In the interest of full disclosure, there is one thing I must say before delving into this review. I have always been a big fan of WTB saddles. Ever since I replaced the brutally-uncomfortable OEM saddle on my very first mountain bike with a WTB saddle, I have been very brand loyal. All my personal bikes (five so far) have been mounted with WTB saddles.
Given what goes on saddles, they can be a very personal component, and it’s as though the folks at WTB somehow got a mold of my rear to use in their saddle design. Knowing my personal proclivity for WTB saddles, I will do my best to focus this review on the more objective aspects of the saddle, although I will discuss comfort in an appropriate context.
The Volt is an entire line of thinline saddles from WTB designed to combine all day rideability and applicability to diverse riding styles, with low weight. At the entry level is the Volt Comp, carrying standard padding and cover, riding on steel rails, available in three widths, and ranging in weight from 297 to 326 grams. None of this may wow you, but it’s a lot of saddle for $39.95.
Progressing up the line, the Volt Race adds a microflex cover and cromoly rails, dropping the weight about 50 grams, and upping the price $20. For another $30, the Volt Pro upgrades to WTB’s DNA padding and loses another 30-40 grams (depending on width). At $129.95, the Volt Team upgrades to titanium rails and loses 19-22 grams.
At the top of the Volt line rests the $249.95 Volt carbon, which employs a (you guessed it) carbon composite shell riding on carbon rails. It is available in just one (narrow) width and has an astonishingly low claimed weight of 148 grams. My kitchen scale tipped at 161 grams (a difference of less than half an ounce, which may be the weight of the dust and mud I didn’t get washed off before weighing it)–still astonishingly-light for any saddle, let alone one touted as providing “all-day comfort.”
Over the course of six months I made the Volt Carbon my main ride, running it on everything from my old hardtail to my new enduro bike. In short, the saddle was everything I expected it to be, and then some. The saddle has proven durable (again, surprising for being so lightweight).
I am inherently rough on things. In addition to the occasional crash, I throw my bike upside down on the trail or rough concrete driveway to do impromptu maintenance, I throw my bike awkwardly in the back of my truck, etc. Through all the rough handling, the Volt Carbon has held up very well.
Given my intro to this review, it should come as no surprise that I found the Volt Carbon to be a comfortable saddle. To make this part of the review “neutral,” I compared the Volt Carbon to my other WTB Saddles, all of which are wider and contain more padding than this one. There’s no way around the fact that there is less cush here than I am used to. However, for most rides, I still concluded that the benefits of the huge weight loss outweigh the slight decrease in comfort.
The saddle is perfectly adequate for slogging my enduro bike up long climbs before the rad descents. The lighter weight was noticeable and, given the heft of my enduro bike, the weight loss was most welcome. Having said that, I believe the Volt Carbon is also the ultimate saddle for full-on cross country racing.
In the end, I have no problem saying WTB’s claims of versatility rolled into one saddle are verified, especially when it’s my end that sitting on it. Of course, $250 is a lot just to have a place to sit on a bike, so kudos to WTB for making a Volt for every price range.
Thanks to WTB for providing the Volt Carbon for this review.