wtb shadow v stealth saddle

With my beloved Bontrager saddle starting to wear thin (it was the cheap one that came on my Trek, but man I liked that saddle,) it was time to part with some serious cash to find something new that fit my needs (and my sit bones.)

Having used numerous WTB saddles on my mountain bikes with great success, I thought the minimalist WTB Shadow V Stealth might be a good idea for my road bike.

wtb shadow v stealth saddle

The Shadow V was a bit smaller and had less padding than the others, but you could still tell it was a WTB. Plus, the silver leather was a perfect match for the silver accents on my Trek.

Not only is this constructed with premium leather, it has lightweight titanium rails and fancy sections of carbon fiber. It gets an A+ in the looks department!

It also retains the “Comfort Zone” where a section of the saddle’s hard shell is removed and replaced with foam.

The price wasn’t bad, either. It’s listed at $110 (in line with most leather road saddles,) but I grabbed it on sale for $55 at Performance Bike.

wtb shadow v stealth saddle

Unfortunately, the similarities disappear when you sit down on this thing. This saddle is NOT plush like the other WTB saddles I use (the Rocket V, Laser V, and Speed V.) It feels like your typical, ‘hard as a rock’ road saddle.

That being said, this is a bit more comfortable for me than the Selle Italia XO and some of the cheaper Flites I’ve tried.

The good news is that the Shadow V does remain semi-comfortable for hours on end. Plush saddles usually feel good for 30-60 minutes, and then become horribly uncomfortable. This one takes a few minutes at the beginning of each ride to get past the lack of comfort, but after that, it feels decent for longer rides.

One other thing… this saddle is meant for speed.

On harder rides, even when seated, more of your weight is resting on the pedals. By maintaining constant pressure on the pedals, you take a bit of weight off your seat. If you are pedaling slowly and easily, your weight is all going to be directed to your butt, pushing it into the seat, making things even less comfortable.

If you go for a slow recovery ride on this seat, you’ll notice the difference!

Racing is another use for this seat. Sometimes I ride a plush WTB on my road bike if I’m just looking for comfort, but that slows me down. Why? I sink down into it.

On the firm Shadow V, you have a great platform to push against. That means you can transfer more power to the pedals. There’s no “squish” that could rob your power.

So it’s definitely a racing saddle, not a comfort saddle. However, with the right shorts, this thing doesn’t hurt that bad…

Sometimes it does, though, which is the weird thing. It might feel like it’s jabbing right into my behind. No matter how I sit, I can’t get comfortable. So who knows?!

My final verdict is…

It’s hard to find a small, light road saddle that’s actually comfortable. This one is quite light and looks good, but it’s not overly uncomfortable.

It’s more comfortable than some other minimalist saddles I’ve tried, although it’s hard for me to use the word “comfortable” to describe this saddle!

Could it work for you? Maybe. Saddle choice is very personal. But I’ll tell you what – if you like the bigger, softer WTB saddles, that does NOT mean that you’ll like this one!

I guess it’s a 50/50 chance whether you’ll like this one.

Official website: www.wtb.com

Product Review Details
Company: WTB
Product: WTB Shadow V Stealth Saddle
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2008-07-29
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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