Bontrager is Trek Bikes’ component and accessories brand and has an impressive array of saddles in its range covering everything from wide beach-cruiser style perches through to aero and time-trial focussed models.
This includes four women’s saddle ranges: the Ajna, Yatra and Nebula, plus the women’s version of the comfort-focussed Sport saddle. Making up the Ajna range are three models, the entry-level Ajna Comp, the mid-level Ajna Elite that I’m testing here and the range-topping Ajna Pro.
The Ajna is what Bontrager classifies as a Posture 2 saddle, and is aimed at riders who adopt an aggressive body position on road and mountain bikes.
The range offers plenty of width options – 144mm, 154mm and 164mm – and the curvature and profile of the saddles are adapted to suit each size.
It’s also one of the longest women’s saddles on the market, measuring 264mm x 158mm – across the saddle’s widest point – for the 154mm option.
The Ajna Pro features hollow titanium rails, a carbon-reinforced shell and a microfibre outer.
It has a 142mm long central cut-out that varies from 7mm to 20mm at its widest and there’s a pressure-relief channel at the rear and along the nose.
Bontrager Ajna Elite saddle performance
The long and wide central cut-out provided noticeable comfort for soft tissue with no pressure experienced.
Likewise, the channel on the nose relieves pressure when riding in an aggressive position and when over the nose on tough climbs. However, the mid-section is wide as a result of this, which means that there is some pressure and rubbing on the area where the top of the inner thigh joins the groin.
In a lot of circumstances, a convex rear can mean that staying in position on the saddle is tricky, but for the Ajna, so long as the width fitting is right, this is less of a problem with the sit bones well supported.
This is partly due to the thin, firm foam padding, which provides just enough cushioning to be comfortable but not so much that it deforms and allows the bum to shift around when putting force through the pedals.
What the convex profile does do is soften the upper edge of the saddle so that it rubs less against the rear of the upper thighs, which is something that can become noticeable on saddles that don’t do this on long rides where they can begin to chafe.
A relatively sharp angle on the saddle wings, slightly forked tail profile and a small bulge on the underside of the nose where the rails join the shell did occasionally catch on my clothing while shifting on and off the bike, especially on more gravity-oriented trails.
But for cross-country style riding with long climbs, long seated efforts or just a long time spent spinning in the saddle, the Anja provides an excellent, comfortable perch.