WTB Koda Saddle AndrewM
REVIEW

This Man Loves 2 Women's Saddles*

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major
Date Feb 5, 2019

Koda Chameleon 

Talking about my previously documented love for the WTB Deva women's specific saddle always feels like I'm selling a contradiction. I regularly recommend it to dudes who don't already have a favourite and I cautiously offer to loan mine to female friends, for a short ride, if they really want to try something different and own a good chamois, and sign a waiver saying they won't hold me responsible for any unhappy hoohaa hotspots. For some folks riding the Deva is a matter of survival. 

I know some women who pedal on the Deva and won't ride anything else but I'm a man without conviction when it comes to recommending that particular perch to 50% of the population. I previously called the Deva "firm yet sensitive like the modern dad" but in comparing it to the new Koda, both of which I ride sans-chamois, I think it's fair to say the Deva is more of an acquired taste for the more leathery loined amongst us whereas the Koda intends to be a friend to every woman, and man. 

*WTB no longer identifies the Koda as women's specific online - and they note it's the choice of many of the men in their office.

WTB Koda Saddle AndrewM

Still searching for your perfect perch? If you haven't tried the WTB Koda give it a sit. Two sizes are available to suit your sit bones: 142mm and 150mm.

WTB Koda Saddle AndrewM

Of all the saddles I've ridden WTB are consistently the most durable. The reinforced high-impact zones play a big role in that. 

The two saddles are not rivals, and where the Deva remains my absolute favourite saddle, I believe most riders would find loving the Koda to be easy. WTB makes it simple to test with their Demo program, so if you're Koda curious ask your preferred local shop if they're tied in and, it's easy to sign up if they aren't, and for a sit bone sizing. It's generously padded but still very supportive, starts at 40 USD, and provides epic-ride comfort without getting in the way when it's time to hover over the rear tire. 

WTB Koda Saddle AndrewM

Koda vs. Deva? The Koda requires zero break-in (of the rider or the saddle) and I think the padding profile will work excellent for a wider range of rider preference. I'll still spend my money on a Deva. 

Durability & Details

The Koda comes in four varieties and, to a point, it's really easy to justify spending a bit more coin. The base model Koda Comp is 40 USD, has plain steel rails, basic padding, and synthetic cover, but shares the same flex-tuned shell as the other models. I've ridden lots of OE level saddles and the Koda and Deva are the only saddles in this price range I'd even consider spending my money on. 

For an extra 20 USD (60 USD) things get more interesting with the Race model. It drops 50grams and gains strength thanks to the chromoly rails and the microfibre top, shared with the higher end models, is much more durable. Both the Deva and Koda I've been riding still look like new when I clean them up after a gritty shore ride. 

WTB Koda Saddle AndrewM

Some saddles you break in. Some saddles break you in. The Koda is neither. It is comfortable, yet supportive, from the first pedal stroke. 

Add 30 USD more (90 USD) and the Pro model adds WTB's DNA padding which holds its shape better over the course of a ride, and long-term, and generally provides better support. It also dumps another 46grams compared to the Race model. 

I think the obvious choice for most riders is between the Race and Pro but for a bit more saddle flex and another 20grams of weight dumped, this 210gram Team version adds titanium rails to the Pro model for a total spend of 130 USD. 

Trek Line Dropper AndrewM

WTB's microfiber saddle coverings are amazing. Direct crash hits and lots of thigh-rubbing with Shore grit and they stay fresh a long time. 

Bontrager Line Dropper Post AndrewM

The Team's titanium rails may be a nice luxury in adding a touch of long-day comfort on a hardtail but don't add 40 USD of value over the Pro model. 

I would buy the Koda if I didn't prefer the firmer WTB Deva by a small margin. But, if I ran a shop I would carry the Koda and the Koda 142mm and 150mm Pro & Race models would be my recommended saddles for anyone searching for their one true love.  

It provides comfort, support and a neutral shape that is out of the way when I want it to be. Man or woman, the Koda is a human-specific saddle that I think will fit most riders beautifully. More details at WTB

Comments

NotEndurbro
+1 Andrew Major
Dustin Meyer  - Feb. 5, 2019, 5:14 a.m.

I tried out an old base model Deva on your recommendation. It is a step up in comfort from the Silverado that I have been running on all my bikes for years. Another plus is that with steep seat tubes all over the place, the short nose gives back a bit of room between seat and stem.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 5, 2019, 7:24 a.m.

I love the Deva, but for guys and girls it’s certainly an acquired taste (great fit or isn’t). It’s still my first choice.

The Koda is a crazy comfortable saddle that seems to transcend sex. It was interesting talking to WTB to learn that it’s the most popular saddle at their office for both men and women - hence dropping the woman specific marketing.

Reply

NotEndurbro
+2 Ac Andrew Major
Dustin Meyer  - Feb. 5, 2019, 11:13 a.m.

I'll have to try out the Koda since I usually find myself nodding in agreement with your gear recommendations.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+2 Bikeridenow Tremeer023
Andrew Major  - Feb. 5, 2019, 11:25 a.m.

I wish more dealers got actively involved in demo-saddle programs and brands did a better job of advertising where a dealer is a true demo centre (not just they ordered a couple discounted saddles that staff are riding).

