MANTA, and Other Saddles on fixies and Power Bikes…
Thread: “…what is the most comfortable seat”
Does anybody speak German??!?!? "Relax IQ" [the Manta MS9, as sold in Germany]
I think I'm going to need to order both of these. Surely one of them is "the most comfortable seat", and after having read this thread I know I must find it!!
...That seat looks dern quick to me. I first found the seat thru a YouTube video that pointed to mantasaddle.biz then after some more searching I came across this article...
... which led me to this guy, Scotland's Scott Napier, Scott found that the original model tapped the back of his legs on very steep climbs. Based on Scott's and other testers' feedback, the Manta team trimmed the forefront of the seat and released the MS9 version (seen below)."
Read more about how Scott beat the Pan-American road ("the world's longest motorable road... hint, hint") record by 10%... [editor's note: we couldn't get an upgraded MS9 to Scott in time for his record, on this the journalist wasn't clear, but many thanks to Scott for his invaluable feedback]
OK ...I've purchased more than a dozen seats, and here's my thoughts...
- Relax 2
Ones that I haven't had a a chance to review, and probly won't, either...
Sooo.... just off the top of my head, here's my thoughts about bike seats, in general....
If you have a rigid bike, you want a seat with some type of springs / flex, or perhaps a seat post with flex. I've never tried out a flexing seat post, honestly, so I have no idea how those work or anything of the sort.
The seats I returned and the reasons why....
- Ergo "The Seat" Endurance (too slippery, compared to Classic; hardly any extra seating area for all that lost grip, such a bad trade-off)
- Brooks Flyer Special (too hard; don't go Brooks unless you go wide!)
- Schwinn "No Pressure" seat (can't return it, since it's way past 30 days, but I would if I could; the back edges and sides do apply a little pressure that is noticeable on longer rides)
- Contour "Tractor" seat (no way; too large; impossible to pedal and just plain in the way)
- Moon Saddle (crummy material - 2011 model supposedly more durable and more firm; too small)
- SpiderFlex (uncomfortable for my sit bones, or fat around sit bones; could be better for others, or for all w/slight improvements, but I think the Spongy Wonder would be a far better seat for most everyone since it supports your tailbones).
- Horseshoe seat (ridiculous; impossible to stay centered on the seat)
The seats I have kept and the bikes I have chosen them for....
KEEPERS (full-suspension, 20" motorized bike)
- Relax 2
- Easy Seat Deluxe / II
KEEPERS (rigid, fixed gear 29'er)
- Relax IQ (MANTA Saddle)
- Gyles Leather Beach Cruiser Seat
- Planet Bike Men's A.R.S.
In terms of value.... the Easy Seat II, Gyles Leather Beach Cruiser Seat, and Planet Bike Men's A.R.s. are the best there is.
I have kept all three of those, but they're never used any more due to my fancy Relax 2 & Relax IQ seats. I predicted that I'd like one on my fixie and one on my MB ...I was right.
When I first got them, I didn't honestly care for either of them, but that was because they weren't adjusted properly. The Relax IQ/MANTA was set too high, so I kept feeling an awkward push against my thighs. Was ready to sell it until I lowered it for someone 6" shorter than me. I've kept it there ever since. Much nicer. I almost feel like this seat on a fixed gear bicycle is like a perpetual motion machine. There needs to be a really good reason for me to get off the bike, now, because comfort no longer affects my decision to keep riding.
The Relax 2 was also awkward at first, because I didn't adjust it as far backward as possible. On all forward settings, excluding the farthest back, I kept feeling this wedge between my butt crack. Very, very annoying. Finally, I moved it to the last setting and I found the most comfortable seat for my MB. The Relax 2 looks like the butt pads move independently, like the Easy Seat, but they do not. Nor can they be adjusted laterally.
The Easy Seat Deluxe / II was the first seat that I got excited about. I understood why others recommend this seat. Like the Relax IQ / MANTA Saddle, it is very easy to pedal without hands. Both of these hornless seats are very easy to control. Due to their designs, they both allow each left & right halves of your body to naturally go in opposite directions, from your leg strokes, so there's no need to "catch yourself" with your inner thigh because the opposite leg was awkwardly rubbing against a saddle that never had "balance" in mind.
