WTB High Tail Seat - Review

Jan 1, 2015
by Mike Levy  
WTB Hight Tail review test

WTB's 159 gram High Tail Carbon seat is designedly specifically for longer travel bikes, which may sound a bit odd at first, but let's hear out their thinking behind the design. The High Tail's name comes from its abbreviated rear section that sports a deep V-shaped cutout, a shape that provides clearance for the rear tire when the bike is near the end of its travel. This is also something that can be an issue for 29ers, especially now that so many riders are rocking dropper seat posts, although that buzzing sounds isn't something that the majority of riders experience. WTB refers to its shape is ''Narrow- Short'', with it measuring in a 128mm wide x 255mm long. This, combined with the somewhat firm feeling 'DNA' padding and flat top, means that it's likely best suited to behinds that have already seen plenty of miles - the High Tail probably won't be the ticket for a new rider. It comes in three flavours: chromoly rails on the 225 gram Pro, titanium rails on the 200 gram Team, and the top tier Carbon model tested below that has, you guessed it, carbon fiber rails and a matching shell. MSRP: $249.95 USD www.wtb.com @WTB-Bikes


WTB Hight Tail review test

WTB Hight Tail review test


Pinkbike’s Take:
bigquotesThe High Tail is best suited for riders who prefer a flatter-topped seat profile than something more rounded, and, despite its slim appearance, it doesn't feel small and penetrating when you're perched on top of it for hours on end. That's a pretty good thing when you're talking about seats, isn't it? I did put in a handful of four and five hour rides on the High Tail, which was enough for me to reconfirm that I'm best suited to a rounder profile, and I ended up having to angle the nose of the WTB seat down slightly more than I would have liked in an effort to keep it from applying too much pressure to places on one's body where you'd ideally avoid such things. The seat's carbon rails and shell proved to be up to the task despite making for a feathery 159 gram weight, while the Microfiber cover is tear-free to this day, and the V-shaped cutout at the rear of the seat works as advertised. It's also been creak-free, which is no small feat given the horrendously wet weather that it saw.

The shape of a seat is, of course, always down to personal preference, and while I can't fault the High Tail's flat profile for not being ideal for my behind, I can take the seat to task for its very unforgiving sides. The seat's cover and padding doesn't extend completely down to the bottom edge, and the carbon shell is clearly visible all the way around. This makes for a pretty cool look, but it also made for some bruises on the inside of my thighs that I could obviously do without. Also, there were a few times when, while searching for traction on a steep or wet section of trail, I would slide back on the seat far enough that its V-shaped cutout made itself very known to my ass. Granted, it would only be for a few seconds while I struggled up whatever was in front of me, but it is something that I can say is noticeable. I'd like to see WTB do something about its unforgiving sides before I could really recommend it, but those who prefer flatter seat shapes, or riders who find that their tire is buzzing the seat when their post is dropped (especially shorter riders who are more prone to this), might feel right at home with the High Tail on their bike. Regardless, I'd suggest giving it a test sit before laying out any cash - Mike Levy


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97 Comments

  • + 77
 Well I'm sure glad it "doesn't feel penetrating" that's for sure.
  • - 3
 I wonder if this 29" specific saddle buzzes ...LOL
www.fizik.it/saddles/mtb-saddles/thar-kium-2015
  • - 5
flag myanh (Jan 2, 2015 at 6:42) (Below Threshold)
 loL or 1$ less than 251$
  • + 0
 Nobody wants to feel violated Smile
  • - 5
flag DirtbagMatt (Jan 2, 2015 at 9:38) (Below Threshold)
 There's a rape hotline number printed on the underside of the seat.
  • + 2
 I'm still waiting on the long term review of the Essax Shark.
  • + 7
 This thing sounds like a pain in the ass.
  • + 2
 Seriously? A super expensive seat that allows your 29er to use all of it's suspension?
How about a replacement for my Big Earl?
How about a bike that doesn't eat half your ass as it eats a bump!
  • + 27
 Personally I remove my saddle for max firmness, minimum weight
  • + 34
 Well if you're into that kind of stuff... Or if it's into you Wink
  • + 26
 $250?
  • + 106
 Yes. That is $1 more than $249.