It’s a service that sets you apart from the internet. You can charge a few bucks (and refund them on purchase of a saddle) for your time and you hopefully get customers who are legitimately happy with their thrones and interested in what else you can do to improve their experience. All the winning.

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PinkRobe
0
PinkRobe  - Feb. 5, 2019, 7:01 a.m.

Most ladies prefer a women's saddle to a guy's saddle, controlling for things like width and padding. Most guys can't tell the difference between the two. SRSLY. The bike industry would be well served to make all stock saddles female-friendly, and make guy's saddles aftermarket for the few that need them.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 5, 2019, 7:19 a.m.

Agree fully with the first point; disagree heartily with the second although I’ve heard that claim made many times.

I’ve helped people find comfortable saddles for them for years and guys can definitely tell the difference between something that’s comfortable and something that’s a hatchet.

The exception is that a chamois seems to erase a lot of discomfort for men whereas with most women a chamois may hide an uncomfortable saddle for a short ride. Maybe. I don’t wear one so that informs my preference some.

There’s also a huge range of crap being sold as women specific as well as a huge range of variation within well designed women’s saddles.

Compare the Deva to a Terry saddle for example. Then compare both of those to a Chromag Juniper.

In my experience you won’t find a majority of women (never mind dudes) happy with a Deva or Terry saddle spec.

I think any bike over 2k (road or mountain) should come without a saddle. Since that isn’t going to happen then I’ll agree that the Koda would be an awesome OE choice for men and women.

Reply

kperras
+1 Andrew Major
Kenneth Perras  - Feb. 5, 2019, 10:10 a.m.

The Deva is a 142mm wide saddle. The Silverado, Volt, Rocket, SL8, etc are also available in the same widths, and even 150mm widths as well. This should add a few more options with regards to shape and padding. The 142mm Rocket is probably a step up in comfort over the Deva, but less so than the Koda. I go back and forth on the usefulness of the Kevlar corners. One one hand they are quite durable. On the other hand, their abrasiveness coupled with gritty dirt that we have on the shore tends to rub seams on riding shorts/pants to the point of blowing them out. 

If you can spring for the microfiber cover material, do it! You can oil the material periodically to keep it fresh and it develops a nice "Brooks-esque" patina.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 5, 2019, 10:13 a.m.

So, you’re also a Koda fan?

Pure-V was always one that many people (guys & girls) liked (didn’t change) as a stock option on bikes. Don’t see it come spec as much these days (heavy?).

Rocket never worked for me. Something about the shape or dimensions.

———

Hadn’t thought of the abrasive nature of the corners. They’re great in the context of reviewing a saddle but as a system lots of riders in shorts that cost more than this seat. Interesting.

Reply

NotEndurbro
+1 Andrew Major
Dustin Meyer  - Feb. 5, 2019, 11:08 a.m.

I always thought that the Pure-V had too much of the WTB whale tail on it and made moving around on the saddle more difficult. To me the Volt is the same saddle with less cushioning - and hence the same issue. 

I wonder how much of OEM saddle spec comes down to looks in promo shots. A Silverado might not be comfortable for a majority of people, but it looks pretty good in photos.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 5, 2019, 11:37 a.m.

Pure-V has never been a favourite of mine (general shape issues) but I’d guess even with all the options (brands / models) out there now that it’s still a strong seller for men and women. Even if they don’t love it most folks get along with it okay with or without a chamois.

The Volt is a lot less universal but that could come down to padding as you say.

———

I’ve never gone there re. saddle appearance in catalogue shoots. I guess with all the colour tie-ins that brands do saddle appearance is not an after thought.

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kperras
0
Kenneth Perras  - Feb. 5, 2019, 11:55 a.m.

Fan not so much; I personally prefer 135mm width saddles with a chamois. The Silverado has been my go-to for years. However, without the aforementioned diaper, a slightly more padded, wider (142mm) saddle is my preference. I should note that I rode the Deva for several years, chamois-less, before going back to 7Mesh's excellent riding bibs with a more sporty saddle. 

Bonus mention for SQLabs excellent 611 saddle in the 14cm width.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 5, 2019, 12:04 p.m.

That’s interesting, I don’t vary saddle width with/without chamois. Do you just do that with WTB or is it a fairly universal thing?

Big fan of the 611 Active. Again sans padded shorts.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Carmel
Andrew Major  - Feb. 5, 2019, 12:06 p.m.

It would also be fascinating to know the % of performance mountain bike customers riding in a chamois vs without. Obviously that would play a role in choosing the most universal OE saddle option.

Reply

Tadpoledancer
0
Tadpoledancer  - Feb. 5, 2019, 5:17 p.m.

I have a Silverado specced on my Ripmo, and I'm disappointed with the durability of the corner patches. After ~700 km of riding the corners have worn down all the way to reveal the foam padding below. The rest of the saddle looks like new, so I don't really see the point of the corner patches.

Reply

wishiwereriding
0
John Keiffer  - Feb. 5, 2019, 7:02 p.m.

I bought the Koda 150mm because of Andrew's previous comments. I have not had enough time on it, but I suspect I will like it a lot. I like the Deva and have a couple of those also. I wish the rails were longer on all these women's saddles though, as sometimes I can't get the far enough back. Looking forward to riding the Koda a lot though. I would have even liked to have had a wider version thand the 150mm. I have a very wide Spec... Pro saddle on my road bike that I really like.

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