WTB SST Saddle Returns for 2009

If you spend a lot of time riding your bike, you may come to value a particular saddle that works for you. Several years ago, I discovered the Wilderness Trail Bikes “SST” saddle (in my case, the SST.X “Flash” model) and I pretty much fell in love with it. Trouble was, WTB no longer made this saddle, and NIB/NOS examples can be hard to find on the auction market.

So, I was GREATLY excited when I heard during Interbike 2008 that WTB was going to be re-releasing the saddle for 2009. No word on when, exactly, they were going to bring it onto the market, and as of today they still don’t have it on their website… BUT, thanks to my pals in California and our friends at KHS Bicycles, I received a lovely Christmas gift of a pair of brand-new 2009 SST saddles to add to my fleet.

Here’s the new saddle:
sst

WTB kept the overall shape and construction of the original SST saddle…the flat back, abrasion-resistant corner panels and the distinctive dropped nose and dipped center area. Here’s a picture showing both saddles together — you can see just how similar the two are in shape:

old and new

What’s new with the saddle are subtle refinements in the construction and shape…the back portion of the saddle is a few millimeters wider and a bit flatter, catering to folks with slightly wide-set “sit bones” or anyone who prefers flat-backed saddles to sloping ones. A new feature, to me at least, is the inclusion of WTB’s “Comfort Zone”, which serves the same purpose as a saddle cutout but without a hole. Basically, it is an oval gap cut into the nylon shell of the saddle’s underside that is filled with a plug of softer material before the saddle’s cover is glued and stapled on. It works in preventing crotch numbness, that’s for sure…but to be honest, the original saddle works just fine at that, too.

comfort zone

Although the saddle is designed for mountain bike cross-country and all-mountain disciplines, it works very well on the road, too. It is narrow enough not to look out of place on a skinny-tired machine and comfortable enough for long miles. The saddle rails have enough fore-aft adjustability in them to suit just about any application, and the saddle appears to be very well constructed.

I neglected to weigh the saddles before installing them on my bikes, but I can say they’re not lightweights. I’d guess they push the scales around 280-290 grams. These particular saddles came with chromoly rails, but I suspect that WTB will also offer a titanium-railed version at some point (this is only conjecture). WTB, if you’re reading this: PLEASE bring back glitter vinyl, even if you do it in limited-editions. I’ll stand in line to buy some more Bootsy Collins bling!

I’ll be riding with these over the next few months and I’ll let you know how they turn out. Since I got them for Christmas, I’ve already put about 150 miles on them — and they feel just like my trusty old saddle!

flatback


19 Comments

  1. Guy January 19, 2009 10:45 am 

    This got me thinking about my saddle. When I first started to commuting into work, I was sore for a week on the bottom. But now it’s not a problem. The issue at hand is that I ripped the saddle cover and little by little it is tearing away and I will be having to replace it. It’s very comfortable and I’d hate the thought of having to break in a new one. Kinda like the shoes that you’re comfortable with and have to replace.

  2. cafn8 January 19, 2009 11:47 am 

    Thanks for the heads up. I retired my old SST when the covering started staining my pants black. It’s my favorite saddle I’ve owned, although other WTBs have treated me well. That sloping nose is great for climbing ridiculously steep hills while seated, as I found. Besides that It’s just generally comfy. I’ve hung on to it for quite a while with the intention of re-covering (that’s how much I like it), but maybe I won’t have to do that after all. I do have some tan corduroy that would look pretty dapper, though.

  3. Ghost Rider January 19, 2009 4:04 pm 

    That’s exactly why I had been scouring Ebay for the past couple years…never able to score another Flash model, but I did get one other NIB SST saddle in black as a “reserve” for when my glittery one bit the dust. SO HAPPY WTB brought these things back!!!

  4. Mike Myers January 19, 2009 4:44 pm 

    Makes me glad Brooks B17s work for me just fine. LOL

  5. Carl January 19, 2009 7:13 pm 

    According to their website, Surly is including the WTB SST saddle on all their complete bikes for 2009.

  6. Will January 20, 2009 9:16 am 

    Linking Bootsy Collins’s Wikipedia biography was an excellent touch.

  7. Ghost Rider January 20, 2009 9:50 am 

    Thanks, Will! Got to give Bootsy some props!

    @Carl, I noticed that about Surly’s lineup…that sounds like a ringing endorsement of this saddle to me!

  8. Raiyn January 20, 2009 11:36 am 

    @cafn8 I’ve got a guy that recovers saddles with a durable cloth material (my girlfriend’s saddle has lasted about 7 years since he did it) I’ll get the info up ASAP if you (or anyone else) is interested.

  9. Quinn January 21, 2009 11:37 am 

    IM gonna have to get me one just to see what all the fuss is about, back in the day, I was a teen that rode the hell out of my GT Outpost, gave it a yearly bath, and didn’t give a rats a** about much on the bike.

  10. jamesmallon January 24, 2009 11:21 am 

    All the complicated padding on most saddles seems like a run-around way of giving the comfort that a worn-in leather-hammock saddle (Brooks) will give better. I grant the padded saddles serve many well (though are torture for me), and serve infrequent cyclists much more cheaply than a Brooks, and the frequent cyclists with fewer grams than a Brooks. However, they cannot surpass the comfort of a worn-in Brooks. Too bad the wear-in has to be achived with your own @$$, though Brooks does sell ‘aged’ models. As for the weight, I was fortunate enough to get a Brooks titanium railed swallow for 1/2 price, but it was still a fortune!

  11. Ghost Rider January 24, 2009 1:32 pm 

    Different strokes for different folks…I personally don’t care for Brooks saddles — too fussy, and frankly I don’t have the time to break them in. I want to ride in comfort NOW!

  12. Raiyn January 24, 2009 5:46 pm 

    Nobody? I would have thought people would have been more interested – especially seeing as how my guy only charges $25 including return shipping.

  13. Ghost Rider January 25, 2009 10:14 am 

    Raiyn, I’ll bite — PM me the information to “ghostrider(overthereat)bikecommuters(dot)com.

    I want to see if your guy will recover saddles in glittery Naugahyde!!!

  14. Raiyn January 25, 2009 2:17 pm 

    Sorry Ghost, no naugas will be harmed to recover saddles. I’ll forward the info anyway.

  15. noriko n April 15, 2009 10:22 pm 

    Thanks for reporting on the return of the SST. All 4 of my bikes have the older version and it’s still my favorites. Looking forward to your review on the new model.

  16. noriko n April 15, 2009 10:23 pm 

    that would be “favorite”

  17. Fox June 26, 2009 8:25 am 

    Thank god, I’ve been riding my original SST since like 97 or 98. I’m due for a replacement.

  18. Twain January 26, 2010 12:07 pm 

    Raiyn: Contact info of the seat recovering guy would be appreciatled. I am twain at dcemail.com

  19. Kortney Fabrizio July 11, 2010 9:19 pm 

    Paralegals are lawyers’ assistants who help them prepare for trials, closings, hearings and corporate meetings. They are usually found in law firms, corporate legal departments and government agencies. If you want a career in law but do not want to practice as a lawyer or attorney, you can have a career as a paralegal.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *