ruined pretty quickly. I have a Brooks C17 Cambium all weather saddle for one of my MTB's and that works well.
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