Tainted Love: Finding a Comfortable Mountain Bike Seat

Corey Philip // 21 May 2024

This might be too much information but if you're here, you can probably relate.

After getting into XC mountain biking from BMX around 2008 - 2009, I legit stopped riding because bike seats simply hurt my manliness.  I tried different saddles and shorts, but no matter the combination after 30 minutes or so of riding things would go numb.  So although I loved mountain biking, I literally through the towel in due to discomfort.  


Selle Italia Max SLR Gel SuperFlow Pictured (this is what I ride with)

Find it on:

>>> Selle Italia Website

>>> Competitive Cyclist (retailer)


For the next 10 years I wouldn't really ride much except for bike rentals here and there and occasional down hill while traveling.  

Then in 2020, I sold my main local business and went nomadic.  I wanted to mountain bike.  My plan was to buy a bike and then buy every saddle I could find and try them all. 

And if I couldn't find a saddle that I liked, I would sell the bike and that would be a wrap on my lifetime career as a mountain biker.  

So I got the bike and then ordered a bunch of saddles online primarily from JensonUSA with the plan to give each of them a short try and return them if they weren't a fit (admittedly taking advantage of the return policy a bit).  

All in all I ordered 7 seats to test and find something comfortable.  This trial happened over a year ago (in June 2020) so I unfortunately don't remember all of them, but these are the ones I do remember.  

The Mountain Bike Seats I Tested: 

  • Ergon SM Pro
  • Specialized Phenom
  • Tioga Undercover
  • Selle Italia SLR Super Flow

I went down the list and was unimpressed by the first 6.  All of them were causing numbness after 30 minutes or so.  With only one more to try, I was un-optimistic and figured I would again be throwing in the towel on mountain biking.

Then I tried the Selle Italia SLR SuperFlow that I picked up for about $200... and it felt great.  The 2 little bones in my pelvic region supported me on the saddle leaving the blood to flow freely.

I know it might sound like an infomercial... everything sucked and then this thing changed my life... but legit, that's the story.

Since then I've gone on to use other Selle Italia saddles and found them just as comfortable.  So if you need comfort, cause let's be real, cycling with pain in your taint just ain't fun.

About the Author

Corey Philip

Mountain biker and trail runner. I work remotely and travel around riding awesome trails 66% of the year. Bike: 2020 Specialized Stumpjumper. Youtube | Strava | Instagram