WTB Volt Team Saddle
Steel (Comp), Chromoly (Race, Pro), or Titanium (Team) rails:
Narrow-135 x 265mm, Medium – 142 x 265mm, Wide 150 x 265mm
Carbon rails: 135mm x 265mm
Stated Weight (Titanium rails, 142 x 265mm): 204 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight: 210 grams
Rider: 5’8”, 160 lbs
Test Duration: 35 rides
Without trying a number of different saddles, it can be difficult to find one that fits well. So WTB has recently started offering their Volt saddle in multiple widths. You can measure your sit bones and order the WTB Volt in the correct width, increasing your chances of finding a comfortable fit.
(It’s also available in four options differentiated by rail material and weight. I tested the Team version with titanium rails.)
I’ve often gravitated towards WTB saddles because they are relatively inexpensive compared to many other options, and they have offered a reasonably comfortable fit for me. A couple years ago I tried a SQLab saddle sized to me, and was impressed by the near perfect fit on my sit bones. I wanted to see if I could find that same level of comfort with the WTB Volt.
How to Measure Sit Bone Width
Take a fresh piece of corrugated cardboard and put it on a firm surface. Sit on it and pull yourself down on to the bottom of the seat to firmly press your sit bones into the cardboard. It helps if you raise your knees while you do this.
Stand up, and you should be able to see two indentations from your sit bones. They can be faint, but ought to be visible. Measure the distance between them, and you’ll have a ballpark width.
Then add 10-15mm if you like a low riding position, or up to 40mm to the width if you tend toward an upright riding position.
My sit bones measured out to 120mm, and I like a moderately upright position. So the 142mm option seemed appropriate.
FYI, WTB sells the Volt in 135mm, 142mm, and 150mm widths. The 135mm option is a fairly narrow saddle, the 142mm option is about average, and the 150mm is a pretty wide saddle.
WTB staples a synthetic covering to a plastic frame with foam padding. These aren’t the most impressively-built saddles, but I’ve found that this construction usually lasts for 3-4 years (about the lifespan of the foam) so the covering isn’t holding back saddle longevity.
If you do crash hard, though, don’t be too surprised if you end up with a hole in the outside of the saddle. The covering on the WTB Volt does not seem as tough as many of the other options out there, including the WTB Silverado, and the SQLab 611.
WTB offers several different saddle rail options in addition to the range of widths: chromoly, titanium, or carbon rails. I’ve never tried a carbon-railed saddle, so I’ll withhold judgment there.
But I have used chromoly and titanium rails quite a bit, and I tend to have better luck with hollow titanium rails than with the solid chromoly rails. They are lighter, and I’ve found them to be less likely to bend if I come down hard on the saddle from a mis-timed jump or some other moment of ineptitude.
The WTB Volt 142 feels a bit like a slightly wider, softer version of the WTB Silverado, or an old WTB Rocket V saddle.
For my butt, the shape is perfect. (Its got a flat back (horizontally) and a pretty-much-flat overall shape, with a bit of a relief between the nose and tail, and a subtly upwardly curved tail.)
I’ve heard similar feedback from a wide range of riding partners too, so I think it will be a widely popular saddle since its shape seems to suit a number of riders.
The WTB Volt is pretty standard lengthwise. I could scoot up on the saddle on some climbs, but not as much as on a Silverado or similarly long saddle.
The saddle covering was pleasantly grippy, but never so grippy that it grabbed my shorts when I didn’t want it to.
I alternated between a 135mm Volt and 142mm Volt, and found that the 142mm was more comfortable for my 120mm sit bone width. The only disadvantage was that it made sliding back on the saddle slightly more challenging.
On shorter rides, the relatively soft foam on the saddle was very comfortable. But on long rides, I found it didn’t offer as much support as I would like. In those cases I’d prefer a Silverado, which is a bit firmer. But the tipping point between those two scenarios occurred around 3 hours into the ride, so it wasn’t a problem I often ran into.
Comparisons: WTB Volt 142 vs ….
WTB Volt 135mm: For me, the 142mm WTB Volt is less ideal for descending because the width makes it slightly hard to slide off the back of the saddle. I’d choose the 135mm for a downhill bike, but stick with the 142mm on a trail bike.
WTB Silverado: The WTB Silverado is longer, narrower, and firmer than the 142mm WTB Volt, and weighs slightly more (30g). The WTB Volt was more comfortable for short rides, but less comfortable for long rides due to the softer foam. The shape of the Volt was slightly better for me, you may feel differently.
SQLab 611: The SQLab 611 is much firmer than the WTB Volt. It is approximately the same width and length, but has much more relief in the middle. The Volt is much softer, and again, more comfortable on shorter rides. But on longer rides, the SQLab wins, and it might even edge out my favorite, the WTB Silverado.
The WTB Volt is a great, all-purpose saddle that comes in at a reasonable weight and price. I’d recommend the titanium-railed “Team” model because I’ve had better luck with its durability than the chromoly-railed versions.
While choosing a saddle is very much a matter of personal preference, the WTB Volt Team is the type of saddle that will likely work for a lot of people. And with multiple widths, this saddle should be a great fit for many riders.
It’s also worth noting that WTB offers a test ride program, so check with your local shop to see if they have a Volt that you can try before you buy.