WTB Fit Right Backstory
Saddle fit can make or break a riding experience. No aspect of riding your bike should be a painful experience. Numbness or discomfort down south doesn’t need to be part of your daily ride. If you’re experiencing discomfort on your current saddle, it’s likely because you haven’t been paired with the ideal saddle for your sit bone width or riding style. Many riders know their current saddle isn’t as comfortable as they’d like to it be, but they either don’t know how to go about figuring out what saddle could potentially be more comfortable, or the methods available to do so are simply too much of a hassle.
“Come to the shop wearing your riding gear. Yes, that includes your diaper…sorry, chamois. Better yet, bring your whole bike. You ride clipless? You’ll need to bring your shoes too. Better yet, we have an expensive machine we’ll put you on; I hope you’re okay with us staring at your butt in the process. Oh, and give us a chunk of money to do so. Wait…that didn’t work? Let’s try it again.”
The least invasive and convenient methods required a company shipping a fit kit to a rider’s house and require you to then ship it back when you’re done. We’ve been working on how to improve the fitting experience since we started making saddles decades ago. We also openly admit we have contributed to some of the previously stated methods, but it was all done with the intent of making our customers more comfortable on their bike.
One of WTB's previous approaches to perfecting saddle fit. Throughout the years, we've committed a lot of time and resources to finding the perfect fit solution.
All the while, though, we knew there had to be a better way. There had to be an approach that avoided the obstacles of previous methods - an easier way of determining which saddle would be best for any given rider. Therefore, we set out to design the ultimate fit system while also ensuring it met the following criteria:
- Achieved with easily accessible materials or tools.
- Able to be done in the comfort of one’s own home.
- Accessible and free to all riders at a global level.
We started throwing all kinds of ideas out there, from sitting on sacks of what looked like Elmer’s glue, to old pizza boxes, to sheets of aluminum, to slices of bread. Yup, you read that correctly…bread. Things got weird. After years of throwing various design concepts out the window, we met with our friend and chiropractor, Dr. Colin, to discuss if there were any anatomical features of the human body we might have been overlooking. Dr. Colin explained how many correlations are found throughout the body where the size of one specific body part is often directly comparable to the size of another body part.
One example is the widely accepted correlation between the wingspan and height of an adult human being. As we dug deeper, we realized these correlations within the body could be key to creating the ultimate saddle fit system. We were skeptical, to say the least - who wouldn’t be? We even put together a test group thinking it would prove the method to be inadequate, but it ultimately presented the opposite.
The result: our revolutionary WTB Fit Right System is the most accurate and non-intrusive method of determining sit bone width and saddle fit. It is a simple three-step process of determining saddle fit using consistently accurate anatomical correlations between the width of one’s wrists and the distance between the sitting surfaces of the ischial tuberosities (more commonly known as sit bones). It’s free and can be used whether at home, at your local bike shop, at the office, or even the trailhead; And get this, you don’t have to wear your chamois to make it happen.
Once a rider’s sit bone measurement has been determined, the final step is WTB’s Fit Right Chart, which categorizes the entire WTB saddle line according to simple descriptors of saddle width and padding thickness. Riders apply their sit bone measurement and padding preference to complete the personalized fit procedure and ensure they’ve chosen the perfect saddle. WTB’s goal is to provide riders with a saddle that fits them so perfectly they simply forget it’s beneath them.