TREK BONTRAGER Montrose Elite REVIEW
Top seller from Trek/Bontrager.
Product Tested: 2017 BONTRAGER MONTROSE ELITE
Price: view here
Source: TREK bike shops, websites
Features: Hollow Ti Rails, Carbon Fiber reinforced shell.
- Great value in a full contour/cutout saddle.
- Very comfortable and supportive saddle.
- Hollow-Ti Rails, Carbon-fiber reinforced shell.
- Lightweight: 216g (138mm width)
- Unconditional Bontrager Guarantee.
- None experienced so far.
User Review( votes)
First off, some definitions that are hard to find on Trek’s website.
POSTURE – The category of the saddle. 1 = TT, 2 = aggressive road, 3 = endurance road / aggressive MTB. More than that are comfort saddles. See chart below.
First off, I’ve been riding the Montrose 138mm for over a month now. No discomfort whatsoever. The Montrose Elite is what came with the 2017 Trek Emonda – see bike review here.
There are several other popular (and comparable) saddles with the same specs and same price point – namely Specialized Romin, Specialized Power and Specialized Toupe. All are $130 and come with Hollow Ti rails and a carbon-fiber reinforced shell. These designers have done their homework well.
My Cervelo has the Romin Evo Expert Gel and my BH has the Specialized Power. I prefer the Romin slightly over the Power. But, I did have to play around with the saddle widths. When I went into the Specialized dealer to get measured, they said I need a 148mm saddle.
So, I picked up the Romin in 148mm and, after just several miles and already going numb, I had to sit back and analyze what was happening. The top-rear of the Romin drops off to the sides rapidly and my sit bones were actually below the top level of the saddle. What this was doing was placing more pressure on my soft tissue.
I traded it for a 155mm and this solved the problem. Now I’m sitting on my sit bones again. No numbness. Next, for the BH, I chose the Specialized Power saddle. Flatter still across the top with a wider opening that is placed further forward. Perfect for when riding in the drops with hips rotated forward or those on a TT bike. Since this was a lot flatter along the rear of the saddle, it turned out that I needed a standard 148mm which I bought and use on the BH.
Now here is where it gets weird. The 56cm Trek Emonda came with the Bontrager Montrose Elite in 138mm width. It felt comfortable and nothing went numb, but, when feeling where my sit bones were, it seemed I was almost all the way to the outside of the saddle. I picked up a 148mm (*the widest they make) and placed it in the same position as the 138mm.
*You can’t go wider unless you go to the women’s line of saddles, specifically the Ajna Elite, pictured to the right – which appears to be the women’s equivalent of the Montrose, but much closer to the design of the Specialized Romin. Same Posture 2, same hollow Ti rails, same carbon-fiber reinforced shell, the only difference is the Ajna comes in 144mm, 154mm, 164mm widths vs the 128mm, 138mm, 148mm for the Montrose.
Been on several rides with the 148mm and it felt too wide. Weird, since the Romin is a 155mm and feels perfect. The 148mm Montrose didn’t feel quite right so, I put the 138mm back on and fits like a glove. Not sure what is happening here, but the 148mm should feel better but doesn’t. Nothing wrong with the 148mm, just doesn’t fit me as good as the 138mm.
HOW DID IT FEEL ON THE ROAD?
Been on several 70+ mile rides with each saddle and the Montrose is every bit as comfortable as the Romin and the Power.
MONTROSE ELITE TOP FEATURES
Hollow Titanium rails, carbon fiber-reinforced shell and inform BioDynamic anatomic design make this a great road or MTB saddle.
HOW EASY WAS IT TO ADJUST?
This is really an issue of the seat post. As with other saddles with different rail options, i.e., 7mm x 9mm ovalized carbon, 7mm round hollow Ti, etc., a different seat post top cap is usually required. So, if you choose the Montrose Pro with its oversized carbon rails, just make sure you don’t install it on a seat post that is sized for a standard round rail.
I’m not sure I like the single bolt design in seat posts. They are a lot harder to fine-tune than a 2-bolt design, one in the front and one in the back. To adjust these, loosen one bolt ¼ turn and tighten the other ¼ turn…infinitely adjustable.
To adjust this seat post, I had to loosen, then loosen a little more, then still more and it still wouldn’t move. One hard tap with the palm of my hand and the whole thing fell apart.
Putting it back together was easy, but getting the rails to sit evenly in the clamp proved difficult as well since the clamps turn independently of each other they kept wanting to become misaligned with each other.
I finally got it back together and to fine-tune the adjustment, all I do now is slightly loosen the single main 5mm bolt then using my fist, bang on the front or rear of the saddle. It’s crude, but seems to be the best way to accomplish an adjustment.
I’ve been on several 70+ mile rides with each saddle and the Montrose is every bit as comfortable as the Romin and the Power which also have lots of miles on them. No numbness experienced and I believe this is the easiest saddle of those mentioned in this article to be able to rotate the hips forward when in the drops. The cutout is very large and does not push back against the rider when trying to get into an aero position.
Is the Montrose any better or any worse than Specialized’s offerings? Single answer, No.
I rate the Montrose equal in quality, workmanship, design, comfort, feel, price, choice of materials and overall value as the Romin and Power.
Do I recommend the Bontrager Montrose Elite? YES, I highly recommend the Montrose Elite saddle.
One last thing, I will go as far as state that there are only 5 road saddles that I recommend (most of which can also be used in MTB). These are, in alphabetical order;
- AJNA (Bontrager) – Women’s equivalent to the Romin – view here
- MONTROSE (Bontrager) – Men’s Road or MTB saddle – view here
- POWER (Specialized) – Short-nosed road saddle that can also be used for TT. Largest and flattest sit bone area out of all of the saddles in this group. – view here
- ROMIN (Specialized) – Classic road saddle by which most others are judged – view here
- TOUPE (Specialized) – Very similar design as Romin but flatter in sit bone area than Romin – view here
I have always enjoyed bicycling and, through a series of coincidences, became a Bicycle Industry Consultant and Product Tester. I test prototype products for companies and have published only off the shelf production products on biketestreviews.com.