Does that clear up your confusion?
  • + 73
 Someone's new to carbon
  • - 28
flag Chickenclaw1 (Jan 1, 2015 at 21:08) (Below Threshold)
 actually 5 cents more than $24.95
  • + 73
 "Step 28: Your new addiction is carbon. Although healthier than cocaine it is more expensive."
Says it right in how to be a mountain biker
  • + 1
 GAG!!,how much!!!
  • + 11
 Weak. Someone I know has a 100% carbon saddle on their road bike. $1,250
  • + 2
 Check out Dash Cycles if you think that's expensive--and their saddles are well worth it.
  • + 38
 think id rather $250 worth of cocaine @schuster19
  • + 7
 @blockz..someone you know must have more money than sense then. Or the shop saw them coming..
  • + 4
 Hum, good old carbon debate coming up again!!!
  • + 1
 ballardski - Carbon debate... good old times! I miss them. Came just after suspension system acronym madness when industry could not use more than 4 letters to make something sound cool and half of internet population were experts on leverage ratio, compression stages&curves, pedal bob or brake jack. Carbon, despite being light, fell on heads of online masters of kinematics and cut through Coil vs Air debate like a CX bike through occasional cow shyte.
  • + 1
 rumpleforskin-LMFAO! best name ever
  • + 1
 Genuine question: why do people buy carbon saddles, or even Ti? Does it have some damping qualities, is it more solid? Or is it just to save 65g vs the cromoly version (or a mere 25g for Ti)
  • + 2
 ^ purely for weight
  • + 3
 hahahaha. its funny because its true!
  • + 2
 I get ti rails because I have not managed to bend them. Steel rails have bent under my lightweight arse, hollow steel bend even quicker. I had a carbon railed saddle on my cross bike but the saddle was cheaper than it should have been and for cross racing you want light. I buzz my butt on my 29 er hard tail on steep drops so I can see that a tire might actually buzz a saddle. Has anyone actually done this though?
  • + 2
 I have a 140mm trav 29er full sus and I've not managed to buzz my arse or saddle on it yet, and I'm a lardy bugger! Perhaps some may say I'm not tryin hard enough though!!??
  • + 0
 Carbon dampening properties are the biggest bullcrap told when someone is trying to sell it to you. It is super stiff, it may dampen some amplitude of vibrations but all in all it is way harder on you than alu. I "love" people who tell you that carbon rims are quiet and smoothen stuff, yea right. They make your bike rough as badgers arse.

