New saddle shapes, materials, features address changing geometries, needs
WTB High Tail
With the combination of larger wheels and longer travel causing clearance issues between the saddle and rear tire of his new Phoenix 27.5-inch wheel downhill bike, Pivot Cycles founder Chris Cocalis challenged his supplier to eek out a little more room. The result is the WTB High Tail, a saddle with a cutout, split-tail design and rails that bend outward to offer maximum clearance. Not just for DH, the design will likely find a home on a number of other long-legged bikes with similar clearance issues. The High Trail comes with carbon rails for $249.95, titanium rails for $159.95, or cromoly rails for $119.95 and will be available in September.
More info: wtb.com
F’izi:k’s THAR was designed with 29ers in mind and compensates for bigger wheels and new geometries by adding extra-long, 95mm rails with more fore-aft adjustability. Newer dual-suspension 29ers in particular tend to have longer chainstays, longer top tubes and shallower seat angles that conspire to put the rider more rearward than desirable. By moving the saddle forward, the rider spends more time in the “valley” between the wheels resulting in better balance and handling. Along with a shorter tail design, the fore positioning also helps with tire clearance during low saddle/high compression suspension events. THAR comes with two nylon Tuner Inserts for customizing saddle flex, and is available in two versions—with K:ium rails for $150, or manganese rails for $99.
More info: fizik.it
Ergon says their new SME3 saddle was ergonomically designed for frequent saddle-height changes making it ideal for the technical enduro rider. Its v-shaped body, relatively flat profile and an anti-friction finish also make for quick changes from sitting to standing, according to the company. The SME3 comes in two widths in each of four levels—the 260g SME3 ($79.95), the 240g SME3 Comp ($99.95), the 225g SM3 Pro ($129.95), 190g SM3 Pro Carbon ($199.95).
More info: ergon-bike.com
SQlab 611 Active MTB
SQlab has reshaped their 611 Active MTB saddle with a longer nose and a more square aft-section for better control and comfort. They’ve also upped the durability factor, adding Kevlar reinforcing panels on the saddle’s perimeter. SQlab’s Active damping system tilts side-to-side to match the natural movement of the hips, according to the company, and can be adjusted with swappable elastomers of different densities. The saddle is available in three sit-bone widths and retails for $165.
More info: sq-lab.com