The Ritchey WCS Lady bike saddle arrived at my doorstep recently and I promptly got my live-in bike mechanic to install it for me. To be honest, it looked a little thin to me. I mountain bike so I’m constantly getting bumped around and, even with a nice amount of rear suspension, after several days of riding my own rear can still end up sore even with my current seat (which appears to have more padding). Still, I had to give it a shot. Here’s what Ritchey says about the saddle:
- New race-oriented womens-specific saddle design
- Lightweight and durable micro fiber cover (WCS Only)
- 35% carbon injected shell for stiffness and light weight
- High-density superlight foam
- Dimensions: 262 mm long by 142 mm wide.
Here are a few more close up shots of the saddle. I already had the seat post – they didn’t send me that part to review.
For the first test ride my friend “A” and I did an hour-long ride at the Fruita, CO 18 Road Trails. These trails aren’t as rocky as some of the others I ride so I figured this was a good place to start in case the seat proved to be ill-suited to the type of riding I do. Twenty minutes into the ride I realized I had not thought about the saddle. This was a good news! We climbed to the end of Prime Cut and I decided this saddle might be alright after all. Turning around, we bombed down the new PBR (Pumps, Berms and Rollers) trail, so there wasn’t much need to sit then.
The next test came on Saturday when we headed out with an out-of-town friend to ride the Western Rim trail in Rabbit Valley. The Western Rim is a loop that involves about 8 miles of singletrack with 3 miles of doubletrack jeep road at the beginning plus 3 more miles of doubletrack about 2/3 of the way through the ride. This would prove how comfortable the saddle was during long grinders.
After the long ride I’m happy to report the saddle held up fairly well! The first 3 miles of jeep road were no problem and, during some of the short steep uphills on the ride I liked having the longer nose because I could get further forward on my seat. For a few moments during the next doubletrack portion I did feel some discomfort, but that could have just been from riding so long in general and not necessarily from the saddle itself.
Me deciding the new Ritchey saddle will work just fine!
I saved the bumpiest test for last. Last week we headed out to Loma, CO to the Kokopelli trails for a quick jaunt up Mary’s/Wrangler and then another ride on Rustler’s Loop. Rustler’s is particularly bumpy and baby-head filled at the beginning. I was still skeptical of the cushioning power of the saddle. My rear was sore as soon as I climbed on the bike, but again, I don’t know that I can attribute that to the saddle. After several days of riding everyone experiences a little soreness when they first hop on the bike.
As we climbed, once again I forgot about any discomfort and focused on the riding. The saddle was fine. The best part is, it’s about 160 grams lighter than my old saddle! That’s a huge weight savings to me when I’m climbing around on trails.
Overall I like the Ritchey WCS saddle ($99 MSRP) and I plan to keep using it. I think the longer nose and the lightness of the saddle itself are the best features and the comfort was surprising, and welcome.
Thanks to Ritchey Bicycle Components for letting me test out this great product!