Only problem with the Easy Seat is that it's kinda squeaky and doesn't feel quite so solid. I'm sure I'll never have a problem with it breaking, but it just doesn't give me peace of mind. The spring action in the independent butt pads also seemed to wear off after the first day. Moving one butt pad seemed to move the other pad in the opposite direction, hence, the name -- Easy Seat. After a day's ride, the butt pads didn't seem to move opposite the other butt pad any more. Dunno if I broke it, or I was expecting too much from those springs or what.
The Gyles Leather Beach Cruiser Seat is likely the best of them all, even tho I haven't used it more than a few miles. Also, adding such a seat (one with springs) to a bike that already has rear suspension is going to give you TOO much spring and remove you from the "comfort hotzone". This seat is not hard at all, like the Brooks was (likely from being wider, giving it more of a hammock effect?). The difference could've also come down to the harder wax leather treatment for the Brooks, whereas this Gyles seat had no leather treatment. I am almost afraid to ride this Gyles seat without leather treatment.
What if it rains?!? This is a reason I prefer my MANTA saddle, because those synthetic materials won't rot in the rain. I'd have to compare them both back to back (something I haven't done yet), but they're, perhaps, my two favorite. Perhaps the perception just comes from converting a rigid fixie into ANY type of comfortable machine whatsoever? Either way, what these two seats do for tailbones on rigid frames is impressive.
The Planet Bike Men's A.R.S. (Anatomic Relief Saddle) is another keeper. The cheapest of all the seats, it at least deserves an honourable mention. Somebody in their reviews on Amazon said that this seat was more comfortable than the Specialized seats. If you know anything about bike seats, you know that the "professionals" all use Specialized seats. Specialized seats don't use the gel that this seat has, in order to support your sitbones more, but this gel seat isn't bad. What I take away from it is that the slit down the middle of the seat doesn't just provide airflow, but it relieves so much pressure on the soft tissues of your man tools. I'm not sure I'm particularly a fan of the gel, but it doesn't really hurt the seat either. On a rigid frame, the gel does absorb a great deal of shock... but the cut-out is what really makes this seat, and others like it, so sought after. This is the reason I'd like to give those Adamo seats a shot. I don't particularly care for the Specialized seats, because they seem to be "too custom" for me, and, hanging out at a bicycle shop recently, I have determined that the conformists all use Specialized seats, therefore, I must resist as long as possible. Will not conform!!
Seriously, tho... the MANTA Saddle for $170 USD (not including export fees) is a freaking deal. On top of the fact that they speak English, if they also let you take advantage of the money back guarantee, then that is quite the deal.
Oh yea... there was the Schwinn No Pressure seat and the Ergo Classic "The Seat". For my motorized bicycle application, I preferred the Ergo "The Seat. The outer edges of the Schwinn No Pressure seat do, actually, apply pressure when you're hitting bumps over a distance of 15 miles or so. So I prefer the Ergo over the Schwinn, but not by a huge margin. The Ergo makes pedalling easier, but it's still not enough seating area for me to really be happy. I'd put the Easy Seat II over either one of these, any day, however.
The Best for Rigid
(1) MANTA Saddle
(2) Gyles Leather Beach Cruiser Seat
The Best for Rear Suspension
(3) Hobson Easy Seat II
Honourable Mention for Rigid
(4) Planet Bike Men's A.R.S.
Honourable Mention for Rear Suspension
(5) Relax 2 (wouldn't have made it here, except for its forward/backward adjustment rail)
Last edited by sparky; 08-13-2011 at 01:14 AM.
LastPage: what is the most comfortable seat
BlueHerbs' site doesn't sell it now, and Comfort-Line doesn't provide buy link ...how do i buy the RelaxIQ/ MANTA MS9 saddle? ..the cheapest way?
Here is some contact information to reach the designer(s) directly (hopefully the "Forthcoming: significant news to be announced!" on the first link is the reason for their "new" website being down...??)
Only place I can find for purchase is...
And to further expand on my initial review, I would say that the MANTA seat is only better than the Gyes wide, leather, springed seat when touring!! For quick rides, the Gyes seat is simply easier to jump on and off, because legs / shorts can easily get caught on the Evolve seat. Just depends on the scenario, but for long-distance riding (i.e. - touring), the MANTA is very tough to beat IMHO. Just depends on the situation.