WTB DEVO W/ PICKUP eBIKE SADDLE REVIEW
Review by Robert Johnston
Now that eMTB’s have firmly solidified themselves in the mountain bike world, and increasing number of eBike-specific components are finding their way onto the market to offer an improved user experience and to solve problems unique to the heavier bikes. Moving heavy eBikes around when out of the saddle can be tricky, so WTB decided to try and make the lives of electric bike users easier, by equipping their Devo w/Pickup saddle with a handle designed to give a more secure and comfortable place to grab the bike. We were intrigued to see how much improvement it could make while we push our eMTB’s up the unclimbable sections of trail, as well as deduce how it felt when using it for its primary function – sitting on. Read on to find out how it performed.
The WTB Devo w/Pickup saddle is a medium width saddle designed for riders with sit bone widths in the 100-130mm range, which measures at 142mm wide and 260mm long. The overall profile is tailored towards e-bike riding, with a wide nose to allow for the rider to sit on the front of the saddle to get weight on the front wheel for steep climbs. The base is made with WTB’s Fusion Form technology, combining nylon with fiber reinforcement of various concentrations to tailor the flex profile across the saddle. WTB gives the middle zone of the padding their “Love Channel”, which reduces the pressure on the sensitive areas, below which is a cutout in the base of the saddle to further reduce the likelihood of a pressure hot spot in this area.
The Devo w/Pickup is topped with a medium padding thickness to offer a good compromise of comfort for rides of all lengths. The cheaper Cromo rail ($95.95) and stainless rail ($119.95) versions get WTB’s HLX padding for extra cushion, whereas the top-tier titanium rail version at $142.95 (tested) gets the DNA high-performance padding, which helps to shave weight and retain shape for comfort over longer days in the saddle.
The unique selling point of the WTB Devo w/Pickup saddle is the pickup handle that’s integrated into the rear of the saddle. This allows for riders to get a comfortable and secure grip of the bike, making walking up the steepest terrain easier as well as making for safer and easier loading and unloading of the bike from bike racks. This is much appreciated when you’re trying to move a 50lb+ bike around.
A saddle with a handle would be no use if it wasn’t comfortable to sit on. Thankfully WTB is well versed at making comfortable saddles, and the Devo w/Pickup is no exception for me. Saddles are as personal as it gets when it comes to comfort from rider to rider, but with its reasonable padding thickness, medium level of “cush” and fairly inoffensive shape, it’s likely to cause few issues for riders in the middle of the sizing range. It’s impressive that WTB is able to obtain the level of padding they do at the low 212g weight that our ti-railed Devo w/Pickup saddle tips the scales at – the saddle looks like it should be heavier than that low number. The shape offers a large usable area, especially comfortable on the nose of the saddle which lets you get your bodyweight far forward on the bike to effectively climb the steepest of grades without comfort levels dropping off. I’d love to see the eMTB design doubled down on with the addition of a rear scoop to increase comfort on lengthy climbs, but as it is it’s still a comfortable place to be.
I’ve got two handle-related gripes, which are far from dealbreakers, but still worth noting and considering before you part with your hard earned cash. Both of them center around how flexible the handle area of the saddle is, which allows for a slightly concerning amount of flex when using the handle to pick the bike up, but more importantly can have the saddle “fall away” slightly if you find yourself pushed too far back on the saddle. Ignoring the flex though, the handle is an excellent addition to an eBike and makes for a considerably more comfortable lifting experience, especially when you find yourself walking the bike up steep and awkward terrain following some excessive optimism about your climbing abilities.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Adding a handle to a saddle may not sound like a groundbreaking design point, but the Pickup Handle on the WTB Devo w/Pickup saddle makes it that little bit easier when you’re moving an eBike around. It does this without compromising comfort as a saddle, unless you typically find yourself positioned all the way off the rear, so it seems like a real win in our books. It comes at a bit of a price, but may just be worth the investment.
Price: $95.95 (Crmo) – $142.95 (Titanium)
Weight: 212g (Ti, tested)