Coming in as the first all-new saddle in seven years, WTB’s new Devo is an e-bike-specific saddle that makes pedal-assisted life that bit easier. It’s comfortable, supportive, and designed with the demands of the e-MTB in mind, making it well worth considering for any e-mountain biker. However, longer rails and a greater selection of sizes wouldn’t go amiss.
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WTB Devo w/Pickup titanium - Technical details
WTB’s new Devo saddle is designed specifically for e-MTB and shaped to foster better support. It's built with a new Fusion Foam base for a specific level of flex. The former consists of a flat nose, for comfort when perching weight far forwards, which widens for sit-bone support. The rear is rounded to keep you from catching your shorts on the descents.
The Fusion Foam is said to balance comfort with durability thanks to an effort to fine-tune the fibre content and the flex profile of the saddle’s base. It uses medium-thickness padding to stave off pressure points to keep you riding for longer.
But the elephant in the room is that Steve Vai-esque grip at the rear of the saddle. WTB has a patent pending for this feature and, while the brand firmly recommends that it’s not used to tow your mates up a hill (for the sake of your dropper post), it’s ideal for lifting your big, heavy e-bike onto racks or into the back of the van.
As for the profile, there’s a mellow curve and WTB’s Love Channel which supports the sit bones whilst relieving unwanted pressure. The saddle is covered with a microfibre material.
There’s one size available and it measures 142 x 257mm with the aim of accomodating sit bone distances of 100mm to 130mm. There are three rail materials on offer, coming in chromoly, stainless steel and titanium, the latter of which we have on test. As for weight, the Devo tips my scales at 213g, two grams lighter than claimed.
WTB Devo w/Pickup titanium - Performance
First and foremost, it goes without saying, the Devo’s looks will certainly divide opinion but for the most part, WTB has done a solid job in creating this saddle, even if it does have its quirks.
I know it sounds silly but the Devo’s handle is very handy if you’ll excuse the pun. E-mountain bikes are heavy things and it can be tough to find the best, or most ergonomic hand hole when hulking the beasts into the back of a van or onto a rack. Though, however tempting it might seem, don’t go towing your mates about as this will likely spell the death of your dropper post.
Cutting a big hole in the rear of a saddle does come with a compromise, however, and that’s in rail length. It’s an often overlooked topic but it’s one that’s incredibly important to the uphill performance of an e-bike. Pushing the saddle as far forward on the rails as possible effectively steepens a bike’s seat tube angle, which then shifts weight more centrally onto the bike. This boosts rear wheel grip up the climbs and keeps the front end from lifting.
Unfortunately, due to the Devo’s comparatively short rails, there’s just not a lot of room to do this or to adjust its position at all. On well-balanced bikes, this wasn’t an issue but on those such as the Canyon Spectral:ON, which is pretty lifty at the front, the Devo offers little opportunity to combat this issue.
Aside from the short rails, it’s a solid performer and its supportive shape is really clear. That combined with the foam and the flex built into the base does exactly what it’s aimed to do - offer comfort.
It is a shame that it doesn’t come in more sizes currently. Where I spend a lot more time in the saddle on an e-MTB rather than my normal bike, the saddle’s overall comfort is imperative and ideally, I’d prefer it to be wider. Hopefully, this is something that WTB will offer a little further down the line.
WTB Devo w/Pickup titanium - Verdict
In terms of pricing, £125 isn’t especially cheap for a titanium-railed saddle but there’s been a lot of effort put into this one to make it comfortable and, of course, putting a handle into the rear is something that needs to be considered. Though compared to other e-bike-specific saddles, the Devo’s value is looking rather good.
Let’s take Fizik’s Terra Aidon X1 E-MTB saddle for example. It costs £170 and isn't the most rear-end friendly option around, often resulting in me having to cut my rides short owing to the discomfort.
Ergon’s SM E-Mountain Sport saddle comes in at a considerably cheaper £90 but it doesn’t get titanium rails, so it weighs a good chunk more at 350g in its widest guise. It does get a supporting ramp, however, which many riders will appreciate.
Even though the WTB Devo is an e-bike-specific saddle, I think it will work with all kinds of mountain bikes. The handle will be appreciated by anyone who lifts the bike into the back of cars, vans or bike racks and it’s plenty comfortable enough with a supportive shape. Its rails are short, however, limiting its adjustment. It would also be good to see more size options.