The WTB Gravelier is a saddle the brand claims represents the pinnacle of comfort and performance, with a curved design and cutout channel. It has proven to be a comfortable saddle, but do riders really need, or benefit from a specific saddle for gravel riding?
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The Gravelier is the latest saddle from the brand that has become a firm favourite for off-road riders, with numerous models aimed at different styles of riding, and rider preferences. While most of WTB's saddles are aimed at general riding the brand has started to produce versions aimed at more specific styles, including the Devo W/Pickup aimed at e-bikes, and the Gravelier for gravel bikes.
WTB Gravelier Titanium Saddle – Technical details
On test, the Gravelier comes with WTB's latest Fusion Form base that combines special nylon fibres and a specific flex profile for each of the brand's saddles in a bit to achieve excellent comfort. This saddle has been sculpted for power transfer and vibration damping.
Along with thinner padding, there's an extended saddle clamp area for a greater degree of adjustment. There's also a cool integrated tool mount.
The saddle is available as a single, short-nosed length, measuring 246mm, and also a single 140mm width. There are multiple versions available with different rail materials, from the chromoly at £75, the stainless version at £100, the titanium we have on test at £125, and finally the lightest 160g carbon version at £200.
The titanium version tested weighs 209g, a single gram under the claimed weight and with the standard circular rails should mean it will fit all seat posts.
WTB Gravelier Titanium Saddle – Performance
Fitting this saddle was as simple as you would expect, although the marks on the saddle rail give information on the clamp area I found a little confusing. The rails have a “MAX” marking, with a small arrow inside, and I thought the arrows marked the recommended limit marks. After contacting WTB, they confirmed the maximum clamp zone is actually the vertical line further out than “MAX”, and the “Ti” marking on the outer edge, giving a more typical range of adjustment.
With the saddle fitted and while testing I found the curved shape to be very noticeable, and the feeling is exactly how WTB describes it, feeling like a cradle, with more contact than you would have from a flatter saddle.
As a rider, I generally find I stand a lot while riding, sometimes out of preference but also as it can feel easier to generate power. While riding I found myself sitting down for more riding, and feeling completely comfortable and able to put out all the power I would expect. The cut-out section helps to relieve pressure and makes longer rides more enjoyable. The comfort when sitting down may also be helped by the padding density and new style base. And although difficult to give truly accurate proof, for a lightweight saddle, there was no vibration or discomfort while sitting down on riding on typical British gravel tracks.
I found the width perfectly comfortable, and this does seem to be a measurement aiming to suit the majority, rather than having separate widths available. The width should be comfortable for most riders while riding, but it is also narrow enough to allow you to move back off the saddle should you need to for anything more technical.
While the Gravelier was fantastic for its designed purpose, there is no reason why this would not also suit other styles of riding, such as road or mountain biking. WTB gives no restrictions on where you can use it, and there is no rider weight limit.
WTB Gravelier Titanium Saddle – Value and verdict
The titanium version tested costs £125, which is just a little more than the Specialized Phenom Expert, and this is another saddle designed more for off-road, although not specifically gravel riding. The WTB weighs a little less, while the Phenom is available in 3 width options, should that be something you think would be of benefit. WTB is not the only brand to offer a gravel-specific saddle, with the Selle Italia Novus Boost Evo Gravel TM saddle, possibly the longest product name there is. At £115 it is the same price as the Specialized Phenom, and weighed 256g with manganese rails rather than titanium.
Regardless of whether you need a specific saddle for gravel riding, the WTB Gravelier proved to be extremely comfortable both on, and off-road and I would have no hesitation in recommending it for even the longest of rides. The shape and features seemed to work well, and I found myself staying seated down more often, and for longer than most other saddles I use.