WTB Saddle Fit Right System: Quick Review – by Guitar Ted
A bicycle saddle is, perhaps, one of the most important comfort features for a bicycle and one of the hardest things to get correct for a rider. In days gone by, a saddle choice was either not possible, or limited by having few choices and/or not a lot of money to purchase several saddles to try out. You had your saddle and that was that. Thankfully, we don’t necessarily have to go that route anymore.
While there is still some amount of trial and error involved in saddle choice, this is becoming minimized by several companies saddle fit systems and bicycle fitters which can be employed to guide you to a better choice for an individual. WTB think that they have one of the easiest and more accurate saddle fit systems on the scene today. It is called the “Fit Right System“. Here is what WTB says about this system from the web page link (See the previous sentence here for that link)
“The WTB Fit Right System uses a simple method to determine personalized saddle fit. Based on your individual biometrics and riding position, we calculate your sit bone measurement and match it to our complete range of saddles. ”
As mentioned, the system is simple; Measure your wrist at a specified spot. This is different for females and males. The relationship between this specific measurement and sit bone width is what WTB has found works to give you a saddle choice dialed in for your specific skeletal dimensions. But there is a bit more to it than that. Your preferred riding style and position are also figured into the equation. It’s easy to do. You can go to the website as I have linked here, or you can do this from your smart phone. There is even a way to measure your wrist from the phone, but a calipers is the most accurate way to go. These choices and the measurement you provide is all you need to do. WTB’s algorithm does the rest, spitting out a couple options- one “best”, and an alternate- for you to try.
Let’s take my case as an example. I had been running WTB’s Pure line in the wide width for several years. I went through the Fit Right System and was recommended to try a WTB Volt, based upon my preferred riding style, in a medium width. To give you an idea of the choices in the medium width, WTB has eleven different saddles to chose from. One of those is a Pure. Why didn’t I get that as my suggested saddle? Probably due to my preferred riding style choice, which determines the amount of padding in the saddle. But however that works out, (Fancy science/math stuff, most likely), I went for the Volt.
WTB thought it might prove useful for this review to also send along a Volt in Wide, and my alternate, a Medium Silverado, so I could give my impressions on the choice WTB said was my primary with a bit more clarity for you, dear readers. So, three saddles and hopefully one to rule them all. Let’s see what happened next…….
Ride Wide: The first saddle up was the wide version of the Volt. This saddle has titanium rails, medium padding, and weighed in at 223 grams on my scales. I fitted this saddle to a bicycle I have that was running a Pure V previous to the swap. I noted that the Wide Volt was almost identical in its outline shape to the Pure saddle I was taking off. I got the saddle set up and went for a ride.
I was hoping this saddle would be a nice perch for a long ride, however; it wasn’t long and the very same issues I have been having recently with the Pure saddle were evident in the wider version of the Volt. It wasn’t hitting me quite right where my legs and groin joined, if that makes any sense. Without getting more graphic, I’ll just say that I knew straight away that the Wide version of the Volt was not the answer here.
Ride Medium: The next saddle up was the Medium version of the same Volt saddle. Now keep in mind, these were my first rides on a Volt, so I wasn’t really very familiar with them and did not know what to expect here. The Wide Volt didn’t impress me in a favorable way. The Medium Volt was a pleasant surprise then. I went out for a gravel ride and wasn’t expecting to be encouraged to ride very far on a new-to-me saddle with a narrower width than I usually use, but this ended up becoming a 2+ hour ride and the saddle just disappeared. No issues at all.
Ride Alternative: What about the Medium width Silverado? Well, actually, I have ridden that saddle a lot. (See “Quick Review” here) I like it, and I still am using it. That said, I have questions about which I might like more. The Silverado or the Volt. I just don’t have enough ride time on the Volt to say now, but I think the Volt is very promising. I will have to come back with another post in the future when I have had enough miles and time with the Volt to give a verdict. Stay tuned for that Silverado vs Volt post.
At The Finish: So, does WTB’s “Fit Rght System” work? Can you really measure your wrist, answer a few questions, and get a saddle for a bicycle that works well for you? Really? It sounds weird, until you dig into it, and then, it actually kind of starts making sense. I’ll leave the details to the scientists and professional bike fitters. All I know is that – yes. It does work.
WTB has a lot of saddle models and it is highly likely you can find the correct saddle for you and your riding style. Will it work for anyone and everyone? Not likely. There are always outliers. What if you do not like WTB saddles? Yeah…..that’s maybe the only real issue here. That said, WTB makes excellent saddles for road, mountain, gravel, and recreational uses. They have been making saddles for a long time. So, if you haven’t tried a WTB, or if you are on the fence thinking about a WTB saddle, the Fit right System can really help, and I can highly recommend their saddles.
I also applaud WTB for making the effort to help make finding a good, or maybe even perfect, saddle choice, available to riders. It is really easy to use the Fit Right System. You can do this yourself at any time, anywhere. If nothing else, it is a good guide to help you on your way to choosing the right saddle for you.
NOTE: WTB sent the two Volt saddles and a Silverado saddle to Riding Gravel at no charge for test and review. We were not paid, nor bribed for this review and we strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.