Shimano’s PRO component group has a trio of new mountain bike saddles geared toward more aggressive riding styles. Developed based on saddle pressure mapping studies from their ergonomic division at Bikefitting.com, Pro discovered many mountain bikers were sacrificing comfort and possibly even limiting performance by using saddles that didn’t address the seated position of an aggressive trail rider.
By using Bikefitting’s collected data, the new Griffon, Turnix, and Volture aim to cater more to enduro, trail, all-mountain, and even eMTB riders by putting the padding where the pressure is. The key to the analysis seems to focus on how trail riders tend to move around more in an upright seating position, regularly changing position as technical trail surface and trail gradients are ever-changing.
Each of the three saddles still aim to be light while getting more padding where it counts and covers that are up to rough and tumble trail abuse.
Griffon & Turnix MTB trail mountain bike saddles
The Griffon & Turnix are not actually new names from Pro, but now get a MTB designation for the updated saddles. The difference between the two saddles essentially boils dow to fit preferences.
The Griffon saddle (above) is a flatter saddle with a more narrow rear that Pro says suits riders who more around a lot. The Turnix (below) features a more curved profile with a wide tail, suited for more flexible riders who tend to stay planted longer in a single position on the bike.
The saddles, originally developed for road riding, now get a wider nose to allow for more comfortable forward riding while climbing and more grippy synthetic polyurethane covers to keep your butt planted no matter where you end up on the saddle.That rider moving around also led to the saddles getting a slightly wider mid section as well. The saddles also get some more scuff/crash protection on the sides.
Based on the pressure studies that also get more padding overall – 2mm more up front & 5mm more in the rear. The padding itself is something new, a light Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate that drops 1/3 of the weight of standard PU foam while also being waterproof.
Combined with carbon reinforced plastic bases with pressure cutouts, that helps keep weight of the saddles low at 216g for the Griffon and 222g for the Turnix, even with durable stainless steel rails.
`The saddles also get Pro’s new two-bolt accessory mounts so it will be easy to attach things like an action cam, tail light, or even a fender. Both new saddles come in three widths to suit a range of sit bone widths – 132mm, 142mm, 152mm.
Pro Volture eMTB saddle
We got a sneak peek at the Volture eMTB-specific saddle earlier this summer, which now gets official release. The thinking and details remain essentially what we saw then. Bikefitting.com’s analysis showed that e-bike riders tend to spend more time with their butts planted on the saddle and put more weight on the saddle.
The result is that the Volture eMTB saddle gets more & firmer padding for more comfort. The saddle nose gets wider too. It also features a subtly flared up tail to keep the rider planted securely. The 235g Volture also gets the accessory mount and comes in 142mm & 152mm widths.
No word yet on official pricing, but the three new saddles – Griffon MTB, Turnix MTB, and Volture eMTB – will each be available through retailers in January 2018.