WTB Volt Team Saddle Review

by Brian Mullin on June 27, 2013

WTB has been making cycling
products for 30 years, and they’re focused on wheels, tires, rims,
saddles and grips. Multiple years of technological knowledge have allowed them to create the new Volt saddle lineup, which has a sundry list of features that work in synergy for a lightweight, comfortable and high-precision product.

The WTB Volt is a cross-country race saddle that was developed in collaboration with WTB
co-founder Mark Slate and their pro-team riders Mark Weir and Jason
Moeschler. I have used the WTB Volt Team version on and off for almost a
year now, and have found it to be comfortable, durable, a great
climber, and the shape and geometry offer good control and performance.

The
Volt is a fairly narrow saddle (133mm x 265mm) that has a moderate
length, and utilizes durable protective corners, their Comfort Zone
cutout, the pronounced Whale Tail rear perch, soft DNA padding and the
Love Channel central depression design. The Volt design and shape offer a
slightly wide and short nose with a pronounced curvature and a narrow
rear with the raised and curved Whale Tail platform. Although it’s a
somewhat firm saddle with a thinner amount of their DNA padding, the
many additional features provide enough comfort for all day usage. The
Love Channel has a central depression along the saddle´s axis for
soft-tissue relief, while the Comfort Zone has a cutout underneath the
saddle’s shell, which provides flexibility and additional soft-tissue
relief. The Whale Tail design allows you to push back and gain leverage
when climbing and performing aggressive pedaling, and it anchors the
hips for cornering and control.

There
are four versions of the Volt saddle: the top of the line SLT ($150)
with titanium rails and Kevlar corners and Nylon fiber cover, the tested
Team ($130) with titanium rails and Kevlar corners and Leather cover,
the Pro ($90) with Ni-Cro rails and Kevlar corners and Synthetic cover,
and finally, the Race ($60) with Cromoly fails and ABR corners and
Synthetic cover. The weights are approximately 220g,  229g, 246g and
287g, respectively.

Impressions
I used the saddle primarily on my Moots Mooto-XZ and recently on my
Ibis Ripley, doing lots of climbing on long steep grinds, and many miles
of fire roads to get to my local gnarly All Mountain terrain. Even
though it was a narrow saddle, the Whale Tail rear perch provided
excellent leverage for really pushing hard on long climbs, and it gave a
good amount of hip and butt hold for better control during cornering
and bike maneuvering.

When
things got really steep, the wide and drooped nose offered superb power
to crank up the terrain, and it was soft enough for the nether regions
for prolonged usage. Overall, the saddle was on the firm side of things,
though the design, Comfort Zone cutout and Love Channel features worked
in synergy for all-day comfort. The saddle’s front’s middle section
really had a nice amount of plushness and comfort, and was a real
highlight of the Volt, allowing one to spend some time there without
undue discomfort.  Between the Volt features and designs and Titanium
rails, the saddle provided good bump absorption while plowing down rough
terrain. I was surprised how decently it performed in All Mountain
conditions, and the shape and nose and protective corners offered great
control and precision.

Bottom Line
The WTB Volt Team is a great saddle, that provides good comfort and
excellent synergistic features, including the functional Whale Tale
rear, flexible Comfort Zone cutout and Love Channel center channel
groove. Although the Volt is narrow, the Whale Tail rear platform and
saddle’s shape provides ample control and leverage. The front of the
saddle was wider and had lots of comfort due to some decent padding, and
the nicely curved nose was superb for cranking up steep terrain. For
such a light saddle at 205 grams (measured),, the usage of the Titanium
rails and features provided adequate bump absorption on rougher terrain.
I spend a lot of time riding in gnarly All Mountain terrain, and I was
impressed with the Volt’s performance, and the shape and nose and
protective corners offered great control and pedaling.

Overall, the WTB Volt Team is light, comfortable, durable, and offering great climbing, control and pedaling characteristics. 

MSRP: SLT ($150), Team ($130), Pro ($90), Race ($60)

Overall Rating: 4 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

Strengths

  • Light
  • Comfortable and soft on middle front section
  • Synergistic features – Whale Tale rear, Comfort Zone cutout and Love Channel
  • Nose offers superb climbing
  • Good control and pedaling performance
  • Durable

Weaknesses

  • Narrow
  • Slightly firm
  • Upscale models are expensive

About WTB:
Founded in 1982, WTB has been defining State-of-the-Art cycling
products since its inception. With a profound focus on wheel, tire, rim,
saddle, grip and accessory technology, this rider-owned and staffed
company builds superior products through constant real-world testing and
a ground-breaking passion for mountain biking. Visit WTB.com to get a glimpse into the next 30 years of mountain bike design.

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