Review: WTB Volt Team Saddle

Pro Reviews Saddles

Introduction

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.

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

MSRP: SLT ($150), Team ($130), Pro ($90), Race ($60)
Overall Rating: 4 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

Review: WTB Volt Team Saddle Gallery
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WTB Volt Team Saddle

WTB Volt Team Saddle - top angled viewpoint
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WTB Volt Team Saddle

WTB Volt Team Saddle on Ibis Ripley bike
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WTB Volt Team Saddle

WTB Volt Team Saddle top viewpoint
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WTB Volt Team Saddle

WTB Volt Team Saddle side viewpoint
About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • bosbik says:

    really love this saddle on my talon 29er..real comfort eventhough it is firm. never had any pain on my jewel area unlike the stock velo saddle.i have the SLT and i like the nylon upholstery..grippy enough when pedaling on the saddle.

    5 chili’s for me!

  • Joe says:

    I’ve been riding Pure-V’s for years with no complaints when it comes to comfort (I’ve had some durability issues with the Love Channel splitting open, but it seems WTB has corrected this with new woven channels). I recently demo’d a Volt on a SC Tallboy LTC from Yuba Expeditions. We did a long 40+ mile loop from the shop that included the Downieville XC course. The Volt felt right at home initially, but the narrowness and firmness compared to the Pure-V started to bother me within a couple miles. My sensitive areas kept falling asleep. Angling the nose down slightly helped, but the inside edges of my sit bones were tender at the end of the ride. Otherwise it worked great for power transfer while climbing and for cornering and getting off the back for drops.

  • Willee says:

    I tested the Volt, Pure V and Rocket V SE (performance bike version) on a Trek Mamba (HT). I would consider myself as an intermediate rider. I felt the Pure V was a little to big, especially the nose. The shape was nice but it took extra effort to slide of the back. The Volt was simply to rough for me (not much different from a stock saddle). The Rocket V is the golden middle for me. Compact size, fair amount of foam. When I ride the Rocket V I do not have to think about my saddle anymore. (I compared these to my previous standard Bontrager 2×4)

  • Gregor says:

    Recently purchased a cannondale trigger which came with the volt saddle…looks the goods, seemed soft at the touch but matched the bike well…however leading up to the 20k mark on my first hitout I ran into trouble. Glutes started getting sore around the sit bones…the saddle is just too narrow, it’s like for a small teenager! I have attempted a few other decent rides but it is a size misfit issue for me… I did like the saddle generally but a few more sizes in the range would bring WTB some dividends. I have a brand new seat if anyone wants a green & black one! ;) for those with small ass!

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