The Bontrager Verse Elite is designed for all kinds of riding and all genders, and proves supportive, good looking and comfortable. But if you don’t like cutout saddles, this one isn't going to change your mind either.
This is the Bontrager Verse in its middle of the range Elite guise. It gets austenite rails (the brand says they're lighter than titanium), a polymer shell with Blendr accessory mounts, and trim that allegedly optimises the foam to save weight and increase comfort.
The Verse is built to blur the lines between mountain, road and everything in between, promising to perform equally as well for everything and everyone. In the case of this review, I’ve bolted it to my mountain bike, and I’m a man.
The Verse gets a full-length cutout for pressure relief and has fairly long rails, which not only create more flex but help you dial the fit too. I like my saddle quite far forwards, so I’ve been happy with this bonus adjustment.
Furthering the ‘one saddle for all’ ethos, the Verse comes in a number of widths, from 135mm (this one) up to 165mm for the wider hipped out there. The 135mm weighs in at 234g.
As for comfort, the Verse suits me very well. It offers a great level of support and the small kick at the back is supportive on the hills. One small gripe is the increased pressure that can build around the middle of the cutout, but a quick reseat often sorts that for me.
If you often have problems with cutout saddles, you’ll still have a problem here, but if you generally get on with them the Verse proves very comfortable.
With the seat down on the descents, the narrow nose stays well out of the way, even with my forward-biased adjustment.
The Blendr accessory mount is especially helpful if you ride at night on the road with a dropper post – obviously you can't easily mount a rear light on a post that might disappear...
Bontrager also offers this saddle in Comp and Pro specs, the former being cheaper at £50 with weightier chromoly rails, and the latter costing £150 as it's kitted with carbon rails and a carbon-reinforced shell.
The Bontrager Verse Elite is supportive, well-shaped and well-made, and has as good a chance as any of being all things to all men and all women. If cutout saddles generally don’t suit you, though, this one won't be any different.
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