WTB created their new Koda saddle with female riders in mind, but as the development process went on they found out that many of their male test riders were fans as well, and the 'women's specific' label was dropped for the less-exclusive 'female-focused' designation. In other words, it's a saddle designed for humans who plan on doing everything from trail riding to enduro racing.
Available in 142mm and 152mm widths, the Koda has a fairly short, slightly downturned nose, and a generous depression in the rear center portion to help take the pressure off those sensitive bits. Along with that central depression, there's a cutaway in the base of the saddle to allow for even more compliance, a feature WTB refers to as the 'Comfort Zone.'
WTB Koda Team Details
• Intended use: XC / trail / all-mountain
• Titanium rails
• Microfiber cover / flex-tuned shell
• Dimensions: 142mm x 265mm (150mm option available)
• Weight: 208 grams
• MSRP: $129.95 USD
I tested the 142mm Koda Team model, which has titanium rails, weighs 208 grams, and is priced at $129.95 USD. There are three additional options in the line, with prices starting at $39.95 for the steel-railed Koda Comp.
The depression in the center and a cutout in the base of the saddle are intended to alleviate any unwanted pressure.
This past summer I kept ending up with bruises on the inside of my thighs from smacking into the hard plastic sides of my saddle while riding rough downhill trails. I'm not sure the exact reason – maybe I was riding more sloppily than usual, or maybe I'm not as bowlegged as I used to be. In any case, that's how I originally ended up deciding to give the Koda a try, since the rounded, slightly stubby shape seemed like it'd be a more comfortable option, at least while descending.
It turns out my hunch was correct, and as a result my legs have stayed relatively free of strange purple and yellow shapes for the three months I've been on the Koda. The saddle doesn't have any unnecessarily hard outer portions, and the nose profile helps keep it from getting hung up on shorts or pants.
Of course, where a saddle really matters is while pedaling, specifically on long climbs, and the Koda didn't give me any reasons to complain in that department. Long rides, short rides, with or without a chamois, in all instances the Koda worked like a saddle should – without causing any chafing, numbness, or any other type of unpleasant issues.
The shape of the Koda (center) compared to a Specialized Phenom and a Fabric Scoop.
The overall profile of the Koda is fairly flat, especially towards the nose.
The only potential downside to the reduced nose profile is that on longer, really steep climbs there's not quite as much room for sliding forward in search of the perfect position. I didn't have any trouble adapting to the shorter length, but it's something to consider for riders accustomed to more traditionally shaped saddles.
Saddle choice is a matter of personal preference, but if I had to choose I'd pick the Koda over WTB's Volt. The Volt has never really been my favorite, in part due to the slightly raised hunch just before the nose. The Koda's flatter profile was much more comfortable, comfort that seemed less dependent on getting the seat angle exactly right.