Reviews You Can Rely On

WTB Speed Review

Versatile and comfortable, this saddle is great on roads, trails, commutes, and easy on the wallet
WTB Speed
Photo: WTB
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $48 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Competitive price, versatile design, comfortable, durable
Cons:  Heavy, not as stiff as racing saddles
Manufacturer:   Wilderness Trail Bikes
By Nick Bruckbauer ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 14, 2020
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 15
  • Comfort - 30% 8
  • Performance - 30% 7
  • Versatility - 20% 9
  • Durability - 10% 8
  • Weight - 10% 4

Our Verdict

The WTB Speed is an excellent saddle at an even better price. Universally liked by nearly all of our testers, it seems to have the unique ability to comfortably fit almost any rider. Generous padding and an anatomical relief groove round out the flat profile. The Steel rail version that we tested is very affordable, while a lighter Cromoly rail version is also available at an additional cost. While it's a bit soft and heavy for gram counters or serious racers, it is our go-to saddle for the daily driver mountain bike or commuter bike and could be yours too.

Compare to Similar Products

 
WTB Speed
This Product
WTB Speed
Awards  Best Buy Award Best Buy Award   
Price Check Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$99.08 at Amazon$35 List
Check Price at REI
$59.95 at Amazon$54.52 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
75
79
76
56
47
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Competitive price, versatile design, comfortable, durableLightweight, comfortable, reasonably pricedComfortable, anatomical groove and cutout, versatile, economicalComfortable, highly cushioned, pressure relief channelComfortable, good shock absorption
Cons Heavy, not as stiff as racing saddlesUnique shape may not be for everyoneHeavy, not as stiff as high performance optionsHeavy, bulky, low performanceHeavy, lacks versatility
Bottom Line Versatile and comfortable, this saddle is great on roads, trails, commutes, and easy on the walletA high-performing saddle that provides lightweight comfort and a unique designA Jack or Jackie of all trades, comfortable for any riding style in any situation, this affordable saddle ranks competitively with higher-priced alternativesA soft, flexible saddle with loads of cushioning made for cruising in comfortNo need for padded shorts with this cushy saddle, but don't expect much versatility
Rating Categories WTB Speed Prologo Dimension Bontrager Sport Saddle Serfas Dorado Serfas E-Gel Cruiser
Comfort (30%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Performance (30%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
4.0
3.0
Versatility (20%)
9.0
5.0
9.0
5.0
5.0
Durability (10%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Weight (10%)
4.0
9.0
5.0
4.0
1
Specs WTB Speed Prologo Dimension Bontrager Sport Saddle Serfas Dorado Serfas E-Gel Cruiser
Dimensions L 270 mm, W 145 mm L 245 mm, W 143 mm L 275 mm, W 163 mm L 280 mm, W 165 mm L 270 mm, W 200 mm
Weight (grams) 379 g 191 g 350 g 382 g 774 g
Rail Material Steel Tirox Steel Chromoly Steel
Shell Material Plastic Light foam Foam Dual Density Foam Plastic
Seat Cover Material Synthetic Microfiber Microfiber Soft Feel Microfiber Synthetic
Anatomical Cut Out or Channel Yes, groove Yes, full cut out Yes groove and cut out Yes, full cut out Yes, groove
Target Use (mountain, road, etc.) Mountain, Road, Cyclocross Road, Mountain, Cyclocross Road, Commuting, Touring Road Recreational, Commuting

Our Analysis and Test Results

The WTB Speed ranks well across the board, receiving respectable scores in every rating metric except for weight. While this isn't an ultra-lightweight, ultra-stiff performance saddle, the comfortable padding, versatile shape, and solid construction would make it an excellent option for your mountain bike, commuter bike, or spare road bike. The Steel rail version that we tested is very affordable but also a bit on the heavier side. A slightly lighter and more expensive Cromoly rail version is also available.

Performance Comparison


The Speed saddle from WTB is a versatile option for fitness rides...
The Speed saddle from WTB is a versatile option for fitness rides, mountain biking, or cruising around town.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Comfort


The WTB Speed offers a generous amount of padding that's not too firm and not too soft, and an anatomical groove down the center that provides noticeable pressure relief. A slight rise in the rear of the saddle provides a nice platform to push against during harder efforts. The measured width of 145 millimeters should comfortably fit a wide range of rider sizes, and the generous padding will provide cushioning for a wide range of anatomies.

The overall shape of this saddle is relatively flat, with rounded edges that taper to the outside to limit excessive thigh contact while pedaling. Like other WTB saddles we tested, the Speed employs a Comfort Zone cutout in the shell near the nose of the saddle. This is not a full cutout with an open channel devoid of material, but rather the shell below the padding is simply removed to allow for more downward displacement and to limit pressure on your sensitive areas. The effect is subtle but certainly noticeable when you slide forward on the saddle during a hard effort.

