01 Jun How to choose a mountain bike pad: the key features
The choice of a mountain bike pad requires care and attention: riding on uneven terrain for hours on end can cause discomfort or very annoying pain.
The purpose of a seat pad is precisely to absorb vibrations and, at the same time, to reduce the pressure on your intimate parts.The right combination of seat and saddle pad allows you to ride comfortably and reduce saddle top fatigue, especially important for those who tend to ride very long distances.
To find out more, read also “pads: everything you need to know
How to wear a MTB pad
Often cyclists tend to wear underwear (pants or boxer shorts) under their mountain bike shorts along with the pad, but this compromises comfort and especially performance. Underwear is absolutely unable to absorb sweat and they could cause irritation and redness in the perineal area.
On the other hand, mountain bike shorts with an integrated pad are an ideal solution, as they offer much more effective and close protection for the areas involved in cycling.
Women’s and men’s mountain bike pads
Both men and women need different types of pads, which reflect anatomical differences.
Women’s mountain bike pads, especially, have a larger surface area to protect intimate parts. On the contrary, in men’s pads, there is a central groove designed to provide support for the ischial bones. The central groove facilitates blood flow, as well as to prevent numbness in the intimate area.
MTB riders must therefore opt for a specific pad that guarantees protection and comfort.
The benefits of a mountain bike pad
Wearing the right pad allows you to ride comfortably and with adequate protection. The pads on the market are not all the same; they can be more or less heavily padded and have a varying level of padding density.
MTB-specific pads must be able to protect above all the part of the ischial bones, presenting a fairly important thickness and a greater padding surface.
In general, when riding a mountain bike, it is important to wear technical shorts together with the pad that provide a good level of resistance and at the same time optimal protection against thorns and branches. They must have a comfortable fit to ensure optimal freedom of movement and maximum comfort.
Padding and material of a MTB pad
Both the padding and the material in contact with the skin must be of high quality so as to ensure good performance and the right resistance.
As far as the padding is concerned, it is important to choose a technical fabric that drains sweat effectively during long hours of cycling. Microfibre is the best solution, as it offers optimal transpiration.
The padding, on the other hand, can be polyurethane foam with gel inserts or the Poron. Compared to gel padding, Poron padding offers a higher level of breathability, which means less sweat.
The density and thickness of the padding are two further elements, which affect the support level of the pad. For this reason, they are two of the most important elements that must be taken into consideration when making a purchase.
The padding can have different density levels: the higher the density, the more resistant the pad is and the less it tends to compress. A higher density is, in fact, particularly appreciated by MTB riders, because it offers more support and a greater feeling of stability.
As far as thickness is concerned, on the other hand, it should be considered that the thicker the thickness, the greater the level of cushioning that is provided; a reduced thickness is only recommended for those who ride for short rides, and it is therefore not suitable for those who ride mountain bikes and find themselves facing very demanding terrain for long hours.