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The week before the our last big pre-24 hour race ride, a slick looking WTB Valcon Carbon saddle with carbon rails floated into the Bikerumor workshop for testing. Not many of us are dumb enough to put a brand new saddle on our bikes before we venture out on a big day. Luckily I commonly ignore common sense in order to check out new cool bike gear. I quickly mounted the saddle to my Tomac Supermatic race machine for our 92 mile shakedown ride. Click away to find out how the superlight perch fared on the 7.5 hour mountain bike shakedown ride- as well as at the subsequent 24 hrs In the Old Pueblo.
Out of the box the Valcon with its carbon rails and shell weighed in at only 169g- 14g less than the claimed 183g. With
only a little lots of nervousness I set up the WTB Valcon Carbon saddle atop my seatpost. A quick pre-ride fit and adjustment (Thank you brother Elliott) had me comfortably seated. Once I found the sweat spot of the Valcon, the miles rolled away under me with only my legs to pain me.
I do have to say that the sweet spot on this sub-200g saddle is not very big, something I was quick to realize whenever I found my buttocks wandering. The long, flat, and narrow shape of the Valcon Carbon allowed me to easily move fore and aft to adjust for the changes in the pitch of the trail. Before I go much further I must place emphasis on the fact that WTB saddles have had a long history of cradling my nether regions with little to no loss of feeling. So much so that 3 of my 5 bikes hanging in my house have various WTB saddles on them. I have never had a WTB saddle break on me and all have lasted many seasons. That said $250 for the WTB Valcon Carbon is a steep price and can be hard to validate. But if you’re inner weight weenie can learn to shut up the WTB SLT with titanium rails and the same shell as the Carbon comes in 50g heavier and $80 cheaper.
During our run at 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo the WTB remained comfortable and un-noticeable until I was forced off the trail by food poisoning. So to make up for my lack of saddle time during the race I took a couple of trips to Sedona with some local tour guides (Thank you Rob and Jared). The rails and shell of the saddle have remained in good shape showing no signs stress or fatigue. An unfortunate super low speed fall into a bush did rip a hole in the side of the saddle. This is not really very surprising considering that the saddle only weighs 169g and to get there the cover probably isn’t as thick as other saddles’. Luckily, the glue holding the entire cover on held the flap from catching on my shorts and really ripping open.
Though WTB’s Rocket V is still my all-time dirt favorite, all in all I am happy with the Valcon Carbon as a superlight option and will keep it atop my bike as long as I can. Plus, who doesn’t want a little more carbon on their bike?