Combined with generous padding up top, the soft and flexible base...
Combined with generous padding up top, the soft and flexible base material is more forgiving than other models with stiffer materials.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

This saddle has a good amount of flex, which helps to enhance comfort when pedaling in the seated position over rough terrain. The flex is a result of the extensive cutouts in the shell material. Unlike saddles with stiffer shells, the Speed relies on its firm padding to provide support, rather than a stiff structural shell. There are pros and cons to this approach — it generally provides a forgiving ride that's soft and comfortable, but can also compromise optimum energy transfer and performance.

With generous padding, a pressure relief channel, and...
With generous padding, a pressure relief channel, and middle-of-the-road dimensions, the Speed is comfortable for a wide range of riders.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Performance


The Speed saddle is not the most high-performing option that we reviewed. The same generous padding that makes this seat so comfortable can become a drawback to maximize energy transfer and power output. The sensation of losing power to the saddle flex and padding is definitely noticeable during harder efforts, especially in comparison to higher performance saddles with a stiffer shell material and thinner or denser padding.

If you are new to mountain biking or wish to use this saddle on a commuter bike or spare road bike, then you probably won't be so concerned about the potential loss of energy transfer. For most new riders or casual riders not necessarily looking for maximum performance or power output, we would emphasize the importance of comfort over performance. However, if you're a more experienced rider or racer looking for maximum efficiency, you will likely be happier with one of the more performance-oriented saddles in our lineup. When it comes to maximum efficiency and highest performance, a stiffer saddle with firmer padding will provide a better platform for optimum power transfer.

With thicker padding and flexible base material, the Speed saddle...
With thicker padding and flexible base material, the Speed saddle isn't as high-performing as designs with thinner, more rigid padding or stiffer base materials.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Versatility


The Speed is a very versatile saddle that would be equally at home on a mountain bike, cyclocross bike, spare town bike, or touring bike. However, this saddle is probably not best suited for faster road riding or road racing due to its heavier weight, thicker padding, and flexible shell, which could absorb energy and inhibit maximum power output. Other saddles that score highly in the versatility ratings blend comfort and performance with judicious use of padding and a stiffer shell that allows for better power transfer. For casual trail riding, cruising, or touring, this model is a good choice that is comfortable for long days in the saddle.

Although it's not the most high-performing saddle in our lineup, the Speed wouldn't be a bad choice for beginner mountain bike riders or road riders, and we've seen this saddle or a similar version as the standard saddle on multiple bikes from reputable manufacturers. It provides a solid amount of comfort for a wide variety of riders and will provide adequate performance for new riders who aren't looking to race and are looking to maximize comfort and enjoyment.

The middle-of-the-road dimensions, comfortable padding, and pressure...
The middle-of-the-road dimensions, comfortable padding, and pressure relief valve make this saddle comfortable across a wide variety of riding styles.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Durability


The Speed saddle is a very durable option. The synthetic cover is tough; it offers a rubberized plastic scuff guard around the rear edges and durable steel rails. Our only complaint is that there are some exposed stitches at the junction of the scuff guard and the synthetic cover. Exposed stitching is prone to potential abrasion over time. You should also be aware that saddles with very thick padding tend to lose support over time, as the padding compresses and breaks down with extended use.

A saddle with a soft, flexible frame such as the Speed relies directly on the padding for its shape and support, compared to a saddle with a stiffer shell or internal skeleton. Saddles with a stiffer shell and thinner or denser padding are less likely to fatigue and compress over time. With that said, we know many riders who have used the Speed for many trouble-free years, and our test saddle certainly did not disappoint during our testing period.

The rear scuff guards add extra protection for resting the saddle...
The rear scuff guards add extra protection for resting the saddle against trees or walls or accidental tip-overs.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Weight


The Speed saddle won't win any accolades for its weight, as it comes in a little on the heavy side with a measured weight of 379 grams in the Steel rail version. Much of the hefty mass of this saddle can be attributed to the thick, dense padding that is heavier than what is typically found on more expensive saddles. The steel rails are also heavier than other materials such as titanium or carbon. However, our testers found that the increased weight did not outweigh the benefits of this durable and comfortable model.

The Steel rail version of the Speed that we tested is a bit on the...
The Steel rail version of the Speed that we tested is a bit on the heavier side of our lineup. A more expensive Cromoly rail version is available that saves about 35 grams.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Value


Earning recognition for its excellent value, the WTB Speed offers an excellent bang for the buck and nicely blends comfort and performance with affordability. You are not likely to find a better all-around saddle for its low list price. We tested many saddles that are lighter in weight or offer better performance, but none of them even come close to the price of the Speed. Riders looking for a solid all-around saddle for an amazing value will not be disappointed with this model.

The Speed Steel version is one of the most affordable models that we...
The Speed Steel version is one of the most affordable models that we tested and provides excellent value.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Conclusion


The WTB Speed ranks high with outstanding versatility and comfort. New riders who find this as the stock saddle on their new bike will likely be pleased with it, and riders looking to upgrade an older saddle on their mountain bike or touring bike without breaking the bank should definitely consider it.

Nick Bruckbauer