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WTB High Tail Pro Review
Cons: Narrow, uncomfortable
Bottom line: A stiff, lightweight saddle designed for increased tire clearance, best reserved for the racer or experienced rider.
The WTB High Tail Pro is an enduro-specific saddle designed to prevent tire-to-saddle contact on long travel bikes. Rear tire contact with the tail of a saddle can be an issue on longer travel enduro bikes, particularly of the 29" wheel variety. The High Tail Pro is designed with a cutout tail to provide a bit of extra clearance to mitigate the issue. The unique shape combined with a very firm, performance-oriented shell and padding make the High Tail an excellent option for serious gram counting racers.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The High Tail is a firm, narrow saddle designed for racing. Minimal padding and small overall size keep the weight down to an impressive 225g on our test model. The cutout tail provides extra tire clearance for long travel bikes.
The High Tail is one of the narrowest saddles we have tested at 128mm in width. The majority of saddles in our test group are somewhere in the 140mm range for width. We had some trepidation about the narrow width but, surprisingly, we found the width to be adequate for most of our testers. The DNA padding is extremely minimal and shell flex follows suit. This is a very stiff saddle. We found the padding to be adequate on short rides, or on rides with short climbs where our time in the saddle was minimal, but many riders will wish for a bit more padding. The flat profile works well for riders who like an aggressive position on the bike, but many of our testers preferred the Fizik Monte with its slight rise in the tail. Out on the trail, many riders asked if the cutout in the tail was noticeable. It is not; the design places the cutout in an area that is un-weighted when seated on the saddle, so when you are riding you don't even notice it. Overall we would not rate the High Tail as an extremely comfortable saddle, due to the minimal padding and lack of shell flex.
The High Tail is a high performance saddle; the minimal flex and padding that are somewhat of a detriment to its comfort allow for optimal power transfer. You will not experience any bounce or loss of energy when laying down the power. The shallow channel is just deep enough to relieve pressure for riders that like a low handle bar position. While designed as an enduro saddle, don't be surprised to see this on some XC race bikes.
The High Tail is not all that versatile of a saddle. It works well on enduro, trail and XC bikes, but its small overall size and shape limit its usefulness for road or cyclocross use. We like a stiff saddle for cyclocross, but the shell of the High Tail extends beyond the padding and covering, making it prone to catching shorts during remounts. We tried it on the road bike, but the short length and narrow width limited our ability to move around on the saddle.
We found the High Tail Pro to be a very durable saddle. The plastic shell extends beyond the padding and covering, so if the bike hits the ground the shell takes the abrasion rather than the cover. We had no issues with durability during testing.
The High Tail Pro is impressively light for a saddle with chromoly rails at 225g. The higher-end models that utilize titanium or carbon rails are even lighter. If you are looking to shed some grams, the High Tail is an excellent replacement for your OE perch.
The High Tail Pro is best suited to experienced riders who prefer a firm saddle. If you are new to the sport we would suggest you try a saddle such as the Fizik Monte or WTB Speed for a more forgiving ride. The High Tail is an ideal saddle for enduro, trail, and cross country mountain bike use.
The High Tail Pro is a great value for $120. Many performance-oriented saddles that employ titanium rails and other high-end materials are heavier and cost substantially more. The High Tail is a fairly affordable way to shed some grams.
The High Tail Pro was designed with a cutout tail to increase tire clearance for long travel bikes. The end result is a very lightweight performance-oriented saddle. Its ideal for experienced riders who like a stiff, narrow saddle.
The High Tail comes in two other versions:
— Curtis Smith
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