The most honest and in-depth reviews of outdoor sports equipment on the planet.

WTB Volt & Silverado Saddles

I’ve ridden the Volt on my trail bike for a while now with probably close to a hundred miles, and, I have to say, I really liked the fit over the Silverado out of the box. That more rounded profile just fit my sit bones really comfortably. When grinding up steep sections with bad traction, I can get all over the front of this thing and feel pretty perfectly situated.

The few bigger days (rides of four hours or longer) I’ve had on the Volt once the saddle was well broken in were fine, but not great. I found myself constantly trying to find new positions to get comfortable. That rounded top had started to work its way into my junk a bit, and while it wasn’t leaving me numb, I ended up having to squirm around to find a comfortable place to sit. The longer the ride, the more exacerbated this became. Quick 1-2 hour jaunts were better, but once the hours started piling up, I just found myself getting more uncomfortable on the bike.

WTB Volt, WTB Silverado, top, Blister Gear Review

The WTB Silverado (left) and the WTB Volt.

After about a month and a half on the Volt, I switched to the Silverado. A brand new Silverado is not that comfortable to me. It feels squared off and kind of like you’re just sitting really on top of it. I didn’t think I was going to like it. But turns out that once the Silverado was broken in (about ten hours on the thing, I’d guess), I never even thought about it again. I think having my sit bones farther above the center of the saddle just kept all the important nerves a little more removed from potential pressure points.

Surprisingly, I’ve ended up really preferring the Silverado over the Volt, and that’s not something I would have expected having just sat on either of them in a shop and made my decision. I still don’t have quite the time on the Silverado that I’ve had on the Volt, but it’s been enough to know that it’s a better fit for me than the Volt.

I’ve thrown my bike around the back of pickup trucks, crashed once or twice with each, and both the Volt and the Silverado are holding up well. No fabric tears, no rails working loose or deforming in some weird way. I’ve got no complaints there. And both are plenty light and low profile. Worth noting, too, is that the rails haven’t started squeaking where they taper into the nose. I’ve had some WTB saddles that do this, and it annoys the hell out of me. Plus, lubing your saddle just sounds wrong.

Both of the saddles I’ve been reviewing are white. But neither of these guys currently have a color that can be called anything other than filthy, and they haven’t shown anything particularly revolutionary in terms of how to keep a white saddle white, either. They look sweet new, but don’t crash or toss them around if you want to keep them looking that way.

A truly great thing about WTB saddles is that they’ve put together a demo kit that your local bike shop can purchase which lets you ride the models you’re interested in before you buy. Considering how personalized saddle fit is, this is pretty awesome. It’s important to give some break-in time to a bike seat because even an old saddle that’s been under someone else’s rump for years will still need to be broken in for, uh, individual contours.

Check out the WTB test saddle deal, and ask your local shop. Because holding your butt up to a computer monitor to determine fit only goes so far.

1 Comment

  1. Dan October 13, 2012 Reply

    I’ve been riding the Silverado for a little over a year now and I think it serves its purpose pretty well. It is definitely flattish and squared off on the top and I agree that it does a great job of getting your soft tissue up off the saddle and forces the sit bones to carry your weight. This is ultimately what you want in a bike saddle. I’ve noticed that after heavy climbing where I’m putting a lot of pressure in the saddle, or just long rides in general, my sit bones do get sore. My soft tissues have never gotten sore though and after I’m off the saddle, I’m all good for sitting in the car saddle to drive home!

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