I thought of buying WTB Volt with Ti rails, I had it on shopping list on CRC, but went for Cro-Mo. Same happened to me lately with bars, I was super pumped to get carbon ones ever since I got carbon frame. Bought alu. Do I regret it? No. Not at all. If a second hand deal would come along, then yea, I'd take a hit at the jewelry, like I did with Syntace stem with Ti bolts (already sold with Holzfeller in place...). There is simply no point. We behave like teenage girls at accessories stand at H&M, just because carbon saddle or bars don't cost as much as a carbon frame does not mean they are something to get away with. There's a price to pay, shit that you will have sitting in the bad of your head - like I never card much about my alu frame, when I was putting it on rails of the bike rack on my car - now with carbon I am super cautious. Ride well and you'll get them things for free Big Grin
  • + 0
 WAKIdesigns, totally agree! Me, I've just built a steel hard tail and love it! My job is non destructive testing as I've said elsewhere, so metal is what I deal with and I can see and know what's good with welds and tubes. Carbon, can't see what's going n there until it fails!!
  • + 0
 People asking about anybody having actually buzzed their saddle on a bike: I've heard of people doing it, but really this saddle is designed for the new Pivot Phoenix(go look at any review, & they'll mention the custom WTB seat.) They apparently have to run this seat or the tire hits the saddle(due to the bigger wheels.)
  • - 1
 oh no! does that mean that it has such a rearward axle path? Unrideable!
  • + 1
 Ahh no no waki, you should abuse carbon, it likes it, put some marks on there and choke it a bit
  • + 17
 If your tire hits your saddle either someone designed your bike wrong or you've got a couch for a seat. There's no excuse for this problem ever existing.
  • + 14
 but it does exist...especially if you are a short rider on a frame with lots of travel... i am not one of those riders, but that doesnt mean the problem doesnt exist.
  • + 1
 Uuuhhh having a low seat?
  • + 7
 I didn't say it doesn't happen, I said it shouldn't. It's a frame design flaw and there's no excuse for it.
  • + 1
 There's something called seat post offset, and something else called chain stay length.
  • - 2
 If people bought the right sized bike they wouldn't need the seat slammed so low the tyre hits it.
  • + 8
 You guys all oughta have words with Tracy Hannahs mech then. She regularily buzzes her seat at full travel, and has even blown it off its rails before at bottom out. Guy clearly doesnt know how to set up a bike eh?
  • + 7
 No one said that gabriel , but what was said is that poor frame design on small frames allows this to happen , which is what the real problem is , how some thing can be designed and ' finished ' knowing that the bike will hit it's self is a bit crazy really. But orange got away with it on the 22x's for fuck knows how long.
  • + 3
 I kinda agree, but at the same time I don't think its a great idea to position a seat so that it won't buzz the tyre at very occasional full bottom out, if that means a less than ideal seat position for the rest of the time. If this is a problem, I think a seat like this is a better solution than moving the whole seat post forward
  • + 2
 Yeah suppose there has to be some compromise
  • + 3
 Sometimes it just has to happen depending on the bike. Short-Ish friend of mine used to have a v10 (he rides for knolly now) and he was on a size small...the seat was stupid high on that bike and it'd still buzz at full squish. To get the seat not to buzz, the seat post would have to be way too high for him...eventually he got a specialized saddle that had somewhat of a cutout at the back, kinda like this one and it helped with the contact.
  • + 1
 Elliot Jackson ate shit really hard at Sea Otter due to his seat contacting the tire on takeoff
  • - 1
 Did you ever think that moving the seat tube too far forward (STA) so it doesn't tire buzz could be a bigger cockpit compromise than catering to midgets?

Not all seats are built the same either....
  • + 3
 No doubt , but that's still not an excuse to make a product that fouls upon it's self when fully built , the frame designers should be taking this into account rather than using the same formula for all sizes and just increasing/decreasing the numbers.
  • + 1
 I agree with bigburd. The suspension design shouldn't allow the wheel to run into other parts of the bike. As Elliot Jackson and Tracey Hannah have proven, it's dangerous. It's not as if it's a design compromise, it's frames being created in one size and mass produced in three or four more with no further design input.
  • + 1
 So how do you make a frame smaller without moving the whole seat tube forward and creating a cramped cockpit? The only other solutions I can see are less travel or a seat design like this. Out of a cramped cockpit, a shorter travel bike or a slightly odd seat design, I know which I'd choose. I'm not suggesting that buzzing your seat with your tyre is not a problem (my last frame had 9.5 inches of travel and I still got a bit of tyre rub even with my seat further forward than I would have liked) but if a seat like this can eliminate that problem while still allowing for a seat that is in a fairly sensible position, it seems like the obvious choice to me.
  • + 1
 Except this saddle was designed for the new Pivot Phoenix, because of the 650b wheels(go look at any review of the new Phoenix, they'll talk about how this seat was designed for it.) I have to agree with bigburd: That's poor design in my book. Especially on a DH bike, where saddle position isn't critical.
  • + 14
 carbon tax
  • + 8
 can you elaborate on this: "Also, there were a few times when, while searching for traction on a steep or wet section of trail, I would slide back on the seat far enough that its V-shaped cutout made itself very known to my ass"

Are you talking about going up or down a hill? I dont really understand. Going down - stand up. Going up - sit on the front of the saddle?

