WTB Aviator Review

Pro Reviews Saddles

All this comfort, support, width and grip, allow you to maneuver the bike, whether it’s in the air, on a berm or flying down gnarly terrain. The saddle’s attributes let you use your legs and butt to lever the bike into and out of position, using the saddle as a pivot and pinch point. This baby likes to be used and pushed around, as they say “rode hard and put up wet.”

The fat front section, along with the blunt nose conspire with each other on long steep climbs, and it’s not very comfortable nor easy trying to pull tough hills. It’s just not a very functional combination, and has too much squish, and is not slippery enough, nor does it have a climbing specific pointy nose. Then again, it’s a FR/DH saddle not a weenie cross country racing and climbing saddle. I am a climber at heart, so I am going to nit pick this one. It does fine on short climbing stints, but is outside its realm as a marathon saddle.

While it’s not the lightest saddle at 307g (measured), it’s better the average downhiller, and with its excellent grip and comfort, it can be used for both FR/DH and for normal trail usage.

Measured Specs:
weight – 307.7g
size – 137mm x 279mm

wtb_top

Bottom Line
The WTB Aviator is durable, tough, comfortable, moderately light (for its category), has excellent grippiness, is well padded, offers good support, and has a nice shape. It’s obviously made for the Freerider or Downhiller, but it will suit the All Mountain and Trail rider, just don’t expect it to be a climbing machine.

Strengths
- Durable and tough
- Comfy
- Grippy
- Great for AM, FR and DH riding

Weaknesses
- Mediocre climber
- Prone to staining and showing dirt

Overall Rating: 3.5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

WTB Aviator Specs:
- MSRP: DH Race $80/Comp $40
- Rails: oversized, 8-millimeter
- Usage: Freeide/Downhill
- Size: mid-width x mid-length (137mm x 272mm)
- Oversized Cromoly rails
- Models:
Aviator DH Race – Color: Tan, Weight: 315 gr., Durable canvas cover, Flex-Tuned shell, Comfort Zone, Abrasion-resistant corners, Grippy sides
Aviator Comp – Color: black, Weight: 390 grams, Synthetic leather cover, Flex-Tuned shell, Comfort Zone

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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  • Paul says:

    Every WTB seat i’ve ridden fails in the “love groove” thing. That bit of pointless foam designed to fail after 6 months so you have to buy another seat.

    I appreciate you review- but when will WTB get rid of this fail?

    http://www.paulpetch.com

  • Brian Mullin says:

    As far as I know the Aviator is one of their few saddles that doesn’t have the Love Channel. In regards to longevity of the foam, I would need further testing?

  • Brian Mullin says:

    WTB Aviator Specs:
    - MSRP: DH Race $80/Comp $40

  • R says:

    The cover is a great option. I would love that sort of more durable cover option on one of their ~200g (ti rail) saddles for AM and DH riding. I don’t think anyone rides heavy saddles anymore.

  • cody says:

    I got one earlier in june, and after 3 months of riding the canvas wore a quarter-size hole :’(

  • Chris says:

    I ordered a 29″ Dissent tire from WTB a few weeks ago and this saddle came up while filling out the form with a discounted price for some reason and since I’m outfitting a bike for DH use as well as XC I thought I would give it a try. I haven’t ridden it yet. It does look like it will hold up, but the first thing I noticed was the “pocket”. In the photos it looked all nice a trim, laying down like in your photos which made me believe it was sewn down, but on my saddle it looks like someone has been sticking their fingers in it or something because it was all sloppy looking and cut crooked and would not lay flat. It seemed to serve no purpose. I called WTB to ask about it and they said it was just for decoration and several people had been asking about it. Looked like a good place for dirt or mud to collect or to catch your shorts to me. Some people have sewn it down apparently. I carefully cut it off with a razor blade. It made the saddle look a lot better and the only trace is a little frayed material left over. If it was straight and sewn down from the factory it would be fine but as it was it seems like a design mistake to me that should have been culled along the way to production.

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