WTB has been making their Volt saddles for a number of years now, and the Volt Race falls second from the bottom of their range of five models in the lineup. The old adage, if it ain't broke don't fix it, applies well to the Race which has been delivering a comfortable and versatile performance to mountain bikers for many years. In our testing, the Race was our fourth highest scoring competitor overall, beating out many more expensive mountain bike saddles. Testers loved this reliable performer for its comfort, versatility, and durability. To be honest, there wasn't anything didn't really like about it; it just couldn't quite match the comfort and performance of some of the competition. Read on to find out how what we love about the Race.
WTB Volt Race Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Classic design, comfortable, reasonable weight, inexpensive
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Our testers were already quite familiar with the Volt Race when testing began. This saddle is often spec'd on complete bikes when they are purchased, and has been a consistent member of the WTB saddle lineup for many years. Having some prior experience with this saddle was a good thing, as it helped to give a benchmark of performance and comfort to compare it against our previous impressions, and more importantly to the competition. During our test period, testers took the opportunity to refresh their memories and put the Race through its paces. This saddle was ridden up down and all around for hundreds of miles in a variety of weather and trail conditions.
The Race delivers in the comfort department, just like it has for a while now. One tester even noted that this saddle ages like a fine wine and only gets better with time. It wasn't the most comfortable saddle we tested, but it ranked right up near the top with the best of them. It is important to note that the Race comes in three sizes to accommodate varying widths of sit bones and personal preferences. The model we tested was 135mm, and it is offered in 142mm and 150mm options.
One of the main reasons the Race is so comfortable is WTB's use of their tried and true saddle shape. When viewed from above, the saddle has a classic teardrop shape from the nose to the tail. As the saddle widens near the tail, it does so with a very gradual arc that makes for a very comfortable and unrestricted pedal stroke. The sit bones rest nicely on the wider tail which has medium density padding and slight amount of rise towards the back. There is also a shallow anatomical groove that runs from the tail of the saddle about 3/4 of the way forward to help relieve pressure on sensitive areas.
When viewed from the side, the shape is again classic WTB. It has a minimal amount of cradle that is punctuated by a slight rise as it goes back to the tail. The rise of the tail provides just the right amount of support that testers found kept you in position on the saddle and was comfortable for extended periods of pedaling.
In addition to the shallow anatomical channel visible on the top of the saddle, WTB has incorporated their "Comfort Zone" cutout in the shell on the underside to provide further relief. The "Flex Tuned" shell of the Race is relatively stiff and supportive with stiffer padding than what is found on our Top Pick for Comfort Award winner, the WTB Koda Team.
During our testing, we found that there were saddles you hardly if ever, think about while riding, and those that you find yourself moving around on trying to find a comfortable position. The Race falls into the former of those categories with a shape and performance that you'll never need to give a second thought. There's nothing especially mind-blowing about its performance; it just works consistently well in all situations.
Obviously, this saddle is comfortable, with a great shape, anatomical groove and slight cradle that supports you nicely while seated. Testers felt the platform and padding were comfortable while not sapping any of your power while pedaling. The medium width and shorter length, 265mm, made moving on, off, and around the saddle very easy. The seat cover also has diagonal stripes of texture on the top to add a little grip to the surface, but the sides of the saddle are smooth and slippery to allow your legs and shorts to slide freely during pedaling or while moving back and forth.
WTB saddles have a history of being quite durable, and the current version of the Race continues that tradition. The microfiber seat cover remains in like new condition after several months of testing, and based on our experience, will likely remain that way for a couple seasons or more. The main body of the seat cover is one piece, and it is attached to the shell on the underside of the saddle. The tail of the saddle is protected on both sides with a durable abrasion restraint material to protect the most likely spot to take an impact in the event of a crash, and they are sewn in from the inside, so there is no exposed stitching. The CR-MO seat rails are strong and show no signs of wear, nor have they made a squeak or sound of any kind.
The Race is a very versatile saddle, and there is no limit to the cycling applications. We've used it for all types of mountain bike riding, from long XC rides to short enduro style laps. Testers also tried it out on a few gravel grinder rides, and even put it on one of their wives commuter bikes. It's a comfortable perch with good performance and can really be used for just about anything. It might be a little heavy for the hardcore gram counters out there, but there are lighter versions available.
Our test model weighed in at 239g for the 135mm width. This isn't exactly feather-light, but its far from heavy. It's actually four grams lighter than our Editors' Choice Award winner, the Specialized Phenom Comp. We think this weight is very respectable, especially considering the $60 retail price tag.
This saddle is well suited to all types of mountain bike riding, road, and gravel grinding too. If you're looking for a comfortable, versatile, and durable saddle that will likely give you several seasons of dedicated service, then the Race is a great option.
With a retail price of only $60, the Race is a great value. Sure there are less expensive saddles on the market, but the price to comfort, weight, and performance ratio here is pretty hard to beat. As a result, the Race is the winner of our Best Buy Award.
The WTB Volt Race is a great mountain bike saddle offered at a very reasonable price. It is fairly lightweight, very comfortable, versatile, and durable. If you like a saddle that you can put on your bike and forget about for years, then the Race has got you covered. It is also available in three widths so you can dial in the fit to your needs or preferences.
WTB makes a full line of mountain bike saddles, including several version of the Volt tested here. All versions of the Volt saddle are made in the same shape and are offered in three widths, 135mm, 142mm, and 150mm.
- Volt Carbon: $250, Weight: 148g, Rails: Carbon, Shell, Carbon, Padding: DNA
- Volt Team: $130, Weight: 200g/204g/214g, Rails: Titanium, Shell: Flex Tuned, Padding: DNA
- Volt Pro: $90, Weight: 219g/26g/236g, Rails: Cromoly, Shell: Flex Tuned, Padding: DNA
- Volt Comp: $40, Weight: 297g/316g/326g, Rails: Steel, Shell: Flex Tuned, Padding: Standard
— Jeremy Benson