WTB Deva Team Saddle
Stated Weight: 200 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight: 190 grams
Stated Dimensions: 142 mm x 257 mm
- Devinci Spartan
- Surly Cross Check
MSRP: $39.95 – $129.95 ($129.95 – tested)
Reviewer: 5’7” 150 lbs
Test locations: Whitefish, MT; Moab; UT
Test Duration: ~5 months
After spending my whole riding career on men’s-specific saddles, I wasn’t sure what the whole women’s-specific saddle hype was all about. After all, my old saddle, a WTB Rocket V, seemed totally adequate. That was until I sat on the WTB Deva.
My first rid on the saddle was late last fall, (right around the time when I was hanging up my mountain bike for the season and transitioning to skiing), so I didn’t get much time outside on the saddle then. I did, however, spend a significant amount of time on the saddle when it was on my bike trainer this winter. Then in the spring, I put it on my mountain bike to see how it would perform when I wasn’t simply pedaling in place.
WTB makes the Deva in a few different configurations with different types of padding and different rails. The rails come in titanium, chromoly, and steel at a range of price points. For the padding, WTB offers their DNA Padding (a denser, lighter weight padding), as well as their standard padding and gel padding. Most of the Deva models come in a microfiber cover, with the exception of the basic “Comp” model, which comes with a synthetic cover. They all come with WTB’s “flex-tuned shell” which essentially means the shell of the saddle has some built-in flex to it to make things a bit more comfortable.
The Deva is a fairly flat saddle in all directions. There’s a minimal amount of contouring front to back, and it’s not very rounded at all side-to-side. There’s a modest channel in the middle to relieve pressure, but compared to some other saddles on the market, that channel isn’t super pronounced. At 142 mm wide, it’s not super wide, but also not super narrow. That means it should work comfortably for a pretty wide range of riders, but if you’re unsure of what width you’re looking for, consider having a shop measure the width of your sit bones.
The nose on the Deva is mid width, but it’s a little shorter than some other saddles. This means there’s a little less saddle to perch yourself up onto on steep climbs, but particularly for shorter riders, this also means there’s less saddle to get in the way on corners and when you’re moving the bike around.
Saddles are a pretty personal choice; what works well for one person might not work well for another. And different saddles are also going to work well for different riding styles — someone who logs a lot of miles sitting in one position might prefer a different saddle than someone who rides a lot of technical climbs and is constantly shifting their body position.
But personally, I’m a big fan of the Deva. The shape of the saddle is perfect for my body; my sit bones rest comfortably on the back of the saddle, and my lady parts are very happy with the design as well.
After riding the Deva for a while, I put the Rocket V back on my bike, and was surprised at the difference. In the past, I never really noticed that there was a little bit of pressure or rubbing “down there” until I sat on Deva and noticed its absence. I would always have to tweak the seat angle of the Rocket V and adjust it on the rails to get it just right so that it was comfortable. Once I found that spot, the saddle was fine. With the Deva saddle, though, precise positioning of the saddle isn’t quite as important — I’m more comfortable on it in a wider range of positions.
While on my road bike on the bike trainer over the winter, I found the saddle to be comfortable. Even though I wasn’t moving my body position on the saddle much at all, it still felt good.
Once it was mounted on my mountain bike, I noticed that the shape really made it easy to move around on the saddle. It’s easy to slide forward on a steep climb, and I never found myself in the unfortunate situation when your shorts get snagged on your saddle. The Microfiber cover also gets some credit here — it has a smooth finish with soft, rounded edges that make moving around a bit easier.
While the nose is a bit shorter than other saddles I’ve used, I mostly noticed that to be a good thing. I never got caught up on it, and I found that I didn’t miss the extra length.
While the DNA padding is a little firmer than some of the other options that WTB offers, it worked very well for me. There’s enough forgiveness in it to keep things comfy, but it’s firm enough that it gives great pedaling support, and you don’t have to fight it to keep your body properly positioned.
If you are a woman riding a men’s saddle, do yourself a favor and try the WTB Deva. Lots of shops have an assortment of demo saddles from WTB, so if you’re saddle shopping, look for a place that’ll let you try before you buy. And while the Deva isn’t going to be perfect for everyone, I think it’ll work for a pretty broad spectrum of riders.
And yes, even though it’s branded as a women’s saddle, I think a lot of men would be happy on it too (and it doesn’t have any girly graphics on it, so your friends probably won’t notice).
I wish I’d tried the Deva years ago. Gone are the days where I have to perpetually tweak my saddle, trying to make it “just right.” I just get on my bike and ride, and that’s the way it should be.