Review: WTB Silverado Sport saddle

When I purchased Bino back in 2013, his stock “Dahon Comfort” saddle was great for my undercarriage. Even when my riding became much more aggressive as I became a better cyclist, the stock saddle’s shape and cushioning proved a good fit.

What was a little less impressive was the build quality. The top covering of the stock saddle was essentially stapled to its underside with lots of fasteners. With age, it had started to come off the staples and expose some of the underlying foam, which had also begun flaking off. These were essentially signs of a saddle that was ready for retirement.

Hyro’s Selle SMP Hell saddle was a pie-in-the-sky venture into the slightly exotic. By contrast, Bino has a much more upright riding position, so any replacement saddle had to fulfill that different design brief. I also wanted to see what options I could have while sticking to a more meager budget and a more conventional saddle form factor.

I ended up trying WTB’s Silverado Sport.

DESIGN AND FEATURES

  • Grippy microfiber top cover
  • 133 mm saddle width
  • 274 mm saddle length
  • Steel saddle rails
  • Flex-tuned shell
  • “Comfort Zone” center channel for soft tissue relief

IMPRESSIONS

The first thing you notice about the Silverado Sport is just how grippy its top cover is. It feels like it was built to grip shorts and not let go too easily, so I think it’s more suited to riders that don’t like to move around the saddle all that much. It can feel like the top cover actually started life as something abrasive, with WTB just polishing and polishing it until most of it wore away and it just retained its tacky friction. How you will take to this is up to your personal taste. Personally I’d prefer a slicker, less tacky top cover to accommodate weight shifts and general movement atop the saddle. That said, I do much less weight shifting when riding Bino compared to riding Hyro, so it works out well enough. The top cover does have simple white detailing in the form of the WTB logos and the Silverado logo on the nose.

The Silverado’s shape is very similar to Dahon’s Comfort saddle but a tad narrower, which improves the thighs’ range of motion for high-cadence crank spinners. This means it could also work with a road or cross bike. It improves on the Dahon saddle’s shape by offering a central depressed channel which is supposed to give relief from genital numbness…which was one of the few complaints I had with the stock saddle on rides past 40 km in length.

Whatever padding the saddle packs is pretty decent. There’s just enough squish in the foam to offer compliance. After the initial sag, the shell and bottom layer of foam are satisfyingly firm. Because of the more conventional shape and rails compared to any of Selle SMP’s perches, the Silverado Sport plays well with more accessories, such as Cat Eye’s RM-1 saddle rail mount for its rear lights.

One of the best things about the Silverado Sport is its price – proof that you don’t need a large budget for a good saddle, if you can get along with its shape. Mine cost all of PhP1,000, which is a performance saddle bargain as far as I’m concerned. The Sport is the bottom-spec model in the Silverado range; going up the ladder gets you the Pro, Team, and Carbon models, with improvements in the rails, covering, and other materials.

VERDICT

An affordable yet comfortable flat-profile saddle for aggressive pedalers, the WTB Silverado Sport could be just the ticket if you can get along with its shape and very grippy top cover.

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