We've all been there... an uncomfortable saddle can lead to all sorts of pain and problems to our sensitive undercarriage, and if it's bad enough, an unsuitable saddle can end a ride pretty darn quick.
Sure, in mountain biking you get a little reprieve when you hit the descents, but for long days in the saddle on climbs and traversing mountains, you still need a comfortable perch.
For the past few months, I've been reviewing the new Luna X5 women's MTB saddle from Fi'zi:k to see how it would fair on the trails and my bottom!
Fi'zi:k Luna X5 Women's MTB Saddle: Tech
When Fi'zi:k announced the launch of their women's road saddles, the Luce, we were pretty impressed with their manufacturing and design process. So when we learnt of the new Luna MTB model, expectations were already high.
So let's look at its design and construction...
This saddle has a rather flat and thin profile, which at first glance, doesn't look very comfortable. However, it's been made with Ischial Flex material which moves and flexes with your body as you ride.
Weighing 255g, the Luna X5 women's MTB saddle is lightweight and strong with a carbon-reinforced nylon shell and durable alloy rails.
The shape of this saddle has been carefully considered for the female anatomy with a channelled cut-out for soft tissue relief. The sit-bone wings are wide and slightly camber to accommodate the natural curve of the pelvis.
Dimensions: 280 x 141mm
Fi'zi:k Luna X5 Women's MTB Saddle: Verdict
Admittedly, I was hesitant when I first popped this saddle on my bike. It's really light, it's thin and so minimal that there didn't appear to be as much padding as I've come to be familiar with.
Somewhat rather foolishly, my first outing with the saddle was the Hope Tech Women's Enduro race back in October. Usually, I won't try new things for a race just in case I don't like them and they affect performance, but in this instance, I thought; "why not?".
"...as horrifying as it sounds, it does NOT mean you have a wide arse"
It really didn't take very long for me to notice a significant improvement in my comfort levels. For one, my sit bones weren't precariously teetering on the saddle's wings, instead, they were firmly planted and supported - hurray! Now, this is owing to a more recent discovery that I have wide sit bones, which as horrifying as it sounds, it does NOT mean you have a wide arse. The Luna X5 is available in two widths, I tested the wider of the two.
Despite the wider size, I didn't find the back end of the saddle a hindrance for getting behind when tackling descents. The slightly textured wing-tips of the saddle also added a little grip with my shorts which I quite liked, especially in wet mud-fuelled conditions.
So far, so great for me and my undercarriage! I'm getting along with this perch swimmingly and without jinxing it, I may have found "the one" for me!
As with most things, saddles are really down to the individual and with Fi'zi:k having a number of test and fitting facilities in bike stores, you can try before you buy - which I strongly recommend.
For more information on the Fi'zi:k Luna X5 women's MTB saddle, head over to their website here.