How to find the right mountain bike saddle

Choosing a mountain bike saddle is a personal process because saddles are not one size fits all.
Finding the right saddle is a deeply personal process that requires time, patience and experimentation — and what works for one rider might not work for another. And, a wide array of saddle options can make it difficult to know where to start, and that's where we can help.
A few weeks ago, a longtime Path customer came into the shop looking for a new saddle to accommodate a recent lower back injury. Desperate to continue riding, she had been doubling up on chamois and had even tried using an extra foam pad with her cycling shorts. But nothing worked with her saddle, and she was in agonizing pain no matter what she tried.
The first thing we did was determine her sit bone width so we could choose the correct saddle size. Bodies are built differently, and starting with the proper width and saddle shape (including cut outs) is key. Women often sit better on a wider, female-specific saddle, but riding style and flexibility also play a role.
The customer took home a women's saddle of the appropriate width and shape, but she pedaled it around her neighborhood and knew immediately that it wasn't the right fit for her. She did some more research, and came back to the store with a better idea of what she thought might work. Based on a few factors, we narrowed down the choices and ordered a women's specific saddle from Ergon that checked all the boxes.
We knew it was still a gamble because while it looked good on paper, it still might not be the right fit. But the saddle arrived and it turned out to be the perfect choice! The customer is happily still riding and has had zero back pain on the bike. It took a little time, research and experimentation, but the good news is that there are MANY great options, so we were able to find the right fit for this customer. Bike set up, saddle angle and fore/aft position also play a huge role, so if you're having trouble getting comfortable on the saddle, please also consider having a bike fit done to dial in your riding position.