Ritchey WCS Skyline Saddle: Quick Review – by Grannygear
It is almost a silly thing to review a saddle because they are such an individual preference. But here goes anyway, because what I like, you might like as well, so it’s worth a try.
For years now my go-to saddle for road riding has been one of two Specialized Romin Evo Expert Gels in a 150mm version. Now I do not typically ride that wide a saddle, but the shape profile falls off to the sides a bit fast on this saddle, so the extra width works for me. It has been a seriously good saddle, allowing for long miles and hours, planted and pedaling. But I had found that the gel breaks down in time and if I could have found a bit narrower saddle, that would be okay too. I tried a 143mm version of the Evo Expert and it was way too narrow for me and quite firm.
So for gravel, I like a more padded saddle than I do for road. It’s bumpier in the dirt. My saddles of choice for gravel have been the WTB Silverado. It’s long and pretty flat and works well for me, allowing for some increased shock absorption.
When I was testing one of the Ritchey gravel bikes, I was able to try a saddle they sell called the Skyline in the WCS version. $99.95 retail. From the Ritchey website:
“The new WCS Skyline saddle keeps the ergonomic curve that supports sit bones and the generous cut-out to relieve perineal pressure of the original Skyline but updates it with new construction for more durability, better aesthetics, and a lighter weight.
Built with a unique manufacturing technology that adheres the saddle cover to the base without any visible seams, glue, stitching or staples, the new WCS Skyline is now waterproof, will last longer and keeps the weight to a minimum. The saddle padding is made from a new lightweight polyurethane material that is 30% more shock absorbent than traditional foam, which reduces rider fatigue.
Like the original, the new WCS Skyline features a curved, two-axis shape that bring a rise toward the rear of the saddle and a bit of lift to the nose. This shape is ideal for riders who lack flexibility and want more support, yet still offers a good position for riders who demand a healthy dose of performance with their comfort. Another highlight of the Skyline is Ritchey’s revolutionary patented Vector Wing technology, which helps eliminate hots spots by dissipating pressure more evenly for all-day comfort for wherever your pedal strokes take you – road, gravel, trails and beyond.“
I was impressed enough to request a sample saddle to try for long term use after the test bike was returned. I have been on it for hundreds of miles now and I feel I know it well.
At first I installed it on the Ritchey Road Logic frame set. Seemed appropriate! Recently I moved it to Project All-Road. Both bikes are road focused as, for me, the Skyline would need a bit more padding in it for pure gravel bike use, although it is certainly not a hard riding saddle. Not at all. The Vector Wing rail attachment allows for good flex while not being saggy. If I had a younger lower back, I could run this everywhere, but time takes it’s toll.
So for those of you who are less concerned about that extra give in a saddle, the Skyline needs to be considered for gravel events as well.
The slight kick to the rear and minimal rocker shape gives way to a pretty flat top section. The rails are nice and long, allowing for good fore-aft positioning. I hate the new breed of short bodied saddles. Maybe for MTB, but not for here.
I have been on it for 8 hour days and never complained. It is 147mms wide as well, so that just fits in between the Romin @150mm that was almost too wide and the more typical 143mm wide saddles that sometimes are iffy too.
It’s been a very good choice for me and it’s well worth a good look if the shape and features ring true with you. Ritchey components can tend to fall under the radar, but I have seldom been disappointed in one.
Note: The Ritchey Skyline WCS saddle was sent to Riding Gravel for test and review at no charge. We were not paid nor bribed for this review and we always try to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.