New for 2010 is the WTB Aviator, a saddle so tough it flies through the air wearing Carhartts! WTB built this saddle to withstand the abuses of a downhiller or freerider, meaning it will be able to handle multiple crashes, heavy riders, and jarring impacts.
The WTB Aviator saddle is covered by the same material that Carhartt uses for their jeans so naturally the material resists tearing and stains. The circumference of the saddle is covered by a rubber strip, offering more grip and abrasion resistant corners. The over-sized 8mm chromoly rails are designed to resist bending while the comfort zone cut-out, soft padding, and flex-tuned shell make it suitable for long days in the saddle. The Aviator weighs 315 grams which is about average for a normal saddle and fairly lightweight for a DH saddle.
The WTB Aviator is a very impressive freeride/downhill saddle. One of the best things about this saddle is its shape: at 137mm wide and 272mm long, the Aviator is a bit wider than a typical XC saddle. Despite its width, you can easily maneuver your bike side to side and front to back without the Aviator snagging your legs or armor. Maneuverability is an important feature for DH saddles because you are constantly moving the bike around. The wider profile also makes the Aviator is a very comfortable saddle, offering support in the right places with ample padding. The comfort zone cut-out provides noticeable flex and comfort where you need it most.
WTB claims that the rubber siding on the Aviator helps the rider change direction on the trail or in the air and I definitely noticed the extra grip when I pinched the saddle with my knees during braking and jumping. For me the extra grip was tougher to notice during cornering since I only knock the seat when initiating a drift. The canvas cover is also grippy which lets you put power to the pedals more effectively when seated. All of this adds up to increased confidence on the bike.
Ive ridden this saddle on numerous shuttle days, race tracks, and bike parks and it has virtually zero wear on it. The Aviator is so tough that even though I crashed hard enough to break my seatpost during testing, the saddle remained unscathed! I have noticed some discoloration in the canvas (it’s now a few shades darker) after riding in conditions ranging from very muddy to dry and dusty. The discoloration is purely a cosmetic thing but its something to keep in mind if you like keeping your bike looking brand new.
The WTB Aviator ($80 MSRP) is an excellent choice for any downhiller, freerider, or Clydesdale who is looking for a durable, relatively lightweight saddle. Its shaped well, comfortable, looks great, its grippy and will last longer than most saddles out there. If you’re in the market for a new DH saddle and you need it to last you a good long while, the WTB Aviator is a great choice.
Thanks to WTB for providing the Aviator saddle for testing.
WTB saddles rock. I’ve got them on both of my bikes.
This article got a direct link on WTB’s website. That’s the second time they’ve linked a Singletracks review of their products. They must like us! 🙂
(In case anyone at Wilderness Trail Bikes actually IS reading this, I would LOVE to test out and review a Silverado saddle.) 😉
Probably should emphasize that the saddle is only available in 8mm. Too bad for clydes who run standard seat posts.
You are correct, the WTB Aviator comes with 8mm rails only. However you can get it to fit on a standard seatpost clamp. It was a tighter than normal fit on the Raceface Next Carbon post I mounted it to but once I tightened it down the Aviator stayed put and didn’t creak.
[…] New for 2010, the Aviator is WTB’s premier DH saddle. The WTB Aviator is covered by the same material that Carhartt uses for their jeans so it resists tearing and stains. The circumference of the saddle is covered by a rubber strip, offering more grip and abrasion resistant corners. The oversized 8mm chromoly rails resist bending and the comfort zone cut-out, soft padding, and flex-tuned shell make it suitable for long days in the saddle. The Aviator weighs 315 grams, about average for a normal saddle and lightweight for a DH saddle. MSRP is $80, about right for a high-end DH saddle. I’ve already spent quite a lot of time on this saddle and I have written a full review, which can be found here. […]
[…] The crew at Singletracks.com is very pleased with performance of our new Aviator saddle. Our whole idea behind this saddle was to combine comfort with unbreakable durability. By the looks of this review we’ve achieved our goal. In fact, the Aviator was so tough that while these guys were testing they broke a seat post in a crash, and the saddle was completely unscathed. Read the entire review here. […]