What should you look for when choosing a saddle for bikepacking?

For an occasional cyclist, the saddle is not immediately top of mind. Are you planning on spending long days on your bike, several times a year? Then we recommend you to take a good look at your saddle. The type of saddle is of course very personal and a real verdict can only be reached after long use. That's why we take a closer look at it in this article.  

The Brooks B17 is a real "champion standard" - source - cc

Yes, everyone's bottom is a bit special. It is impossible to recommend the perfect saddle. Everyone has a different position on the bike, is not equally flexible and has a different anatomy. When choosing a saddle, it is advisable to visit an experienced bicycle dealer for the necessary advice. If necessary, you can ask to try out a few saddles.

While cycling, you may get a numb feeling in your behind. This has to do with too much pressure on certain blood vessels. Because of this pressure, the supply of oxygen to your buttocks is hampered. A better sitting position can reduce the pressure. To optimize your seating position we definitely recommend a bikefitting. You can also apply some basic rules to increase your cycling comfort. A good saddle can also help alleviate saddle pain and thus increase comfort by relieving the pressure points, whom always arise during cycling.

A good saddle is really important for a succesful en comfortable bikepacking trip - source - cc

The general rule states, somewhat contradictory, that the longer you sit on your bike, the firmer the saddle should be. So if you want to go bikepacking, you'd better avoid a gel saddle and opt for a stiffer saddle. Also, the type of bike determines the position on the bike and consequently the type of saddle. With trekking bikes you sit more upright, so it is better to choose a thicker padded and wider saddle. On a racing or racing bike, it is better to choose a harder saddle which is also narrower.

The bikepack community is seemingly divided into two groups when it comes to saddles: Brooks England versus Selle SMP, or leather versus synthetics. But there are definitely other more recent brands worth mentioning, such as Ergon and WTB.

The Brooks England saddles are truly beautiful and remind us of times gone by. They are made entirely of leather. Pure nostalgia, but also very comfortable. The B17 is the most used and best known version. A Brooks England saddle can certainly last for years. A downside is definitely the weight of it. Not everyone experiences this as an important factor, but when you try to make your packed bike as light as possible during your bikepacking trip, this can count.

The Brooks B17 is a real beauty - source - cc

Selle SMP saddles are made with polyurethane, which is used as an artificial alternative to leather. As a result, the synthetic nature of the saddle makes it almost half as light as the Brooks B17. These saddles are extremely suitable for long bike rides, and are also relatively cheap. After all, you can buy a saddle for 65 euros. That happens to be half the price of a Brooks England.

The Sella SMP is a real piece of technology - source - cc