Cheers
  • + 1
 seems to me that whilst climbing, depending on the geometry of the bike, and how sloppy the trail is, ya might need to really weight the back tire by getting on the back of the seat for a moment?
  • + 20
 You'd only do that if you wanted to do a mega wheelie up the hill. Which sounds rad.
  • - 1
 Or you're climbing on loose, slidey ground.
  • + 4
 This saddle looks like a good way to completely ruin your the blood flow to your "man" parts . Whatever happened to caring a little bit about ergonomics? I ride on selle SMP saddle ,I don't want to have to use little blue pills by the time I am 50...
  • + 1
 I ride the SMP saddle for both road and mountain, too. Great saddle.
  • + 6
 Not dissing this saddle, but give me my Chromag Lynx and put the remainder to post ride brews!
  • + 2
 to sum it all up- it's light, expensive, uncomfortable and it's aimed at a very small segment of riders who have a very specific bike set up problem. who thinks they'll sell more than 12 of these things? why didn't they just take one of their normal saddles and cut the back out of it? guess they had some money left over in their R&D budget.
  • + 4
 Less grams on the bike means more time in the air. Now to lose this 20 lbs on my gut.
  • + 4
 If i'm spending $249 on something that spends its time wedged next to my anus I want dinner afterwards.

Carbon or no carbon
  • + 1
 Us poor slobs freely accepted the reintroduction of the 'fanny pack'. Fairly certain the industry could sell our pi$$ back to us in a carbon water bottle and we'd pay for a refill. For now I'll hold out until they make a dropper that press-fits into my arse...with a proprietary tool a sizing 'standard' of course...
  • + 3
 Who's sit bones are narrow enough for a seat that's only 128 mm edge to edge. Design seats to fit real people.
  • + 2
 I'm super happy with my Specialized Romin Pro Evo, wide enough, light (183g), and puts my hips in a better posetion for climbs.
  • + 0
 I am a fan of WTB saddles since the first time my crotch sat on PureV. I sold the skinny, groin tearing Selle Italia SLR and bought excellent Volt. But this thing here looks terrible. I'd have to put on two padded shorts, my sons diaper, impregnated with a full jar of chamois cream with bacon and rotten banana to top that
  • + 1
 Ha, funny you should say Pure V, fab saddle, as well as the speed V pro gel. Think I have to agree with you on this saddle though, was thinking along your lines for padding.....lol.
  • + 2
 "bacon and rotten banana"?? here in uk we call that meat & 2 veg.
  • + 1
 Good work WTB, in my opinion your best looking seat yet. I like the perforated top material and of course the carbon rails! Comparable in price to other seats in its class.
  • + 1
 This saddle is perfect for on demand "Ghost D" or "Sleepy Pee Pee" - would not recommend for anyone who wants to climb the steeps while on the front of their saddle.
  • + 3
 It is a nice looking seat, but it looks like it would be uncomfortable.
  • + 1
 aaaaaaah...never a good feeling to see saddles with such sharp back ends...protect your wiener!
  • + 2
 Thats how much I just picked up a new Hardtail frame for....F that!
  • + 1
 Yeah when you can pickup a new frame for the cost of bike seat, makes you question the price of that seat.
  • + 3
 why not $ 2249.95?
  • + 1
 I liked the days when saddles did not enter me.
  • + 1
 Ever sense my first UNI seat everything else was a Cadillac.
  • + 9
 Since
  • + 11
 damn, first spelling error of the year.
  • + 0
 I read WTB as "Wanting to buy"
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